Birthday of Karl Jaspers
YOU ALWAYS SAID TO US THAT WE SHOULD REJOICE IN BEING ALIVE, BUT DEEP IN MYSELF I FOUND A VERY STRONG WILL TO DIE — NOT THAT I WANT TO COMMIT SUICIDE, BUT TO DIE NATURALLY.
SOMEHOW I KNOW THAT BY DYING I MIGHT FIND THAT WHICH I REALLY ENJOY, WHICH IS SILENCE. I CAN SAY THAT I AM UTTERLY BORED AND FED UP WITH THIS UGLY WORLD. THERE IS NOTHING THAT MAKES ME FEEL ATTRACTED TO DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN BEING WITH YOU.
BELOVED OSHO, WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?
Nothing is wrong with you. Everything is wrong with the world. It is only the retarded people who don’t feel bored. You are intelligent. You can see that there is nothing meaningful. Life is a drag, a repetition. There seems to be no adventure in it, no challenge; there seems to be no hope. Tomorrow will be again the same as yesterday. It is the prerogative only of human beings to get bored; no other animal gets bored in existence. Have you seen any animal in existence being bored?
Boredom is a high quality of intelligence. It means you are perceptive; you can see that there is nothing but — finally — death. Empty handed you have come, and one day empty handed you will leave, and all that happens in between birth and death is simply tedious.
So I cannot say there is anything wrong with you. Every intelligent person thinks that perhaps what is not available in life may be available in death. Psychologists have found that almost every intelligent person at least once in his life thinks of committing suicide — he may not commit it, but the idea comes.
Particularly in this century, the greatest philosophers — Jean-Paul Sartre, Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Soren Kierkegaard, Marcel…. Almost all the topmost thinkers of the contemporary world are agreed on one thing — they don’t agree on many things, but on one thing they are all in absolute agreement — that life is meaningless. And if this is so, then the question naturally arises, why go on living? If there is no meaning, no significance, then what is the need to be dragged from the cradle to the grave unnecessarily? This is the only contemporary philosophy: existentialism. There have been many philosophies born in different ages, but in this age there has been only one philosophy and that is existentialism. And its basic ground is so strange that one feels that all these people are mad. If they are not mad, then we are mad — there is no other alternative.
The whole philosophical movement called existentialism talks about life as meaningless, accidental, there is no purpose behind it; it is full of anxiety and anguish — which are incurable. It is a nightmare. This is such a contrast. Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu, Nagarjuna, Bodhidharma, they talk of blissfulness, of tremendous possibilities of ecstasy, of growing into new dimensions of being.
What has happened? Why this diametrical opposition?
And Jean-Paul Sartre or Jaspers or Martin Heidegger are not unintelligent people; they are as intelligent as any Gautam Buddha. One thing is missing: they have depended only on reason. They are very rational people, they have completely forgotten the heart. They live in the mind and mind is a desert. Nothing grows there — no flowers, not even an oasis.
The modern man slowly slowly has forgotten the language of the heart. The possibilities that open only through the heart are completely forgotten. Only one thing has remained, and that is your reason, your rationality.
And the trouble is, all that is beautiful belongs to the heart, all that is meaningful belongs to the heart, all that is significant is a fragrance of the heart. Reason is perfectly good as far as objects, dead objects are concerned; for scientific research it is the best instrument. For things, reason is the right method of discovery. But the moment the question arises about anything living, reason is impotent. And if you ask reason a question concerning life, love, peace, joy, blissfulness, it simply negates, as if these things don’t exist. It is almost like a blind man.
If you talk about light to the blind man, he is going to say that there is no light. Because to see light… your hands cannot do anything to see light, your ears cannot see it, you cannot taste it, you cannot smell it. All your senses are perfect, but only eyes have the capacity to see light and colors and rainbows.
Reason has a limitation. It is a perfect tool for dead things.
And this is one of the mistakes of this whole century: we have been asking blind people about light, or asking the deaf about music. Asking reason about love, meaning, significance, ecstasy is futile. Reason will simply say these things don’t exist — because reason has never come in contact with any of these things. Reason is not intentionally denying you anything, it is just not its capacity; you are stretching it beyond its capacity.
It is good that at least in your life one thing is still significant: your love for me. But you cannot give any reason for it. Or can you? Is it something rational? Is there some arithmetic behind it? — some scientific evaluation? Can your mind support it? It is not from the mind that you are related to me; it is that a part of your heart is still alive with me, is still dancing, is still singing.
And that is the great hope: your heart is not dead, you have not completely denied it. This small loophole is enough. If I can enter through it, I can bring the whole of paradise behind me — don’t be worried. And you are such a nice man that you are not thinking of committing suicide. So there is time, you are waiting for a natural death. Don’t be worried. Before natural death, I will give you the taste of natural life.
And once you are drunk with natural life, death disappears; you become part of an eternal flow of life which knows no end. Every moment is a new discovery, every moment a new peak. Every moment you think, what can be more than this? — yet the next moment something more becomes possible. This is an unending process. Just let me in. And the way to help me is to meditate.
Life is boring — so there is no harm in sitting with closed eyes, because there is nothing to see. Sit silently, peacefully. You have looked outside and you have found nothing but meaninglessness. Now give a chance to your inner world: look inwards. And I promise you that the same eyes which have not found anything outside will find inside everything, a constant hallelujah.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Chapter title: The forgotten language of the heart
24 October 1986 pm in
Osho has spoken on notable Psychologists and philosophers like Adler, Jung, Sigmund Freud, Assaguoli, Aristotle, Berkeley, Confucius, Descartes, Feuerbach, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Huxley, Jaspers, Kant, Kierkegaard, Laing, Marx, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Pythagoras, Russell, Sartre, Socrates, Wittgenstein and many others in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Hidden Splendor
- The New Dawn
- This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
- Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Beyond Psychology
- Light on The Path
- The Discipline of Transcendence
- The Dhammapada
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Darkness to Light
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
- From Personality to Individuality
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1