Osho on Catharsis
ONCE YOU TOLD ME THAT THE SPRING HAD COME, BUT MY ANXIETY IS THAT I HAVE LOST EVERYTHING, THAT THE GARBAGE HAS TAKEN OVER COMPLETELY, AND THAT I CANNOT KEEP MYSELF OPEN TO YOU AS A DISCIPLE UNLESS I AM CONTINUALLY IN YOUR PRESENCE. CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE SEED OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH WHICH YOU PLANT IN US AND WHETHER IT CAN DIE?
Pankaja, the seed is immortal, it cannot die. But it can remain dormant; it can remain dormant for lives. If the right soil is not provided, if the right water is not provided, if the right exposure to the sunlight is not provided, it will remain dormant, a potentiality, a waiting — but it cannot die. You may die many times, but the seed, once planted in you, will go on following your consciousness wherever you are. Unless you give it your attention, nourishment, your care, your love, it cannot become a living sprout. Small, fresh green leaves cannot come out of it.
Only your love and your consciousness can create the miracle…
and the day will not be far away when there will be flowers.
There are people here who have been carrying seeds from other masters. I do not need to sow new seeds in them; all that I need is to help their dormant seeds to open up. You are not here for the first time. You have been here always — perhaps with Zarathustra, perhaps with Pythagoras, perhaps with Heraclitus, perhaps with Gautam Buddha. It is very rare that a person comes to me who needs a new seed — because you are all ancient people. It is almost impossible not to have come in contact with one of the magicians of the soul; those people are magnets. So in some life, somewhere, you may have met al-Hillaj Mansoor, Jalaluddin Rumi, Kabir or Nanak.
Very rarely do I find a person who is not already pregnant — but the seed has remained the seed, you have not been a gardener to it. Somebody, with great compassion, must have sown the seed, but you have not been kind enough to yourself. The seed never dies. And Pankaja, you understand perfectly well that your mind is full of garbage. This very understanding is enough to get rid of it.
But it seems the problem is that this garbage is paying you; it is in some way fulfilling your ego.
Pankaja is a novelist, is well known as a novelist. I have worked with many kinds of celebrities; they are the most third-rate people to work with for the simple that their celebrity has become part of their ego. They cannot drop the ego, because if they drop the ego the celebrity disappears. And the celebrity, the famousness, their name, has become so important to them… it has become their identity in the world. Where millions of people are without any identity, they have an identity. For them, to drop the ego is very difficult — and understandably; it is arduous.
A person who is not a celebrity has a small ego. In fact, to have it or not to have it does not make much difference; he is already nobody. He can drop it, and by dropping it he can gain the whole beautiful existence and all its benediction. By becoming nobody, he can open the doors to the universe and its blessings. But all the celebrities that have come to me from different fields, have all proved to be failures. They take the most time, but they have a problem because their ego is involved with their name and fame. Even if they understand that it is garbage, the garbage is paying them so much that they want to cling to it a little more — perhaps tomorrow or the day after tomorrow they will drop it. They have understood the point, but just to drop it right now seems too much.
I am reminded of a very great thinker, Voltaire. He was famous in his country, and it was a convention in the country that if you could get a small piece of cloth from a famous man like Voltaire, you could make a beautiful locket out of it. It was a great security, safety against dangers, disease, sickness, death. When Voltaire used to go out of his house, he would come home almost naked, because crowds would follow him, tearing his clothes — and not only his clothes, he would get scratched on the body. He had to ask for police protection if he wanted to go to the railway station or to go to some other place. Without police protection it was impossible, because to reach the railway station naked, scratched all over, blood all over, would not look right… although he deeply enjoyed it, because he was the only man in the whole country who was so much respected. This was a respect given by people.
But in the world, everything goes on changing. The name and the fame is just a soap bubble. It may become very big — the bigger it becomes, the more dangerous, because it is going to burst soon. And the day came when Voltaire was forgotten; somebody else had become the celebrity. Now there was no need for police protection. People even forgot that he was alive. In his notebooks he has written, “I enjoyed those days. But at that time I used to think that it would be better not to be known at all, just to be a nobody, to live silently, because life had become a nightmare. But when I became nobody, then I started feeling great despair that I had lost my respect, my name, my fame.” And he does not say in his notes that this was what he wanted, to be nobody. He had become nobody now, but it was not a joy, it was a defeat.
He wrote, “I’m dying a defeated man.” And the day he died, only four persons carried his body to the graveyard. Of the four persons, one was his dog and three were his neighbors — and those three had to carry the body because otherwise it would start rotting and the neighborhood would become a hell to live in. Somehow he had to be thrown into a grave. So in fact the only person who lovingly followed was the dog. And this was the man who was followed by thousands of people wherever he went.
Pankaja, your garbage is paying you. You can choose it, there is no problem. But choose consciously, that you choose garbage because it is paying you. Consciously chosen, it won’t last long. Don’t fight with it; fighting will not help. Or if you are courageous enough, see a simple point: even if you write hundreds of novels and inside you remain just a wound which is hurting twenty-four hours a day, your whole life is wasted in misery just to fulfill a non-existential ego. Tomorrow you will die, and the day after tomorrow nobody will remember you. How many novelists have been in this world? And who cares about them today? And they all must have suffered in the same way, because what they were doing was garbage.
You may be a big garbage truck. It does not matter — big or small — if you can have a little courage and throw away all this garbage and clean yourself, perhaps something beautiful may come out of you which may be helpful to humanity, which may be remembered for centuries; not only remembered, but may have a certain transforming effect on people.
But the garbage that you are writing is just journalistic. Nobody bothers tomorrow about today’s newspaper…
Pankaja, I would like you first to be clean, innocent, silent. And then if out of that silence something is born, that will be a contribution to the universe.
Otherwise, out of the garbage you can go on writing novels, and they will sell, because people need something to read and throw away. But they don’t know that somebody has put his life, wasted his life in writing these novels. Somebody has missed his buddhahood.
It is up to you to choose. It cannot be forced upon anybody. I can just give you a hint — that it is time.
And you are mature enough: you have written your novels, and you know all that is garbage. It shows, because people love to read anything. Railway bookstalls need garbage, airport bookstalls need garbage; everywhere garbage is also needed because people need garbage. But why should you waste your life?
And you have the possibility to give birth to something really significant — but a breakthrough is needed. You need a discontinuity. You forget what you have been doing, forget the name and the fame and anything that it brings to you.
Just be a nobody, enjoy being nobody. And I tell you that in being nobody there is a freedom. And then one day you will find that the seed that is within you has started growing.
And then if something out of your own experience comes to be written by you, it will be significant for you, it will be significant for others. Anything that can really make life a little more beautiful, a little more musical, a little more poetic, is going to help you too. It is possible only because of your growth. You can collect all kinds of information — read ten novels, and the eleventh is born — that is one way that is being followed by all writers, poets, painters. But they are third-rate, and they will be forgotten.
Something meaningful only comes from your very innermost being. But before that, you have to throw all the rubbish off; otherwise, the rubbish is so much and the seed is so small, it is lost in the rubbish. I hope that you will be able to do what I am saying; otherwise, I would not have said it.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: Beyond Enlightenment
Chapter title: Innocence is a light unto itself
4 October 1986 pm in
Osho has spoken on ‘catharsis, silence, innocence, meditation’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- A Bird on the Wing
- I Say Unto You, Vol 2
- The New Alchemy: To Turn You On
- Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 5, 8
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 12
- From Bondage to Freedom
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
- The Path of the Mystic