Question – Can’t man ever conquer himself by suppression and by fighting with himself?
Osho – What do you mean by the words ”suppression” and ”fighting with himself”? Don’t they mean that the individual will be dividing himself? He will be fighting with himself. This means he will attack and defend at the same time. He will be both friend and enemy. His energy will be used by both sides. This will never lead to victory, it will only weaken him and shatter his strength. Imagine what will happen if I make my two hands fight with each other. The same will happen if I fight with myself. Such a fight is sheer foolishness.
My friend, you don’t have to fight with yourself, you have to know yourself. The contradictions and the self-conflicts that have been born in us out of ignorance will disappear in the light of self-knowledge, just as the drops of dew on the greass evaporate as the sun rises in the morning. Victory over oneself comes through knowledge and not out of conflict, for there is nobody to defeat. There is no other, only ignorance. And if there is ignorance? What is there to defeat in ignorance? It vanishes the moment knowledge comes. Ignorance is just a negative approach, the absence of knowledge.
He who fights with ignorance fights with a shadow. He is walking the path of failure from the very beginning. This concept of self-war for self-conquest comes from the reflection of conflicts between enemies in the world outside. We want to commit violence in our inner world just as we commit violence against our enemies in the outer world. What madness is this! Even in the outside world violence has never conquered anyone. Conquering and defeating are two very different things.
But in the inner world we cannot even use violence to defeat our so-called enemy because there is no such person to be defeated. Self-knowledge is not the result of conflict, it is the result of knowing. So I say: don’t fight, know. Forget war and choose knowledge. And let this be your maxim: discover and know yourself. Let there be nothing in you that is unknown to you. Do not leave a single corner dark and uninspected. if you become familiar with all your inner rooms, that knowledge will become self-conquest.
We are all aware that in dark houses, in corners and in cellars inaccessible to sunlight and to fresh air, snakes, scorpions and bats make their abode, and if the owners of these houses spend their lives outside them, never entering them, is it surprising or unnatural that their houses are reduced to such miserable states? This is what has happened to us. We are also the owners of such houses and we have even forgotten where the doors to enter them are. Because of our continued absence and the lack of light, they have become the shelters of our enemies.