Question – Beloved Osho, someone once told me the saying: “all that you put into the lives of others comes back into your own. “it has been with me ever since, and i feel it to be true. Can you please talk about this?
it keeps coming up a lot for me.
Osho – Prem Kendra, the saying is true. All that you put into the lives of others comes back into your own, for the simple reason that the other is not so “other” as you think. No man is an island; we are all joined together.
On the surface both my hands seem to be separate. But if I hit my right hand with the left hand, do you think the pain is going to be just confined to the right hand? The left hand is not separate. If the right hand suffers, sooner or later the left hand is going to suffer too. It is not possible to hurt someone and remain unhurt, because the other is not so other as he appears. Deep down in the roots we are one. So when you slap somebody’s face, you are slapping your
People like Jesus, when they say, “Love your enemy just as you love yourself,” are not just teaching ordinary morality. They are stating a very fundamental truth: the enemy is also part of you, as you are part of the enemy. Love the enemy as you love yourself.
Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples, “After each meditation when you are feeling blissful, full of joy, peace, silence… shower and share your silence, your peace, your blissfulness with the whole of existence — with men, with women, with trees, with animals, with birds — with all that is, share it.
“It is not a question whether someone deserves it or not. The more you share it, the more you will get it. The farther your blessings reach, the more and more blessings will shower on you from all directions. Existence always gives you back more than you have given to it.”
One man who was a very great admirer of Gautam Buddha raised his hand and said, “There is one question. I can share my blessings, my joy, with the whole existence. Please just allow me one exception: I cannot share with my neighbor. He is so disgusting — the very idea of sharing my joy with him makes me sick.” And he said, “Just one exception I am asking. I am ready to share with all the animals, all the insects, all the birds, all the trees, everything — just that one neighbor who is so nasty. You don’t know about it; otherwise you yourself would have said, ‘You can have a few exceptions.'”
Buddha said to the man, “You don’t understand what I am saying. First you have to share your joy with your neighbor; only then you will be able to share your joy with the whole existence. If even your neighbor is not your neighbor, then how can the birds and the animals and the trees can be your friends and your neighbors? So you first practice just that exception — forget about the whole universe. If you can succeed in sharing your joy with your neighbor, there is no problem. You are already ready to share your joy with everybody else.
Perhaps in the same situation, Jesus may also have said, “Love your neighbor just as you love yourself.” It looks very strange that he makes these two statements: “Love your enemy just as yourself,” and “Love your neighbor just as yourself.” George Bernard Shaw joked about it and said, “It is because they are not two persons; they are the same person, the enemy and the neighbor. There is no need to make two statements. One statement will do, because they are not separate persons.”
Kendra, this is the essential of all religiousness: that we should be able to share unconditionally all that grows in our being, all the flowers and all the fragrance. To be miserly about it is dangerous. In the ordinary world, the economics is that if you give something to someone, that much less will be with you. And if you share everything with everybody, you will be a beggar. But in the higher economics of life, just the opposite law functions: if you hold things to yourself, you will destroy them. They are delicate. They need freedom. They need wings and they need to be allowed to go into the sky.
The more you give your love, your compassion, your blessing, your joy, your ecstasy, the more you will find that the whole existence has become so generous to you that streams of love and joy are running towards you from all directions. And once you have known the secret — that by giving you don’t lose, but you get more, a thousandfold more — your whole life structure goes through a transformation. But even in our so-called religious and spiritual life, people are as miserly as they are in the ordinary life. They don’t know that the laws of ordinary life are not applicable to the higher dimensions of being.
A famous story about a Zen nun is: She had a beautiful golden Buddha, a very artistic, aesthetic statue of Buddha, made of pure gold. And the nun used to carry the Buddha wherever she would go. Buddhist monks and nuns have to go on moving for eight months in the year, except the four months of rain. So from one temple, from one monastery to another…
She was staying in one of the temples of China — she had gone to travel to Chinese temples and monasteries and that temple has ten thousand statues of Buddha. It is a unique temple in the whole world. Ten thousand statues… almost the whole mountain has been cut into statues and made into a temple; perhaps it has taken centuries to build it. She was staying there.
