According to answer i received from Bing, the AI tool by microsoft, the definition of Neurosis is as below.
“Neurosis is a term used to describe mental disorders caused by past anxiety, often that has been repressed. It is characterized by anxiety, depression, or other feelings of unhappiness or distress that are out of proportion to the circumstances of a person’s life. They may impair a person’s functioning in virtually any area of his life, relationships, or external affairs, but they are not severe enough to incapacitate the person.”
Q: Osho, WHAT IS NEUROSIS AND WHAT IS THE CURE FOR IT?
( My opinion: From the answer of this question Osho preferred his reply to the causes of Neurosis and its affect on human life and his own definition of it. So i preferred to add the best definition that one can get about Neurosis on internet using Bing, so that we can understand our this state of mind, happiness and overall health. I will add my views on important points using contemporary language or highlight a part so that you can get benefit from my experiences too and may arrive at some decision to take one step in direction of experimenting the messages of Mystics till date and grow your inner wisdom and light.)
“Neurosis has never been so epidemic in the past as it is now. It is almost becoming a normal state of human mind. It has to be understood.
The past was spiritually more healthy, and the reason was that mind was not fed so many things simultaneously; the mind was not overloaded. The modern mind is overloaded, and that which remains unassimilated creates neurosis. It is as if you go on eating and stuffing your body. That which is not digested by the body will prove to be poisonous. And what you eat is less important than what you hear and see. From your eyes, from your ears, from all your senses, you go on receiving a thousand and one things each moment. And there is no extra assimilation time. It is as if one were constantly sitting at the dining table, eating, eating, twenty-four hours a day.
This is the situation of the modern mind: it is overloaded; so many things are burdening it. It is not any surprise that it breaks down. There is a limit to every mechanism. And mind is one of the most subtle and delicate of mechanisms.
A really healthy person is one who takes fifty percent of his time to assimilate his experiences. Fifty percent action, fifty percent inaction – that is the right balance. Fifty percent thinking, fifty percent meditation – that is the cure.
Meditation is nothing but a time when you can relax utterly into yourself, when you close all your doors, all your senses, to the outside stimulus. You disappear from the world. You forget the world as if it exists no more – no newspapers, no radio, no television, no people. You are alone in your innermost being, relaxed, at home.
In these moments, all that has become accumulated is assimilated. That which is worthless is thrown out. Meditation functions like a double-edged sword: on the one hand it assimilates all that is nourishing, and it rejects and throws out all that is junk.
But meditation has disappeared from the world. In the old days, people were naturally meditative. Life was uncomplicated, and people had enough time just to sit and do nothing, or look at the stars, or watch the trees, or listen to the birds. People had intervals of deep passivity. In those moments you become more and more healthy and whole.
Neurosis means you are carrying such a load in the mind that you are dying under it. You cannot move. There is no question of your consciousness flying. You cannot even creep – the burden is too much. And the burden goes on increasing every moment. One cracks up. It is very natural.
A few things to be understood. Neurosis is the mouse endlessly trying the dead end, not learning. Yes, not learning is neurosis – that is the first definition. You go on trying the dead end.
You have been angry. How many times have you been angry? And how many times have you repented of being angry? Still, let there be a stimulus and your reaction will again be the same. You have not learned a thing. You have been greedy and greed has created more and more misery. You know it – greed has never given anybody blissfulness – but you are still greedy, you still go on being greedy. You don’t learn.
Non-learning creates neurosis, is neurosis.
Learning means assimilation. You try one thing and then you find that it doesn’t work. You drop it. You move in another direction, you try another alternative. This is wise, this is intelligent. Just knocking your head against a wall where you know perfectly well there is no door is neurosis. (One of my student was patient of neurosis. So I can elaborate his case with reference to this talk, so that anyone can understand it. One event in his life happened he was unable to vent it or resolve it so he got struck there. Now he is living normal life but everyday he visits that moment beyond which he could not move further. He is not ready to resolve it now, because neurosis means from his side he has decided that it is not possible to resolve it. For us it feels like he is in great problem but from his side he has found a door that is closed so there is no need to try. Since he is very intelligent so the mind is not ready to accept it too. Inside there is a hope that may be there is some solution to it, so he keeps visiting it. When anyone suggests him, his answer is sure that the door is closed. But he keeps visiting to that door with hope that may be there is some solution. This is neurosis. But Osho is pointing towards it because if we stop learning new things , experimenting new ideas in our life then it may lead us to neurosis like state in future.)
People are getting more and more neurotic because they go on trying the dead end, they go on trying that which doesn’t work. The man who is capable of learning never becomes neurotic – cannot become. He immediately sees the point that this is a wall. He drops the whole idea. He starts moving into other dimensions. There are other alternatives available. He has learned something.
It is said of Edison that he was trying one experiment in which he failed seven hundred times. His colleagues became desperate. Three years were wasted and he went on trying new alternatives again and again. And every morning he came with great enthusiasm – the same enthusiasm that he had come with on the first day. And three years were wasted.
One day his colleagues gathered together and they said to him, ’We don’t see the point. We have failed seven hundred times. It is time to drop the experimentation.’ Edison is reported to have said, ’What are you saying – failed? We have learned that seven hundred alternatives were wrong alternatives. It has been a great experience! Today I am not going to try the same experiment, I have found another one. We are coming closer to the truth. How many false alternatives can there be? There must be a limit. If there are one thousand false alternatives, then seven hundred have already been dropped and only three hundred are left. And then we will be reaching the right point.’
(In my life I kept trying different meditations. I tried my hands on Yoga book by B. K. S. Iyengar during my school time! It’s eight steps Yama, Niyama etc together with Yoga practice helped me to decide that it is not suited to me. Then I tried Tratak meditation. Then chanting Hare Rama Hare Krishna, reading or regurgitating Hanuman Chalisa/Ganapati Atharvashirsha 100 times, Pouring water on Shiva lunga with mantra jap. Havana with Durga Shaptapadi mantra etc etc. I listened to talks given by Hindu monks, Jaina monks to get one new idea that can help me. When I was reading a book of Osho, I tried zen meditation suggested by Osho. And it gave me stability, so it became part of my life afterwards. When I started reading Geeta, this remained a part with it too. Then after 8-10 years of trying different experiments I came to know about awareness meditation from another Osho’s book. This helped me miraculously. Today I can say that I did nothing as compared to what awareness meditation’s practice gave me. It has opened the door to beyond. Within the framework of time, it helps one to experience timelessness! It is called as Satori by Zen people. Then you are not the same person who was trying, you get transformed! This is the miracle of witnessing awareness. Then even if you live simple life like Chinese people live by ‘chop wood, carry water’ way, then you have a grace in your every act.)
This is learning. Trying one experiment, seeing that it doesn’t work, trying an alternative, seeing that it doesn’t work, the wise man drops it. The fool clings to it. The fool calls it consistency. The fool says, ’I did it yesterday and I am going to do it today, too. And I will do it tomorrow.’ He is stubborn, pig-headed. He says, ’How can I leave it? I have invested so much in it. I cannot change it.’ Then he goes on insisting on it and his whole life is wasted. And as death comes closer, he is desperate, he is hopeless. Deep down in his guts he knows perfectly well that he is going to fail. He has failed so many times and he is still trying the same thing without learning anything at all.
This creates neurosis. The man who is capable of learning will never become neurotic.
A disciple will never become neurotic. A disciple means one who is capable of learning. Never become knowledgeable; always be in the process of learning.
Knowledgeability drives people neurotic. It is not just accidental that professors, philosophers, psychiatrists, scholars, easily go mad. They have learned and they have reached the conclusion that there is no more to learn. The moment you decide that there is no more to learn, you have stopped growing. To stop growing is neurosis – that is the second definition.
The world was very different in the past, obviously. About six weeks’ worth of sensory stimuli six hundred years ago is what we now get in a day. Six weeks’ worth of stimulation, information, we are getting in a single day – about forty times the pressure to learn and adapt. Modern man has to be capable of learning more than man has ever been before, because there is more to learn now. Modern man has to become capable of adapting to new situations every day because the world is changing so fast. It is a great challenge.
A great challenge, if accepted, will help tremendously in the expansion of consciousness. Either modern man is going to be utterly neurotic or modern man is going to be transformed by the very pressure. It depends on how you take it. One thing is certain: there is no way of going back. The sensory stimuli will go on increasing more and more. You will be getting more and more information and life will be changing, with faster and faster rhythms. And you will have to be capable of learning, of adapting, to new things.
In the past man lived in an almost static world. Everything was static. You would leave the world exactly as your father had left it to you. You would not have changed anything at all. Nothing was changed. There was no question of learning too much. A little bit of learning was enough. And then you had spaces in your mind, empty spaces, which helped people to remain sane. Now there is no more empty space, unless you create it deliberately.
Meditation is needed today more than ever before. Meditation is needed so much that it is almost a question of life and death. In the past it was a luxury; few people – a Buddha, a Mahavira, a Krishna – were interested in it. Other people were naturally silent, naturally happy, sane. There was no need for them to think of meditation; in an unconscious way they were meditating. Life was moving so silently, moving so slowly, that even the most stupid people were capable of adapting to it. Now the change is so tremendously fast, with such speed, that even the most intelligent people feel incapable of adapting to it. Every day life is different, and you have to learn again – you have to learn and learn again and again. You can never stop learning now; it has to be a life-long process. To the very point of death you will have to remain a learner, only then can you remain sane, can you avoid neurosis. And the pressure is great – forty times greater.
How to relax this pressure? You will have to go deliberately into meditative moments. If a person is not meditating at least one hour a day, then neurosis will not be accidental, he will create it himself.
For one hour he should disappear from the world into his own being. For one hour he should be so alone that nothing penetrates him – no memory, no thought, no imagination; for one hour no content in his consciousness, and that will rejuvenate him and that will refresh him. That will release new sources of energy in him and he will be back in the world, younger, fresher, more able to learn, with more wonder in his eyes, with more awe in his heart – again a child.
This pressure to learn, and the old habit of not learning, is driving people crazy. The modern mind is really super-loaded, and no time is given to digest it, to assimilate it into one’s own being. That is where meditation comes in and becomes more significant than ever. Without giving time for the mind to rest in meditation we repress all of the messages that are pouring in continuously. We refuse to learn – we say we have not got time. Then the messages begin to accumulate. If you don’t have time enough to listen to the messages that your mind is receiving continuously, they start accumulating – just like files accumulating on your table, piles of letters accumulating on your table, because you have not time enough to read and answer them. Exactly like that your mind becomes cluttered – so many files waiting to be looked into, so many letters to be read, to be answered, so many challenges to be taken, to be faced.
I have heard…
Mulla Nasrudin was saying one day, ’If something wrong happens today, I will not have time for at least three months to look into it. So many wrong things have already happened which are waiting there. If something wrong happens today,’ he said, ’I will not have time to look into it for three months at least.’
A queue. You can see that queue inside yourself – and the queue goes on growing. And the bigger the queue, the less and less space you have; the bigger the queue, the more and more noise inside – because everything that you have accumulated demands your attention.
This usually starts at about the age of five when real learning virtually stops, and this lasts until death. In the old days it was okay. Five or seven years were enough to learn all that you would need in your life; that would do. Seven years’ learning would do for seventy years of life. But now that is not possible. You cannot stop learning because new things are always happening and you cannot face those new things with old ideas. You cannot depend on your parents and their knowledge, you cannot even depend on your teachers in the school and the university, because what they are talking about is already out of date. Much more has happened. Much water has gone down the Ganges.
This was my experience. When I was a student I was surprised at my professors’ knowledge because it was thirty years old. It was when they were young that they had gathered it from their teachers. Since then they had not looked at what had happened That knowledge was absolutely useless. I was constantly in conflict with my professors, I was thrown out of many colleges, expelled, because the professors said that they could not cope with me. And I was not creating any trouble, I was simply making them aware that what they were saying was out of date. But that hurts the ego. They had learned it in their own university days and they were thinking that the world had stopped then and there.
Now students cannot depend on teachers and children cannot depend on their parents, hence a great rebellion is on the way all over the world. It has nothing to do with anything else. Students cannot respect their teachers anymore unless those teachers continuously learn. They cannot be respected. For what? There is no reason. And children cannot respect their parents because the approach of their parents looks very primitive. Small children are becoming aware that what their parents say is out of date. Parents will have to continuously learn if they want to help their children to grow and teachers will have to continuously learn. Now no one can stop learning. And this speed is going to grow continuously.
So, one thing: learning has not to be stopped, otherwise you will go neurotic; because to stop learning means you are accumulating information which you have not assimilated, digested, which has not become your blood and your bones and your marrow. It will hang around you with great insistence to be taken in.
