WHEN I SIT IN DISCOURSE, AND YOUR EYES ARE DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM MINE, AFTER A SHORT WHILE THE FEELING OF CRYING AND LAUGHING, OF SADNESS AND GREAT JOY ARISE IN UNISON WITHIN ME. CAN YOU SPEAK ON THIS MIXTURE OF FEELINGS, MY BELOVED MASTER, AND CLEAR THIS MIRRORING IN MY DEEPEST CONSCIOUSNESS?
Thanasis, what you have been feeling is not a mixture of feelings, it is the whole range of the rainbow. The rainbow is not just a mixture of all the colors, it is a beautiful arrangement, harmonious, in deep accord. You say, “When I sit in discourse, and your eyes are directly across from mine, after a short while the feeling of crying and laughing, of sadness and great joy arise in unison within me. Can you speak on this mixture of feelings…?”
The first thing: it is not a mixture of feelings. For example, the feelings of crying and laughing are not contradictory. You can cry out of joy, not only out of misery; you can cry out of great blissfulness.
Tears are nothing but an overflow; they can be an overflow of sadness, they can be an overflow of joy, they can be an overflow of love.
And because your crying and laughter are together, it is absolutely certain that your crying and your laughter are not contradictory. Your laughter is so overwhelming that tears come to your eyes; you cannot contain it, it is not finished and exhausted in laughter itself. The joy is so much that it needs your laughter and your tears both to express itself. So I will not call it a mixture of feelings, but simply a two-dimensional expression of a single feeling.
You say, “Sadness and great joy arise in unison within me.” Again, the same thing is the case. Sadness is not necessarily misery, suffering, pain; it is associated with those things because we live in misery, in suffering, in pain. That’s why we don’t know other nuances of sadness. A silent man also feels deep sadness, but it is not out of suffering, it is just an expression of silence.
And you are feeling great joy at the same time. The joy can be so great that it becomes inexpressible. Expression has limitations — how to express joy? You can dance, you can sing. But here, sitting in the discourse, those dimensions are closed — you cannot sing, you cannot dance. Your wife is present here. Your own intelligence will say, “What are you doing? Have you gone mad?” And your wife, Amrito, is going to Greece. She will spread the message there that Thanasis is dancing and singing in discourse; he has gone out of his mind.
Because you cannot express your joy, that unexpressed joy comes out as something closer to sadness. But it is not the sadness that people know ordinarily, it is just that joy unexpressed turns into silence and sadness. There is no contradiction, you need not be worried about it. In fact, after the discourse you should try singing and dancing, and see how sadness immediately disappears because joy has found its ways of expression. And don’t stop your tears, don’t be shy about crying; it is one of the most beautiful experiences. But it has been condemned for centuries by the old humanity. People have been told that it is not manly to cry and weep.
Now, psychological researchers say something totally different. They say women have never been conditioned against crying and weeping for the simple reason that man wanted them to look weak, not to look strong. He himself wanted to look strong, made of steel. Crying and weeping is for the weak, feminine mind. So he has never stopped them. But the ultimate result is that women live five years longer than men. One hundred and fifteen boys are born for every one hundred girls, but by the time they get married, fifteen boys have died off while a hundred girls are still alive; they are stronger, they have more resistance. Women talk about suicide more than men — almost every day, over any small thing — but they never commit it. Even if sometimes they commit suicide they commit it with sleeping pills, just so the husband has to call the doctor and becomes ashamed. And the neighborhood gathers, and humiliates him: “You should not behave so… you are a barbarian!” And the woman does not die.
The number of suicides of men is double that of women; the number of murders is twenty times more than those of women. The amount of madness is four times more than women’s. It is very strange, because the women look more crazy — they go crazy about small things. They start throwing cups and saucers… but they always throw cheap things. I have been watching, because this is strange: they never throw costly things. They throw pillows, they don’t really want to hurt — they throw in such a way that it does not hurt the husband. But they create a tantrum, and the whole neighborhood knows. And that’s what the husband is afraid of! So they make a fool of him, and he’s ready to accept whatever they want. Whichever movie they want to go to, whichever car they want to purchase, the husband will purchase it even if he has to sell himself. “Nothing to worry… but don’t make a drama!”
But strangely enough, women don’t go mad as much as men, and the psychological insight is that it is because they are free to cry and to weep. They are free to throw tantrums, break old, rotten pottery, cups and saucers which anyway had to be thrown. But in this way, they release their madness in installments — the American way! Man goes on accumulating, and there comes a point that it becomes too much and he has to do something: kill himself, or kill somebody else…
Thanasis, enjoy crying and laughing together; that is what is expected of every madman. Only madmen laugh and cry together, sane people do only one thing at a time. They always remain rational. They think crying and laughing are contradictory, so if they want to cry and laugh, they separate them: sometimes they can cry, sometimes they can laugh, but they miss the joy of the harmony of both. Neither is laughter by itself so juicy as it is with crying and tears, nor are tears so dancing as they are with laughter. Each misses something. Always remember that you have the full orchestra within you.
The new man I am continuously interested in will express himself just like a rainbow — all the colors — without any fear. Let the world think you are mad. If you are enjoying it, it is right! If you can dance and sing and cry altogether, simultaneously playing on your guitar, you will become aware for the first time of a tremendous harmony in all these different dimensions which you have never thought can be together. They are together. In the deepest silences of your heart, they are together.
Express them as they come naturally, and don’t be ashamed of anything.
Never be ashamed of your nature; be respectful of your nature. Never have any condemnatory tone. That’s what all the traditions have given to you as a heritage: condemnation of yourself. And in this tricky manner they have taken away your dignity, your self-respect. I want to give you back your self-respect, your dignity, your dance, your crying, your love, your joy, your sadness, your silences. I want you to be as rich as possible — all these feelings and emotions and moods are your treasures. Nothing has to be denied, everything has to be absorbed; nothing has to be thrown away, everything has to be made part of an orchestra.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Chapter title: The rebel: the very essence of religion
1 June 1987 am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken on ‘crying, sadness, laughter, joy, silence’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1
- YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 5
- The Divine Melody
- Beyond Enlightenment
- From Death to Deathlessness
- Om Mani Padme Hum
- The Razor’s Edge
- Hari Om Tat Sat
- The Path of the Mystic
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder