Sometimes as I watch people playing the same old games over and over, my eyes feel ancient and jaded and my heart weary and cynical. I guess it’s because I’m feeling more and more my own games and tricks and I hear your maddening voice between my ears saying, “That’s okay – just you have to accept and love yourself; and there is no problem.”
I think if you say this word again, I will scream. Wasn’t I happier when I thought there was a goal?
The question is from Ma Deva Anando. It is significant. The question can be that of almost everybody who is present. Listen to it. It simply shows a situation that every seeker has to pass.
First, Anando says, “Sometimes as I watch people playing the same old games over and over, my eyes feel ancient and jaded and my heart weary and cynical.”
Please don’t try to watch others – that is none of your business. If they have decided to play the old games, if they want to play the old games, if they are happy in playing their old games, who are you to interfere? Who are you even to judge?
This constant hankering to judge others has to be dropped. It does not help others. It harms you; it only harms you. Why should you be bothered? That has nothing to do with you. It is others’ joy if they want to remain the old and they want to move in the same rut, in the same routine. Good! It is their life and they have every right to live it their own way.
Somehow we cannot allow others to have their own way. In some way or other we go on judging. Sometimes we say they are sinners, sometimes we say they are bound to go to hell, sometimes we say they are this and that – criminals. If all that has changed, now a new evaluation that they are playing old games and ’I am tired’. . . Why should you be tired of their games? Let them be tired of their games if they want; or if they don’t want, that too is their choice. Please don’t watch others.
Your whole energy has to be focused on yourself. Maybe you are condemning others for their old games just as a trick because you don’t want to condemn yourself. It always happens; it is a psychological trick: we project on others. A thief thinks everybody is a thief – that is very natural for him; that is a way to protect his ego. If he feels the whole world is bad, he feels good in comparison. A murderer thinks the whole world consists of murderers – that makes him feel good and at ease. It is convenient to think the whole world consists of murderers; then he can murder and there is no need to have any guilt feeling, there is no need to have any prick of conscience.
So we go on projecting on others whatsoever we don’t want to see in ourselves. Please stop that! If you are really tired of old games then this is the old game – the oldest. For many lives you have been playing it: projecting your defects onto others and then feeling good. And of course you have to exaggerate, you have to magnify. If you are a thief, you have to magnify others’ images, that they are greater thieves than you. Then you feel good; in comparison, you are a far better person.
That’s why people go on reading the newspapers. Newspapers help you very much. Early in the morning, before you have even taken your tea you are ready for the newspaper. And the newspaper brings nothing like news, because there is nothing new. It is the same old rotten thing. But you feel good: somewhere, somebody has been murdered, somewhere there has been a Watergate, and somewhere something else, and somewhere somebody has stolen, and somebody’s wife has escaped with somebody else . . . and so on and so forth. Watching all that, you relax; you feel, “So, I am not so bad – the whole world is going to the dogs. I am a far better person. I have not yet escaped with the wife of the neighbor. I have not killed anybody yet – although I think of it, but thinking is not a crime where people are actually doing things.” You feel good. And the moment you feel good, you remain the same.
Please don’t watch others. It is not going to help you. You use your energy, your observation, on yourself.
And there is something tremendously transforming in observation. If you observe yourself, things will start changing. If you start observing your anger, one day you will suddenly find the anger has no more energy the way it used to have; it is no more so fiery. Something has gone dead in it.
If you start watching yourself, you will see, by and by, the negative is dying and the positive is becoming more and more alive; that misery is disappearing and bliss is entering into your life; that you smile more, sometimes even for no reason; that a sense of humor is arising in you – if you start watching – that old depressed, long face is disappearing. A sense of humor is born. You start taking life more playfully, if you watch; seriousness becomes more and more irrelevant. More and more you become innocent, trusting, less and less doubtful.
I am not saying that your trust will always be respected. No, that is not the point. You may be deceived more, because when you are trusting you can be deceived more. But even when you are deceived, your trust will not be destroyed by it – in fact, it may even be enhanced. You may start thinking that even if you are deceived – somebody has taken a little money and deceived you – you will be able to see that you have saved the far more valuable thing, that is trust; and something almost valueless, the money, is gone.
You could have saved the money and the trust would have gone – that would have been a far greater loss, because nobody has ever been found to be happy just because of money. But because of trust, people have lived like gods on earth. Because of trust, people have enjoyed life so totally that they could feel grateful to God. Trust is a benediction. Money, at the most, can give you a little comfort, but no celebration. Trust may not give you much comfort, but will give you great celebration.
