You said last night that to have an upward flow of the mind one has to make a constant effort against past animal habits. Please explain what the difference is between effort against habits, and suppression.
Transformation of the mind is a positive effort. Suppression of the mind is negative. The difference is that when you are suppressing your mind, you are positively concerned with being against something. When you are transforming your mind, you are not directly concerned with being against something. You are positively concerned for something: the effort is for something, not against something.
For example, if you are fighting directly with sex, then it will be suppression. But if your positive effort is for transformation of sex energy, your positive effort is for something else, then it will not be suppression. Suppression means you have blocked the natural door for the energy, you have blocked the natural outflow, and you have not opened anything else. It is just a blockage. You are against anger, so you block anger – but where will the energy go? The energy that you have suppressed will create inner complexities. It will even be more perverted. So to be natural is better than to be perverted. Perversion is disease; to be natural is healthy.
Of course, just to be healthy is not the end. One can go even beyond health. So these are three things – suppression, being natural and transcendence. Just being natural is just being healthy. If you suppress and there is no positive outlet, no creative outlet for your suppressed energy, then you will become perverted. You are not healthy: you become diseased, you become a “dis-ease”.
Don’t be concerned negatively. Change the energy, the door, the path, the outlet, positively, and when there is a creative change, the energy that was flowing into sex will not flow. Whenever you can open a higher passage for it, it will flow through it. Whenever you can create something which is better than nature itself, then there is no suppression. This difference must be understood.
Only man can fall below nature; no animal can fall below nature. There are no abnormal animals. Sometimes animals also become abnormal, but only when they are with men – never alone. A dog can go abnormal, a horse can go abnormal, but never alone, never in their natural state. They can go abnormal with man, with man’s society. They can go abnormal in a zoo.
Man can fall down below nature. This may seem unfortunate. This is not, because this capacity comes with another capacity: man can transcend nature. No animal can transcend nature. The higher you can go than nature, the lower you can go also, in the same proportion. Every possibility is a double possibility. Every possibility opens two doors that are diametrically opposite. Unless you can fall below nature, you cannot transcend above it. And if you have the capacity to transcend nature, you will have the capacity to fall below it also.
Animals are just natural; they are neither perverted nor are they transformed. Never do they become sub-animal and never do they become super-animal. They are just animal. Man is a flexible potentiality. He can fall below nature, can be perverted, can become mad. He can transcend nature, can become superhuman, can become a Buddha.
Another thing: animals are born with their nature. In a way they are born perfect. An animal is born developed. Man is born without any nature and is not developed at the time of birth. He develops later. Then many possibilities open, and there is a great range of possibilities. Marl is born undeveloped – not only mentally, but even bodily he is born undeveloped. No animal child is born with an undeveloped body; the body is complete. That’s why, when the animal child is born, he is capable of living even without parents.
But man’s child is born undeveloped, and even in the physiological structure many things develop only after he is born – and it takes years. In the mother’s womb he is not completely developed, and because of that, the phenomenon of mother is born – because mothering continues. If the child is born completely developed, then there will be no mothering. The whole institution of the family developed – and, consequently, the whole society – the whole society was born because the child is born undeveloped. He has to be looked after, taken care of. Only after twenty years will he really be out of the womb. In these twenty years, he will need a family, loving care, a society, in which to develop This will be a greater womb.
Even when he is physically complete, mentally he is not. He will have to develop his mind. And, really, the average mind is never beyond fourteen years of age. The average mind remains below thirteen and a half. The average mental age is thirteen and a half. A person who is physically seventy is mentally thirteen and a half. The mind remains in such a primitive, primary state! Body becomes complete, mind remains incomplete, and spirit is not even touched. Man dies without ever having evolved any spirit.
Whenever someone asked Gurdjieff, “Have we souls?” he would say, “No! Sometimes it happens that a man has a soul. Sometimes only does it happen.” Gurdjieff would say, “only sometimes, rarely does it happen that a man has a soul. You are not even complete minds, so how can you have a soul?”
A body incomplete cannot have a mind, an incomplete mind cannot have a soul, and an incomplete soul cannot realize the Divine. Really, body works as a womb for the mind, and mind works as a womb for the spirit, then spirit works as a womb for God. So man is not born fixed, complete. He is born only as a multi-potentiality, and he can fall down – below nature. He can be more animalistic than any animal and he can be a superhuman being also, he can be just Divine. This range of possibilities is there.
Now you can do two things. If your mind becomes negative, suppressive, you go on fighting things which are not “good”. So you fight sex, you fight anger, you fight greed, you fight jealousy, you fight violence – you go on fighting. But when a person is fighting violence, he will never be non-violent, because to fight violence one needs to be violent.
You cannot fight violence without being violent, so your so-called nonviolent saints are all violent – deeply violent. Of course, their violence is not against others: their violence is against themselves. So no one objects; you can even applaud them. They are against themselves – very violent! You cannot fight violence. How can you fight violence without being violent? How can you fight anger without being angry? The very attitude to fight anger is a subtle anger. The very fight means you are angry. You are not at ease with your anger.
You can take a negative attitude, and you can go on fighting with things which are there. The more you fight them, the more you become like them. A person fighting sex will become sexual. His every gesture will become sexual. His sitting, his standing, his walking, will become sexual. He will be so much obsessed with fighting it that everything will take the tinge and color of sex.
When you fight with something, you have to use the techniques of your enemy. If you want to win, you have to use the same techniques that your enemy is using. So even if you win in the end, you will not win because the techniques will be the same. Really, you will have been defeated. Fight with anger, and if you are defeated then anger will be there. If you win, then also there will be anger. Only anger will have won against anger.
This negative fight will narrow down your consciousness more and more, and you will become afraid of everything. A negative mind is always in fear. Everything becomes a sin, and everything creates guilt, and everything creates fear. You are just in a deep escape from everything. Your consciousness will be narrowed down; it will not expand. You will become so much afraid that you will just hide within yourself, and everywhere around will be all the enemies. You have created them because you became negative.
This is suppression, and you will end in a madhouse. Everything that you have suppressed you will have to suppress continuously. The fight will be so continuous that you will not be able to do anything else. If you are fighting sex, then it will be enough – your whole life will be just a fight. If you are fighting greed, then it will be enough; even greed itself will not take so much energy as the fight with greed. Sex will not take so much energy, it will not dissipate so much energy, as fighting with sex – because sex is just natural, and the fight creates negativity: whenever you are negative, you only dissipate energy. Nothing is gained, nothing creative is achieved. You become self-destructive.
So always remember never to be negative; then there will be no suppression. But I have told you that to go against the current is the way for the mind to flow upward. What do I mean by going against the current? The difference is very subtle, but once felt, you can never lose the track.
For example, you are swimming in a river against the current. Two are the possibilities: one, you are just fighting the river, just fearful of being taken away by the river – taken down, taken in the flow – just afraid, trembling, fighting against the river. Then you will be defeated because this very attitude of fear of being taken away, of this trembling mind, cannot win. The defeat has set in How long will you be able to fight the current? The whole attitude is negative, and the river is very much positive, lifelike. But you are just fear and trembling. How can you win? Sooner or later, you will dissipate energy in the fight, and the current will take you away.
There is a second point, another dimension: you are not fighting the river because you are not fearful of it.
The first thing: fight is created because of fear. Remember, fight means fear. Fear comes first, then you begin to fight Your fear creates fight, your fear creates the foe. So basically, fear is at the root.
The second point: you are not fighting the river because you are not fearful of the river. You are not fearful of the river because you know that this is just natural that the river flows downward. Even if you flow downward, there is no guilt. It is natural. Even if you flow downward, it is not a defeat. It is a defeat only if you fight – then it becomes defeat. It is just natural: the river flows downward, and you flow with it. You can even enjoy it. You can feel the bliss of the flowing river – without any effort, just moving with the current, and the current takes you away. You can even conserve energy by flowing down naturally.
So the first thing: don’t be fearful of a downward flow don’t be fearful! Remember, it is natural, and it is better to flow with the current than to be defeated and taken away – because then the whole thing will lose the bliss that is possible naturally. So the first thing: to be natural is not a sin. Remember, because only then can whole effort become positive; otherwise, it will be negative.
To be natural is not a sin. Of course, it is not enough – mm? – that is another thing. But it is not a sin. If you are flowing naturally, that is okay. As far as it goes, it is okay. It is not a sin, it is not a guilt, it is not immoral – it is just healthy. But I say it is not enough. It is not enough because your possibilities are still more. They are not just to be healthy. You can be holy also. So don’t be in fear – first thing. Don’t be in condemnation of nature, and then the negative attitude will not be there.
Now: don’t fight the current – play with the current. You are not fighting the river really; you are just training yourself to go upward. Feel the difference: you are not fighting the river – you are just filled with an abundance, you are just filled with energy and training the energy to go upward. Now the river is not an enemy. Rather, it is a friend, because it gives you the opportunity to go up, to play with it. Now the fight is not a fight at all. It is a game; it is a play. And the river is not your enemy, it is a situation. Life is a situation; it is not an enemy. Nature is a situation; it is not an enemy – it is an opportunity.
So try to train your inner energy to flow upward. You are not really concerned with the river going downward. You are concerned with a different river of energy going upward. Your mind is basically concerned with the inner energy which can go upward.
Feel thankful for the river – because it gives you a background, it gives you an opportunity, it helps you, it cooperates with you. You can weigh yourself only through its current. You can feel yourself only because the river is going downward. The feeling that you can go upward even when the river is flowing down gives you a very different quality of confidence – you can go upward. And now, even if you relax and flow with the river, you know very well that you can go upward. Now even this downward flow with the river is not a defeat. You have known something – something different from nature.
If you have glimpsed something different from nature even for a single moment, then you have known your potentiality. You may achieve it, you may not achieve it, but now you are not just part of the downward flow – the upward flow is possible. Now it will depend on you. You will be the decisive factor, not the downward current. Now there is no enmity! If the river flows downward, it is okay. You need not flow, you need not fight, you need not be in fear. You can go up.
Ultimately, there is another possibility in which tantra has gone very deep. Tantra says there is a possibility when you flow downward with the river and still you flow upward. Then only your body is carried away. How can the river carry you away? It can carry only the body. Tantra tried to create many downward rivers. So go into the river, feel the downward flow, flow with it, and remember constantly that you are not flowing.
I was saying that by fighting with sex you may be obsessed with sex totally. There is another possibility: even going deeply in sex, you may not be sexual at all. But that possibility opens only when your effort becomes positive. This is what I mean by positive effort against the current. It is not really against the current; it is for the consciousness. The current is being used just as an opportunity – just to weigh yourself, just to find yourself out – just to feel the upward, the downward is needed. The more forceful the current, the more forceful will be the feeling of the upward. So use nature as an opportunity, not as an enemy. Use instincts as friends, not as enemies They are friends. Only through your ignorance can you make them enemies. They are friends!
When someone reaches the original source, the peak of the river from where the river comes down, one is just thankful – thankful towards the river, grateful towards the river, because it is only through the river that he could achieve the source. So when someone reaches the peak of consciousness, one is thankful to every instinct – because they all helped, they all created the situation, they all created the opportunity. And they were flowing in the opposite direction. So their opposite flow is not really against you; the river is not against you. You can be against the river, and if you are against the river then you will never win. The greater possibility is that you may become perverted.
So use nature to transcend it. When you see there is anger, don’t fight anger directly. Weigh yourself, feel the energy, transcend the anger. Anger is there: remain silent, feel anger and feel yourself and weigh yourself – begin to flow upward. Take it as a play. Don’t be serious! Seriousness is a disease. If you take everything negatively, then you will be serious. Then everything disturbs you: “Why is there anger? Why is there greed? Why this? Why that?” Everything disturbs you and you become serious.
But our so-called saints are very serious. Really, I cannot conceive how a saint can be serious. He can only be playful. The seriousness shows he has been fighting. A soldier, of course, is bound to be serious. A saint need not be, must not be. Really, it disqualifies him from being a saint. A saint must be playful because nothing is against him – everything is for him. He can use everything for himself.
When I say, “effort against the current”, I mean play against the current – play! Try! See what you can do. The current is flowing downward. Can you flow upward? The anger is there. Someone has insulted you; the button has been pushed. Can you remain non-angry? Just play – play with the situation; don’t be serious. The moment you become serious, you become angry, really. Anger is very serious. Be playful, laugh, and see that the anger has been put on, that the conditioned mind has been put on. The anger is boiling there. Now, swim against the current. Take it as a play and see whether it is possible that someone has insulted you. the anger has been created in the metabolism. Can you still swim beyond it? Don’t fight it!
That’s why I say the difference is very subtle. Standing on the bank you cannot feel the difference – unless you have been in the river and experienced both. You are standing on the bank, and someone is fighting the river, and someone is just playing with the river, going upward. What difference can you see from the bank? Only one: one will be serious and the other will be playful – nothing else.
One who is in fear, afraid, fighting, will be serious – dead serious. How can he laugh? How can he play? If the current pushes him, he will feel defeated. The other one who is playing will not be serious at all. He can laugh: he can laugh with the river, he can laugh with the waves. And if the current pushes him down he will not feel defeated – he will try again. He will not be serious. Rather, he will begin to love the river because it pushes. He will begin to love the river! The difference will be inner, qualitative.
Suppression is a serious disease. Transforming oneself is a play – it is not serious at all. It is sincere. but never serious. It is authentic, but never serious. The quality of playfulness always remains there. It is the very spirit. With positivity you are creating something inside. The outward is just an opportunity; the inside creation is the thing. The emphasis is on something else. It is not on fighting the river: the emphasis is on the upward flow.
For example, I am writing something on a blackboard. I use a blackboard, but I write with white chalk, because on a blackboard the white chalk becomes clear in contrast. I can write on a white wall also. The writing will be there, but it will be as if it is not because the contrast will not be there. So the blackboard is not against the white chalk. It is not the enemy: it is the friend. Only when they are against it do the white lines become more white. On a white wall they will just lose themselves, they will be nowhere.
So who is the enemy – the white wall or the blackboard? Who is the enemy? The white wall is the enemy because you lose. The blackboard is not the enemy. Really, it is the friend. On it, the white becomes more white and clear and apparent. But when I am writing on a blackboard my emphasis, my intention is not to destroy the blackboard. Rather, my intention is to make the white lines clear. If you are trying to destroy the blackboard, then the blackboard is the enemy. See the difference: if you are trying to destroy the blackboard by whitewashing it, then you will feel the blackboard as the enemy.
You can whitewash it; then there will be a fight. But when you are writing something on it, your emphasis is not on the blackboard. Really, you never remember it, you need not remember it. It is not even in your awareness; it is only on the fringe. You write: the emphasis is on writing, not on destroying the blackboard. You remember what you are writing, and the blackboard helps. It never obstructs you.
So your emphasis must be on what you are trying to achieve. not on what you are against. If you are trying to achieve love, then be positively concerned with love, not with destroying hate. You can never destroy it! You will not be able to destroy hate. But the moment love is there, the whole energy is transformed. It begins to flow “lovewards”.
Don’t be negative about your energies, instincts, about anything. Be positive. And when you are positively creating something, be playful. It is your nature. Why fight it? you have created it. It is your effort. You wanted to create it, so you have created it. You have chosen it; it is your freedom. If you are angry, it is your choice – so why be against it? It is your choice! For lives and lives you have used anger, so it is there. Why be angry against it? No one has chosen it except you. So whatsoever you are, you are your own creation.
So it is nonsense to think in terms of negativity. Rather, feel that if you can create such a madman inside of you, then, really, you are capable of many things. If you can create such a hell, why not a heaven? But don’t be concerned with the hell. Be concerned with heaven and begin to create it. When the heaven is created you will not find the hell. It will have disappeared completely because it exists only as a negative, it exists only as an absence.
Because there is no heaven, hell has to be. Because there is no love, hate has to be. Because there is no light, darkness is there. Don’t fight with darkness: create the light, be concerned with the creation of light. When the light is there, where will the darkness be then? But you can fight directly. Don’t think about the light at all and begin to fight darkness directly. But no matter what you do, the darkness will never be destroyed. On the contrary, you may be destroyed in the fight. How can you fight darkness directly? It is an absence. Darkness only means that the light is not. So, please, create light.
The river is flowing downward, and you are flowing with it because you don’t know the upward flow. You have not known it: that is the only thing. Once you know it, all the rivers may flow downward, but you cannot flow downward. Then go with the river to the very sea, and you will not go downward.
It is difficult to sense the difference. That’s why so much suppression is in the world. No one has taught it – everyone has understood it. No one has taught it – neither a Buddha nor a Mahavir nor a Jesus nor a Krishna. This is a miracle. No one has taught suppression because no one can. It is absolute nonsense! But everyone has suppressed, and everyone is suppressing – because the difference is so subtle that whenever transformation starts, suppression is understood.
Whenever a teacher is born who begins to talk about transformation, followers gather who begin to understand about suppression – because it is so delicate, so delicate that unless you experience it there is every possibility you will misunderstand it. So try to experience it. The primary requirement: Don’t be against anything – be for! Be for something! Don’t be against something!
Really, when you are against something your future is not open. Only when you are for something does your future open. When you are against something you are clinging to the past. You can never be against the future. How can you be against the future? You can only be against the past. So let it be understood in this dimension also: when you are against, you are against the past. You are fighting with death. The past is no more, so why fight it? Create the future; be for something. Then you become positive.
There are two types of freedom: one is from something and one is for something. A young man is fighting with his parents to be free; he goes hippie. Then for some time the fight continues. The parents cannot do anything, and they forget. Then for the first time the boy begins to feel, “What to do?” because he was only against. The freedom was from the parents. It was not leading anywhere; it was not for something. It was just against something. […]
Life will be a boredom if you are always against and never for. Never be against: be always for. So when I say, “against the current”. I mean for something, for the peak. Sex is not bad, but the peak is better. So never think in terms of bad and good. Always think in terms of good and better. Mm? The bad must be thrown out; it must not be given any status in the mind. Always think in terms of good and better and better. Life is that.
Once you create good and bad, soon the good will drop and bad and worse and worse will follow. So nothing is bad, but better things are possible. Always remember, and struggle for better things. Then you have a positive flow.
From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #8, Q1
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3 thoughts on “Two Types of Freedom – Osho”
your friendly editor here… a missing comma in para 6 changes the meaning:
you have this: Man can fall down below nature. This may seem unfortunate. This is not because this capacity comes with another capacity: man can transcend nature.
The second sentence should read…This is not, because….
Thanks for all your postings! Hope you are well…much love sheelu
Good catch! That’s a very significant difference. Love.