We will have a few questions from Yoga Sutra 44.
Question to Osho – THE DAYS OF LIFE AHEAD, IF ANY, ARE SO UNKNOWN AND UNPREDICTABLE. THESE DAYS A DEEP FEELING IS ARISING IN ME THAT ONE HAS TO JUST LIVE THE REMAINING YEARS OF LIFE. HOW? WHY? WHAT FOR? – NOTHING IS CLEAR. BUT THIS FEELING GOES ON DEEPENING. HENCE WHAT I AM EATING, WHAT I AM DOING, WHAT IS HAPPENING ALL AROUND – NOTHING SEEMS TO BOTHER ME.
SINCE MY VERY CHILDHOOD, WHENEVER I SAW A DEAD BODY, ALWAYS THE THOUGHT FLASHED TO ME THAT IF DEATH IS TO COME THEN WHAT IS THE SENSE IN LIVING.
SINCE THOSE VERY DAYS OF MY CHILDHOOD, A SORT OF NON INTEREST HAS SURROUNDED MY WHOLE PATTERN OF LIFE, AND PROBABLY THAT MIGHT BE THE REASON WHY I GOT INTERESTED IN RELIGION AND COULD REACH YOU.
ARE SUCH FEELINGS GOING TO BE HARMFUL TO ME?
Certainly. They are going to be harmful because you have misunderstood the whole point of religion. The first thing: life is unpredictable; that’s why it is beautiful. If it was predictable, who would like to live it? If everything was charted beforehand and the day you were born you were given your whole life, like a railway timetable, so you can consult and see what is going to happen and when and how; who would like to live such a life? It will not have any poetry. It will not have any dangers. It will not have any risk. It will not have any opportunity to grow. It will be absolutely futile. Then you will be just a robot, a mechanical thing.
The life of a mechanism can be predicted but not of man, because man is not a machine.
Not of a tree, not of a bird. The more alive you are, the more unpredictable you become.
The life of the tree is more predictable than the life of a bird. The life of a bird is less predictable than the life of a man. And the life of a Buddha is absolutely more unpredictable than your life.
Unpredictability means freedom. Predictability will mean determinism. If you can be predicted, then you are not a soul; then you are not. Predictability will mean that you are simply a biological mechanism.
But there are many people who think that life is not worth living because it is not predictable. These are the people who go to the astrologers. These are the people who go on finding fortune-tellers. These people are foolish; and the astrologer and the fortune-teller, they live on your foolishness.
In the first place, the very idea that tomorrow is fixed and can be known will destroy the very aliveness of it. Then you will be as if you are seeing a movie for the second time.
You know everything – now what is going to happen, now what is going to happen. Why do you get bored seeing a movie the second time and the third time and the fourth time ?
If you are forced to see a movie many times, the same movie, you will go mad. For the first time you are curious, alive. You are wondering what is going to happen. You don’t know what is going to happen; that’s why you are interested, the flame of interest remains burning.
Life is a mystery; it cannot be predicted. But there are many people who would like to have a predictable life, because then there will be no fear. Everything will be certain; there will be no doubt about anything.
But will there be any opportunity to grow? Without risk has anybody ever grown?
Without danger has anybody ever sharpened his consciousness? Without the possibility of going astray, is there any point in being on the right path? Without the alternative of the devil, is there any possibility of achieving God?
The alternative is needed; the opposite has to attract and distract you. Choice arises. You have to become more sensitive, more alive, more aware. But if everything is determined and everything can be known beforehand, then what is the point of being aware? Whether you are aware or not will not make any difference. Right now it makes a tremendous difference.
Let me tell you, the more aware you become, the less predictable, because you move higher and higher and farther and farther from matter, which is predictable. We know if you heat water to a certain degree of heat, the water evaporates. It is predictable. But it is not the same with a man. You cannot fix a degree of insult where a man becomes angry.
Each man is so unique. A Buddha may not become angry at all, whatsoever the degree of your insult.
And you know this: sometimes you may become angry by a slight provocation – or even without provocation you may start evaporating in anger, without any heat – and sometimes even a great provocation may not disturb you. It depends how good you are feeling in the moment, how alert you are feeling in the moment.
Beggars come in the morning to beg, not in the evening, because they have understood a simple fact of psychology that in the morning people are more in the mood of sharing – they are more alive, alert, rested. By the evening they are tired and exhausted and fed up with the world; to hope to get something from them is impossible. When people are feeling good about themselves, then they share. It depends on their inner feelings.
Remember that life is beautiful because you are capable of becoming more and more alive. No need to be bothered by tomorrow. Live today. And don’t allow tomorrow to destroy you today. And move so freely today that tomorrow brings more freedom to you.
Never ask for predictions. Remain open. Whatsoever happens, let it happen, allow it to happen; pass through it. It is a gift of God. It must have some deep significance.
“The days of life ahead, if any, are so unknown and unpredictable. These days a deep feeling is arising in me that one has to just live the remaining years of life.” “Just live?”
Then your life will become; a boredom. And you may interpret that this is a religious life; this is not. A bored man is not a religious man. A blissful man is a religious man.
But I know, many bored people have pretended to be religious. Many people who were impotent in life – uncreative, were not capable of any happiness – have turned against life, have become life-negative; and they have created a long tradition of condemning life, of saying that it is worthless, that there is no meaning in it, that it is just accidental, that it is a chaos drop out of it, destroy it. These people you have called mahatmas; you have called them great saints. They were simply neurotic. They needed medical care.
They needed to be hospitalized. Ninety-nine percent of your so-called saints are perverted, but they are hiding their perversion in such terms that you cannot see the point.
There is a fable from Aesop:
A fox is trying to jump to get grapes. They are ripe and alluring, and their smell is making the fox almost crazy, but the bunch of grapes is too far away. The fox tries and tries, fails, cannot reach; then she looks around – has somebody seen the failure?
A small hare is hiding under a bush, and he says, “Auntie, what has happened? You couldn’t reach them?”
She says, “No, that’s not the point. The grapes are not ripe yet; they are sour.”
This is what you have known as religion up to now – “The grapes are sour” – because these people could not get to them, could not reach them. These people were failures.
Religion has nothing to do with failure. It is a fulfillment, a fruition, a flowering, a climax, a peak. Abraham Maslow is right when he says that religion is concerned with “peak experiences.”
But look at your religious people in the churches, in the monasteries, in the temples: fed up, bored, long faces, just waiting for death to come and “deliver” them. Antilife, against life, fanatically against life; and wherever they see any sign of life, they jump upon it to kill and destroy it. They will not allow you to laugh in the church, they will not allow you to dance in the church, because any sign of life and they become troubled – because any sign of life and they become aware that they have missed it, they could not reach it.
Religion is not for the failures. It is for those who have succeeded in life, who have lived life to its deepest core, to its depth and height, in all dimensions, and who have become so enriched by the experience that they are ready to transcend it. These people will never be antilife; they will be life-affirmative. They will say life is divine. In fact they will say, “Forget all about God. Life is God.” They will not be against love, because love is the very juice of life. They will say, “Love is like blood circulating in the divine body of God.” Love is to life exactly as blood is to your body. How can they be against it?
If you become anti love, you start shrinking. A really religious person is expanding, expanding. It is an expansion of consciousness, not a shrinking.
In India we have called the ultimate truth brahman. The word “brahman” means “who goes on expanding” – on and on and on, and knows no end. The very word is beautiful, has tremendous significance. This ongoing expansion, this endless expansion of life, love, consciousness, this is what God is.
Beware, because the life-negative religion is very cheap; you can get it by just being bored. It is very cheap because you can get it just by being a failure, just by being uncreative, just by being lazy, desperate, sad. It is really cheap. But real religion, authentic religion, is at a great cost: you have to lose yourself in life. You have to pay the cost. It is earned, and it is earned the hard way. One has to move through life, to know its sadnesses, its happinesses, to know its failures, its successes, to know sunny days and cloudy ones, to know poverty and richness, to know love and to know hate – to touch the very rock bottom of life, the hell, and to soar high and touch the highest peak, heaven.
One has to move in all the directions, in all the dimensions; nothing should remain covered. Religion is a discovery; it is to unveil life.
And of course pain is part of it. Never think only in terms of pleasure; otherwise soon you will get out of life, out of touch. Life is both pain and pleasure. In fact it will be better to call it “pain-pleasure”; even “and” is not good, because that divides. Pain-pleasure, hell-heaven, night-day, summer-winter, God-devil – life is this tremendous opportunity of polar opposites. Live it, be courageous, risk, move in danger; and then you will attain a totally different kind of religious understanding, which comes out of bitter and sweet experiences.
A man who has known only sweet experiences and has never known bitter experiences is not man enough, is still poor not rich. One who has not known love, its beauty and it’s terror, one who has not known love, its ecstasy and its agony, one who has not known the meeting and also the divorce, one who has not known arrival and also the departure, has not known much. He has lived on goodies and will become ill sooner or later and will be fed up and bored.
Life is a tremendous challenge. So if you say that “one has to just live the remaining years of life,” then these remaining years will not be of life. You will have died before your death.
I have heard, a beautiful woman reached the Pearly Gates. Even St. Peter felt a tremor.
The woman was really beautiful; even St. Peter could not look at her, eye to eye. He started looking in his files, and he said, “Where have you been? What have you been doing? Have you done any sin on earth?”
The woman said, “No, never.”
St. Peter could not believe it. “Were you married?”
She said, “No, I have never been interested in sex.”
“Have you been with any man?”
She said, “No, I am a virgin.”
And so on, and so forth. St. Peter looked into the records; they were all empty. She has not committed any sin, but how can you do something virtuous if you have not committed any sin? He became worried.
The woman asked, “What is the matter? I am a virtuous woman.”
St. Peter said, “You have lived under a wrong notion. To become a saint, one has to become a sinner. The record is completely empty. Now I have only one question to ask: Where have you been for these thirty years?”
She said, “What do you mean?”
St. Peter said, “You have been dead for thirty years – you should have reported earlier! You have not lived.”
Your so-called saints will have to face the same thing. They have not lived – and that I call irreligious. To deny the opportunity that God has given to you is to be irreligious.
Not to live it in its totality is to be irreligious. If God has made you in such a way that the sin arises in you, don’t be worried too much. There must be a significance in it; it must be part of your growth.Tags: Patanjali Religion Is Peak Experiences