Osho on hell and consciousness

[A German sannyasin says: I have to go to the army and I don’t like it… For one and a half years.]

Osho – Like it! Make it a point to like it. And enjoy it. Enjoy it as a discipline, as an exercise of will and you will be infinitely benefitted by it.

If you go disliking it, then certainly it will be a loss of time, energy and a wastage. When one has to go, when it is certain that one has to go, then why not use it? And the opportunity can be used. Just make it a point that this one and a half years be a training in discipline, a training in order, a training in obedience. Don’t go on fighting inside because that will tire you, exhaust you. Relax, let it be a surrender. And really become part of it, part of the whole game, and enjoy it to the uttermost – it can be enjoyed. Once you don’t take it antagonistically, there is no problem in enjoying it.

I have heard a very famous Hassid story. A Jew was telling a Hassid ’Our rabbi is a man of miracles. He can order god and god has to do things that he orders. What can your rabbi do?’
The Hassid said ’Our rabbi is a far greater miracle-maker.’

The Jew said ’Tell me what he can do – because our rabbi can walk on water, can walk on fire, is reported to have made people who have died live again. What more can your rabbi do?’

The poor Hassid laughed and he said ’Nothing like these, but far superior things. He says to god ”Order me and I will follow.” Your rabbi orders god – that is not a very difficult thing. My rabbi asks for orders from god and follows them – and that is far more of a miracle.’

See the point of it. Relax. Go into it joyously, dancing… as if I am sending you! Enjoy each and everything that is possible there, and after one and a half years you will be in a better state of consciousness. Nothing to be worried about. Even hell Can be used to raise consciousness, so what about the army? If sometimes one has to fall into hell, one has to; what else can one do? But one can raise one’s consciousness even there.

Just go into it and drop all dislikes, mm? because that is always crippling. One is going halfheartedly, forcing oneself, dragging oneself. And when you dislike it from the very beginning, you will find everything to your disliking – which will prove that your dislike is right, that you are perfectly right, that this is just nonsense, that you are suffering, that this is a kind of karma, that it is punishment. You will rebel and deep down you will boil in rage, and you will make your life a hell for one and a half years. And the army will have nothing to do with it – you, your interpretation, your action and reaction, your idea of disliking, will be doing the whole thing.

Listen to me – go joyously. Think of it as if god wants you to be there for one and a half years… so why not use this opportunity? And the army has a few beautiful things about it. It will give you an order, a discipline, a system. Use it! Continue to meditate and watch, and that one and a half years will fly so soon that you will be surprised. If you go with dislike, it will be very very long. It will not be one and a half years; it will be almost infinite, it will be eternity.

Do you know the secret? – that time becomes longer if you are miserable and time becomes shorter if you are happy. Time is not a fixed phenomenon; it depends on your approach and attitude. It is very relative. If you are sitting with your girlfriend time goes so fast, flies fast. You cannot believe that one hour has passed; you think it is only a few minutes. You cannot believe that two hours have passed – it looks so short. Is the clock going crazy? Is the clock against you? because the time to depart is coming close.

But if you are sitting by the side of a dying man, then one hour will look so long. You will look at the clock a thousand and one times and you will say ’What is the matter? Has the clock stopped?’ The clock is the same – it doesn’t matter whether somebody is dying or somebody is with a friend. It doesn’t matter; it doesn’t depend on you. The clock continues, but your inner experience of time goes on changing.

Christians say that one stays in hell for eternity, forever. The Christian theologians have been in great trouble to explain this, because this seems absurd: somebody has committed a sin but the sin cannot be such that you condemn him forever. Punishment forever? Howsoever big the sin is, the punishment cannot be for eternity; there should be a limit to it. But they have missed the point; the people like Bertrand Russell who have been arguing against Christianity have missed the point, and the people who defend Christianity have missed the point. The point is simply this – that even one year in hell will look like eternity. And even eternity in heaven will pass like a moment. So it depends on you. Change the quality of time.

Go joyously, use it and learn something from it, that even something ugly like the army can be used. That will be a great preparation for your life, because there are ugly things and there are sad things in life, and one has to pass through them. They are there – you cannot avoid them. This experience will help you so that you can go singing. The song need not disappear even when the night is very dark and the morning seems almost impossible. But the song can continue… and a singing heart brings the morning very close. This is my message to you…. Just go and enter it… and convert a few army people to sannyas!

Source – Osho Book “The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment”

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