Existence is a Celebration
Osho on Work and Celebration
This whole universe is a temple, and the whole existence is trying to reach you in so many ways — through the sun rays, through the trees, through the birds — these are all messengers…When in the early morning, the birds start their song and the flowers open their petals and the dewdrop shines like any great pearl on the lotus leaf; when so many colors are spread all over the horizon in welcoming the new day — these are all messengers of existence. If you can be sensitive to these you will not feel sad, you will feel immensely grateful, understanding, fulfilled. You will feel at home, you will feel at peace.
I have not gone to the sun and I don’t know what it means not to be in peace. Peace is not something that has to be achieved, it is something that you are carrying always but never giving it an opportunity to blossom. It is a rose within your heart. It is a fragrance of your being. It is a sense of immense freedom and joy and celebration.
Peace is not a very good word because it is associated with war, and peace seems to be a little sick, weak. No, I will not agree for peace. Unless your inner being has a tremendous dance of joy, which has nothing to do with war or peace… then you will be able to understand the difference between the words, between peace and silence. Peace is something dead. Silence is throbbing with a heartbeat in harmony with existence…
And then you say, “It feels as if the sun is my home.” You will be simply burned there! It will be your grave, it cannot be your home. The sun is our life source, but we have to be at a certain distance. The sun rays reach us in eight minutes’ time, with the speed of light — it is a vast distance. One hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second the light travels, multiplied times sixty — that means one minute — and then multiplied by eight. That will be the distance the sunrays travel to reach us. This much distance is absolutely necessary, neither less nor more. If the sun comes closer we will be burned, and if the sun goes farther away, again we will be dead because it will be too cold — unbearable. It is a strange coincidence, why only on the earth life exists: because it is at the right distance from the sun. On no other planet does life exist. Some are closer, some are farther away. This beautiful earth is immensely fortunate to be at exactly the right distance. The sun is not your home.
Your home is within you. And you are not to search for it anywhere. You are your home.
Your question goes on, “It feels as if the sun is my home, the place I will return to when the work is done.” What kind of work? You are having crazy ideas…And the idea of “the work” has been imposed on you for centuries, that you are here for a certain “work” to do. Naturally, people wanted you not to be just lazy and enjoy. They wanted “work” because your work is going to create wealth, your work is going to create Alexanders, your work is going to create wars. Everything depends on you. So every culture, without exception, has been from the very beginning imposing the idea on the child that “you have a certain work, a certain purpose to fulfill in this life.” It appealed to people, although it was absolutely absurd. What work are trees doing, and what work are birds doing? And what work are the sun and the moon and the stars doing? Except man, nobody is so insane to think that you have a certain great work to complete. This is how they have created the achieving mind.
And for thousands of years you agreed with the idea because it was very ego-fulfilling. If you are not here to do any special work, then you are accidental. You may be here, you may not be here, it doesn’t matter. That hurts the ego. The ego wants you to be indispensable to existence, that without your work, existence will not be complete. The same teaching was given to me by my parents, by my teachers, that “you have to do some work in your life; otherwise your life is just the life of a vagabond, a bum.” I said, “Perhaps that is the work I am here for, to be a vagabond! Anyway, a few people are needed to be vagabonds…”
The teacher who was telling me about the work said, “It is very difficult to discuss with you.” And I said to him, “This is a very psychological trap to enslave people into some work by giving nourishment to their ego, to say that by fulfilling this work you will have fulfilled your destiny.”
I said to the teacher, “I don’t have any destiny, because I cannot conceive that existence has any destiny. What destiny could existence have? When the work of existence is complete, that will mean an absolute death, because nothing more is there to be done. Everything has been done, so drop the curtain.” I said, “I cannot see any purpose in the flowers, any purpose in the trees, any purpose in the oceans, any purpose in the stars…”
Existence is not a work, it is a celebration — a sheer dance of energy which will go on and on forever in different forms, but cannot disappear. The energy is eternal.
And I said to the teacher, “Never again mention work to me. Celebration is okay, but work? It is destroying the whole beauty of life. And I am in tune with existence, not in tune with you. You can go on doing your work. What work are you doing? Just being a geography teacher. I cannot conceive why existence needs a geography teacher. The whole geography is of the existence; what is the need of a teacher?” It is a very wrong conditioning that has created a workaholic society, which condemns people who are not participating. Yes, there are needs: you need food, you need clothes, you need some shelter. Naturally, you will have to do something to create these small things. But this is not the destiny of existence that you created a house, that you produced a few children, that you are fighting with your wife. I cannot see that against the vast panorama of existence, your small stupidities are fulfilling any destiny.
I want it to be emphatically understood by my people: we don’t have any work here. We have to join in the celebration of existence. Those small needs are only survival measures. Don’t brag about how big a bank balance you have; existence has no need of it. Don’t brag about how great a politician you are, a prime minister or a president; existence simply knows nothing about you. Existence is more in tune with these small birds who for no reason start singing, out of sheer energy. I want to destroy the achieving mind. That is your disease. I want you to relax and enjoy.
Just do a few things which are needful, or manage somebody else to do them for you. It all depends on your intelligence.
I have never done anything, but I have a strange insight into people who will do things for me. And they do! And my needs are fulfilled and their doing gives them immense joy. It is not easy to be chosen by me, I am a very fussy person. I simply make you happy by your doing something for me. And I don’t think… If I could manage it for more than half a century, a few years more I will manage. In fact, I don’t do anything as far as management is concerned; that too is done by others. I am simply enjoying. I am not a messenger to tell you that you have to do this and you have to do that. I don’t have any discipline for you except freedom. I don’t have any commandments; they have all destroyed the dignity of man. I want to give you the dignity of the trees and the dignity of the birds and the dignity of the oceans and the dignity of the Himalayan peaks; the dignity of the stars. But they are all in celebration — dancing, rejoicing, overflowing with energy. Nobody is working except human beings.
I want to transform even your small work that you do. Make it more aesthetic, make it more creative. Make it a great joy, because it is your life. It is going to give you food, it is going to give you clothes; so whatever you do, it is not work, it is simply to remain as long as possible in this body and celebrate existence.
I have loved only one American in my life, and that man is Walt Whitman. And the reason I loved him is one of his small poems. The title of the poem explains everything. The title of the poem is “I Celebrate Myself”. Only when you can say, “I celebrate myself” — then your work is transformed into celebration and your life becomes a non-achieving, non-ambitious journey of beauty.
And Ravindra, you say, “But now I have fallen in love with the work.” That is the only good thing that has happened to you. The moment you love the work, it becomes creative. It takes on a totally different color, different beauty. You say, “… this earth, this existence, these people. I do feel a deep longing to be free, but I would not want to go home alone.” The one good thing you have is that you have fallen in love — now spread your love. These people, these trees, these birds should also become part of the space that you call love. And then you will not ask, “I want to be free.” You are free.
Love is the only alchemy that brings freedom. It is hate, it is anger, it is jealousy that keeps you in bondage. Just a pure love — unconditional, because what condition can you put on the birds? What condition can you put on the trees? Unconditional love, and you are free. Free from all jealousy, free from all anger, because there is no enemy here. All are friends and all are lovers and all are part of one cosmic whole.
But this kind of confusion happens in the mind, because mind is carrying very contradictory, inconsistent, irrelevant information. Your mind has been completely destroyed, because the society does not need you to have a mind. The society needs you to be a worker, a slave, and a slave is not supposed to have a mind of his own. They have used a very cunning way to destroy your mind, so that you can remain satisfied that you have your mind and in fact, you don’t have it. They have put all kinds of contradictory things in it.
One has to attain to freedom, and nobody has told you that love is freedom. Nobody has told you that celebration is freedom. Nobody has told you that to be alone and contented, so utterly satisfied that you can say “I celebrate myself,” is freedom…
You don’t understand that the path that brings you to yourself… from where you have never gone away, just your mind has been projecting faraway goals. But you have remained in your home. The only thing that can bring you back, can withdraw your projections, is the joy of being alone. You don’t know the purity of aloneness. You must be living in a great mess, Ravindra, because aloneness is your home. And aloneness is your freedom — freedom from the other, freedom from the need of the other, freedom from the dependence on others.
Aloneness is your freedom and aloneness is your home.
But your mess is really deep. You ask, “Will the work ever be done? Will I ever be able to go home in peace?” Linguistically, your sentences seem to make sense. But existentially they don’t make any sense at all. First, there is no work; hence the question of when the work will be done does not arise. Otherwise, it would have been a very tedious, torturous world, because the world goes on and on — the work is never finished. Every spring flowers come; every fall trees drop their leaves; every morning the sun rises; every night the sky is full of stars. And it is not that it is happening only now, it has been happening for millions of years. In fact from eternity, because there is no possibility of a beginning. And it will continue till eternity again, because there is no end conceivable.
If you become too much attached to the work, you will be eternally in bondage. Enjoy the work, love the work, transform it and make it a part of your celebration. It is never going to end, so you need not be worried about when it is going to end. You will be gone; we all will be gone, and we will come back in another time, in another spring — rested, rejuvenated, fresh. Perhaps we will meet here again — in this impossible world, everything is possible. Perhaps we have met in this place before, too. The same players go on playing different games. But once you drop the idea of work, then a load, a burden disappears and you don’t have to go to any home. This celebrating existence, this celebrating consciousness is your home. It has always been your home…
Now, some really serious things….
A farmer munching on a cookie is watching a big rooster chasing a hen around the barn, and gaining on her at every lap.
The farmer throws a piece of cookie in front of the racing pair.
The rooster comes skidding to a stop and gobbles up the piece of cookie.
“My god,” says the farmer, “I hope I never get that hungry.”
The elections come and Ronald Reagan is out of a job. He is sitting with Nancy Reagan in the Oval Office for the last time, working out some economy measures for his retirement.
“You had better learn to cook, Nancy,” says Reagan, “so we can fire the cook.”
Nancy thinks it over for a few moments. “Okay,” she says, “but you had better learn to screw so we can fire the chauffeur.”
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Om Mani Padme Hum
Chapter title: Not a `work’ but a celebration
15 January 1988 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Osho has spoken on ‘Celebration, silence, joy, energy, dance, aloneness, love, freedom, transformation, aesthetic, existence, consciousness’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- From Death to Deathlessness
- From Bondage to Freedom
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- The Invitation
- The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
- The Path of the Mystic
- Sermons in Stones
- Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, 2
- The Tantra Vision, Vol 1, 2
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself