Commitment: Spontaneity becoming Mature

Osho on Spontaneity and Commitment



Prem Nirmala,

commitment and spontaneity are certainly opposite poles, and of the same energy. Commitment is something like death; spontaneity is something like life. Commitment is something like darkness, and spontaneity is something like light. Although they belong to the same energy as opposite poles, you have to start from being spontaneous.

All the religions of the world want you to start from commitment, all political parties want you to start from commitment. Commitment, if you start with it, is very dangerous. It is another name of slavery. It means you are saying and promising something which is not within your capacity. You are saying that “Tomorrow also, I will be the same.” But who can say what tomorrow is going to bring?

Commitment means, “I will remain blind to anything else that can change my commitment.” That’s why every belief makes people blind. They have to keep their eyes closed, out of fear — they may see something which goes against their belief, their commitment. Every year, the Catholic pope declares a black list of books that Catholics are not supposed to read. Reading them means a certainty of your going to hell. I was talking to a bishop in Nagpur, because a few of my books had been listed by the Catholic pope as not to be read by any Catholics; whoever reads them is paving his path towards hell. And this is not new, this is an almost eighteen-hundred-year-old tradition in the Catholic Church. Before this century, they used to burn and destroy any book they decided was dangerous for Catholics. Now they cannot do that, but at least they can prevent the Catholics — who are a great majority in the world, seven hundred million people.

I simply said to the bishop of Nagpur, “At least somebody must have been reading my books; otherwise how do they decide? Either the pope himself must be reading, or some associate cardinals in the Vatican must be reading — without reading, you cannot decide that a book is dangerous to the Catholic belief.” He was in a dilemma: he could not say yes, he could not say no. Because if he says “Yes, somebody reads it,” that means that person is bound to fall into hell. And if that person is not going to fall into hell, then the whole idea is ridiculous; then nobody is going to fall into hell. It is just to keep people’s eyes closed: no facts should be allowed to be known to them that go against their belief.

Commitment demands that you lose your eyes, lose your mind, lose your reason, your logic, your intelligence, your consciousness. It is almost a living death. Never begin anything with commitment. But such is the mystery of life…. Begin everything with spontaneity, with natural awareness, with no commitment for anything, but always ready and open and available to anything new that you come across on the path. Only a spontaneous lifestyle can lead you to your authentic being. And this is the miracle: that once spontaneous living has led you to clarity of vision, to purity of intelligence — has destroyed all the darkness of your soul and has made everything light within you — then spontaneousness itself becomes commitment. But it is not being imposed from outside, it is a growth within yourself. It is your experience to which you are committed; it is your understanding to which you are committed. You are committed to your own eyes, to your own consciousness, to your own intelligence, to your own experience. This commitment has a beauty and an aliveness. It is spontaneity becoming mature. Spontaneity was like a child; commitment is maturity, crystallization.

Just as nobody can start from the middle of life, or from the end of life — everybody has to start from the childhood. Although every childhood will reach old age, and every birth will reach death… but nobody can begin with death. And a life that has been lived with joy and dance and love — its crescendo, the death, will not be dark. It will not be an end of something but a new beginning, a new beginning of a higher spontaneity on another plane.  But religions have deceived humanity in such cunning ways. And unless you are very alert, it is difficult to understand in what ways they have deceived you.

Spontaneity and commitment are two poles of the same energy, but there is one commitment — which is imposed from outside, which has not come as a flowering of your own spontaneity — that is a false commitment: your being a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Jew is a false commitment. It has not grown within you, you have not lived up to it. It is not a maturity of your own consciousness, not a crystallization of your being, but something imposed from above by others. It has no roots within you. That’s why the whole world is full of religious people but there seems to be no religiousness anywhere. No religious values blossom, but just the opposite — humanity lives on an almost subhuman level.

Prem Nirmala, start from spontaneity. But no tradition, no culture, no civilization, will allow it, because they can control only dead people. And they can control through commitment.

The spontaneous person is beyond anybody’s enslavement. And if the spontaneous person grows, he will come to a commitment — but that will be his own commitment to existence, between himself and existence. No other mediator, no priest, no pope, no imam, no shankaracharya is going to stand between him and this immensely beautiful existence, this great life, this divineness that is spread all over the world. His spontaneity will bring him to a commitment, but that commitment will be out of his own freedom. It will have roots deep in his own being.

He will not be a Christian — he can be a Jesus Christ. He will not be a Buddhist — he can be a Gautam Buddha. He will not be a Hindu, but he can be a Krishna; he will not be a Jaina, but he can be a Mahavira.

It is because of this that I emphasize that religion is a private, personal and individual affair. It cannot be organized. The moment you organize it, you destroy it. And if we want humanity to be religious, then all the religions have to disappear. They are the barriers. There are three hundred religions on the earth. They are dividing human beings, giving them different commitments, and those commitments have nothing to do with the time, with the space in which we find ourselves. When a commitment comes out of spontaneity, it is always timely, it is never dead — it is always growing with the changes that are happening every moment. It is just a river like flow, it is not frozen ice.

But it is very easy to deceive people because both the phenomena are so deeply interrelated. And people are living in such a deep sleep — without any alertness at all, that they cannot make the discrimination between such closely connected experiences. But just a little turn makes all the difference. If

you start from commitment, then you will never reach to spontaneity; you have started from death. But if you start from spontaneity, you will reach to commitment — and that commitment will not be death. Out of spontaneity, death cannot grow — only more life and more life and infinite life. But you have to be alert, just a little conscious….

Two criminals were caught and went to jail. They became friends, and most of the day they were talking about how to escape. One morning, George looked so blissful that his friend Arthur asked, “Hey, what happened to you last night?”

“Well,” said George, “first tell me how you spent the night.”

“Okay,” replied Arthur. “I had a beautiful dream: The gate opened by itself and I walked out. In the street, there was a racing bike with ten gears and I jumped on it and rode away. Great, was it not? But now, tell me about you?”

George answered, “In my dream, the door also opened and two very beautiful young girls came in, stripped, belly dancing.

“At this point, Arthur could not hold back and said, “George, but why didn’t you wake me up?”

“Impossible,” replied George. “Don’t you remember? You were gone on the bike!”

Our lives are not different from our dreams. Have you ever observed that even in your dreams, the dream also looks real? as real as the life when you are awake — perhaps more real because when you are awake, you can doubt. You can doubt — right now you can doubt; perhaps this is real or perhaps it is just a dream. There have been great philosophers in the world, like Shankara in the East, and Bradley in the West, whose whole philosophy consists of a single, significant statement: that the world is illusory. There is no way to prove that it is real. One thing is certain, that you can doubt it. But in the dream, you cannot even doubt. The reality of the dream is so tremendous that you cannot dream and wonder if perhaps it is a dream. No, the dream overwhelms you completely.

We are living, although with open eyes, in different dreams. And those dreams don’t allow us the alertness to see simple things: how we are being exploited, how our dignity as human beings is destroyed, what very stupid and idiotic people become our religious saints — those who have no sharpness of intelligence.


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

Discourse Series: The Hidden Splendor

Chapter #13

Chapter title: Truth is not divisible

18 March 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken on Spontaneity, authentic, maturity, aliveness, consciousness, intelligencein many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Psychology
  2. From Bondage to Freedom
  3. The Great Zen Master Ta Hui
  4. The New Dawn
  5. The Osho Upanishad
  6. Sat Chit Anand
  7. The Rebel
  8. Satyam Shivam Sundram
  9. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1
  10. Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt
  11. Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 4
  12. The First Principle
  13. My Way: The Way of the White Clouds
  14. The Tantra Vision, Vol 1, 2
  15. The Secret
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1 Comment

  • Someshwar
    Posted April 17, 2022 5:17 pm 0Likes

    Yes Master!

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