“There is nothing to feel guilty about. It is immensely significant that the trees don’t listen to Catholic priests. Otherwise, they would make the roses feel guilty: ‘Why do you have thorns?’ And the rose, dancing in the wind, in the rain, in the sun, would suddenly become sad. The dance would disappear; the joy would disappear; the fragrance would disappear. Now the thorn would become its only reality, a wound – ‘Why do you have thorns?’
… The whole existence is guiltless. And the moment a person becomes guiltless, they become part of the universal flow of life. That is enlightenment, a guiltless consciousness, rejoicing in everything that life makes available: the light is beautiful; so is darkness.”
I absolutely agree that the whole existence is guiltless. Yes, enlightenment is a guiltless or guilt-free consciousness that rejoices in everything that life makes available, including light and darkness. I like what he said about trees and roses don’t listen to priests or the dance and joy and fragrance might disappear because it demonstrates the fact that Nature is non-religious, holistic and liberating, unlike organised religions that tend to be separatist, dogmatic and oppressive. That’s why I love Nature so much – there is joy, there is fragrance, there is freedom to be our authentic and unique self, and there is also a pleasant rest and quietude where we feel at one with Divine Love. I think that is why Jesus chose to retreat to the wilderness too, so as to find solace and peace from religious establishments and societal conditionings.
“Start witnessing your thoughts — sitting silently, just watching the rush of thoughts, not interfering, not saying, “This is good. This is bad.” Not justifying, not appreciating, no judgment… non-judgmental witnessing, just like the mirror. Anybody or anything that passes by, the mirror reflects it; that’s all, it makes no comment.”
I like Osho’s description of watching the thoughts pass in our mind and not making any comment on whether they are good or bad because it is a very peaceful form of meditation that allows us to remain detached from the world events even as we reflect on them so that we are not tossed to and fro or caught up in the public fervour regarding who’s right or wrong (such as social issues, political issues etc) but we simply see things for what they are, much like watching clouds floating in the sky or leaves falling from the trees.
Many a times, the mass media tends to dramatise things and the audience can become caught up in debates and so on, and become susceptible to being manipulated by the people running the show behind the scenes, so practising this form of meditation enables us to stay detached and calm, refusing to allow ourselves to be swayed or manipulated by the propaganda. We will remain in a state of bliss and silent awareness in Rumi’s field, which is beyond the fields of right doings and wrong doings, proverbially speaking. Some may say this is a passive approach, but I would say it is actually an empowering approach because only when we are peaceful on the inside will we be able to impact the world outside with our peace.
Letting Go Of Society’s Expectations! (Don’t Be The Next Commodity in The Assembly Line)
I was listening to Ralph Smart’s latest video last night, in which he talked about being true to ourselves and not become a slave (or “mindless drone”) in the workplace and society.
Yes, it is worth everything to be true to our authentic self and not be pressurised by others to conform to the norms or expectations of the work culture (or society or religion). It is our basic human right to express our individuality. No one can tell us (whether directly or indirectly) what to believe or how to act in a certain situation because it would be tantamount to faking just to appear nice or to conform to certain norms or expectations.
Being a rebel in the positive sense
I have also read through Osho’s article on his definition of a rebel, and I find his article balanced and insightful. I think he explained well the difference between rebellion and revolution, as well as between commune and society/establishment.
“A commune is a communion of individuals who have all rebelled against all kinds of stupidities, superstitions. That is their meeting point. But that does not mean that they create an alternative society, another establishment. Then it would only be revolution.”
The word “rebellion” has unfortunately been given much negative press by the society and organised religions because the authorities do not like other people to question their system or do things differently, or believe differently from themselves. But as Osho clarified in his article, rebellion is not about opposing people; rather it is about opposing rigid mindsets that discriminate people, or control people, or impose burdens on people to perform or conform to meet unrealistic expectations.
Rebellion, as I understand it, is about challenging an oppressive system to allow freedom for people to express their individuality and not become soulless. No one really likes to live in a society where everyone thinks the same, dresses the same style, and uses the same lingo – it would be boring and dehumanising to live like robots (or “mindless drones”, as Ralph Smart puts it in his video). It would also create disharmony within ourselves when we are not allowed to be true to ourselves and express our own uniqueness and think for ourselves.
As I understand from Osho’s article, even revolution is not exactly an ideal because for every revolution to create an alternative society or establish another regime, there will be a new dictator. Yesterday’s freedom fighter may become today’s oppressor, and we have seen this phenomenon repeated many times in history. So revolution is not really a permanent solution, but rather rebellion can be an answer to the problem of discrimination and oppression in the world. Each of us can choose to rebel in our own way against oppression, against hypocrisy, against the judgemental and condemning attitudes of those who think they are “superior” just because of some external factors that they are attached to (whether it is paper qualifications or work experience or affiliation to a certain organisation or religion, etc).
We know that in actuality, no one is better than others because everyone is born equal and everyone is equally important and valuable. Like what Osho wrote, rebellion is all about respecting ourselves as an individual, and respecting everyone else in the same way to be their own unique individuals. There will be more peace and harmony if everyone were to give one another the freedom to express their own unique individuality and be true to ourselves.
After all, God/Divine/Universe loves diversity, and we can have unity in diversity, just as in the natural ecosystem, there is such a vast diversity of plants and animals living and co-existing in a natural state of balance or equilibrium. Similarly, every part of the body is equal and no one part is more important than the other – every part is necessary for the optimal functioning of the body.
Like what Ralph Smart says in his video, the system of the society is dying and it is futile for those who try to hold on to the system. They may try to conform and be accepted in the eyes of the society, but they are only making themselves a slave of the system. Probably the only hope is for them to be honest with themselves and come to terms in dealing with their own shadow self.
In view of this, it is good for us to stand up for ourselves and not allow ourselves to be squeezed into other people’s mold.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Yes, the real trick of life is not to be in the know, but be in the mystery. It is the mystery that keeps us seeking and finding, and rejoicing whenever we discover the hidden treasure within ourselves, like in a treasure hunt. It is like living life with wide-eyed wonder of little children exploring the universe.
This brings to mind this quote that I read earlier.
“For a lighter life, a more playful life, you need to be flexible.
Become more and more innocent, less knowledgeable and more childlike. Take life as fun – because that’s precisely what it is! You have to remember that freedom is the highest value, and if love is not giving you freedom then it is not love.” -Osho
While I was browsing through the mystical and new age books in a large book store yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find Osho’s books as well. Here’s sharing here an interesting passage from his book “Living Dangerously”:
“The most difficult thing in life is to drop the past – to drop the past means to drop the whole identity, to drop the whole personality. It is to drop yourself. You are nothing but your conditionings.
It is not like dropping clothes – it is as if one’s skin is being peeled off. Your past is all that you know you are. Dropping is difficult, arduous – the most difficult thing in life. But those who can dare to drop it, only they live. Others pretend to live, others simply go on dragging themselves somehow. They don’t have any vitality – they can’t have. They live at the minimum, to live at the minimum is to miss the whole thing.
It is only when you live at the optimum of your potential that blossoming happens. It is only at the optimum expression of your being, of your truth, that God arrives – that you start feeling the presence of the divine.
The more you disappear, the more you feel the presence of the divine. But the presence will be felt only later on. The first condition to be fulfilled is disappearing. It is a kind of death.
Hence it is difficult. And conditioning has gone very deep – because you have been conditioned from the very beginning; from the first moment you were born, conditioning started. By the time you became alert, a little aware, it had already reached to the deepest core of your being. Unless you penetrate yourself to this deepest core that was not conditioned at all, that was before conditioning started, unless you become that silent and that innocent, you will never know who you are.
You will know you are a Hindu, a Christian, a communist. You will know you are an Indian, a Chinese, a Japanese, and you will know many things – but those things are just conditionings imposed upon you. You had come into the world utterly silent, pure, innocent. Your innocence was absolute.
Meditation means to penetrate to that core, to that innermost core. Zen people call it knowing the ‘original face’.”
(from the chapter “Belief is borrowed, trust is yours”)
This is enlightening, eh? The truth of our true identity that is pure and innocent and free from conditionings resonates fully with me. Yes, I am essentially and fundamentally neither a Christian nor a Chinese. I am a pure and free and innocent child of the Divine Love.
Osho – This is the Buddhist alchemy: all evil can be transformed into the bodhi path, the path to become a buddha. Evil is not against you, you just don’t know how to use it. Poison is not your enemy, you just don’t know how to make medicine out of it. In wise hands poison becomes medicinal, in foolish hands medicine can become poison. It all depends on you, on your artfulness.
Have you ever looked at the word evil? Read backwards, it is live. Life can become evil, evil can become life; it all depends on how you read it. There are three things to be understood about this sutra, to change bad conditions to the bodhi path so that you can attain to bodhichitta, the mind or no-mind of a buddha. The first is: do not resist evil.
That is a saying of Jesus; there is every possibility that Jesus got it from Buddhist sources. He traveled in India; he had lived in India before he started his mission in Israel.
This interesting article “Buddhist alchemy: all evil can be transformed into the bodhi path” by Osho offers a great insight on transforming evil into good, as taught in Buddhism. I also think it is likely that Jesus’ teaching on not returning an eye for an eye and loving and blessing the enemies is borrowed from the Buddhist teachings, which mirror the unconditional love of the Father/Creator/Source.
I agree with Osho’s conclusion about transforming evil into something good:
“it is not a question of destroying evil in the world, but of transforming evil into something beneficial; transforming poison into nectar.”
This reminds me of the enlightenment scene in the movie “Little Buddha“, when Siddhartha learnt to meditate under a tree and finally saw through the illusion of ego and separation that causes suffering in this world, and he also learnt how to transform evil into something beneficial. I thought the visual illustration of this enlightenment (such as the fiery arrows shot at him being transformed into beautiful flowers falling down peacefully and blissfully) is both powerful as well as empowering.
“The more you love, the more you have it.
The more you give, the more the universe goes on pouring into you from all sides. There are hidden springs, just as in a well.
Love has an underground way of filling you, invisible.
The only way to know is just give it and see — you are always full.”
As usual, Osho has great insights in sharing about the three stages of love. Love does have the power of changing or transforming people, and I agree that the more we love, the more we have it because the universe goes on pouring into us from all sides. Proverbs mentions this truth as well – “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself”. Yes, the universe never shortchanges us whenever we love ourselves and others. I would see this as a self-perpetuating cycle of love – love begins from our highest self – when we know our true identity as Unconditional Love, we will learn to love ourselves, and out of the overflow of loving and accepting ourselves, we will love and accept others unconditionally too. We love because He (our true identity and highest self) first loved us. In fact, when we love ourselves, we are also loving others at the same time because we are one with them.
I thought the following is an apt song that summarises the topic on loving ourselves and loving others – it goes a long way to healing the world (indeed, Michael Jackson is a visionary whose songs are timeless). :)
We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel
You are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we’ll cry happy tears
See the nations turn
Their swords into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space to make a better place.
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for
You and for me.
- Being true to ourselves and not give in to pressure to conform (realrest.wordpress.com)
- Peace within becomes peace without (realrest.wordpress.com)
- Reflection for today…Without You This Existence Will Not Be The Same, There Will Be A Hole -OSHO (mysoulsonice.wordpress.com)
- Love (breathasfuelyoga.com)
- .:I will never get old, and I was never young:. (upliftedvibrations.com)