I am not a philosopher!

QUESTION: WHY ARE YOU NOT CONSISTENT IN YOUR STATEMENTS?

I cannot be. The purpose of my statements is totally different from that of ordinary statements. I am not telling the truth, because truth cannot be told. Then what am I doing here?

If you take my statements as true or untrue, you will miss the whole point. I am using the statements to awaken you. They are neither true nor untrue. They are either useful or useless, but they have nothing to do with truth. They have a certain utility.

It is just as if you are fast asleep, and I start ringing a bell; there is nothing of truth or untruth in ringing the bell. To ask the question would be utterly irrelevant. But there is something useful in it: if it helps you wake up, it has been useful. Buddha is reported to have said, “Truth is that which has utility.” Truth is a device. It does not state anything about existence, it is just a device to provoke something which is fast asleep in you.

Now I cannot be consistent, because I have to provoke so many people — different types of minds, different types of sleeps are there. I can ring a bell: it may help somebody to wake up, to somebody else it may look like a lullaby and he may fall asleep even more deeply. To somebody it may be a provocation into awakenedness, to somebody else it may simply give a beautiful dream: that he is in a temple and bells are ringing, and he is enjoying, and the prayer is going on, and the incense is burning. He has created a dream; he has not come out of his sleep. He will need something else — maybe a hit on the head, or cold water thrown on him, or a good shaking. Different people need different approaches to be provoked, to be awakened.

My statements are not about truth. I am not a philosopher! I am not trying to give you any philosophy. I’m just trying all possible ways to wake you up. If one way fails, I try another — but I cannot leave you alone. So, one day I will say one thing, another day I may say another thing. You miss the point if you don’t understand the purpose of my statements.

… …

I have to destroy your ego-structures. Hence, don’t ask me again and again why my statements are not consistent. I have only one consistency: that is of being inconsistent. I am consistently inconsistent; that’s the only consistency that I have. And I have infinite freedom; a consistent man cannot have infinite freedom. I can play, I can joke, I can enjoy shattering your egos, destroying your structures. I’m not serious about these things. I dare to play, to try first one thing, then another. My statements are like the actors on the stage: let them contradict each other; they are not there to tell the truth, but to provoke it, to discover it.

And I would like to tell you too: do not do anything merely for the sake of consistency. That is the shelter for fools and philosophers — which are the same people. Never do anything just for the sake of consistency. This is undesirable since it limits experimentation and exploration. Action so as to be consistent with the past develops into a programmatic addiction. It freezes you into stasis, halting the evolutionary march of becoming. You should retain all power over current behaviour. None should be yielded to the past. Acting consistent with precedent is a form of death, and destroys all potential to grow into understanding.

Remember, what is consistency? It means my today has to be obedient to my yesterday — that is consistency. My present has to be obedient with my past — that is consistency. But then how am I going to grow? Then how am I going to move? If I remain consistent with the past, then there is no growth possible.

Growth means inconsistency. Your today has to go beyond your yesterday, has to be inconsistent with it, has to use it as a stepping-stone, has not to be confined by it. And your tomorrow has to go beyond your today. If you go on moving away from your past each day, you will be growing, you will be reaching higher peaks.

Consistent people are stupid people. Their life is stagnant. They stink of death. They are like corpses: they go on rotting, they don’t live. Life is basically not a logical phenomenon but a dialectical phenomenon. Dialectics means thesis, antithesis. synthesis: your yesterday was a thesis, your today will be its antithesis and your tomorrow will be a synthesis. Again, your tomorrow will create a thesis and the next day an antithesis. and then synthesis — and so on it goes. You go on in a dialectical way. Life is a dialectical process; it is not a linear, logical process. Life is a contradictory process.

That’s why I cannot define myself — because today’s definition won’t be applicable tomorrow. I cannot define myself because it is like defining a cloud or an ocean or a growing tree or a child. I constantly change, because change is the very soul of life. Except change, nothing is eternal.

I am committed to change. Change is my God, because that is the only unchanging phenomenon in life. Hence, I call it God. Everything else changes: life changes, death changes — only change remains. I worship change. I am in love with it. I cannot define myself once and forever. I have to define myself each moment of my life; and one never knows what each next moment is going to bring.

To be with me is to be in a constant flux, in a constant movement. Those who are not daring enough sooner or later have to drop out of this journey that I am taking you on. Those who are not courageous enough, who don’t have guts to accept the unknown future and to remain available to the unknowable and the mysterious, and who are in a hurry to have a dogma, a belief system, a philosophy — so that they can stop growing, so that they can cling to the dogma, so that they can become fanatics about the dogma; those who are constantly in search of a certain orthodoxy in which nothing will ever change — these are the dead people, cowards. They can’t become my people.

I’m bringing you a totally different kind of religion; it has never happened before in the world. All the religions in the world were believers in permanence; I believe in change. All the religions of the world were dogmatic; I am absolutely non-dogmatic, anti-dogmatic. All the religions of the world were reduced into philosophical statements. When I will be gone, I will leave you in such a mess — nobody will ever be able to reduce what I was saying, really. Nobody will be able to reduce it into a dogma.

Source:

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

Discourse series:

The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2

Chapter #2
Chapter title: Love is the only friend
28 August 1978 am in Buddha Hall

References:

Osho has spoken on ‘Acceptance, Change, Consistency, Life, Death, Philosophy, Ego, Mind, Meditation’ in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The New Alchemy: To Turn You On
  2. Sat Chit Anand
  3. Joshu: The Lion’s Roar
  4. The Great Zen Master Ta Hui
  5. The First Principle
  6. A Bird on The Wing
  7. That Art Thou
  8. Dance Your Way to God

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