Osho on Laziness and Easiness

Question – Beloved Osho, you took my heart and now it is too late; i am enjoying aloneness and laziness so much that sometimes i think there must be something wrong with me. i feel i am at the beginning of a new journey, and there is a question that keeps on coming up: what is the difference between being a watcher, and the feeling of “i am
not that”?

Osho – Prem Anugraho, it is not true that I have taken your heart. You have given it to me. If I had taken it, it would not be too late; because you have given it to me, it is certainly too late! The master takes nothing from the disciple. The disciple gives everything, including himself. The master gives an opportunity for you to give. And it is a joy and a bliss to give your heart. Nothing can be more precious a present, and there is no other way to show your gratitude.

But in any case, your heart is gone! And you are saying, “I am enjoying aloneness and laziness so much that sometimes I think there must be something wrong with me.” There is. Enjoying aloneness is perfectly right, but enjoying laziness is not right. Laziness is a negative state. One should be overflowing with energy. One should be at ease, but not lazy. One should be relaxed, but not lazy.

Laziness and easiness look so alike that it is very easy to misunderstand which is which. If you are enjoying your aloneness, it cannot be laziness because laziness always feels a certain guilt, a certain feeling that “I am doing something that I should not be doing,” that “I am not participating in existence.” Laziness means you have dropped out of the creativity of the universe — you are standing aside while the universe goes on creating day in, day out. You are misunderstanding laziness for easiness.

My whole teaching is: take everything with absolute relaxation, with ease. Whether you are doing something or not, that is not the point. You must be overflowing with energy even when you are not doing anything. These trees are not doing anything, but they are overflowing with energy. You can see that in their flowers, in their colors, in their greenery, in their freshness, in their absolute naked beauty in the sunlight, in the dark night under the stars. Life is not a tension anywhere except in the minds of humanity. To take life with ease, without any tension, without any hurry — that is not laziness, that is easiness.

I am reminded of one of the very learned scholars of Bengal. His name was Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. He was going to be awarded the highest prize that the British Empire had in India, for his scholarship. But he used to live in a very simple way, and his friends forced him — “It won’t look right standing before the viceroy in the Parliament House, before all the members of the parliament and all the other dignitaries. We will make a beautiful dress for you, we will bring you good shoes.” He was reluctant, but they were insistent, so finally he agreed.

But there was uneasiness in his mind; in his heart, there was not total acceptance. To change your style of life just because you are going to receive an award from the hands of the viceroy looked to him like a compromise. It was against his pride.

Tomorrow it was going to happen, and he was walking on the sea beach with a disturbed mind: whether to follow the advice of his friends or just to go the way he always lives? At that very moment he saw a man come running. And just in front of him, a very rich Mohammedan was also walking on the beach — the man said to the rich man… which Vidyasagar heard; he was just four feet behind him. The man said, “What are you doing here? Your palace is on fire!”

The rich man said, “Okay,” and he continued to walk with the same ease, as if nothing had happened.

The man who had brought the news said, “Have you heard it or not? Your palace is on fire, everything is burning, and there seems to be no way to save anything.”

He said, “I have heard; now you go and do whatsoever you can. First I will have to finish my evening walk, and then I will be coming.”

Vidyasagar could not believe it. His whole house was on fire — and he had the most beautiful palace, rich, with many antiques. He was a lover of paintings and statues, and his palace was almost like a museum. People used to come to see it, to visit it. And just to go around his palace inside used to take hours, because there were so many art treasures to be seen. Everything is on fire, and the man says that he will first finish his evening walk!

And he continued at the same pace. There was no hurry, there was no tension. Vidyasagar could not believe his own eyes, and the thought arose in him: Here is a man who knows how to live in utter ease. Whatever happens in the world is not going to change him even a little bit. And here I am — just for an award from the viceroy, I am going to change my whole lifestyle. They are going to cut my hair, put it in shape, cut my beard and put it in shape, and I have agreed! No, I am going to be just as I am.”

And he thanked the rich man. “You have saved me.” The rich man said, “I don’t understand — how have I saved you?”
Vidyasagar explained. “I was going to change my whole dress, shave my beard and cut my hair… and just to be respectable, to look rich, just to take an award. And your house — I have been many times in your palace. Your whole life’s collection of great paintings and other art pieces are on fire, and you are not disturbed at all. “That’s why I say you have saved me: I am going tomorrow just the way I am. You have taught me the greatest lesson of my life: that one can take everything easily, one just needs a certain acceptance that whatever is happening is happening, and whatever people can do they are doing. What more can I do?”

The man completed his evening walk, and then he went towards his home, but with the same pace. Vidyasagar followed him just to see what else would happen. There was a big crowd; almost everything was burning. All their efforts had failed. The rich man also stood in the crowd, just as others were standing. Others were very tense, in great anxiety, in a great hurry — what to do? how to save? — and he was standing there, just a witness, as if it were somebody else’s house and somebody else’s art collection that was burning.

This is not laziness. This is a tremendous centering of being, such a groundedness that you can take everything at ease. There is no need to think that “there must be something wrong with me.” Just change that word “laziness” and everything is right with you.

Words mean much. Just a few days ago, I was informed that in the Soviet Union there are many Mohammedan countries… and religion is banned by the communist party of the Soviet Union. Each child is taught atheism from the very beginning. So the Mohammedans have been in trouble — what to do?

The month of ramadan comes, when for thirty days they fast in the day and eat in the night. To do it will be a sure indication that you are acting against the government — you are still following a religion. They have simply changed the name; they call it “the month of dieting,” and now there is no problem. Dieting is not prohibited. Fasting is prohibited.

A Mohammedan is expected by his religion to pray five times a day. And his prayer is such that it looks like an exercise: he bows down, gets up, bows down, touches the earth, gets up again, and inside he is reciting his mantra. Now they are still doing it; now they call it “exercise.” It keeps your body and mind fit — the soul you cannot talk about; just the mind and body. In the Soviet Union the soul does not exist, it is against the policy of the government, but nobody can prevent you from doing exercises. Even if you do them five times a day, it is not a criminal act, and it is not religious. And it is good for the body and for the mind. Just changing words… And you will see that every word has a certain connotation with it.

Laziness has a very negative, condemnatory connotation. But to be at ease is a beautiful phenomenon — relaxed, at home, centered, without any tension and without any anguish. Just because of that word “laziness” the idea is arising in you: “there must be something wrong with me.” Nothing is wrong with you.

“I feel that I am at the beginning of a new journey and there is a question that keeps on coming up: What is the difference between being a watcher and the feeling, ‘I am not that’?” The difference is great, but very subtle. When you say, “I am not that,” you are not a watcher in that moment. These are the two alternatives: “I am that” — a thought passes in your mind and you say, “I am that.” This is a thought. Or you say, “I am not that.” That too is a thought. Just because it is negative makes no difference.

But there is a watcher beyond both: “I am that”… “I am not that”… both are watched by a consciousness which is beyond. The watcher is simply a mirror. It does not say anything, it simply reflects. The watcher knows no language, knows no concepts. It is pure awareness, it is just seeing.

Just think of a newly born baby: He will also see the light in the room, the beautiful colors on the walls. He will also see the doctor, the nurses, the father, but he cannot say, “This is light, this is a beautiful color; this is red, this is green, this is the doctor, this is the nurse, this is my dad.” But he is seeing all. He is purely a watcher. But he cannot name anything, he cannot verbalize anything. How can he say, “This is red”? because he has never known it before, and nobody has told him that this is red. How can he think that this is light? because he knows nothing about light or darkness. And how can he make a difference between the doctor and the father, and how can he make any difference between men and women? These differences have to be learned.

But his eyes are open, and he has the freshest eyes that he will ever have in his life, the best clarity. They are just mirrors, reflecting everything that is around. There is no word, no explanation, no language, no mind. The same is the situation of the watcher. You again become a newly born child. At the innermost core of your being you are always a watcher.

So you can say, “I am not that” — the watcher is lost. You have come back to the mind. Only mind speaks in you. Except mind, nothing speaks in you. Your heart does not speak, your being does not speak. Only the mind speaks. Your heart feels, your being knows, but there is nothing to be said.

But Anugraho, questions will go on coming. In the mind, questions arise just as new leaves come out of trees. One question disappears, another question comes up. Mind is a factory for producing questions. If no question arises, then the question will be: “What is happening? No question is arising, something must be wrong.”

You have to be aware that mind is the question. What form it takes is immaterial. And if you follow behind the question you will be moving on the path of philosophy. You will find answers, and each answer will bring ten more questions. And this will go on spreading. The philosophical mind never comes to any conclusion. His whole life he thinks — question after question — and every time he finds some answer. But the moment the answer arises, it brings more questions with it. There is no end to questioning.

This is the place where philosophy and authentic mysticism take separate paths. Philosophy goes after questions, answers, and never reaches any conclusion. Mysticism simply drops the mind, because it is nothing but a question-creating mechanism, and moves into silence. And the most amazing thing in life is that then, when there is no question, you have found the answer.

There may be thousands of questions, but there is only one answer, and that answer is your awareness. It is not in the form of an answer, it is in the form of an experience: suddenly a great silence descends upon you. Everything becomes calm and quiet. And without any words, without any knowledge, there is knowing. Knowing that you have arrived home, that now there is nowhere to go.

If you look at the history of man… from the very primitive man, the same questions have been asked. Answers have become more and more sophisticated, but no answer destroys the question. The question has an immense capacity to survive all answers: it comes back again in a new form.

You ask who created the world. Your organized religions say God created the world, and the mind immediately asks who created God — the answer is nullified. And if somebody says, “Number one god created the universe; number two god created number one god; number three god created number two god… that will be ludicrous, because finally the last god will have the same question: who created him? The question has an immense capacity to survive all your answers, howsoever sophisticated.

The path of the mystic is totally different from the path of the philosopher. The mystic does not try to find answers for the questions. He simply understands one thing: that until he goes beyond mind, questions will continue; no answer can help. But the moment you are beyond the mind, all questions disappear, and in that disappearance you have found the
answer — without words, without language, you have become a knower. You have become knowing itself, not knowledge. This state is the state of the watcher.

So don’t say, “I am not that.” There are schools which teach that — when you see something in the mind go on saying, “I am not that. I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the heart; I am not this, I am not that.” But the watcher is beyond all your negations, just as he is beyond your positive assertions.

Remain silent; don’t say anything. If some thought floats in the mind, let it float. The way you allow a cloud to float in the sky — you don’t start shouting, “I am not that.” Your mind is also a sky, a screen. Things pass. You simply watch.

As Adam wandered about the Garden of Eden he noticed two birds up in the tree. They were snuggled up together, billing and cooing. Adam called to the Lord, “What are the two birds doing in the trees?” The Lord said, “They are making love, Adam.”
A little while later he wandered into the fields and saw a bull and cow going at it. He called to the Lord, “Lord, what is going on with that bull and cow?”
And the Lord said, “They are making love, Adam.”
And Adam said, “How come I don’t have anyone to make love with?”
So the Lord said, “We will change that. When you awake tomorrow morning things will be different.”

So Adam lay down beneath the olive tree and fell asleep. When he awoke, there was Eve next to him. Adam jumped up, grabbed her hand, and said, “Come with me. Let’s go into the bushes.” And so they went. But a few moments later Adam stumbled out, looking very dejected, and called to the Lord, “Lord, what is a headache?”

You cannot end questions. Something or other is going to be there — if nothing else, then a headache. Since Adam asked this — “What is a headache?” — The Lord has disappeared, saying, “This idiot is not going to allow me even to rest. He will be coming again and again — ‘Lord, what is this? Lord, what is that?'” Since then, nobody has known where the Lord is! Don’t create an unnecessary headache for yourself. Just be a silent, relaxed watcher. The headache will disappear — and the head too! And you will find such a freedom and such a spaciousness, as if the whole sky has become available to you.

Source – Osho Book “The Hidden Splendor”

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