You may prefer to listen, in US English, to this post from my podcast show “ Philosia “ on Google podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Pocket casts too.
Here is the Q No. 7, asked by one of the disciples of Osho and his answer is worth meditating upon to understand the effect of conditioning in our life. Mere recognition of an act as being done out of our conditioning by the society or school etc is sufficient to get it automatically dropped one day.
BROWN HAS SAID: ’THE ULTIMATE PROBLEM IS NOT GUILT BUT THE INCAPACITY TO LIVE. THE ILLUSION OF GUILT IS NECESSARY FOR AN ANIMAL THAT CANNOT ENJOY LIFE, IN ORDER TO ORGANISE A LIFE OF NON-ENJOYMENT.’
OSHO’s Answer to above question.
“I will not agree – because man is born with the capacity to live. Everybody is born with the capacity to live – that’s what birth means: the capacity to live. Then somewhere on the way man loses the capacity to live, becomes non-orgasmic, becomes sad, serious, dull, stupid.
Each child is born intelligent, full of joy, wonder, adventure, enquiry; each child is born open-ended. But somewhere, some where near the age of three or four, between three and four, the child is distracted by the society, loses all contact with his original capacities, and becomes a false entity. Up to the age of three the child remains a part of nature, flowing, happy about nothing at all, happy for no reason, just happy. Just watch a child. What has he got to be happy about? But he looks like he is on the top of the world. With small things he can be so happy – just collecting pebbles on the seashore and he can be more happy than you are ever going to be. Even if you collect KOHINOORS YOU will not be as happy. Just with pebbles, coloured stones, or rushing after a butterfly, a child seems to be so joyous.
Somewhere near the age of three the child becomes civilised. We force him. We initiate him into civilisation – and civilisation up to now has been a kind of insanity, a madhouse. We force the child to become more and more intellectual and less and less intelligent. We force the child to be more and more prosaic and less and less poetic. We force the child to become more and more concerned about the non-essential – money, prestige, power, ambition – and more and more uninterested in the real joys of life. We turn the child from a playful being into a worker. The work ethic enters. Now duty becomes more important than love; formality becomes more important than informal flow; manners become more important than truth; policy becomes more important than authenticity.
Once the child has learned these strategies he is no longer happy, and when a child is no longer happy then he needs some reason for why he is unhappy. First we make him unhappy, then naturally one day he is going to ask, ’Why am I unhappy?’ Then you have to find reasons. Hindus say it is because in your past lives you have committed bad karmas. Christians say it is because of the original sin – because Adam committed a sin of disobedience to God: that’s why. And so on, so forth.
Now look at the whole stupidity of it. First you destroy the capacity to enjoy, then naturally, when the child becomes non-enjoying, when he asks, ’Why am I miserable? Why am I unhappy? Why can’t I be happy? What has gone wrong?’ Naturally you cannot say what has gone wrong. You may not even be aware of it. You cannot say that you have put him on the wrong track. You may not have put him on the wrong track knowingly, you may have simply given it as a heritage. Your fathers, your mothers, your society, have given it to you; you have given it to your children. Each generation gives its neurosis to the new generation. Madnesses go on living. People go on changing, madnesses go on living.
You may not be aware that each child is born with infinite potentiality to be happy. Each child is orgasmic. But one day or other he is going to ask and you have to provide answers. So you create guilt. You say, ’Because you have committed sins in your past life.’ You or Adam and Eve, that doesn’t matter, anybody, X,Y,Z, will do – you just have to give an explanation that something has gone wrong in the past. And the past is beyond your capacity, you cannot do anything.
What can I or you do about Adam and Eve? How can we manage him not eating the apple? It is impossible. He has eaten it. It has already happened. We cannot undo it. And it is not a drama that is happening right now.
One day I heard two small children – a boy and a girl, a brother and a sister – playing. The boy hit the girl very hard and she started screaming. The mother came and asked, ’What is the matter? Why have you hit your sister?’ And the boy said, ’We were playing Adam and Eve and rather than giving me the apple she ate it herself.’
Now this is not a drama. We cannot change it any more. It has already happened. Adam has eaten the fruit of knowledge. You cannot do anything; you simply feel guilty.
Hindus look more rational. They are. But that doesn’t make much difference. Hindus say it looks absurd that you should suffer for Adam’s sin. They make it more rational. They are rational people; they have been philosophising for centuries. They say it is your past karmas. In your past life you have done wrong. Now who is going to suffer? You are the one to suffer for your wrong. It looks more logical.
But it is not. You go on asking a Hindu pundit, ’Then okay, in my previous life I did wrong. What about if I was also suffering in my previous life? How far back can you go? There must be a first life somewhere. Why did I do something wrong in my first life? There is no other life to precede it so you cannot throw the responsibility on the previous life. Why did it happen in the first place?’ It is absurd. Nobody has the answer.
In fact, it has not happened in the Garden of Eden and it has not happened in your past life; It has happened in your present life and it has happened in your parents’ house and it has happened in your school and it has happened in your society, in your country, and it has been done by the parents and the priests and the politicians. These are the culprits, these are the criminals.
They have taken your joy and they have given you wrong things. They have taken real, nutritious food from you and they have given you lollipops. Even if it tastes good, it does not satisfy hunger. Even if it tastes good, it does not fulfil, it does not make you strong. Yes, ambition tastes good. It is a lollipop. Fame, success, taste good, but deep down you remain poor.
Look at your so-called rich people, look a little deeper into them, and they are beggars, worse than beggars. Sometimes it is possible that a beggar may have something inside him – a luminous being. Buddha was a beggar, so was Mahavira. But look at your kings and your rich people – dull and dead. No joy surrounds them. They just go on dragging somehow.
And you have been put on the same track. Somebody is needed to take you out of this conditioning. That’s the function of a Master – to uncondition you, to take all the conditioning that your parents have given you. The Master is basically against your parents and against your society and against your politicians, hence it is not accidental that the politicians and the parents and the society and the priests are always against a real Master whenever he happens. That is where the conflict is.
That’s what I am doing here – taking your wrong conditioning so that your joy can erupt again. It is there, that spring is there, nobody can destroy it. It is existential, it is part of your being, nobody can take it away – it has just been blocked. The spring is there and the fresh water is still running there – but rocks have been put around you. You have been blocked. Once those rocks have been taken away again you will become a child. It will be a rebirth. Again you will start flowing. Again your eyes will have lustre and your face will have joy. Again you will become luminous. That’s what Jesus means when he goes on saying, ’Only those who are like children will be able to enter into the kingdom of my God.’
You ask: BROWN HAS SAID: ’THE ULTIMATE PROBLEM IS NOT GUILT BUT THE INCAPACITY TO LIVE. THE ILLUSION OF GUILT IS NECESSARY FOR AN ANIMAL THAT CANNOT ENJOY LIFE, IN ORDER TO ORGANISE A LIFE OF NON-ENJOYMENT.’
How have you been destroyed in your childhood? That has to be looked into. You were born capable of living – everybody is – then your capacity to live was taken away. And the way, the trick, that was used to take it away was to give you false ideals, pseudo ideals; to move you in directions which are futile, meaningless; to put you on tracks which go nowhere, which always end in a cul-de-sac. And naturally when you are in a cul-de sac and your life is not going anywhere – or running in circles – an explanation is needed. ’Why has this happened to me? Why has this happened to ME and not to others?’
That too is in the mind of everybody – ’Everybody else is happy, only I am miserable’ – because you look only at the faces. And people manage their faces. They have masks. They don’t want to show their misery – what is the point? They keep it hidden. So when you look around you may see that everybody seems to be happy – only you are miserable. And that’s how everybody is thinking – ’Everybody else seems to be happy, only I am miserable.’ All are miserable.
Misery is there because the society has distracted you. It is not that man is born with an incapacity to live, no, that is not the problem. That’s why I don’t agree. The problem is not that man has no capacity for joy – man has – the problem is that man is not allowed to grow in a natural way.
There are vested interests which don’t allow man to go into joyous ways. They need a miserable man. For their own purposes the miserable man is more suitable than a happy man, because a happy man is a rebel and a miserable man is never a rebel. A miserable man is always ready to obey, always ready to submit. A miserable man is so miserable that he cannot stand on his own; he knows that on his own he is just miserable. So he is ready to fall into anybody’s trap.
Any politician can become the leader if people are miserable. Then any stupid person can become your leader, your prime minister, your president – because he can promise you things, he can promise you great things. And you are so miserable that you trust the promises. If you are happy, nobody can deceive you by promising – because you need not have any promise, you are already happy. With a happy world politicians will disappear.
When you are unhappy you start thinking, ’Maybe this life is wasted, maybe I could not manage this life, but if I can manage the next one, the coming one, that is more than enough to ask.’ You go to the priest. The priest promises you good in the other life. The politician promises something good in the future in this life, and the priest promises you something good in the other life beyond death. Both go on promising. Promises are needed by miserable people. If you are happy, you will not go to the politician and you will not go to the priest. For what? You are already happy, you are already in paradise. Then the whole profession of the priest and the politician disappears.
These are the exploiters. These are the people who are sitting on your heart and blocking your energies. They can remain in power only if you are miserable. Remember it. By being miserable you are helping a gang of exploiters. Be happy and you bring the greatest revolution in the world.
Sometimes people come to me and they ask, ’Why don’t you teach something so that the society can be changed?’ That’s what I am doing – but I am doing it very fundamentally. I don’t teach you any social revolution. I don’t say to you, ’Go and overthrow this government.’ That is meaningless because those who will overthrow the government will become your exploiters. It never changes anything. Down the ages man has been changing the government and the social structure and the economic structure but basically nothing ever changes. Again and again the same thing happens. Man is caught. All hopes are hopeless.
But I am doing something really revolutionary. radical – I am trying to make you happy. It may not be very obvious to you how it is concerned with the revolution of the society – it is. A happy person is beyond being oppressed, exploited, because a happy person needs no promises. A happy person is already happy so he is not worried about paradise or after-life. That is all nonsense A happy person is not worried about tomorrow; the morrow takes care of itself. Jesus says: Look at the lilies in the field They don’t think of the morrow, they don’t toil, they don’t labour. They live an unworried existence. They are just there. But I say unto you that even Solomon attired in all his beautiful, valuable dresses was not so beautiful as these lily-flowers.
That’s what sannyas is all about. I would like you to become a lily, a flower, unconcerned about the future, unconcerned about the past. The past is no more and the future is not yet. Only the present is there. Bloom in it, be happy in it, rejoice in it, celebrate in it, and you bring a great revolution in the world – because you will be getting out of all the traps of the priests and the politicians.
The priests and politicians create guilt in you. They do the harm and then they make you feel guilty. They destroy your capacity to live, to love, to delight, and then they throw the responsibility on you – ’It is your sin, it is your wrong-doing that has made you so miserable.’ Then they create guilt.
But the basic problem is conditioning. Man should be helped to live a natural life, man should not be conditioned to live an unnatural life. The basic problem is not an incapacity to live – you are born with the capacity to live – the basic problem is how not to allow others to destroy that capacity. Once they destroy, they bring guilt in also. Guilt is their protection. They protect themselves behind the garb of guilt. First they kill you and then they make you guilty that you have committed suicide.
-Osho, Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2, #A Holiday from Sanity
Osho suggested a very practical way to grow inner wisdom and I found them very helpful too. Here are few of them:-
The deep problem is: how to become aware, how not to be unconscious. From where to start? Don’t try to fight with some very deep-rooted habit. You will be defeated. The fur coat will not leave you so easily. Start with very neutral habits.
For example: you go for a walk; just be aware that you are walking. It is a neutral thing. Nothing is invested in it. You are looking at the trees; just look at the trees and be aware. Don’t look with clouded eyes. Drop all thinking. Just for a few moments even, just look at the trees, and just look. Look at the stars. Swimming, just be alert to the inner feeling that happens inside your body while you are swimming, the inner. Feel it. You are taking a sun bath; feel how you start feeling inside: warm, settled, rested. While falling asleep, just watch how you are feeling inside. Inside, outside – try to be aware of the coolness of the sheets, the darkness in the room, the silence outside, or the noise outside. Suddenly, a dog barks – neutral things; bring your consciousness to them first. And then, by and by, proceed.
Then, try to be aware of your good habits, because good habits re not so deep-rooted as bad habits. Good habits need much sacrifice on your part, so very few people try to cultivate good habits. And even those who try to cultivate good habits try very few good habits; just underneath, many bad habits are there.
First try neutral, then good, then move by and by to bad habits. And finally, remember that each habit has to be made aware. Once you have become aware of your whole habitual pattern, that habitual pattern is your mind. Any day the shift will happen. Suddenly, you will be in the no-mind. When all the habits of your life have become aware, you don’t do them unconsciously suddenly, a shift will happen. You will find yourself in emptiness. That is the original mind which is neither pure nor impure.
-Osho, Yoga-The science of the soul, Chapter 3, Returning to the original mind.
My experiences may be of your help in taking only one step. Because everyone has to move forward alone, this is the nature of this journey.
In my life mindfulness or awareness meditation helped miraculously. Apart from that living a simple, authentic and totality in life is very helpful even when we are serving people around us with great love and care without discrimination.
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