Secondly: you will need time to relax. This pressure is too much. You will need some time to disappear from this pressure. Sleep cannot help you anymore because sleep itself is becoming overburdened. Your day is so overloaded that when you go to sleep only the body falls limp on the bed, but the mind continues to sort things out. That’s what you call dreaming: it is nothing but a desperate effort of the mind to sort things out because you won’t give any time to it.
You have to relax consciously into meditation. A few minutes of deep meditation will keep you non-neurotic.
In meditation the mind unclutters, experiences are digested, and the overload disappears, leaving the mind fresh and young and clear and clean.
In the past the input volume was one-tenth of one’s time and the meditative time was nine-tenths. Now just the reverse is the case: nine-tenths input volume time and one-tenth meditative time. Very rarely do you relax. Very rarely do you just sit silently, doing nothing. Even that one-tenth time of unconscious meditation is disappearing. Once that happens, man will be utterly mad. And that is happening.
What do I mean by unconscious meditative time? You simply go into the garden, you play around with your children – that is unconscious meditative time. Or you swim in the swimming pool – that is unconscious meditative time. Or you mow your lawn, or you listen to the birds – that is unconscious meditative time. That too is disappearing because whenever people have time, they are sitting before their TVs, glued to their seats.
(I wish to suggest you to just watch a child’s life for a whole day. He/she is constantly kept feeling helplessness still they remain happy whole day! They keep learning and try to enjoy in every opportunity/situation they get/face. Here is a video of one girl. It is on Instagram and the celebration is not going to stop till she is listening to any sound. She converts it into music worth dancing! )
Now, tremendously dangerous information is being put into your mind by the TV. You will not be able to digest it. Or you are reading newspapers. All kinds of nonsense is being fed to you. Whenever you have time you put the radio or the TV on. Or someday you are feeling very good and you want to relax and you go to the movie. What kind of relaxation is this? The movie will not allow you relaxation, because information is continuously thrown into you.
Relaxation means no information is thrown into you. Listening to a cuckoo will do, because no information is fed to you. Listening to music will do, because no information is thrown into you. Music has no language; it is pure sound. It does not give any message; it simply delights you. Dancing will be good, music will be good, working in the garden will be good, playing with children will be good, or just sitting doing nothing will be good. This is the cure. And if you do it consciously, the impact will be greater.
Create a balance. Neurosis is an unbalanced state of mind: too much activity and no inactivity at all, too much masculine and no feminine at all, too much yang and too little of yin. And you have to be fifty-fifty. You have to keep a deep balance. A symmetry is needed inside you. You have to be an ARDHANA-RISHWAR, half man, half woman, then you will never go neurotic.
And that is the whole process of the book, THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. It will make you disappear as man, as woman; it will make you one whole, one unity; it will give you individuation.
Individuality is neither male nor female, it is simple unity. Strive to achieve it between time spent doing versus time spent not doing. This is wholeness. This is what Buddha called his Middle Way, MAJJHIM NIKAYA. Just be exactly in the middle. And remember, you can become unbalanced to the other extreme too; you can become too inactive. That will be dangerous also. That has its own pitfalls and dangers. If you become too inactive, your life loses dance, your life loses joy, you start becoming dead.
So I am not saying become inactive, I am saying let there be a balance between action and inaction. Let them balance each other and you be just in the middle. Let them be two wings of your being. No wing should be bigger than the other.
In the West, action has become too great; inaction has disappeared. In the East, inaction became too great and action disappeared. The West knows affluence, richness, on the outside and poverty inside; the East knows richness, affluence, inside and poverty on the outside. Both are in misery because both have chosen extremes.
My approach is neither Eastern nor Western, my approach is neither male nor female, my approach is neither of action nor inaction, my approach is that of utter balance, symmetry, in you. Hence I say to my sannyasins: Don’t leave the world. Be in the world and yet be not of it. This is what Taoists call WEI WU WEI, action through inaction – the meeting of yin and yang, anima and animus; it brings enlightenment. Imbalance is neurosis; balance is enlightenment.”
—-Osho, The secret of secrets Vol-1, #12 To create a balance.
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Awareness meditation is the way worked for me and I tried it first during brushing my teeth in the morning after trying 8-10 meditations over period of 15 years! So there is no need to reinvent the circle for you. May be you too find it suitable otherwise with Dynamic meditation and/or Kundalini in the evening it is suitable for most of the people. There are 110 other meditation techniques discovered by Indian Mystic Gorakhnath about 500years before and further modified by Osho for contemporary people that one can experiment and the suitable one could be practiced in routine life.
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