Acceptance is Transcendence

Osho on Depression


“If one begins to feel that life is a psychodrama, then one also feels detached and lonely….” Then feel it! Why create a problem?

If you feel detached and lonely, then feel it! But we go on creating problems. Whatsoever happens, we will create a problem out of it. Feel lonely and detached — And if you can be at ease with your loneliness, it will disappear. If you start doing something with it to transcend it, it will never disappear; it will remain there. Now a modern trend in psychology and psychoanalysis says that anything can disappear if you remain with it without creating any problems, and this has been one of the oldest teachings of tantra.

For the last ten or twelve years, in Japan, a small psychotherapeutic technique has been in use. Western psychoanalysts and psychiatrists have been studying it. It is a Zen therapy, and it is wonderful. If someone goes neurotic or psychotic, that man or woman is simply put into a lonely room and he or she is told, “Remain with yourself, whatsoever you are. Neurotic? Okay! Then be neurotic and live with it.” And the doctors do not interfere. Food is provided, needs will he fulfilled, attention will be given, but there is no interference. The patient has to live with himself, and within ten days he starts changing. Western psychoanalysis works for years, and basically nothing changes. What happens to this Zen patient? There is no interference from outside. There is just acceptance of the fact that “Okay, you are neurotic. Nothing can be done.” Zen says that one tree is small and another tree is very big, so okay: one is small, another is big, and nothing can be done. Once you accept a thing, you are already transcending it.

One of the most original psychiatrists of England, R. D. Laing, has now proposed that if we can leave a madman to himself, just paying loving attention to him, fulfilling his needs and not interfering with him, he will get over his madness within three or four weeks. His proposal is that no madness can last for more than ten days if it is not interfered with. If you interfere, then you prolong the process. What happens when you are not interfering in anything? You feel lonely, so feel lonely: it is how you are. But when you feel lonely you start doing something, and then you are divided. Then one part of you feels lonely and another part tries to change it. This is absurd. It is just pulling yourself up by your legs or the strings of your shoes — pulling yourself up to the sky. Absurd! You are lonely, so what can you do? There is no one else to do anything. You are alone, so be lonely. This is your fate; this is how you are. What will happen if you accept it? If you accept it, your fragmentariness will disappear, you will become one, you will be whole — not divided.

If you are depressed, so be depressed; don’t do anything. And what can you do? Whatsoever you do will be done out of depression, so it will create more confusion. You can pray to God, but you will pray so depressingly that you will even make God depressed through your prayers. Don’t do that violence. Your prayer is going to be a depressed prayer. You can meditate, but what will you do? The depression will be there. Because you are depressed, whatsoever you do the depression will follow. More confusion will be created, more frustration, because you cannot succeed. And when you cannot succeed you will feel more depressed, and this can go on ad infinitum. It is better to remain with the first depression than to create a second circle and then a third circle. Remain with the first; the original is beautiful. The second will be false, and the third will be a far-off echo. Don’t create these. The first is beautiful.

You are depressed, so this is how existence is happening to you at this moment.

You are depressed, so remain with it. Wait and watch. You cannot be depressed for long because in this world nothing is permanent. This world is a flux. This world cannot change its basic law for you so that you remain depressed forever. Nothing is here forever; everything is moving and changing. Existence is a river; it cannot stop for you, just for you, so that you remain depressed forever. It is moving, it has already moved. If you look at your depression, you will feel that even your depression is not the same the next moment; it is different, it is changing. Just watch, remain with it and don’t do anything. This is how transformation happens through non-doing. This is what is meant by “effortless effort.” Feel depression, taste it deeply, live it. It is your fate. Then suddenly you will feel it has disappeared because the man who can accept even depression cannot be depressed. A man, a mind, who can accept even depression cannot remain depressed! Depression needs a non-accepting mind.

“This is not good, that is not good; this should not be, that should not be; this must not be like this. “Everything is denied, rejected — not accepted. “No” is basic. Even happiness will be rejected by such a mind. Such a mind will find something to reject in happiness also.

One man came to me just the other day and he said, “Meditation is going deep and I am feeling very happy, but I am suspicious. This happiness must be illusory because I have never felt any happiness before. I must be in a delusion; so much doubt has come to me. Now, please clarify my doubt.” Even if happiness happens to a mind who has been always rejecting, he will feel a doubt about it. He will feel that something has gone wrong. He is happy, so he will feel something has gone wrong. Just by meditating for a few days this is not possible.

A non-accepting mind will “non-accept” anything, but if you can accept your loneliness, your depression, your sadness, you are transcending already. Acceptance is transcendence. You have taken the very ground away, and then the depression cannot stand there.

Try this: Whatsoever your state of mind, accept it and wait for when the state changes itself. You are not changing it; you can feel the beauty that comes when states change by themselves. You can know that it is just like the sun rising in the morning and then setting in the evening. Then again it will rise and again it will set, and it will go on. You need not do anything about it. If you can feel your states of mind changing by themselves, you can remain indifferent, you can remain away, miles away, as if the mind is going somewhere else. The sun is rising, setting; the depression is coming, the happiness is coming, going: but you are not in it. It goes and comes by itself; the states come and move.