And this had been her constant worry: Every morning when she worships her golden Buddha, she puts flowers, sweets, burns incense — but you cannot depend upon the wind, upon the breeze. The fragrance arising out of the burning incense may not reach the golden Buddha’s nose, it may move in any direction.
In that temple there were ten thousand other Buddhas, and the fragrance was going to other Buddhas’ noses. And this was intolerable; this was too much. She was feeling very hurt, that her own poor Buddha is not getting any incense, and all these vagabonds… “And my Buddha is golden and they are just stones. And after all my Buddha is MY Buddha.”
This is how the mind functions: it is so possessive, it cannot even see that they are all statues of the same man. Which nose is getting the incense does not matter — it is reaching the Buddha. But “MY Buddha” — the old possessive mind continues.
So she devised a small method: she brought a bamboo, a hollow bamboo, and cut it into a small piece. She will burn the incense, and put the bamboo on top of it. One side will take the incense smoke in, and the other side she will put on the nose of her golden Buddha — almost like making him smoke! But that created a problem: her Buddha’s nose became black. That disturbed her even more.
She asked the high priest of the temple, “What should I do? My poor Buddha’s nose has become black.”
He said, “But how did it happen?”
She said, “I feel very embarrassed to say, it is my own doing.” And then she explained the whole thing.
The priest laughed. He said, “All these are Buddhas here. One Buddha, ten thousand Buddhas — to whom it reaches does not matter. You should not be so miserly, so possessive. Buddha cannot be yours and cannot be mine. The nose of the Buddha has become black because of your possessiveness.”
And the priest said to her, “We are making each other’s faces black because of our possessiveness. If we could give without even thinking to whom it reaches… Because to whomever it reaches, is part of the same existence as we are part of — it reaches to us.”
Kendra, don’t go on thinking about it as a proverb that is true. You are saying, “It keeps coming up a lot for me.” It is not something to contemplate; it is something to do and to experience. Just make somebody joyful and see — your heart immediately becomes light. Let somebody laugh, and something of the laughter enters in you, becomes part of you. Let somebody be blissful… help somebody to enjoy life more totally, and immediate is the reward.
Existence is always cash. It does not depend on checks, drafts — it is always cash. Here, you do something and immediately comes the reward or the punishment. Rather than thinking about it, whether it is true or not, try it. It is one of the truest axioms for transforming your life.
In giving small things, people think of a thousand things. You just look at the beggars. If you are alone, moving on the road, the beggar will not ask you for anything, because he knows you are alone; your respectability is not at risk. He will catch hold of you in the marketplace, where you cannot refuse. If you refuse, everybody will say, “Don’t be so unkind, don’t be so cruel.”
Even the beggar knows the psychology: if the man is alone, he will give you a lesson, rather than giving you something: “You seem to be young, you seem to be healthy. You should be working — not begging.”
The same man in the society will immediately give, and give more. He will feel resentful, but he wants to impress the people around him that he is a very generous man, and the beggar knows. The beggar also knows that he has befooled you: you have not given to him or to his poverty, you have given to your respectability, to your generosity.
People say “We will give only to worthy people, to deserving people.” These are strategies for not giving. Otherwise who is unworthy? If existence accepts him, and the sun does not deny him light, and the moon does not deny him its beauty, and the roses do not deny him their fragrance… if the existence accepts him, who are you to think whether he is worthy or unworthy?
His being alive is enough proof that existence accepts him as he is. Any conditional giving is not a giving at all. Every giving has to be unconditional. And every giving has not to ask even gratitude in response. On the contrary, the giver should feel grateful that his gift has not been refused. Then giving becomes a tremendous ecstasy. This is how your heart grows, how your consciousness expands, how your darkness disappears, how you become more and more light, more and more close to the divine.
Anything that appeals to you, don’t let it remain in the mind; let it come into your actions. Only the action will give you the proof whether it is right or wrong. Arguments can prove what is wrong as right, what is right as wrong.
In Greece, before Socrates, there used to be a great school of thinkers called sophists. They were strange people. Their ideology was that there is nothing true, nothing untrue, nothing good, nothing bad — it all depends how sharp is your argument. Sophistry was the art of argumentation.
These sophists used to move from town to town in Greece to teach people the art of argumentation. And they were so certain, that they used to take half of their fee before, in advance, and half they would take when you won your first argument with someone.
Zeno, one the very sharpest minds the world has known, went to be a disciple in the school of sophists. He deposited half of the fee and said, “The other half I will never give.” The master said, “You will have to give the other half — because how are you going to find out whether you have become really argumentative or not?”
He said, “I am not going to argue with anybody. But that is not a question right now. First you teach me.”
Two years of teaching and the master could see that Zeno was a genius, far ahead of the master himself. His teaching was complete, and the master said, “Now you can go and argue with someone. Challenge anybody, and your victory is sure.”
But Zeno said, “I am not going to argue with anybody. Even if somebody says in the day that it is night, I will say, ‘Yes, it is night.’ I am not going to argue, because if I win in any argument, then I have to pay half the fee to you. That I am not going to do.”
Almost a year passed and he did not argue with anyone. The master even sent many people to provoke him to argumentation, but he would always be willing to accept whatever you said. You say, “God exists” and he says, “Yes, God exists.” You say, “God does not exist.” He will say, “God does not exist, I am in absolute agreement with you. The question of argument does not arise.”
Finally the master, who himself was a great arguer, thought of a strategy: he should bring him to the court, sue him, because he has not paid his half fee. His idea was, “If I win, he will have to pay the fee. If he wins, then outside the court I will say, ‘Now give me my fee; you have won your first argument.'”
But Zeno was also his disciple. He thought, “If he wins, I will tell the court that this was the agreement, that when I won my first argument, then I would pay him. Now I have lost my first argument: according to our agreement he has won the case, but I cannot give him the fee. “And if by chance I win, I know that outside the court he will ask, ‘Give me the fee.’ And I will say, ‘Come inside the court, because I cannot go against the law of the country. It will be a contempt of the court; the court has given me victory.'”
And the very thing happened. Zeno argued very well. And the master wanted him to win, so he argued in such a way that Zeno would win. The court decided that Zeno was victorious. Outside the court the master said, “Now give me my fee.”
Zeno said, “Then come inside the court: I will give you the fee if the judge says that I have failed in arguing. And I cannot go against the court — that will be a criminal act, a contempt of the court.” Zeno never paid the half fee.
Zeno himself became a great teacher in his own right, but he used to take the full fee in advance! He said, “I cannot commit the same mistake my master committed.”
Don’t make life a question of argumentation, or truth a question of arguments, or love a question of arguments, or joy a question of arguments. Live, experience, because that is the only way to know. Argument is not the way to know.
Knowing is only through experiencing.
A nun dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter says to her, “I’m sure you have led a virtuous life, Sister, but before I can let you into heaven, you must answer one question. The question is: what were Eve’s first words to Adam?”
“Boy,” says the nun, “that’s a hard one.”
“That’s right!” says St. Peter.
Don’t make life a question-answer game. Make it more authentic, and anything that feels right to you, try to experiment with it. There are millions of people who know what is right, millions of people who know what is good, millions of people who know what has to be done. But they just know, they never try to transform their knowing into action, into actuality. And unless your knowledge becomes your actual experience, it is simply a burden and not a freedom. It keeps you loaded with good thoughts, but good thoughts are useless. Unless they grow within you, they have roots in your heart, they are part of your being, they are simply wasting your time and your life.
Don’t be like the crowd that exists on the earth. They all have beautiful theories, beautiful dogmas, great philosophies, magnificent theologies, but all in their heads. They have not tasted anything, and they will die without actually knowing anything. Their whole lives will be simply a long desert where nothing grows, where nothing happens, where nothing is realized.
And I say unto you: Unless God is realized, your life has been a wastage. And that is your capacity, your potential — the realization of the divineness of existence. Just a little taste and your whole life will become full of such glory, such ecstasy, such splendor that you cannot even dream about it.
Source – Osho Book “The Hidden Splendor”