Osho – The mind is greed – and unless the mind disappears, greed goes on lingering in some way or other. Greed is simply nothing but the constant fear of the emptiness of the mind. It is an effort to somehow stuff the emptiness. So it can take any form. Sometimes you can go on stuffing food or relationships or love affairs and the mind can move from the world, can become spiritual. But it remains the same – the greed is greed; there is no worldly, no other-worldly greed. Greed is simply greed. You can be greedy for money and you can be greedy for meditation; it is all the same.
You can be greedy for power, you can be greedy for paradise – it is all the same. In fact the second greed is more dangerous because it is very subtle and you can pretend that you are not greedy. Somebody searching for god can easily pretend he is not greedy. He has left his home, money, prestige. How can you say he is greedy ? He is standing naked in a cave, just searching for god; how can you call him greedy? He is greedy… but his greed is very subtle.
The worldly greed is very gross; it shows on the surface. His greed is deep inside him; will not show on the surface. And then it is more deceptive and more dangerous because even he may not be able to see it…. But this is the nature of the mind. You cannot drop greed without dropping the mind itself. So don’t make greed the problem – that’s what I want to say: don’t make greed the problem. The problem is the mind.
And this happens many times, that if you make greed the problem – which is just a symptom, not a cause… And whenever you start working from the effect, the symptom, you will be lost in a long struggle, unnecessary and futile, fruitless, because the cause is not there. The cause is hidden somewhere else – and you fight with the symptom.
Sometimes it is possible if you go on fighting too much that you can make the symptom disappear but then somewhere else, some other symptom will bubble up. The greed may disappear, anger may come; the anger may disappear, fear may come. The fear may disappear, then something else… because the cause is there.
It is as if you have put water on to heat and it is evaporating. Now, you don’t allow the vapour to go out from this side, so you close that part. The vapour starts moving from another side – you close that; the vapour starts moving from the third side. And it is good that it goes on moving. If you really close it in from every side then you will go mad. You will simply explode into bits and pieces. That’s what happens sometimes: a man can be so successful in stopping the symptoms of the disease that there is no ’let-out’. There is no safety valve allowed to work. The vapour can go on accumulating and can explode your whole being and throw you into pieces.
So never fight with any symptom; always look for the cause. The work has to be done where the cause is. And the cause is one and symptoms are many; then the problem is very simple. There is no need to fight with the greed, anger, sex, etcetera. They are all symptoms of an empty mind which is constantly hankering to fill itself because the emptiness creates fear. It is frightening that one is empty, that one is nothing. Although that nothingness is our nature we don’t accept it; we go on rejecting It.
So my suggestion is that you start accepting emptiness. And you will be surprised: just by that acceptance, the strength of the symptoms will become very very very weak. They will start disappearing; they will start dying on their own accord. First, accept emptiness; second, start rejoicing in it. And then the third experience will be there – that emptiness is your nature; there is no way to fill it. There is no need to fill it because it is you! And the more you fill it, the more you will be burdened, and the more you will be dragged downwards. The more you will not be able to fly into the sky. For that, weightlessness is needed.
So accept, rejoice, and then see what happens. And sometimes emptiness has to be rejoiced in in other forms also; that will be helpful. For example, make your room completely empty and rejoice in emptiness. That’s what zen people do. Their rooms are utterly empty. Just the most essential is there, otherwise it is empty. You can remove the essential within minutes and the room is completely empty. This is just acceptance of emptiness.
See a zen painting: the painting is just somewhere down in the corner and the whole canvas is empty. Now the western painter cannot figure it out. Why this wastage of canvas ? If you are going to just paint in a small part of the canvas, then why this big canvas? The western painting covers the whole canvas – it does not leave a single spot empty; it is too much afraid of emptiness. But the zen painting is really empty… as if those small figures and trees and rocks are just to emphasise the emptiness, to create a contrast so you can see the emptiness clearly – but that is the right proportion. Just look at the sky and the earth and the trees. They are just small, and the whole sky is empty; that is the proportion. Emptiness is more in life! So keep zen paintings, keep your room empty. And sometimes start enjoying the emptiness when you are feeling hungry; rejoice in it. That is the meaning of fasting.
Fasting does not mean to force yourself to remain hungry, no. It simply means rejoicing in the emptiness when the stomach is empty, because when the stomach is empty there is a great door opening inside you. When the stomach is empty, one is more conscious; otherwise the energy gets involved in digesting. And you are not so conscious as you are when you are hungry. That’s why if you are hungry you cannot sleep in the night. Food creates a kind of drugged state; it makes you unconscious.
So sometimes just enjoy the emptiness of the stomach. Feel the hunger, dance with hunger, sing a song with hunger. There is no hurry to fill it; one is not going to die. At least for three months… if you continuously don’t eat for three months you will not die, so there is no hurry. One day one can miss! One can easily miss one meal, and you will be benefited by it.
And I’m not saying to force. Fasting should be a feasting; only then is it beautiful. So sometimes just enjoy a half an hour of hunger. Enjoy it, and just see what can happen when you are hungry. You will feel more intelligent, you will feel more alert, more alive, more fresh; you will feel more weightless.
You can run, dance, in a better way, and you will feel more in tune with existence. That’s why all the religions by and by started loving the idea of fasting. It was not a torture – it was a joy! So anything that gives you a feeling of emptiness, start enjoying. Keep your bathroom completely empty, your room empty. Sometimes simply sit without doing anything; don’t fill your life with activities. Sometimes just sit outside, doing nothing – watching the trees, the river, the clouds. It will not be paying for you: they won’t fill you; they will not do anything to you. You will just be doing something utterly useless but immensely beautiful. By and by you will be able to enjoy, and this enjoyment will change your greed. Nothing has to be done directly with greed.
Source – Osho Book “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There”