Life of Rejoicing
Osho on Rejoicing
WHAT IS TOTAL ACCEPTANCE?
Milarepa, the very word total acceptance has somewhere in it the shadow of non-acceptance. Total acceptance has been preached because people are living in total rejection; whatever happens to them, they are bound to find something wrong in it…You are asking, Milarepa, “What is total acceptance?”
The first thing to remember: either acceptance is total or it is not acceptance. “Total acceptance” shows that you have repressed something deep into your unconscious and to keep it repressed, you are using your total force.
Acceptance should be simple. It should be spontaneous; it should not be out of a certain ideology. It should be out of your understanding.
Then there is no question of total or untotal acceptance. A clarity of vision will show you either acceptance or non-acceptance. But “total acceptance” has never been looked into deeply — why the emphasis on “total”? The emphasis is because it is a repressive measure; you have not understood it. Hence the same things exist in many dimensions: total abstinence, total celibacy, total surrender. I hate the word total! Look into your ordinary way of life … do you say to some woman, “I love you totally”? Just to love is enough, more than total. The moment you insist, “I love you totally,” it creates suspicion. You are trying to hide something behind the great word “total.”
Acceptance is beautiful, but “total acceptance” is not. Acceptance means it is arising out of your own awareness, not out of the teachings, scriptures and so-called masters roaming all around the world. It is your own understanding. In fact, when it is your own understanding, even the word `acceptance’ becomes futile. This moment — this silence, the birds in the trees, the sunrays reaching to you — is there any question of acceptance? It is simply happening. It is not a theoretical mind discipline. You are not sitting here with a forced discipline. You are sitting here in this enormous silence without any effort. It is so beautiful that any effort will destroy it.
Let me repeat it in another way: Do you love with effort? Are you compassionate with effort? Are you living with effort, breathing with effort? Is there any effort in your heartbeats? Just the same way, the whole of life becomes a spontaneous flow. Your perceptivity, your clarity decides which direction to move. But there is no effort, because effort implies you are divided — one part of you is trying to take you in one direction, another part is trying to take you in another direction. Then comes the effort. Only schizophrenic humanity lives with effort.
I don’t know any effort in my life. And I cannot conceive that a man of effort can ever be in tune with existence. With whom are you fighting? Effort is a fight.
I don’t give you any discipline, I don’t give you any commandments. I don’t want you to be anyone else than you are. It is perfectly beautiful the way you are. The day you understand it…No trees are making any effort. Small bushes are perfectly happy with being small. Tall cedars of Lebanon are perfectly happy with their tallness, but there is no comparison; they don’t look at the small bushes as inferior — that is their spontaneity, that is how they are. In this relaxedness comes a shadow, silently, without even making any sound of footsteps — acceptance.
But I don’t like the word, because “acceptance” means that something in you is not accepting — maybe it is a minority part. To repress that minority part, you bring total acceptance.
A young man came to me some twenty years ago and said, “I want to totally surrender to you.” I said, “Then you have knocked on the wrong door — go back. The day there is no idea of total and there is no idea of surrender, my doors are open to you. I will rejoice in you as you are — not pruning your branches, molding you into a certain ideal.” But all the so-called religions of the world have been doing the same. They are asking of you only one thing: “Don’t be yourself, be somebody else.”…
Don’t ask, Milarepa, about total acceptance — ask rather about more clarity, more spontaneity, more naturalness, and acceptance will come just like a shadow. You don’t have to bother about it. Life is, intrinsically, a tremendous acceptance without your knowing. Have you accepted your eyes totally? Have you accepted your body totally? Have you accepted your situation in life totally? This idea of total acceptance imposed on you makes you miserable, because it continuously creates comparison. Somebody has more beautiful eyes and somebody has a stronger body. Somebody is more knowledgeable. And you are always feeling inferior and this inferiority goes on eating your heart. You become more and more miserable, but the reason is that you have unnecessarily created it. There is no need to compare, because there is nobody you can be compared with.
You are a unique individual. And whatever you are, that’s the way existence wants you to be. Enjoy it. Change the word `acceptance’, because that is not very blissful. Acceptance is something that you have to do, what else to do. There are more beautiful people, there are richer people, there are stronger people, what to do? Accept. I don’t teach you acceptance in that way. My idea of acceptance is totally different from all religions. I declare your uniqueness. You are just yourself and there is not a single person — either in the present or in the past or in the future — who is exactly like you. Existence gives you such a unique individuality — rejoice in it. And out of that rejoicing, acceptance will come; that is not to be bothered about. I have never felt that I have to become somebody. If existence wants me to be nobody, I am immensely happy…Once you start rejoicing whatever you are, life takes such psychedelic colors, your each moment becomes so juicy… your whole life becomes a celebration.
Milarepa, drop those ideas of total acceptance. Why should you accept? It is a very depressing idea that “I accept myself.”
Rejoice! dance! sing! let the whole world know that you are alone and unique and nobody can replace you. To me, this is the way of an authentic search of oneself. There is no comparison — there is no need…
The day humanity is rejoicing in itself politicians will disappear, religions will disappear, saints will disappear, so-called moralists will disappear. These are ugly people who are trying to hide their inferiority by becoming something — at least pretending something. They are all hypocrites. And a world without saints, without politicians, without priests, without the so-called learned people, will be such a peaceful world — as peaceful as a garden full of flowers, as peaceful as this morning. There is no need for any war, there is no need for any nations. There is no need for anybody to pretend to be higher, there is no need for anybody to suffer a wound of inferiority.
My whole approach is to make each individual as authentic as he is intended by nature to be, and all the problems of the world will disappear. There is no other way; these problems are created by schizophrenics, neurotics, psychotics… all kinds of madmen are posing as the richest, as the most powerful. Just see a simple thing: in America, there are thirty million people dying on the streets because they don’t have food, they don’t have clothes, they don’t have shelter. And exactly the same number — thirty million people — are dying in hospitals because they eat too much, and they cannot stop stuffing themselves continually. They have been forced to be hospitalized, because in their homes it is impossible to control them. It is a strange situation. Exactly thirty million people are dying because of starvation and thirty million people are dying because of overeating. Just a small understanding, and sixty million people can be saved. Both are suffering. A hospital is not the place to live nor is the street a place to live. And I take this example from America because America pretends to be the richest country, but I don’t see that it has yet become even psychologically normal. The same is being repeated in other countries on a vaster scale. It seems we are dominated by a certain madness. All that is needed is to drop this madness…
If man accepts whatever he is and uses his capacities for creativity — and everybody is born with certain capacities, certain talents, a certain creativity — he will be immensely happy in being nobody. You don’t have to be happy only if you become the richest man or the most powerful man. These are the childish ways of primitive man which we have carried up to now.
I would like to say to you: drop the words “total acceptance.” Instead, replace them with the simple words, rejoicing in yourself. And the moment you rejoice in yourself, the whole existence rejoices in you. You have fallen in tune with the harmonious dance that is going on all around.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Om Mani Padme Hum
Chapter title: Just to relax on the river
23 December 1987 pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Osho has spoken on ‘Rejoicing, Celebration, acceptance, awareness’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 2, 6
- From Death to Deathlessness
- From the False to the Truth
- The Path of the Mystic
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
- The Guest
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 3, 4
- Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing
- The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
- Tantra: The Supreme Understanding