Inner-Outer are complementary
THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO PARTS IN ME RELATED TO YOU. ONE PART OF ME HAS THE DRIVE TO WORK, RUN AROUND, ORGANIZE, JUMP UP AND DOWN, FIGHT, TALK TO PRESS AND POLITICIANS, JUST SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. THE OTHER PART, WHICH HAS BECOME SO MUCH STRONGER OVER THE LAST YEARS, JUST WANTS TO SIT AT YOUR SIDE AND ABSORB EVERYTHING – YOU, YOUR SILENCE AND YOUR WORDS. WAS IT THAT I HAD TO BE SO ACTIVE JUST TO BE ABLE TO SIT SILENTLY NOW? OSHO, PLEASE CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR OUTER AND YOUR INNER WORK?
There is no split in you… If a part fights in the outer world for my message to be spread to all nooks and corners, and the other part simply wants to sit close to me, drinking my silence, my presence, my peace, rejoicing in my blissfulness, being ecstatic just without doing anything… Ordinarily it may seem that these two parts are against each other. They are not. The more you shout from the housetops, the more you will be able to sit silently, close to me; and the more you can sit silently, close to me, the more you will have something to share with the world, something to fight for.
Man is both the inner and the outer, and it has been a fallacy, a very ancient fallacy, to condemn one in favor of the other.
In the East, people renounce the outer in favor of the inner. They escape from the world into the caves in the Himalayas so that they can devote their whole life and their whole time and their whole energy to the inner journey – but they don’t understand the dialectics of life. In the West, just the opposite has been done. They have renounced the inner so that they can put their whole energy into the outer world and the conquest of the outer world. Both have been wrong, and both have been right.
Both have been wrong because both remained halves; one part grew bigger and bigger, and the other part remained retarded. You can see it. In the East there is so much poverty, so much disease, so much sickness, so much death. Still, there is a certain contentment. With all this, there seems to be no revolutionary approach that “We should change the whole world. We cannot go on living in this poverty, and we have lived in this poverty for centuries, in slavery for centuries. And we have accepted everything – poverty, slavery, disease, death – without any resistance, because these are outer things. Our whole effort has been inner.”
In the West they have destroyed poverty, they have destroyed much disease, they have made man’s life longer. They have made man’s body more beautiful; they have made man’s existence more comfortable, but the man himself – for whom all these comforts, all these conquests of science and technology have been done – is missing. They have completely forgotten for whom it was done. The inside is hollow. Everything is there, all around, and in the middle, there is a retarded consciousness, almost non-existential.
So, both have succeeded in what they were doing, and both have failed – because they have chosen only half of man’s life.
My attitude is that of accepting man in his totality, in his wholeness.
And it has to be understood that once you accept the totality of man, you have to understand the law of dialectics. For example, the whole day you work hard – in the fields, in the garden – you perspire. In the night you will have a beautiful sleep. Don’t think that because the whole day you have been working so hard, how can you sleep in the night? – it is so against your whole day’s work. It is not against. The whole day’s hard work has prepared you to relax; the night will be deep relaxation. Beggars sleep the best. Emperors cannot sleep because the emperor has forgotten the dialectics of life. You need two legs to walk, you need two hands, you need two hemispheres in your brain.
It has now become an accepted psychological truth that you can do hard mathematical work – because it is done by one part of the mind – and then you can do the same hard work on your musical instrument, and because it is done by another part of the mind, it is not continuous labour. In fact, when you are working hard on mathematics, the musical part of your mind is resting; and when you are working hard on the musical part, your mathematical mind is resting.
In the universities, in the colleges all over the world, we change the class period every forty minutes because it has been found that after each forty minutes, the part that you have been working with gets tired. Just change the subject; that part goes into rest.
Sitting with me, fill your cup with as much juice as possible. Feel silence to its uttermost depth, so that you can shout from the housetops. And there is no contradiction: your shouting from the housetops is simply part of a dialectical process. Your silence and your shouting are just like two hands, your two legs, your day and night, your work and rest period. Don’t divide them as antagonistic to each other; that’s how the whole world has suffered.
The East has created great geniuses, but we are still living in the bullock cart age because our geniuses simply meditated. Their meditation never came into action. If they had meditated for a few hours and used their silence and peace and meditativeness for scientific research, this country would have been the richest in the world – outer and inner, both. The same is true about the West: they created great geniuses, but they were all involved with things, objects. They forgot themselves completely. Once in a while a genius remembered, but it was too late.
Albert Einstein, at the time of death, said his last words – and remember, the last words are the most important a person has ever spoken in his life, because they are a conclusion, the essential experience. His last words were, “If there is another life, I would like to be a plumber. I don’t want to be a physicist. I want to be something very simple — a plumber.”
A tired brain, a burned brain… and what was his achievement? – Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This man was capable of becoming a Gautam Buddha. If he had looked inwards, he had such an insight that perhaps he would have gone deeper than any Gautam Buddha, because he looked towards the stars and went further than any astronomer has ever done. It is the same power; it is only a question of direction.
But why get fixed? Why not keep yourself available to both dimensions? What is the need of getting fixed – “I can only see outwardly, I cannot see inwardly, or vice-versa.”? One should only learn how to see deeply, and then use that insight in both dimensions. Then he can give better science and better technology to the world and he can give better human beings, a better humanity, at the same time. And remember, only in a better human being’s hands is a better technology right; otherwise, it is dangerous.
The East is dying with poverty. The West is dying with power. Strange…. They have created so much power that they can only kill. They don’t know anything about life because they have never looked in. The East knows everything about life, but without food you cannot meditate. When you are hungry and you close your eyes, you can see only chapattis just floating all around…
It is perfectly good to be dialectical. And always remember to try the opposites as complementaries. Use all the opposites as complementaries and your life will be fuller, your life will be whole. To me, this is the only holy life: a whole life is the only holy life.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in 1986.
Chapter title: The circle can be broken
25 April 1986 am
Osho has spoken on the phenomena of ‘activity, inactivity, dialectics, East-West, silence, meditation, wholeness, holy’ in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses: