Osho on Curiosity

Question – I am a very curious person. That’s why I have come to you. Osho, what do you say about curiosity?

Osho – Curiosity is good, curiosity is beautiful, but don’t stop at it. It is a good beginning, but not the end, because curiosity always remains lukewarm. It is an intellectual gymnastics. It is good to be curious because that is how one starts the journey of inquiry into existence; but if one simply remains curious, then there will be no intensity in it. One can move from one curiosity to another – one will become a driftwood – from one wave to another wave, never getting anchored anywhere.

Curiosity is good as a beginning, but then one has to become more passionate. One has to make life a quest, not only a curiosity. And what do I mean when I say one has to make one’s life a quest? Curiosity creates questions, but your life never becomes a quest. Questions are many, a quest is one. When some question becomes so important to you that you are ready to sacrifice your life for it, then it is a quest. When some question has such importance, such significance that you can gamble, that you can stake all that you have, then it becomes a quest.

Curiosity is good as a triggering point for a quest, but there are many people who simply remain curious their whole life. Their life is a wastage; they are rolling stones – they never gather any moss. They remain childish, they never become mature. They ask a thousand and one questions, but they are not really interested in answers. By the time you have answered them, they have prepared another question. In fact, when the Master is answering the question, if the disciple is only a curious one, he is already thinking about other questions to ask. He is not listening to the answer at all. He is not interested in the answer, he has enjoyed asking the question.

And then your curiosity can get you hooked on something utterly nonsensical. There are people who are curious as to who made the world. Now this is utter nonsense. Buddha said it so many times, that ”How is it going to affect your life? It is not going to deepen your meditation, it is not going to help you become enlightened, it is not going to give you freedom, it is not going to give you any light; why are you concerned with who made the world?” Whether it was A or B or C, a Christian God, a Hindu God or a Mohammedan God, how does it matter to you? Even if it is decidedly known that A made the world, what are you going to do then? Then you will start asking something else; that question is finished.

But these questions are never finished, because these questions are utterly meaningless, absurd – so they are never finished. One can go on asking and asking and asking, and the whole life can become just a wastage.

It’s good to be curious as a beginning, but don’t remain curious forever. You will need some more passion in order to grow. Curiosity is not hot enough to transform your life. It is superficial, shallow. You will have to create a longing to know truth, an immense, intense passion for truth. Because that needs courage, because risk is involved, people go on thinking about questions. That is their substitute for the quest.

And this is the difference between philosophy and religion: religion is a quest, philosophy is only curiosity. The philosopher is never transformed by whatsoever he finds. He remains the same. For example, if you meet Aristotle you will not find any impact of his philosophy in his life, no, nothing of it. He will be as devoid of his own philosophy as you are. He only thinks, he does not live it. But if you meet the Buddha, then whatsoever he says, he lives it. He says only because he lives it; saying comes later on. Living comes first, living precedes it. Make your life a quest. It is good that you have come here, but don’t go as you have come. Go with a passion, a fire in your heart. Otherwise curiosity can be dangerous too.

I have heard… Sam Jones, the most inquisitive man in New Haven, was riding down a branch line from Storrs, when an Englishman came into the car with a crutch and only one leg. After a long pause in which
he was consumed with growing curiosity, Sam began talking: ”Guess you were in the army, stranger?” looking down at the leg. ”Oh, no, I have never been in the army.”
”Fought a duel somewhere, maybe?”
”No, sir, never fought a duel.”
”These streetcars are dangerous things,” hazarded Sam.
”I was never in a streetcar or railroad accident,” the Englishman expanded.
All of Sam’s leading questions got him nowhere. At last he asked outright just how the man had lost
his leg.
”I will tell you,” said the Englishman, ”on condition that you will promise not to ask me another
”Very well, just tell me how you lost that leg, and I won’t ask another question.”
The Englishman regarded him agreeably. ”It was bit off,” he said.
”Bit off!” exclaimed Sam. ”Well, I declare. I should like to know what on earth – .”
”No, sir, not another question,” glared the Englishman. ”Not one. ”
Sam Jones reached New Heaven with a sick headache.
He died within a week of unsatisfied curiosity.

Let your curiosity be transformed here. Let it become a flame in your being, a quest. You have come here philosophically. Go from here as a religious person. Religion is the quest for truth. It wants to know it, and not on somebody else’s authority, not borrowed from scriptures. Religion wants to know it on one’s own, and to have that quality is one of the greatest blessings of life.

I create inquiry here, not an inquiry that can ever be satisfied by anybody else even I cannot satisfy it. I simply give you a thirst; I make you more and more thirsty. One day that very thirst will take you into your innermost shrine. There truth waits for you. There God abides.

Source – Osho Book “The Secret”

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