To me, freedom is life

Beloved Osho,

You are giving your life to help people find inner freedom, and the whole world is trying to take away your freedom – that is, freedom of speech, of movement, and so on. How is it possible that you do not give up? What is compassion? Does compassion possess you like love, or can you choose whether or not to be compassionate?

The question has many questions in it.

Firstly, I am not making any effort to give to people freedom from the bondage of their rotten past. It is not my effort, it is simply my joy. I enjoy doing it; hence there is no tension about it, whether I succeed or not. I am not serious – it is just playfulness. I am free, I have enjoyed it, and out of that joy arises an overflow of energy, spreading on its own accord.

I am just a watcher, not a doer.

Secondly, the world cannot take my freedom. It can try, but its failure is absolutely certain – for the simple reason that to me freedom is more valuable than my life. I would rather risk my life than choose to lose my freedom; hence nobody can take it. They can kill me, but they cannot kill my spirit, they cannot kill my freedom. They are doing everything in their hands – they seem to be desperate. And I am joyfully trying to find new ways to reach people. At the most they can take my life, but they cannot take my freedom.

They can take your freedom only when you value your life more than freedom; then your freedom can be taken very easily. Just a threat to your life and your freedom can be taken. But they cannot take my freedom because to me life has no value, and freedom has all value.

To me, freedom is life.

They can destroy my body but they cannot destroy my consciousness.

So there is no question of their taking my freedom. They may be powerful – they are powerful. All the governments of the world are together against a single individual, and still they cannot take his freedom. And I can say it with absolute certainty that they cannot take my freedom, because I am ready to offer my life at any moment.

Thirdly, you ask, is your compassion as possessive of you as love? No, compassion is not possessive. In love you fall; hence the phrase “falling in love.” Have you ever heard of somebody “falling in compassion?” That kind of phrase does not exist in any language. You rise in compassion.

Compassion does not possess you; neither do you possess compassion.

That is something subtle to be understood. It is easy to understand whether it possesses you or not, but my answer is: compassion does not possess me, neither do I possess it.

Compassion has become my nature. There is no duality of the possessor and the possessed. So it is a very different situation from love.

It is not in my hands to stop being compassionate, because I am not separate from it. In either case, whether you possess something or something possesses you, the duality remains.

But in compassion the duality disappears.

You are it, there is nobody else; so you can simply be it.

There is no other way of being.

Osho, Beyond Psychology, Ch 15, Q 4

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