Osho on Courage
I FEEL DIVIDED IN TWO PARTS — HALF GOING TOWARDS THE UNKNOWN, AND HALF TOWARDS ALL THAT IS FAMILIAR FROM MY PAST. WHEN I GET CLOSE TO LETTING GO OF WHAT I BELIEVE IS MINE, I PANIC — EVEN THOUGH I YEARN TO GO TO THE PLACE YOU TALK ABOUT.
PLEASE GIVE ME COURAGE TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP.
The real question is not of courage; the real question is that you don’t understand that the known is the dead, and the unknown is the living. Clinging to the known is clinging to a corpse. It does not need courage to drop the clinging; in fact it needs courage to go on clinging to a corpse. You just have to see… That which is familiar to you, which you have lived — what has it given? Where have you reached? Are you not still empty? Is there not immense discontent, a deep frustration and meaninglessness? Somehow you go on managing, hiding the truth and creating lies to remain engaged, involved.
This is the question: to see with clarity that everything that you know is of the past, it is already gone. It is part of a graveyard. Do you want to be in a grave, or do you want to be alive? And this is not only the question today; it will be the same question tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. It will be the same question at your last breath.
Whatever you know, accumulate — information, knowledge, experience — the moment you have explored them you are finished with them. Now carrying those empty words, that dead load, is crushing your life, burdening your life, preventing you from entering into a living, rejoicing being — which is awaiting you each moment.
The man of understanding dies every moment to the past and is reborn again to the future. His present is always a transformation, a rebirth, a resurrection.
It is not a question of courage at all, that is the first thing to be understood. It is a question of clarity, of being clear about what is what. And secondly,
whenever there is really a question of courage, nobody can give it to you. Courage is not something that can be presented as a gift. It is something that you are born with, you just have not allowed it to grow, you have not allowed it to assert itself, because the whole society is against it.
The society does not want lions, it wants a crowd of sheep. Then it is easy to enslave people, exploit people, do whatever you want to do with them. They don’t have a soul; they are almost robots. You order, and they will obey. They are not free individuals. No society wants you to be courageous. Every society wants you to be a coward, but nobody says it so sincerely;
they have found beautiful words instead. They will not say, “Be cowardly,” because that will look offensive to the person and he will start thinking, “Why should I be cowardly?” — and a coward is not something respectable…You are a small pebble. You cannot fight with tradition — that is fighting against yourself, it is self-destructive. You can only submit to tradition; that is wise, intelligent. To be with the crowd you are protected, you are secure, you are assured that you will not go astray.”
In so many ways you will be told a simple thing: Just be a coward; it pays to be cowardly. It is dangerous to be courageous, because it is going to bring you in conflict with all the vested interests — and you are a small human being. You cannot fight with the whole world. My grandfather used to say to me, “Whatever you say is right. I am old, but I can understand that you are saying something true. But I will suggest — don’t say it to anybody. You will be in trouble. You cannot be against the whole world. You may have the truth, but truth does not count; what counts is the crowd.
The courage is in everybody. It is not a quality to be practiced; it is something that is part of your life, your very breathing. It is just that the society has created so many barriers against your natural growth that you have started thinking from where to get courage? from where to get intelligence? from where to get truth? You have to go nowhere. You contain in the seed form everything that you want to be. Realizing this and seeing the other side…
The people who live with the crowd — what is their gain? They lose everything. In fact they don’t live at all; they only die. From their birth they start dying, and go on dying till the last breath. Their whole life is a long series of deaths. Just look at the whole crowd of people. You can be with them, but the same is going to be your fate. It is so simple if you see it: the only way to live life is to live on your own. It is an individual phenomenon, it is an independence, it is freedom. It is a constant unburdening of all that is dead, so that life can go on growing and is not crushed under the weight of the dead.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Beyond Psychology
Chapter title: You have to go nowhere
14 April 1986 pm in
Osho has spoken on ‘Courage, clarity, freedom, understanding, transformation’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Misery to Enlightenment
- The Last Testament, Vol 3
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 8, 9, 10
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 2
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1, 2
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 2, 6, 8
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- The Invitation
- The New Dawn
- The Transmission of the Lamp