Osho on psychotherapy and meditation

Question – Beloved Osho, does psychological therapy help to go beyond the mind?
Osho – Vijen, psychological therapy can help you to understand the mind, but it cannot lead you beyond the mind. Only one thing leads you beyond the mind and that is meditation. Meditation has nothing to do with psychotherapy, but psychotherapy can create a ground by giving you a better understanding of your mind to go into meditation. It cannot lead you directly into the transcendental, but it can be a help, just the way you prepare a garden. First, you prepare the soil, but that is not the garden. And just preparing the ground, removing the weeds, the grass, any wild growth, stones, roots, still it is not the garden — this much psychotherapy can do.

Now you will have to put seeds, give nourishment to those seeds, care and love and protection. And slowly, slowly the bare ground will start becoming greener. One day there will be flowers and fruits.

Psychotherapy is only a cleansing process, but it is like all cleansing processes. You have to clean your house every day; it is not as if once you have cleaned it you have cleaned it forever. Within twenty-four hours again dust gathers. You have to take a bath every day, or twice; otherwise you will start getting dirty.

Psychotherapy is good as a cleaning method, but it does not go beyond that. And if you remain addicted to psychotherapies you will have to clean yourself again and again. You will have a better understanding of the mind but just that much is not enough to create the world of the beyond. For that, seeds of meditation, awareness, watchfulness are absolutely necessary.

And once you have gone beyond the mind, psychotherapy becomes meaningless. Going beyond the mind simply means you have realized your own being. Now mind is left far behind. Going beyond the mind also means that now mind is going to function as a servant and you are the master. So whenever you need to, you can use it. Right now the situation is just the reverse. You are not the master, and the mind uses you. The mind is almost blind and it directs your life and sooner or later you are going to fall into a ditch. All minds lead finally to misery, to suffering.

Meditation is the only possibility for creating a space where blessings shower. I am not against psychotherapies. I am simply telling you they can be used as a foothold to jump into meditation. You can jump into meditation directly too, but you will find it a little difficult because you don’t have a clean mind and a clean understanding. The mind
will put every weight on you and drag you backwards. Psychotherapy is instrumental, helpful, but alone it is meaningless. I am using psychotherapy in this commune as a means towards meditation, as a help, as a preparation.

But in the West psychotherapy is used as an end to itself; hence psychotherapy in the West is not of much use. Unless it becomes a stepping-stone for meditation, you are moving in a circle. Every day you will have to clean. Once in a while you will have to go to a psychotherapist. People become addicted because it gives you a clean feeling, but that clean feeling remains only for a few days; again you have gathered all the rubbish.

Psychoanalysts ordinarily give their patients two sessions per week, for years, ten years, fifteen years, and still nobody is beyond the mind. After fifteen years of psychoanalysis one simply becomes addicted to psychoanalysis; now it has become a necessity. If you don’t go twice a week to a psychoanalyst you gather too much tension, too much dust,
you feel too dirty, too heavy. Now you have created a new problem. Psychology rather than giving you freedom has given you new chains. It is as addictive as any alcohol or any drug. Nothing is wrong in it; in itself it is helpful and beautiful, but you should use it for something better.

Psychoanalysis is good but the good is the enemy of the best. You should not get addicted to the good. You should use the good as a stepping-stone for the best; otherwise it turns into an enemy. Even psychoanalysts are very embarrassed by the fact that there is not a single man in the whole world who has been perfectly psychoanalyzed. And I am amazed at their stupidity. Hoping that some day some man will be perfectly psychoanalyzed is exactly like hoping that some day some house will be perfectly clean and there will be no need to clean it again. It is absolutely absurd. The house will need cleaning continually, because as time passes dirt gathers.

Even the cleanest mirror needs cleaning once in a while because dirt gathers on it, vapor gathers on it; it does not reflect clearly, it starts reflecting distortions. There will never be any man perfectly psychoanalyzed, because the process in itself is only of cleaning. Can you get your clothes cleaned forever, perfectly cleaned? They will again become ready to go into the laundry. So the people who are going continuously into psychotherapies are going into a kind of laundry, dry cleaning. It is good, but good is not enough. Vijen, in a sense it can help if you use it as a means and you don’t forget that it is not all. In another sense it can be a disturbance, a barrier, if you think that this is all and there is nothing else beyond it.

That’s what is happening in the West. Psychotherapists think this is the ultimate, but they have not produced a single buddha. Even their founders, Freud or Jung or Adler are not awakened people. They are living in the same misery, in the same suffering as you are living. They are full of fear. They don’t know anything about death, that it is a fiction.
They have not experienced their own being. They are just scratching on the surface. Mind is your surface; your being is in the center. How much you clean your surface does not matter, it is not going to lead you to the center. If you can use psychotherapy as a means it is good. If you think it is the end it is the enemy of your transcendence. It all depends on your intelligence.

A Jew asks his rabbi, “I have two problems. I have asked my boss a dozen times already, but he is determined to fire me at the end of the month.”
“And what is the other problem?” asks the rabbi.
“Ah well, my wife does not get pregnant, although she stays home and prays all day,” answers the Jew.
“You are doing it wrong,” suggests the rabbi. “Next time you stay at home to pray and send your wife to ask the boss.”
Three months later the happy Jew thanks the rabbi: “Your help has worked! The boss has rehired me and my wife is pregnant!”

The rabbi was certainly a great psychoanalyst and did help the poor fellow. If you need
this kind of help then psychotherapy is good, but don’t ask for more.

Source – Osho Book “The Invitation”

2 thoughts on “Osho on psychotherapy and meditation – Meditation has nothing to do with psychotherapy”

  2. I have established an analogy between practice of meditation and psychoanalysis.

    Julian B. Rotter (1970) writes in his book Clinical Psychology “Other professions which overlap clinical psychology are those of the psychiatrist, social worker, lawyer, speech pathologist, and religious worker. All these professions are concerned in one way or another with the individual’s adjustment to a special set of circumstances”.

    Now the question arises what does a religious worker does to help an individual for his/her adjustment with himself/herself and with the society? The one apparent answer is guiding people to perform devotional exercises.

    Perhaps answer lies in the following lines:

    Psychoanalysis emphasizes free association, the phenomenon of transference, and the development of insight. Psychoanalysis helps a person understand himself/herself better. The goal of psychoanalysis is to acquire self-understanding and knowledge of the sources of anxiety.

    According to Swami Vivekananda, “During meditation the mind is at first apt to wander. But let any desire whatever arise in the mind, we must sit calmly and watch what sort of ideas are coming. By continuing to watch in that way the mind becomes calm, and there are no more thoughts waves in it. Those things that we have previously thought deeply have stored into unconscious mind and therefore these come up at the surface of conscious mind during meditation.” We may call this ‘auto-catharsis’ sort of free-association, unconscious mind talking to conscious mind. Meditation provides us insight, understanding of self and increases our psychological strength. So we can draw some analogy between practice of meditation and psychoanalysis. .

    According to Swami Vishnu Devananda:”Through meditation, the play of the mind is witnessed. In the early stages nothing more can be done than to gain understanding as the ego is observed constantly asserting itself. But in times its game become familiar, and one begins to prefer the peace of contentment. When the ego is subdued, energies can then be utilized constructively for personal growth and the service of others”.

    According to Radhasoami Faith: “…strong desires, embedded in the mind, are awakened in Bhajan (a type of meditation) by the current of Shabd (sound).

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