Life is Interdependence

Osho on Interdependence n Ego


THE FIRST THING: the ego always seeks isolation, in a thousand and one ways. When you become very rich, you become isolated. When you become politically very powerful, you become isolated. An Adolf Hitler is alone, more alone than a yogi in the Himalayas. He has no friends, nobody equal to him; he has no relationships. A very rich man reaches to a Himalayan peak, where he is alone. Hence one seeks riches, hence one seeks political power.

The ego is always in search of isolation, because when you are alone, only the ego remains; the ego becomes the whole world. Then there is nobody to fight with your ego; there is nobody to humiliate you; there is nobody with whom you can compare yourself. You become supreme in your own eyes. You can believe in your ego absolutely; there will be no distraction.

I am against isolation. In fact you have to dissolve the ego, not to isolate it. You are not to become an island, independent, separate from the whole: you have to become a part of the continent, one with it. How can you be one with reality in isolation? The reality needs participation, not isolation. That’s why the greatest SAMADHI occurs in love, not in isolation. And the greatest of yoga is love, because in love you have to dissolve yourself, in love you have to die, in love you have to melt, merge. I teach love, not isolation. Isolation is the way of the world, not the way of religion. But it happens: you have been seeking riches, political power, possessions; then you become frustrated; then you turn to the Himalayas — you renounce the world. You don’t renounce the ego, you renounce the world. I teach you: renounce the ego, don’t renounce the world.

The ego is very subtle. You could not attain to political power, then you try to attain to religious power. You call it KUNDALINI, but still it is power, still it is something that will make you separate, unique, independent, an island. If your religion is also a search for power, then isolation is needed. But religion is not a search for power; it is a search for silence. It is a search for peace; it is a search for inner poverty — what Jesus calls ‘poor in spirit’. It is a search to be, in such a way that there is no difference between to be and not to be. Non-being becomes your only being. This is possible not through independence, this is possible only if you realize interdependence.

These three words have to be remembered: dependence, independence, and interdependence. Dependent you are; independence you seek; interdependence I teach.

Dependent you are, because everywhere you will feel you are dependent, everywhere a limitation comes in. If you love somebody you become dependent on him or on her. Everywhere life brings dependence. Then the idea arises that in the world you can never be independent. Escape from the world. You can escape, but independent you can never be: you can only be deceived. Even in the Himalayas you are not independent; you are still dependent on the sun. If the sun does not rise, you will be dead immediately. You will be dependent on the oxygen and air: if the oxygen disappears, you will be dead. You will be dependent on water; you will be dependent on a thousand and one things.

Dependence has to be understood, not to be avoided. If you understand dependence, you will understand immediately that hidden behind it is interdependence. Dependence is just a misinterpretation. Those who have known have also known that you are not dependent on the sun; the sun is also dependent on you. Without you the sun cannot be, as you cannot be without the sun. Even a small blade of grass will be missed from existence; the existence will never be complete without it. A gap, something missing, will be there. So don’t think that the stars are great, and a blade of grass is very small and tiny.

In existence, nothing is great and nothing is small, because existence is one. This is what is meant by ecology: interdependence. And ecology is not only of this earth, it is of the totality. Ecology is a spiritual phenomenon.

You are misinterpreting. You are interpreting interdependence as dependence. That is a wrong notion, and because of that wrong notion, a wrong desire arises: how to be independent. Out of one error another error arises. You cannot be; and if somebody teaches you independence — there are people who teach this — they are teaching sheer stupidity. You are part, you are one with the whole, you are a wave in the ocean. The wave cannot be independent. How can you take the wave apart from the ocean? And I tell you, the ocean also cannot be separate from the wave. Without waves the ocean will also disappear. The waves cannot be without the ocean; the ocean cannot be without the waves, because waves are nothing but the ocean waving. Because of language the separation arises. You say the waves and the ocean; in fact, there are not the waves and the ocean, it is all one — the ocean waving. Waves are not things… a process, a movement, a breathing of the ocean. You and your breathing are not two things: you are the breathing, the breathing is you. You breathe and the breathing breathes you — they are inseparable.

Life is one. For this oneness, interdependence, God is another name. Love is still another name, and even better than God, because God has been destroyed by the theologians. Love is still pure and virgin. So the first thing to be understood: I don’t teach isolation, because I don’t teach the ego… You are the MAYA. So, if you want to leave anything, leave yourself. If you want to renounce anything, renounce yourself. And the only way, the only way to renounce oneself is to celebrate. Because whenever you are happy, you are not; whenever you are sad, you are; whenever you are depressed, you are; whenever you are delighting, you are not. In bliss, in ecstasy, you disappear. In sadness and sorrow, you again appear. Watch. When you laugh, you are not. In real laughter, you simply are not. It comes out from somewhere you know not of. It comes from beyond you. You don’t laugh: when laughter is there, you are not. Dance. When the dance really possesses you, when there really is a dance, the dancer is no more, the dancer has disappeared; he doesn’t exist. The dance is so tremendously real that the unreal has to disappear before it. The unreal cannot face the real; the false cannot confront the real; the lie cannot face the truth; the darkness cannot encounter light. When the real arises — and the real is when you are part of the whole, whether in laughter, in dancing, in love — whenever you are part of the whole, the real is. Separate, you are MAYA. One with the whole, you are God.

I OFTEN DESIRE TO HAVE AN ISOLATED, SECURE PLACE TO ALLOW SURRENDER. When you are alone, a false type of ‘religiosity’ arises. Because whenever you are alone, there is nobody to provoke your anger, nobody to create an opportunity where you can become sad, nobody to bring your own false faces before you. You are alone: anger does not arise. Not that anger has disappeared — simply the situation for anger is not there. You are full of anger, but nobody is there to insult you, to hurt you. Only the opportunity is missing. Come back to the world: live fifty years in the Himalayas — when you come back to the world, immediately you will find anger is there, as fresh as ever; even maybe more powerful now, because of fifty years accumulated anger, accumulated poison. Then one becomes afraid to come back to the world.

Go to the Himalayas: you will see many people hanging around there. Cowards, they cannot come back to the world. What sort of purity is this, which is afraid? What sort of celibacy is this, which is afraid? What sort of reality is this, which is afraid of MAYA, of illusion? What sort of light is this, which is afraid of darkness: that it comes to the dark, the darkness will be powerful and may destroy it? Has darkness ever destroyed any light? But they go on hanging around. The more they hang around there, the more they become incapable of coming back to the world — because there in the Himalayas they can have their beautiful image: nobody else to destroy it. In the world it is difficult. Somebody, from somewhere, treads to your toe; somebody, from somewhere, hurts you. You have to drop anger. My whole effort is so that you change. Don’t try to change the scene, please change yourself. The change of the scene not going to help anybody; it has never helped anybody.

And you think… MEDITATION SEVERAL HOURS A DAY. Even if you meditate twenty-four hours a day it is not going to help unless meditation becomes a way of life — not that you meditate. Whether you meditate one hour, or two hours, or three hours, or six hours, or many hours — you may meditate twenty-four hours: you will go mad, but you will not attain to SAMADHI.

SAMADHI is when you completely forget what meditation is. You don’t meditate; just the way you live is meditative. The way you may, the way you walk, the way you eat: that becomes meditative. Meditation becomes a quality of your life;

it is not a question of quantity. Don’t be quantitative. Don’t think that if you meditate more, then more meditation will happen to you… foolish. The more is not the question — quality, not quantity. Meditation is not money that you can go on gathering and piling up. Meditation is a way of being: you don’t pile it up, you cannot accumulate it, it is not a wealth. It is the way you are.

So whatsoever you are doing here are really not meditations. They are just situations through which I would like you to see; they are just preparations for the meditation. We call them meditations, because they prepare you for the right meditation. That is just clearing the ground, just cleansing the ground: they are not real meditations, because real meditations cannot be done, as real love cannot be done. It happens. You are simply cleaning your mind body; you are purifying yourself so that you can become a vehicle, so that you can be possessed. Then whatsoever you do, you do meditatively… And I know people who have lived in a Himalayan retreat for their whole life, and have not attained to anything.

It is not a question of quantity — how much you do. The question is how you do it — not how much: what quality you bring to it. You can just walk and it can be meditative; you can just sit and it can be meditative; you can eat and it can be meditative; and you can just take a shower and it can be meditative. Try to understand this.

Meditation should become a climate around you, a milieu in which you live. And wherever you go, you carry your climate.

This is my whole effort: that’s why I don’t send you to isolation; I don’t send you to mountains so that you can meditate the whole day; because that would give you a wrong notion about it, the notion of quantity. GOING DEEPER AND DEEPER WITHOUT DISTRACTION: you can never go deeper and deeper if you don’t understand what distraction is. If you are trying to avoid distraction, you can never go deeper; because wherever you are, the distraction will follow you — because it is in you…lf you accept, nothing can distract you. It is the very rejection in you that creates the distraction. So, if you want to meditate without distraction, don’t reject anything, the traffic noise has to be accepted — it is part of this world, and perfectly okay; the child crying and weeping is part of this world, and perfectly okay.

Once you say that everything is okay, just watch the feeling that everything is okay and accept it. Something within you melts. Then nothing distracts. And unless this happens, you can go anywhere you like and you will be distracted by one thing or another.


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

Discourse Series: Come Follow To You, Vol. 3
Chapter title: I bring the greatest synthesis that is
18 December 1975 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘enlightenment, meditation, awareness, rejoicing,’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Enlightenment
  2. The Osho Upanishad
  3. The Path of the Mystic
  4. From Death to Deathlessness
  5. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
  6. From the False to the Truth
  7. The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 3
  8. Hari Om Tat Sat
  9. Sat Chit Anand
  10. YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
  11. The Razor’s Edge
  12. The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
  13. Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
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