Osho – Deva Dwabha, to be without misery needs great courage. To be miserable is very cheap, very simple; it costs nothing. To be miserable you don’t need any courage, any intelligence. To be miserable is so easy, but to come out of it is difficult, arduous. To come out of it needs intelligence, because you are the creator of your misery, and you create your misery because you are unconscious. You can stop creating it only if you become conscious, and to become conscious needs great effort.
Moreover, misery keeps you occupied so that you can avoid your inner hollowness. It keeps you engaged. If you are not miserable you will have to go in, and you are afraid because there is great emptiness. It is a kind of death to go in.
The mystics have called it “the great death” — greater than the so-called ordinary death, because in the ordinary death only the body dies. If you go in, your mind dies. And one is afraid to die — your ego dies — and one is afraid to lose one’s identity. And how much effort you have put to attain to a certain identity. One is a famous actor, another is a well-known politician.
Somebody is very rich, somebody is very knowledgeable. You have put so much effort… and now
I am telling you to come out of it! That means all your effort has been a sheer wastage. It will need guts to come out of it and it will need courage to be without identity. The Zen people say: Before you meditate, mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. When you go deep in meditation, mountains are no more mountains and rivers are no more rivers. When you attain to satori, when the meditation is transcended, then again mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.
This is a Zen way of saying that before meditation you have a certain identity. You have a name, fame, form, family, race, culture, religion, country; all these give you a certain idea who you are — although that idea is absolutely false, arbitrary, accidental. It is just accidental that you were born as a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan; it has no significance at all. It is just an accident whether you are born a German or an Indian or a Chinese. You are none of these.
Your consciousness is simply consciousness, neither Chinese nor Korean nor Japanese. Your consciousness is simply consciousness. It belongs to no country, no race, no color, no religion; all those are conditionings. You have been hypnotized and told that you are an Indian; this is a hypnosis. You have been hypnotized and told that you are a Mohammedan, and the hypnosis is prolonged your whole life. It goes so deep that you may even be ready to die for it. People die for religion, for country, for flags; for many nonsenses they are ready to die. It seems as if their life has no meaning at all, as if they are ready to die for any excuse — any excuse will do.
Your identity is arbitrary. Before meditation you are a little bit certain who you are. As you go into meditation your miseries start disappearing and with those miseries your identity starts evaporating. You fall into a state of chaos, and that chaos creates fear.
Dwabha, I have given you this name…. DWABHA means twilight; it means neither day nor night, just in the middle. And that’s where you are: afraid to go deeper, standing in shallow water. It feels safe, although you are miserable — but the misery is familiar, well known; you have become accustomed to it. In fact, a kind of family relationship has arisen between you and your misery.
There is a Sufi parable: A man used to call every night to God and he would pray the same prayer. Again and again he would ask, “Do one favor for me, at least one favor — and I have been asking my whole life. As far as I can see, I am the most miserable man on the earth. Why have you chosen me to be the most miserable? I am ready to exchange my misery with anybody else, anybody will do — just let me exchange my misery with somebody else. I don’t ask for bliss. Can’t you give me only this single opportunity to exchange my misery with somebody else? This is not asking much!”
And one night in a dream he saw God had spoken. A great voice came from the heavens saying, “Gather all of your miseries into bundles and bring them to the temple hall.”
So the whole town gathers their miseries into big bundles and they bring them. This man is tremendously happy: “So the moment has come! It seems something is going to happen!”
He rushes with his bundle. On the way he finds others also are rushing. By the time he reaches to the temple he becomes afraid, very afraid, because he sees people are carrying bigger bundles than his. People that he had always seen smiling — Rotarians, Lions — in beautiful clothes and always saying nice things to each other, and they are carrying bigger bundles! He starts becoming a little hesitant whether to go or not to go, but he has been praying his whole life, so he says, “Let us see what happens.”
They enter into the temple. The voice says, “Put your bundles around the hall.” They put their bundles, and the voice says again, “Now you can choose any bundle that you like.” And the miracle of miracles happens: everybody rushes to his own bundle! This man also rushes so fast towards his own bundle, afraid that if somebody else chooses it then he will be at a loss. Everybody has chosen his own bundle, with great relief and they are all happy, carrying their bundles back to their homes. Even this man is very happy, for the simple reason that “Who knows what is in the other’s bundle? At least we are aware of our own bundle and what it contains. And we have become accustomed, we have become adjusted to our misery.”
Dwabha, that’s why you find it very difficult to get out of your miseries. And there may be investments also; your misery may not be just YOUR misery. You may be creating misery for others through your misery. If you are interested in creating misery in others, how can you drop your misery?
The husband comes home and the wife simply lies down on the bed and says she has a headache — and I am not saying that she is pretending. In fact, it is almost impossible when you see your husband not to have a headache! She must be having one, I trust…. And then the husband becomes miserable. Now the wife cannot drop her headache, because if she drops her headache, then what about the husband? Her headache creates such misery for the husband that she is ready to suffer — to make others suffer.
“I would divorce Milton in a minute,” Mrs. Cooper told the woman doing her hair.
“Then why don’t you?” asked the beautician.
“Because it would kill me to see him so happy.”
It is difficult! It is difficult to come out of your misery, because it is not just your misery; it has become entangled with others’ miseries, it has become a cause for others’ miseries. And you enjoy torturing others; you feel powerful whenever you can torture. One is ready to sacrifice if one can create misery for others.
People are sadists and masochists both. It is very rare to find a pure sadist or a pure masochist. Those are only types found in psychological books. In reality, everybody is a sadist and everybody is a masochist. People are sadomasochists: they torture themselves in order to torture others; they torture others in order to torture themselves. It is all intertwined, interdependent. You cannot just slip out of it — it is your whole life’s investment.
Otherwise, nobody is preventing you, Dwabha, you can come out. Just you have to understand. If you cannot even drop your misery, what else can you drop? In the old days, a sannyasin was one who used to renounce life. I have changed the definition of a sannyasin. I call a man a sannyasin who is ready to renounce his misery. But in a way your life and your misery are almost synonymous.
What is your life? What you are doing with yourself and with others? You feel powerful whenever you can torture others; torture gives you a great release of power. Why are these Adolf Hitlers, Joseph Stalins and Mao Zedongs born again and again? From where do they come?
They represent you. They represent the essential madness of humanity. They erupt again and again and they will go on coming, you can’t prevent them, unless we change the very foundation of human existence. If we change human consciousness from misery to bliss, from tensions to peace…. Otherwise you will have to suffer. You deserve… in fact, you ask for them.
Germany must have prayed long enough for Adolf Hitler to happen. And now there are again people in Germany who are starting the same fascist movement. You can’t live without these insane people! Something in you needs them. Something that you cannot do to yourself they can do to you. They can release great misery in the world.
Have you seen, have you observed in times of war people look happier than ever? Their faces are more lighted up, they smile more. Suddenly their life has zest, enthusiasm, energy. They are no more dragging; their life has meaning. War gives them meaning. The death and the danger surrounding them helps them to come alive.
After each ten years a great world war is needed. If it is not happening now it is not because of humanity and its changed consciousness. It is happening because of hydrogen bombs, because the third world war will be the last — and that is too much. A little bit of misery once in a while is good, but just to commit a global suicide seems too much. Nobody will be there even to enjoy it!
If a nuclear war happens, then within ten minutes everybody will be gone. Even the newspapers would not have reached you. You would be absolutely unaware what is happening. It will be simply a chaos. And within ten minutes all life would have disappeared from the earth. Birds, animals, trees, men, women, all would be gone. What is the point if you cannot enjoy? The joy is when you see people in gas chambers evaporating.
In Germany, the gas chambers were made in such a way that people could come and see in. The people who were going to die were not able to see the spectators, but the spectators were able to see. Thousands of people were coming to see; they were paying tickets for it. It was great entertainment! One thousand people in the gas chamber will evaporate. Within a single moment, nothing will be left. And these people — thousands of people — have come to see. What joy must they be deriving out of it? There must be something very ugly deep down….
During the French Revolution, when the guillotine was being used almost around the clock, Slutsky lived in a small village outside of Paris. One morning he met Flambeau, who had just returned from the city.
“What’s happening there in Paris?” asked Slutsky.
“Conditions are absolutely horrible,” replied the Frenchman. “They are cutting off heads by the thousands.”
“Oy,” moaned Slutsky, “and me in the hat business!”
Man’s ugliness! Heads are being cut off in thousands, but Slutsky’s problem is not those thousands of people dying. His problem is: “So many heads are being cut off, and me in the hat business!”
Everybody is concerned about his own small, selfish, ugly ego. That’s why you cannot come out of your misery. Try to come out of the ego and you will be able to come out of the misery. Try to come out of the self.
Your so-called religious people go on teaching you, “Don’t be selfish.” Buddha says, “Don’t be a self.” And I also say to you: Don’t be a self. The teaching, “Don’t be selfish,” has not helped. It can’t help because it leaves the root untouched. The self is the root, and your religious people go on teaching — your so-called saints and mahatmas — “Don’t be selfish.” That simply means let the self be there, let the root remain. Just go on cutting off the branches and pruning the leaves.
“Don’t be selfish”… but then the root is there, it will sprout again; again leaves will come.
Buddha is the only enlightened master of the world who has gone to the very root of the problem. He says: Don’t be a self. This is a great insight, a great contribution, one of the most precious. He says, “If you are a self, you will be selfish. Your selfishness may become otherworldly, spiritual; it will remain selfish. A self can only be selfish; a self can exist only in the climate of selfishness. If you try to be not selfish with the self intact, you will be only a hypocrite.”
The word ‘hypocrisy’ comes from a root which means play-acting. You will be just acting a game, playing a game, pretending. You can’t be selfish if the self is not there. And how can the self be dropped? In fact, it is not there if you look in, so there is no need to drop it. All that is needed is a deep insight into your own inwardness. Look into your interiority — that’s what meditation is all about — look in, and you will not find any self there. And when you don’t find any self — it disappears like a shadow in the light — all selfishness disappears on its own accord.
Then a totally new quality comes to your existence. You are no longer concerned with creating misery for others; hence you can come out of YOUR misery. And the moment you see inwards, great intelligence is released, great creativity is released. That intelligence brings bliss and, ultimately, even takes you beyond bliss — beyond mind and beyond meditation. It brings you to the ultimate core of existence; peace, tranquility, silence, stillness.
You cease totally and only then you arrive. You enter into the world of God, or godliness, only when you are no more. But before you can go in you will have to drop many stupid ideas that you have been carrying all along. You will have to drop all that you have been told and taught. You will have to drop all that you have been educated for.
Your whole society is rooted, based, in the idea of making your life comfortable. Not true, but only comfortable, convenient, so that you can live conveniently and you can die conveniently. Your whole society is based in providing tranquilizers for you. Your religion functions like a tranquilizer. Whenever you are in trouble you go to the rabbi, to the priest, to the imam, and they console you. Your child has died. You go to the rabbi, you go to the priest, and he says, “Don’t be worried. God takes away only those whom he loves.” He is consoling you! Your child has been chosen by God; your child is one of those chosen few.
If you go to the Hindu priest he will say, “Don’t be worried. The soul is immortal, nothing dies. The child has only changed the house and he will get a better house, a new house. It is like changing an old car for a new model. So don’t be worried.” He consoles you. He does not help you with a radical change. His effort is to make your life as comfortable as possible. And you pay for this, naturally. He serves you and you pay for it.
Jacobs and Lipkin, two Israeli commandos, were about to be shot by the Arabs.
Jacobs said, “I think I’m gonna ask for a blindfold.”
Lipkin said, “Jake, don’t make trouble.”
People live just with this idea: Don’t make trouble. Even when you are going to be shot — at least at that time you can make a little trouble; you won’t lose anything more. But this is our philosophy, our basic philosophy of life: Don’t make trouble. So follow the tradition, follow the conventional. Be a conformist. Be a Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian. Go to the church. Don’t make trouble. Don’t stir the waters. Just keep yourself somehow alive, and die without making any trouble. Then you cannot come out of your misery.
To come out of the misery you will have to be a revolutionary. The greatest revolution in the world is to come out of the miserable patterns of life. You will have to change your whole psychology and you will have to risk many things. You will not be accepted by the society. Otherwise why was Socrates not accepted? Why was Jesus not accepted? You will not be respected by the crowd. The crowd gives you respect only when you are part of the crowd. If you want respectability, then you have to be part of the crowd. Then you have to be just a sheep and not a man. Dwabha, you can come out of it. Be a lion!
Buddha used to say to his disciples, “Be a lion! Roar like a lion and come out of all kinds of slavery!” And whatsoever the risk, it is worth it.
Source: from Osho Book “Dhammapada volume 8”