IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR THEY DISCOVERED A CANCER OF MY UTERUS. FOR ME IT WAS LIKE DECIDING TO DIE AND GO ON SUFFERING, OR COME OUT OF IT. I LET YOU COME IN TOTALLY, AND BECAME DROWNED IN YOUR LOVE: THE CANCER DISAPPEARED. THE LAST SIX MONTHS, EVEN WHEN IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO SEE YOU, I FELT YOU VERY CLOSE TO ME. SOME FRIENDS OF MINE ARE SANNYASINS, AND WHEN I TELL THEM THIS, THEY SAY I AM RUNNING AWAY FROM REALITY. SOMETIMES I THINK, AND HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT WHAT I FEEL.
ARE THEY RIGHT? WHAT IS REALITY?
Always listen to your own experience, because that is reality. You had cancer. And it often happens that cancer can become a great opportunity, because now death is certain. Now there is no question of holding yourself back — death is going to take you away anyway. And because death was so close, you remembered me more, you loved me more — because there was no more time to postpone. For the first time you allowed me totally to be with you, and the cancer disappeared.
Cancer has many reasons. One of the reasons is that your life is meaningless, loveless, that you are not really living — just dragging. You don’t have any reason to live, and the trouble is you don’t have any reason to commit suicide either. So in a sleepy way — like somnambulists, sleepwalkers — people go on from their cradle to the grave. It is a long journey, yet sleeping, they manage. They reach to the grave — or wherever they reach it turns out to be the grave.
But a disease like cancer gives a totally new opportunity. You were not aware, so aware, so intensely aware of death; then suddenly you find you have cancer. Now all engagements of your life — the tickets that you have purchased for the theater, for the football match, for the boxing match — simply become meaningless. You were preparing for an examination, now it is useless. You were getting ready to fight an election, it no longer makes any sense. Now death is so strong — and surrounds you — that everything in your life is nullified, is cancelled.
I have been telling you continually to love, to be total. And for these few days there was no other alternative — death was coming already, you loved totally. You allowed me to be within you, and the cancer disappeared. Not that I have done anything; you have done something. If you had listened to me before, the cancer would not have happened at all. If you had loved with such intensity and totality before, you would not have been available to cancer. Now, after the cancer has disappeared, you are again getting into the mind, thinking that perhaps I have done a miracle. I have not done anything. You have done a miracle, and because you have been telling your friends, “My master has done the miracle,” they are telling you be more realistic. And then doubts arise in you. Your friends are right. Be realistic — although they themselves are not realistic. The only real thing is that the cancer disappeared because for the first time you had a totality of being, a togetherness of being which was more powerful than any cancer.
Now doubts are arising, and you will ask friends, and anybody will say, “Don’t be foolish. Don’t be superstitious” — although they cannot explain how and why the cancer disappeared. And they are asking you to be realistic. You ask them, “Then you be realistic and tell me how the cancer disappeared.” Let them have a little experience of cancer! Just let them think it over, let them waste their sleep over it — how did the cancer disappear? — Because that is where the reality has to be decided. And don’t expect a miracle from me. That is fiction. You have done a miracle; there is no doubt about it. And everybody is capable of doing such miracles. Life is such a mystery that if we really become silent, total, loving, it will change many things in you — in the body, in the mind, in the soul.
But don’t get foolish ideas from your friends; otherwise the cancer can appear again — because it is not my doing, it is your doing. If you become doubtful, and if you don’t know how it has happened, your doubt can create the cancer. It was your totality which dissolved it; your doubt can make a way for it to come back. And then none of your friends will say, “Be realistic.” Then you will have to go back to the same attitude, but it will be more difficult this time. It is better not to get into the same trouble again. It will be difficult this time because you will be expecting — which was not there before. The first time you had cancer you were not expecting any miracle. Now if it happens, you will be loving, you will be trying to be total — but trying to be total is not total, trying to be loving is not loving. And deep down expecting that the cancer will be dissolved — it is not the same situation. And remember, don’t blame me, that the next time I have not helped you. The first time I had not helped you either.
It is always you. Whatsoever happens to you, you are responsible.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
The Osho Upanishad
Chapter title: Responsibility: the very first step of freedom
6 September 1986 pm in
Osho has spoken on ‘Cancer’in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- Come Follow To You, Vol 1
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 5, 6, 11
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Death to Deathlessness
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- The Last Testament, Vol 3
- Sermons in Stones
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2
- Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 1
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet