Osho, you say that your main concern is our spiritual not our psychological growth. What is the difference between them?
Deva Yachana, man is a three-storied building: one body, the mind and the soul. The body contains only the body. The mind contains body and mind both. And the soul contains all the three. The higher implies the lower, but not vice versa: the lower does not imply the higher.
This is one of the fundamental laws to be remembered. If you work on the higher, the lower will be automatically solved. If you work on the lower, the higher will not be automatically solved.
Spirit contains all the three dimensions of your being. That’s why I say my concern is your spiritual growth — because it contains your totality. To be concerned with your psychological growth will leave the most essential and the highest part of you outside. And then there are many more problems.
Mind is a multiplicity; mind means the many. Millions of problems are there. If you start solving each single problem it will take millions of lives — even then you cannot be certain that you have solved the mind problems.
Greed is there, anger is there, lust is there, jealousy is there… and so on and so forth. If you solve one it will take years and years; and even then nothing is solved. If you try to solve your anger, if you want to grow beyond your anger, at the psychological stage what can you do? At the most you can repress it — because awareness belongs to the spiritual realm. At the psychological level you can only fight. You can choose: you can repress one part against the other, but the repressed part is not dying. In fact, the more it is repressed, the more alive it will become — because it will be going closer and closer to the source of your energies and it will be getting more nourishment. And you can repress anger, but it will find some outlet from the backdoor. You cannot transform this way.
That’s where Western psychology is lost — lost in a chaos. Small problems are not being solved, very small problems. It takes years and years of psychoanalysis… then too nothing is solved. At the most you can do only a kind of window-dressing, a whitewashing. You give the patient a better mask to wear, but his original face remains the same.
Western psychology has failed.
The Eastern approach goes far deeper. It does not try to cut the foliage of a tree: it cuts the very roots. And to cut the very roots is to destroy the tree. If you go on pruning the leaves — that’s what psychological work means: pruning the leaves — you are not going to destroy the tree at all. On the contrary, the more you prune it, the thicker the foliage will become. You cut one branch and three branches will come — because the tree will take the challenge that you are going to destroy it. Each and everything tries to survive. And when there is danger, the tree will make every effort to survive. That’s what happens.
If you want to drop your anger, you become angrier than before. If you want to drop your sexuality, you become more and more sexual than before. That’s what has happened to millions of people. They want to get out of the prison of sex; they make all kinds of efforts. Their desire is good; they are sincere people, but misguided. They start fighting with sex, and sexuality retaliates with a vengeance. These people become more sexual than ordinary people, their whole mind becomes full of sex. They think of sex, they dream of sex, and they are continuously fighting. The more they fight, the more they give energy to the enemy — because the more and more they become focused on the enemy. They cannot be off-guard.
This has happened down the centuries. You can see the monks, your so-called mahatmas, your so-called saints — their minds are ugly. And the reason is not that they are not sincere people; the reason is that they have started from a wrong end.
“I think we should treat not the symptoms but the real problem.” This was the approach of the Southern planter just after the Civil War. This gentleman of the old school found his wife in the arms of her lover and, mad with rage, killed her with his revolver.
A jury of his Southern peers had brought in a verdict of justifiable homicide, and he was about to leave the courtroom a free man when the judge stopped him. “Just a point of personal curiosity, sir, if you are willing to clear it up.”
In reply, the gentleman bowed.
“Why did you shoot your wife instead of her lover?”
“Sir,” he replied, “I decided it was better to shoot a woman once than a different man each week.”
If you try to change your mind, you will have to shoot a different man each week. It is better to shoot the woman and be finished with it.
That’s why I say my concern is not your psychological growth but your spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth means growth of awareness; it means nothing else. Becoming more and more alert. Becoming a light unto yourself. And when you are a light unto yourself, darkness starts disappearing of its own accord.
The man of awareness cannot be angry — that is impossible, because to be angry the basic requirement is to be unaware. Try it, and you will be very much surprised. Try to be angry AND aware — you will not be able to manage; nobody has ever been able to manage it. It is impossible. It is not in the very nature of things.
When you are aware, anger will disappear. If you lose awareness, anger will appear. Both are not possible — just as light and darkness cannot exist together; they cannot have a coexistence.
Why can light and darkness not exist together? Because darkness has no substance in it; darkness has no existence in it. It is nothing but the absence of light, so how can absence and presence exist together? If light is there then absence cannot exist. If absence exists, light cannot be present there.
Awareness is a single solution to all the problems.
Greed cannot exist when you are aware — why? Because when you are aware, you are aware that you are the ultimate bliss, that you have the whole kingdom of God within you. What more can you desire, what greed? It will be utterly stupid. Greed exists in the person when he is not aware of his own kingdom, when he is not aware that he is a born emperor, and lives like a beggar.
The moment that you become aware that you have all the treasures of the world in you, that nothing is missing, how can greed exist? Greed means you know your inner poverty and you go on accumulating. Greed means you know that you are poor and you have to be rich.
The man of awareness becomes alert that he is rich already! and there is no possibility of becoming richer. He is divine! Greed cannot exist when you know that you are divine.
How can anger exist with a man who is aware? From where does anger come? Anger is a wound in the ego. When your ego is hurt, you become angry. But the man of awareness knows there is no ego at all — now, how can wounds happen to something which is found no more?
You escape from a rope in the night thinking it is a snake; you run, you are frightened to death. And then somebody laughs, takes hold of you — tells you, “It is not a snake, it is a rope! Come with me and we will take a lamp and we will see.” You go with the person, still afraid, still ready to escape in case it is not a rope but a snake. But the closer you come, the better you see… you start laughing. Now, can you be afraid when you have seen that it is a rope?
And it is not that when you had thought it was a snake your fear was unreal — it was absolutely real. It was almost like a heart attack. You were trembling, suffocating, out of breath. You might have died of fear, it was so real. But there was no real snake!
An unreal snake can create real fear. And that’s how it is happening: an unreal ego can create real anger. You feel offended and anger arises. When the light of awareness is inside you, you know there is no ego — there is no snake. Simply anger disappears. And how can you be afraid when you are aware? In awareness it is known that you will never die because you were never born, that birth and death are just on the surface, at the deepest core of your being you are deathless. Then fear disappears.
Yachana, you became worried when I said that I am not concerned with your psychological growth — because what is psychological growth? Helping you not to be angry, helping you not to be an egoist, helping you not to be afraid — that is psychological growth.
Spiritual growth means: helping you to be aware. And a single medicine cures all the illnesses.
And if we go on working on the surface, it may appear that you are changing, but deep down you remain unchanging. It may appear that you are attaining to some psychological maturity, but it will be only skin-deep. Scratch a little and you will find the same old man there.
Once a patient was treated by a psychoanalyst because he thought he was a popcorn.
Finally, after years of intensive analytic work, success was there. In the final session, the psychoanalyst asked him once who he was and he replied, “A man, of course!”
Five minutes after he had left the office, the patient came rushing in, terrified. “Doctor, doctor, you should have told me that there are chickens outside. I barely escaped them!
“But you know you are not a popcorn, don’t you?”
“Sure I do — but what about the chickens?”
All your psychological work will be just on the surface. You will appear as if you have changed, but that will be only an appearance. Any real situation will bring your real face Lack again. This is not transformation: this is just consolation. And I am not concerned with consoling you.
My effort here is to transmute you to let you become something utterly new that you have never dreamt about yourself. Something immensely valuable is hidden in you – that has to be discovered. That is your soul.
And unless you discover that hidden source of all life, you will only be playing games — psychological games, physiological games. Yoga got lost in physiological games. Your so-called yogis are only doing physiological exercises. They have their own benefits, I cannot deny it. They will make you healthier, but that health remains of the body. And the body will be gone when death comes, and with the body all your yoga postures too! And the whole effort that you had made will be lost.
Psychology and psychoanalysis have become too much focused on the mind of man.
Mind is not your real core. It is just a bridge between the body and the soul, and a very fragile bridge it is. It is a very non-substantial phenomenon, because it consists only of thoughts. Behind the mind there is your reality — you can call it soul, spirit, God or whatsoever you will.
My concern here is to help you to penetrate to that core. Once you have known that everything will settle in your life — because with that awareness you will be watchful of the body and you will be watchful of the mind, and all that is ugly will simply disappear.
That is the miracle of spiritual experiences: all that is ugly simply disappears, and all that is beautiful is enhanced. The evil disappears and the good is enhanced. The world and the worldly desires are no more relevant to you — a totally new dimension opens up.
From Philosophia Perennis, V.2, Chapter Five
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