Question – BELOVED MASTER, WHY DO I FEEL SO MUCH PAIN IN LETTING GO OF THE THINGS THAT ARE CAUSING ME MISERY?

Osho – Deva Akal, the things that are causing you misery must be giving you some pleasure too; otherwise the question does not arise. If they were pure misery you would have dropped them. But in life, nothing is pure; everything is mixed with its opposite. Everything carries its opposite in its womb.

What you call misery, analyze it, penetrate into it, and you will see that it has something which you would like to have. Maybe it is not yet real, maybe it is only a hope, maybe it is only a promise for tomorrow, but you will cling to the misery, you will cling to the pain, in the hope that tomorrow something that you have always desired and longed for is going to happen.

You suffer misery in the hope of pleasure. If it is pure misery it is impossible to cling to it. Just watch, be more alert about your misery. For example, you are feeling jealous. It creates misery. But look around — there must be something positive in it. It also gives you some ego, some sense of your being separate from others, some sense of superiority. Your jealousy at least pretends to be love. If you don’t feel jealous you will think maybe you don’t love anymore. And you are clinging to jealousy because you would like to cling to your love — at least your idea of love.

If your woman or your man goes with somebody else and you don’t feel jealous at all, you will immediately become conscious that you no longer love. Otherwise, for centuries you have been told that lovers are jealous. Jealousy has become an intrinsic part of your love: without jealousy your love dies; only with jealousy can your so-called love live. If you want your love you will have to accept your jealousy and the misery that is created by it.

And your mind is very cunning and very clever in finding rationalizations. It will say, “It is natural to feel jealous.” And it appears natural because everybody else is doing the same. Your mind will say, “It is natural to feel hurt when your lover leaves you. Because you have loved so much, how can you avoid the hurt, the wound, when your lover leaves you?”

In fact, you are enjoying your wound too, in a very subtle and unconscious way. Your wound is giving you an idea that you are a great lover, that you loved so much, that you loved so deeply, that your love was so profound, that you are shattered because your lover has left you. Even if you are not shattered you will pretend to be shattered — you will believe in your own lie. You will behave as if you are in great misery, you will cry and weep, and your tears may not be true at all, but just to console yourself that you are a great lover, you have to cry and weep.

Just watch every kind of misery: either it has some pleasure in it which you are not ready to lose, or it has some hope in it which goes on dangling in front of you like a carrot. And it looks so close, just by the corner, and you have traveled so long and now the goal is so close, why drop it? You will find some rationalization in it, some hypocrisy in it.

Just a few days ago a sannyasin wrote to me that her man has left her and she is not feeling miserable — what is wrong with her? “Why am I not feeling miserable? Am I too hard, rocklike? I don’t feel any misery,” she wrote to me. And she is miserable because she is not feeling misery! She was expecting to be shattered. “On the contrary,” she wrote, “I can confess that I am feeling happy — and that makes me very sad. What kind of love is this? I am feeling happy, unburdened; a great load has disappeared from my being.” She asked me, “Beloved Master, is it normal? Am I alright or is something basically wrong with me?”

Nothing is wrong with her, she is absolutely right. In fact, when lovers, after a long long togetherness and all the misery that is bound to happen when you are together, leave each other, it is a relief. But it is against the ego to confess it, that it is a relief. For a few days at least you will move with a long face, with tears flowing from your eyes — phony, but this is the idea that has prevailed in the world.

If somebody dies and you don’t feel sad you will start feeling that something is certainly wrong with you. How can you avoid sadness when somebody has died? — because we have been told it is natural, it is normal, and everybody wants to be natural and normal. It is not normal, it is only average. It is not natural, it is only a long long cultivated habit; otherwise there is nothing to weep and cry about.

Death destroys nothing. The body is dust and falls into dust, and the consciousness has two possibilities: if it still has desires then it will move into another womb, or if all the desires have disappeared then it will move into the womb of God, into eternity. Nothing is destroyed. The body again becomes part of the earth, goes into rest, and the soul moves into the universal consciousness or moves into another body.

But you cry and weep and you carry your sadness for many days. It is just a formality, or if it is not a formality then there is every possibility that you never loved the man who has died and now you are feeling repentant; you never loved the man totally and now there is no more time. Now the man has disappeared, now he will never be available. Maybe you had quarreled with your husband and he died in the night in his sleep. Now you will say that you are crying because he has died, but really you are crying because you have not even been able to ask his forgiveness, you have not even been able to say a goodbye. The quarrel will hang over you like a cloud forever.

If a man lives moment to moment in totality, then there is never any repentance, no guilt. If you have loved totally, there is no question. One day if the lover leaves that simply means, “Now our ways are parting. We can say goodbye, we can be thankful to each other. We shared so much, we loved so much, we have enriched each other’s lives so much — what is there to cry and weep about and why be miserable?”

But people are so entangled in their rationality that they can’t see beyond their rationalizations. And they always rationalize everything; even things which are obviously simple become very complicated.

“I am in love with my horse,” said Andrew to the psychiatrist.
“That’s nothing,” replied the shrink. “A lot of people love animals. My wife and I have a dog that we love very much.”
“Ah, but doctor, it is a physical attraction that I feel towards my horse!”
“Hmm!” said the analyst. “What kind of horse is it? Male or female?”
“Female, of course!” said Andrew. “What do you think I am — queer?”
You ask me, Akal, “Why do I feel so much pain in letting go of the things that are causing me misery?”

You are not yet convinced that they are causing you misery. I am saying that they are causing you misery, you are not yet convinced. And it is not a question of MY saying it. The basic thing is: YOU will have to understand, “These are the things which are causing me misery,” and you will have to see that there are investments in your misery. If you want those investments you will have to learn to live with the misery; if you want to drop the misery, you will have to drop those investments too.

Have you watched it, observed it? — if you talk about your misery to people, they give great sympathy to you. Everybody is sympathetic to the miserable man. Now, if you love getting sympathy from people you cannot drop your misery; that is your investment.

The miserable husband comes home, the wife is loving, sympathetic. The more miserable he is, the more his children are considerate of him; the more miserable he is, the more his friends are friendly towards him. Everybody takes care of him. The moment he starts becoming happy they withdraw their sympathy, of course — a happy person needs no sympathy. The more happy he is, the more he finds that nobody cares about him. It is as if everybody becomes suddenly hard, frozen. Now, how can you drop your misery?

You will have to drop this desire for attention, this desire for getting sympathy from people. In fact, it is very ugly to desire sympathy from people — it makes you a beggar. And remember, sympathy is not love; they are obliging you, they are fulfilling a kind of duty — it is not love. They may not like you, but still they will sympathize with you. This is etiquette, culture, civilization, formality — but you are living on false things. Your misery is real and what you are getting in the bargain is false. Of course, if you become happy, if you drop your miseries, it will be a radical change in your life-style; things may start changing.

Source: from Osho Book “Dhammapada Vol 5”

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