Now, to choose comfort against celebration is simply stupid – because that comfortable life will be nothing but a comfortable death. Conveniently you can live and conveniently you can die, but the real taste of life is possible only when you are celebrating at the optimum, at the maximum, when your torch is burning from both ends together. Maybe only for a single moment . . . but the intensity of it, but the totality of it, but the wholeness of it! And this happens only through observation. Observation is one of the greatest forces of transformation.
Start observing yourself. Don’t waste your energy for observation on others – that is a sheer wastage! And nobody will ever thank you for it; it is a thankless job. And whomsoever you observe will feel offended – because nobody likes to be observed; everybody wants to have a private life. Good or bad, stupid or wise, but everybody wants to have his own private life. And who are you to interfere? So don’t be a peeping tom, don’t go to people’s keyholes, and don’t watch. It is their life. If they want and if they love to play the old game, let them play!
So the first thing: please stop watching other people; turn the whole energy on yourself.
Second thing you say: “I guess it’s because I’m seeing more and more my own games and tricks and I hear your maddening voice between my ears saying, ‘That’s okay – just you have to accept and love yourself, and there is no problem.’”
I have to repeat it: There is no problem. I have never come across a real problem – not up to now. And I must have listened to thousands of people and their thousands of problems. I have not come across a real problem yet. And I don’t think that it is ever going to happen – because the real problem exists not. ‘Problem’ is a created thing. Situations are there: problems are not there. Problems are your interpretations of situations. The same situation may not be a problem to one person and may be a problem to somebody else.
So it depends on you whether you create a problem or you don’t create a problem but problems are not there. Problems are not in existence: they are in the psychology of man.
Just look next time you are having some trip and riding a problem just watch. Just stand aside and look at the problem. Is it really there? or have you created it? Look deeply into it, and you will suddenly see it is not increasing, it is decreasing; it is becoming smaller and smaller. The more you put your energy into observation, the smaller it becomes. And a moment comes when suddenly it is not there . . . and you will have a good laugh.
Whenever you are having a problem, just look at it. Problems are fictitious, they don’t exist. Just go around the problem, look from every angle – how can it be? It is a ghost! You wanted it, that’s why it is there. You asked for it, that’s why it is there. You invited it, that’s why it is there.
But people don’t like it if you say their problem is not a problem – they don’t like it. They feel very bad. If you listen to their problems, they feel very good. And if you say, “Yes, this is a great problem,” they are very happy. That’s why psychoanalysis has become one of the most important things of this century. The psychoanalyst helps nobody – maybe he helps himself, but he helps nobody else. He cannot. But still people go and pay. They enjoy – he accepts their problems; whatsoever absurd problem you bring to the psychoanalyst, he listens to it very sincerely and seriously, as if it is there. He takes it for granted that you are suffering greatly, and he starts working on it and analyzing it. And it takes years!
Even after years of psychoanalysis the problem is not solved-because in the first place the problem has never been there, so how can anybody solve it? But after years of psychoanalysis, you get tired; and you get finished with the old problem, you want some new problem now. So one day you suddenly say, “Yes, it is no more there, it is gone,” and you thank the psychoanalyst. But it is simply time that has helped, that has healed. It is not psychoanalysis. But there are people who would not like simply to wait and watch.
When you bring a mad person to a Zen monastery, they simply put him in a corner, in a small hut, far away from the monastery; they give him food and they tell him, “Just be there, quiet.” Nobody goes to talk to him; food is supplied, his comforts are looked after, but nobody bothers about him. And what psychoanalysis does in three years, they do in three weeks. Within three weeks the person simply comes out and he says, “Yes, the problem is finished.”
For three weeks you are left with your problem – how can you avoid seeing it? And no analysis is given, so there is no diversion; you are not distracted. The psychoanalyst distracts you! The problem may have died on its own within three weeks, but it will not die now because with the support of the psychoanalyst it will live for three years, or even more. It depends how rich you are. If you are rich enough, the problem can continue for your whole life. That means it depends how much you can afford.
Poor people don’t suffer from many problems. Rich people suffer they can afford to; they can enjoy the game of having great problems. The poor person cannot afford and cannot enjoy that game.
Next time you are having a problem, look into it, look hard into it. No need for any analysis; don’t analyze it, because analysis is a way of diversion. When you start analyzing, you don’t look at the problem. You start asking why? from where? how did it come? – in your childhood, your mother’s relationship with you, your father’s relationship with you. You have gone astray. Now you are not looking into the problem itself. Freudian psychoanalysis is really a mind-game and played with great expertise.
Don’t go into the causes! There is no need because there is no cause. Don’t go into the past; there is no need because that will be going away from the present problem. Look into it as a herenow thing, just enter into it. And don’t think about causes, reasons. Just watch the problem as it is.
And you will be surprised that looking hard into it, it starts dispersing. Go on looking into it and you will find it has gone.
Problems are not there. We create them – because we cannot live without problems. That is the only reason why we create them. To have a problem is to have an occupation. One feels good; something is there to do. When there is no problem you are left alone, empty – what to do next? All problems finished.
Just think: one day comes God and says, “No problems any more – finished! All problems gone.” What will you do? Just think of that day. People will be stuck; people will start getting very angry about God. They will say, “This is not a blessing! Now what are we supposed to do? No problems?” Then suddenly the energy is not moving anywhere; then you will feel stagnant. The problem is a way for you to move, to go on, to carry on, to hope, to desire, to dream. The problem gives so many possibilities to remain occupied.
And to be unoccupied, or to be capable of unoccupation, is what I call meditation: an unoccupied mind who enjoys a moment of unoccupation is a meditative mind.
Start enjoying some unoccupied moments. Even if the problem is there – you feel it is there, I say it is not, but you feel it is there – put the problem aside and tell the problem, “Wait! Life is there, the whole life is there. I will solve you, but right now let me have a little space unoccupied by any problem.” Start having a few moments unoccupied, and once you have enjoyed them you will see the fact that problems are created by you because you were not capable of enjoying the unoccupied moments. So problems fill the gap.
Have you not watched yourself? Sitting in a room, if you have nothing to do you start feeling fidgety, you start feeling uncomfortable, you start feeling restless – you will turn the radio on, or you will turn the TV on, or you will start reading the same newspaper you have read three times since the morning. Or, if there is only one way, you will fall asleep so that you can create dreams and again remain occupied. Or you will start smoking. Have you watched it? Whenever you are not having anything to do, it becomes very difficult to be, just to be.
I will say again: There is no problem, Anando. Look into the fact of it that there is NO problem in life. If you want to have it, it is your pleasure – you enjoy with all my blessings but the truth is that there is no problem.
Life is not a problem at all – it is a mystery to be lived and enjoyed. Problems are created by you because you are afraid to enjoy life and you are afraid to live life. Problems give you a protection – against life, against joy, against love. You can say to yourself, “How can I enjoy? – I am having so many problems. How can I enjoy? I am having so many problems, how can I love a man or a woman? I am having so many problems, how can I dance and sing? – impossible!” You can find some reasons not to sing, not to dance. Your problems give you a great opportunity to avoid.
Look into the problems and you will find they are fictitious.
And even if you are having a problem and you feel it is real, I say it is okay. Why do I say it is okay? Because the moment you start feeling it is okay, it will disappear. The moment you say to a problem that it is okay; you have stopped giving energy to it. You have accepted it! The moment you accept a problem, it is no more a problem. A problem can be a problem only when you go on rejecting it, when you say it should not be so . . . and it is. Then the problem is strengthened.
That’s why I say it. People come to me with their big problems and I say, “It is okay, it is very good, you accept it.” And I say, “Just you have to accept and love yourself.” And I understand, Anando says, “It is very maddening, your voice continuously saying, “That’s okay . . . and there is no problem.”’
And Anando says, “I think if you say this word again I will scream.”
You have been screaming your whole life – whether you scream or not is not the point – you have been screaming your whole life. You have not done anything else up to now. Sometimes loudly, sometimes silently, but you have been screaming. That’s how I see people – screaming people, their heart is screaming, their being is screaming. But that will not help. You can scream but that will not help.
Try to understand rather than screaming. Try to see what I am telling you. And what I am telling you is not a theory – it is a fact. And I am saying it because I have known it that way. If it can happen to me that there is no problem, why cannot it happen to you? Take the challenge of it! I am just as ordinary a man as you are; I don’t claim any extraordinary miraculous powers.
I am very ordinary, just as you are. The only difference between me and you is you don’t say okay to yourself and I have said an absolute okay to myself – that is the only difference. You are continuously trying to improve yourself and I am not trying to improve myself. I have said: Incompletion is the way life is. You are trying to become perfect and I have accepted my imperfections. That is the only difference.
So I don’t have any problems. When you accept your imperfection, from where can the problem come? When whatsoever happens you say “It is okay,” then from where can the problem come? When you accept limitations, then from where can the problem come? The problem arises out of your non-acceptance. You cannot accept the way you are, hence the problem. And you will never accept the way you are, so the problem will always be there. Can you imagine yourself some day accepting, totally accepting the way you are? If you can imagine, then why don’t you do it right now? Why wait? For whom? For what?
I have accepted the way I am, and that very moment all problems disappeared. That very moment all worries disappeared. Not that I became perfect, but I started enjoying my imperfections. Nobody ever becomes perfect – because to become perfect means to become absolutely dead. Perfection is not possible because life is eternal. Perfection is not possible because life goes on and on and on – there is no end to it.
So the only way to get out of these so-called problems is to accept your life as you find it right this moment, and live it, enjoy, delight in it. The next moment will be of more joy because it will come out of this moment; and the next to that will be of even more joy because, by and by, you will become more and more joyous. Not that you will become joyous through improvement, but by living the moment.
But you will remain imperfect. You will always have limitations, and you will always have situations where, if you want to create problems, you can immediately create. If you don’t want to create problems, there is no need to create. You can scream but that won’t help. That’s what you have been doing – that has not helped.
Even primal therapy has not proved of much help. It allows people to scream – yes, it feels a little good, it is a tantrum therapy. It allows you to vomit. It feels a little good because you feel a little unloaded, unburdened, but then within a few days that euphoria disappears; again you are the same, again accumulating. Again, go to the primal therapy – you will feel good for a few days . . . again the same.
Unless you understand that one has to stop creating problems, you will go on creating problems. You can go into an encounter group, you can do primal therapy, you can do thousands of other groups, and after each group you will feel tremendously beautiful, because you dropped something that was on your head – but you have not dropped the mechanism that creates it.
You have dropped something which you were having, but you have not dropped the very factory that goes on creating it. Again you will create. It will not be of much use. It will give you a respite, a rest.
But if you really understand the thing, the thing is that you have to stop creating problems – otherwise you can go from one group to another group, from one psychoanalyst to another psychoanalyst, from one psychiatrist to another psychiatrist, from one therapy to another therapy . . . and everybody will give you a little respite, a little rest, and again you are doing the same thing.
My whole effort here is to cut the problem from the very roots. Please don’t create problems – they are not, they exist not.
And the last thing Anando says, “Wasn’t I happier when I thought there was a goal?”
Yes, you were happier and you were more miserable too – because your happiness was in the hope; it was not a true happiness. So I say you were happier and more miserable too. Miserable you were here in the present, and happy you were in the future – but how can you be in the future? The goal is in the future.
Unhappy you were here; happy you were there. ‘There’ exists not – it is all here. It is always here. Everywhere it is here! ‘There’ exists only in the dictionary. So it is with ‘then’. It is always now. ‘Then’ exists not. Yes, you were happier in your dreams of thinking of a goal, of thinking of a beautiful future. But why does a person think about a beautiful future? – because he is miserable in the present.
I don’t think about a beautiful future. I cannot conceive how it can be more beautiful! How can it be more beautiful than it is right now this moment? How is existence going to be more happy and joyous than it is this moment? Have a look – how can it be more happy, more joyful? But that’s a trick, again a trick of the mind: to avoid the present we go on thinking about the future so that we need not see the present. And the present is all there is.
So you are right – you were happier, happier in your dreams. Now I have shattered all your dreams. Happier in your hopes – now I am trying in every way to create the state of hopelessness, so there is no hope left. I am trying to bring you to the present. You have been wandering in the future; I am pulling you back to herenow. It is hard work. And to take goals away one feels very angry.
You are sometimes very angry with me. I have taken your hope, your dreams, or I am trying, you are clinging to them; you are so addicted to your hope that you even start hoping through me.
You start hoping through me: “Osho will do this.” This man is not going to do anything. You start hoping that “Now I am with Osho so there is no need to be afraid. Sooner or later I am going to become Enlightened.” Forget all about it! Enlightenment is not a hope! It is not a desire and it is not in the future. If you start living right this moment, you are Enlightened. I am trying to make you Enlightened every day, and you say, “Tomorrow.” Then as you will . . . but tomorrow it will never happen. Either it is now or never!
Become Enlightened right now! And you can become because you are . . . simply deluded, simply thinking that you are not.
So don’t ask how. The moment you ask the how, you start hoping. So d0n’t ask the how, and don’t say, “Yes, we will become.” I am not saying that. I am saying you are.
The goose is out. The goose has never been in. One just has to be alert in the moment. Just a single moment of alertness, a shock, and you are free.
Every day I am trying to make you Enlightened, because I know you are Enlightened. But if you want to go on playing the game of samsara, you can go on playing.
Happier, certainly, you were – and miserable too. I have taken your happiness because you cannot hope any more. If you allow me a little more, I will take your misery too. But first the happiness has to go, because misery exists as a shadow to the hope of happiness. So first the hope of happiness has to go, only then will the shadow go.
So you can scream if you want to scream, but I will repeat a thousand and one times: Anando, there is no problem. Just you have to accept and love yourself – yes, JUST.
From The Tantra Vision, V.1, Discourse #2, Q3
Copyright © OSHO International Foundation
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