A Life of Interiority

Osho on Suicide


YOU MUST BE INTELLIGENT. Only stupid people never think of suicide. Life is so ugly, life is such a hell. It is very difficult to find an intelligent person who never thinks of committing suicide. The more intelligent you are, the more the idea will be coming again and again: Why go on living? for what? for this same rut? — going to the office every day, doing the same files every day, coming back every day, talking about the same things, reading the same newspaper, listening to the same stupid radio station… going to sleep, just to get up early in the morning and catch the train to the office….

And so on and so forth, every day, year in and year out. Only a very very mediocre person can go on living. Otherwise, one day or other, the idea arises: “What am I doing here? If this is the way life goes, I have lived for forty years repeating the same thing, I may live forty years more, repeating the same things again — then what? Then why not stop this game? Why not return the ticket to God and say, “I am finished. Enough is enough!” The idea of suicide comes to everybody. That’s why it is only man who thinks of suicide — no other animal. It is only man who ponders over the idea of suicide, and sometimes commits suicide. It simply shows intelligence and nothing else.

And particularly in the modern society, man thinks more of suicide — because modern society has become more mature, more intelligent, more educated, more sophisticated. In the old days, people were not thinking of suicide so much, for many reasons. In the old days, people were not individuals. They belonged to groups, castes, religions, countries. They had no individual existence as such — and only individuals can commit suicide, remember. When you have the idea that you are an individual, then the possibility opens up: you can destroy yourself. In the past, man has lived as part of a collective mind. And a collective mind is not a very intelligent mind. The collective mind lives according to the lowest denominator — it cannot reach to the highest peaks of understanding, of vision, of seeing. The collective mind lives in a meaningless rut, thinking that this is meaningful — because everybody else is doing the same, so it must be meaningful…

Secondly, in the modern world, everybody has to choose his own identity. That is a great effort. And when you choose your own identity it is always with a suspicion — it may be right, it may not be right. In the old days, when a man was born to a brahmin family he knew that he was a brahmin. There was no need to think about it, it was predetermined. All was given to him as a blueprint — he had just to live it. The whole script was supplied by the society, he was just an actor in a drama. Now the problem is more complicated. You have to write the drama, you have to create the stage, you have to find the actors. You are the director and the actor and the story-writer and the song-writer. You are the stage — and not only that, you are the audience too. How can you be absolutely certain who you are? Modern man is living continuously in what psychoanalysts call “the identity crisis”. In the old days, the authority was there to tell you what was right and what was wrong. You were not left on your own to decide. Things were clear-cut: “This is right and that is wrong.” People followed the authorities. Now authorities have disappeared, the world is living in a kind of freedom. The more a society is free, the more people will think of suicide. The more a society is free, the more people will COMMIT suicide.

In the East, particularly in India, the so-called religious saints feel very very enhanced by the idea that the suicide rate in India is very low compared to America. And they think America is committing suicide because it is materialist. They are utter fools — America is committing suicide more because America has more freedom. America is more tense, in anxiety, because America is creating individuality. India is not yet that free; India still lives in the past. America is trying to live in the present AND in the future — hence the problem: anguish. America is paralyzed. Because when you have to decide on your own what is right and what is wrong, and there are no more absolute criterions left — no Vedas, no Manu, no Moses, no Mahavir, nobody saying to you “This is right” — you have to decide on your own. Hesitation arises, confusion arises. Freedom is always confusing. A slave lives in a relaxed way; he need not worry — whatsoever the master says, he follows. He has no anxiety. If it is wrong, the master is responsible. If it is right, the master knows. He is just to follow. His is not to ask why — he has to do and die. He is a mechanical robot…

Intelligence thinks about whether life is worth living; intelligence never takes anything for granted. So the first thing I would like to tell you… you ask: WHY DO I CONTINUOUSLY THINK OF COMMITTING SUICIDE?… is that you are an intelligent person. Don’t feel guilty, every intelligent person thinks that way. This is the beginning of intelligence, although not the end. And by committing suicide, nothing is changed. You will be born again, and the whole nonsense will start, from ABC. That is pointless. When you are thinking of suicide, that simply says you are thinking that this life that you have lived up to now is not worth living. But there are possibilities in it which you have not tried yet. I say to you: This life can become a great joy. It became a great joy to Krishna, it became a great ecstasy to Christ, it became a jubilation to Buddha, it is a benediction to me — why can it not be so to you?

And all these people had been thinking of suicide, remember. To think of suicide is to grope for Sannyas. To think of suicide simply means THIS life is finished — but there are other alternative lives possible. One need not destroy this beautiful gift of God. The life that you have lived is not the only alternative. It can be lived in a thousand and one ways — there are other ways to live it. You may have lived a life without love. Why not try love? You may have lived a life obsessed with money. Why not live a life unobsessed with money? You may have lived a life which hankers to possess. Now live a life which is not worried about possessing anything. You may have lived a life of respectability — you may have always been considering what people think about you, what their opinion is. There is a life to live without bothering what others are thinking about you; there is a life to live individually and rebelliously. There is a life to live which is of adventure and not of social conformity. There is a life of meditation, of God, of search, of going within. You may have lived an outside life, chasing this and chasing that. I make available to you another life of not chasing anything, but sitting silently, disappearing within your being. A life of interiority. And you will be surprised — the whole idea of suicide will disappear like dewdrops in the morning sun, and you will stumble upon a life which is eternal.

Albert Camus has said:

“What counts is not the best living, but the MOST living. To two men living the same number of years, the world always provides the same sum of experiences. It is up to us to be conscious of them. Being aware of one’s life, one’s revolt, one’s freedom, and to the maximum, is living, and to the maximum.

Become free of your so-called life that you have lived up to now. Don’t commit suicide! Let your past commit suicide. Start living afresh, moment to moment. Don’t live in desires, but live in a kind of desirelessness. You have lived a life of strain, effort, struggle. Now start living a life of relaxation, calm and quiet. And you will be surprised — you have been missing life, not because life is worthless. You have been missing life because you have been taught to live a worthless kind of life.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: Take It Easy, Vol 2 Chapter #9

Question 2

Chapter title: Simply Stoned on Freedom

7 May 1978 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘suicide, depression, anger, ego, misery, suffrering’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The New Alchemy: To Turn You On
  2. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
  3. Beyond Enlightenment
  4. From Bondage to Freedom
  5. The Osho Upanishad
  6. The Sword and the Lotus
  7. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3
  8. The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2
  9. The Transmission of the Lamp
  10. The New Dawn
  11. Philosophia Perennis, Vol 1

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