Question – For zen it is: “eat when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty.” For Patanjali it is: “regularity — niyam.” How to reconcile spontaneity and regularity?
Osho – There is no need to synthesize. If you are really spontaneous you will become regular. If you are really regular you will become spontaneous. There is no need to reconcile. If you try to reconcile you will become a mess, so choose one and forget about the other. If you choose Zen forget about Patanjali as if he never existed; then he is not for you. And one day you will suddenly see that the regularity has come following spontaneity.
How it happens? If you are spontaneous, if you ea( when you feel hungry — and if you only eat when you feel hungry and you never eat against your desire, you never eat more than your desire, you always follow your need — by and by you will settle to a regularity, because the body is a mechanism, a very, very beautiful biomechanism. Then every day at the same time you will find you are hungry again; every day at the same time you will find you are sleepy again. Life will become regular.
But if you are afraid of spontaneity…. As people are afraid. because culture, civilization, religion — all the poisoners of the world — they have poisoned your mind and they have made you afraid of spontaneity; they say you are hiding an animal within you and if you are spontaneous you may go astray. If you are too afraid of spontaneity, then listen to Patanjali.
Patanjali is always a second choice to me, never the first. It is for ill people, corrupted by culture, unnatural, poisoned by civilization and religion, destroyed by priests and preachers. Then Patanjali. Patanjali is a therapy. That’s why I say Patanjali is useful for ninety-nine percent of the people, because ninety-nine percent of the people are ill. This earth is a great hospital. Patanjali is a physician, a scientist.
Zen is for natural people, uncorrupted, for innocent children. If there is going to come some day a beautiful world, Patanjali will be forgotten; Zen will remain. If the world is going to be becoming more and more in, Zen will be forgotten; only Patanjali will be there. Zen says be natural. Do you watch nature? Have you seen nature’s spontaneity and regularity both? Rains come, summer comes, winter comes — they follow in a regular pattern.
And if you see some disturbance it is because of you, because man has disturbed the climate, man has disturbed the ecology. Otherwise nature was so predictable — and so spontaneous — you could always see when the spring has come. You could have heard the first steps of spring all over: in the songs of the birds, in the trees, the happiness that spreads. It was absolutely certain, regular, but now everything is disturbed. That is not because of nature.
Man has not only poisoned man, man has started to poison nature also. Now everything is irregular: you don’t know when the rains are coming, you don’t know whether it is going to rain less or more this year, you don’t know how hot this summer is going to be. Nature’s regularity is disturbed by you, because you have broken the circle. Otherwise nature is absolutely spontaneous — and the nature does not need any Patanjali. Now it will need. Now, to set the ecology right, a Patanjali is needed.
So you have to choose. If you choose Zen forget Patanjali; otherwise you will be very much confused. And I tell you that Patanjali will come automatically — you need not worry. But if you feel that you are very ill and you cannot trust in yourself and you cannot be spontaneous, forget about Zen; it is not for you. It is just like there exists a book of exercises for a healthy man. hmm?… who is going to take part in a world olympic: you can read it if you like. but don’t try it — you will be in danger. You are Lying in the hospital; you don’t ask how to reconcile this book and your situation. You don’t ask. You listen to the physician: you follow. Someday when you are healthy, back to your natural spontaneous being, you may use This book, but right now it is not for you.
Patanjali is for unhealthy people, but almost everybody is unhealthy. Zen is for very natural people. You have to decide about yourself. Nobody else can decide it for you; you have to feel your own energy. But remember, you are not to reconcile — never do that. Choose one, the other follows. If you feel you are ill, already corrupted, you cannot be spontaneous; try to be regular. Regularity will bring you, by and by, to health and spontaneity.
Source – Osho Book “The Yoga, Vol5”