Osho on Clinging to Old

Question – Why does one cling to the old? why is one afraid of the new?

Osho – There is a natural reason in it. With the old one is efficient, with the new one is awkward. With the old you know what to do, with the new you will have to learn from ABC. With the new you start feeling ignorant. With the old you are knowledgeable: you have done something again and again, you can do it mechanically, you need not have any awareness, With the new you will have to be alert, aware, otherwise something may go wrong.

Have you not watched it? When you learn driving, you are so alert. When you have learned it, you forget about it. You sing a song, you listen to the radio, you talk to the friend or you think a thousand and one thoughts, and driving continues as a mechanical thing, robot-like — you are not needed. The old becomes mechanical, habitual. That’s why with the new comes fear. That’s why children are capable of learning. The older you grow, the less is the capacity to learn. It is very difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. He will repeat the old tricks again and again; those tricks he knows.

I have heard…. The foreign diplomat was unable to speak English. When the lunchbell rang at the United Nations Assembly he stood behind a man at the food counter and heard him order apple-pie and coffee. So he ordered apple-pie and coffee too. For the next two weeks he kept ordering applepie and coffee. Finally he decided he wanted to try something else so he listened attentively while another man ordered a ham sandwich.

‘Ham sandwich’ he said to the counterman.
‘White or rye?’ the counterman asked.
‘Ham sandwich’ the diplomat repeated.
‘White or rye?’ the counterman asked again.
‘Ham sandwich’ the diplomat repeated.
The counterman grew very angry. ‘Look, Mac’ he roared shaking his fist under the diplomat’s nose, ‘do you want it on white or rye?’
‘Apple-pie and coffee’ answered the diplomat.

Who should take such a bother? It is getting too dangerous, that’s why one goes on with the old. But if you live with the old, you don’t live at all, you live only for the name’s sake.

Only with the new is life. Only with the new, and only with the new is life. Life has to be fresh. Remain a learner, never become a knower. Remain open, never become closed. Remain ignorant, go on throwing the knowledge that accumulates — automatically, naturally. Each day, each moment, free yourself from all that you have known and again become a child. To become so innocent, like a child, is the way to live and to live abundantly.

Source – Osho Book “Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1”

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