“IF ONE BEGINS TO FEEL THAT LIFE IS A PSYCHODRAMA, THEN ONE ALSO FEELS DEPRESSED AND LONELY.” So feel it! “THUS, THE INTENSITY, SINCERITY AND DEPTH OF LIVING IS LOST.” Let it be lost, because the sincerity and depth that can be lost was not real. It was pseudo, false, and it is better that the false thing is lost. How can a real depth be lost? The very definition of a “real depth” is that it cannot be lost, no matter what you do. If you can disturb a Buddha, then he is not a Buddha. Whatsoever you do, he remains undisturbed. That unconditional undisturbance is the Buddha-nature. The real cannot be lost. The real is always unconditional. If I love you and I say, “Don’t be angry; otherwise my love will be lost,” then the sooner such a love is lost, the better. If the love is real, whatsoever you do makes no difference; the love will remain. And only then does it have any worth.

So if just by looking at the world as a psychodrama, as a drama, your intensity, your depth of living is lost, then it is not worth preserving. It was false. Why is it lost? Because it was really an act in a drama, and you were thinking that it was real so you felt it was deeper. Now you know it was just a drama. If it was just a drama and the sincerity is lost, the sincerity was false. You were thinking it was real, and it was not real. Just by looking at life as a drama, it disappeared.

It is just as if a rope was there lying in a dark room and you felt that it was a snake, but there was no snake. Now you come with a lamp, and with the lamp the snake is lost and only the rope remains. If with the lamp the snake is lost, then it was never there.

If you look at life as a drama, that which is false will be lost and that which is real will, for the first time, appear in you. Wait! Let the false be lost, and wait! There will be a gap, an interval, before the false disappears and the real comes. There will be a gap. When false shadows will have disappeared completely and your eyes will not be filled by them, and your eyes will have become detached from the false shadows, you will be able to look at the real that was always there. But one has to wait. “PLEASE SUGGEST WHAT TO DO IN THIS SITUATION.” Nothing! Please don’t do anything. You have created a mess because of too much of your doing. You are such a good doer, you have confused everything around you — not only for yourself, but for others also.

Be a non-doer; that will be compassion towards yourself. Be compassionate. Don’t do anything, because with a false mind, a confused mind, everything becomes more confused. With a confused mind, it is better to wait and not to do anything so that the confusion disappears. It will disappear; nothing is permanent in this world. You need only a deep patience. Don’t be in a hurry.

I will tell you one story. Buddha was traveling through a forest. The day was hot — it was just midday — he felt thirsty, so he said to his disciple Ananda, “Go back. We crossed a little stream. You go back and bring, fetch, some water for me.”

Ananda went back, but the stream was very small and some carts were passing through it. The water was disturbed and had become dirty. All the dirt that had settled in it had come up, and the water was not drinkable now. So Ananda thought, “I shall have to go back.” He came back and he said to Buddha, “That water has become absolutely dirty and it is not drinkable. Allow me to go ahead. I know there is a river just a few miles away from here. I will go and fetch water from there.”

Buddha said, “No! You go back to the same stream.” As Buddha had said this Ananda had to follow it, but he followed it with half a heart as he knew that the water would not be brought. And time was being unnecessarily wasted and he was feeling thirsty, but when Buddha said it he had to go.

Again he came back and he said, “Why did you insist? That water is not drinkable.”

Buddha said, “You go again.” And as Buddha said it, Ananda had to follow.

The third time he reached the stream, the water was as clear as it had ever been. The dust had flowed away, the dead leaves had gone, and the water was pure again. Then Ananda laughed. He brought the water and he came dancing. He fell at Buddha’s feet and he said, “Your ways of teaching are miraculous. You have taught me a great lesson — that just patience is needed and nothing is permanent.”

And this is Buddha’s basic teaching: nothing is permanent, everything is fleeting — so why be so worried? Go back to the same stream. By now everything should have changed. Nothing remains the same. Just be patient: go again and again and again. Just a few moments, and the leaves will have gone and the dirt will have settled again and the water will be pure again.

Ananda also asked Buddha, when he was going back for the second time, “You insist that I go, but can I do something to make that water pure?”

Buddha said, “Please don’t do anything; otherwise you will make it more impure. And don’t enter the stream. Just be outside, wait on the bank. Your entering the stream will create a mess. The stream flows by itself, so allow it to flow.”

Nothing is permanent; life is a flux. Heraclitus has said that you cannot step twice in the same river. It is impossible to step twice in the same river because the river has flowed on; everything has changed. And not only has the river flowed on, you have also flowed on. You are also different; you are also a river flowing.

See this impermanency of everything. Don’t be in a hurry; don’t try to do anything. Just wait! Wait in a total non-doing. And if you can wait, the transformation will be there. This very waiting is a transformation.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1

Chapter #38

Chapter title: Toward the authentic being

27 February 1973 pm in Woodlands, Bombay


Osho has spoken on ‘depression, sadness, loneliness, transcendence, acceptance, watchfulness, transformationin 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. And The Flowers Showered
  3. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
  4. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
  5. The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
  6. Beyond Enlightenment
  7. From Bondage to Freedom
  8. Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
  9. The Osho Upanishad
  10. The Sword and the Lotus
  11. Beyond Psychology
  12. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  13. The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
  14. The Transmission of the Lamp
  15. The Ultimate Alchemy
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1 Comment

  • Rebecca BUBE
    Rebecca BUBE
    Posted October 9, 2022 7:38 pm 0Likes

    👌 awesome

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