Lovingness: Overflowing Sensitivity

Osho on Sensitivity



Prem Anugita,

every child is born sensitive, utterly sensitive. But the society does not want so many sensitive people in the world; it wants people with thick skins. It needs laborers, it needs soldiers, it needs all kinds of hard people who have bypassed their hearts. It needs professors, intellectuals, it needs scientists. They are the people who don’t know anything about their own hearts, about their own sensitivity.

It is absolutely blissful that you are feeling sensitive. Perhaps a woman is more capable of being sensitive than a man because she is not going to be a soldier, she is not expected to kill people. A woman is more sensitive than a man because the society has rejected the woman for any important work. It has been a blessing in disguise. The woman has remained still human, while man has become a monster. His whole work seems to be either to kill or to be killed. His whole life is devoted to accumulating more and more war weapons. It seems the second world war has not satisfied him; he is preparing for the third. And remember, whenever a soldier dies on the front, a father dies, a son dies, a husband dies. Men fight and kill each other and women suffer. And because women have suffered for centuries, they have become more and more sensitive to subtle nuances of joy, of suffering, of pain, of pleasure. Don’t ask, “Why do I get so sensitive?”

Sensitive you are born, it is your birthright.

When you don’t feel sensitive you can ask the question, “Why I am not feeling sensitive?”

Sensitivity is one of the great qualities of being religious.

It is told of one of the great men of this century, George Bernard Shaw, that a man had come to meet him, a creative artist, a novelist, and he saw so many beautiful flowers in his garden that he could not believe it. When he went into George Bernard Shaw’s room there was not even a single flower there. He asked him, “This is strange… you have so many beautiful flowers in your garden, in abundance; can’t you pick a few flowers for a vase in your room?”

George Bernard Shaw said, “I love children too. They are as beautiful as any flower, but I don’t cut their heads to decorate my sitting room. The flowers will blossom, they will dance in the rain, in the sun, in the wind. There they are alive. I am not a butcher; I cannot cut a flower off from its life source, and I don’t like corpses in my room.” He was right. He was a sensitive man, very sensitive.

You are asking, “Where does it come from?” It comes from your very being. Don’t look for any outside source; it is your nature. “And is it possible to share sensitivity?” Of course. You may have observed that when shaking hands with a few people, you feel as if you are shaking hands with a dead branch of a tree — no life, no warmth, no energy. And you will have also experienced shaking hands with someone else, and you feel something is being transferred, something has transpired between your energies — a warmth, a loving friendliness. These are the people that if you sit with them you will feel nourished. And those others, like dead branches of a tree — if you sit with them you will feel strangely as if you are drained.

Sensitivity can be shared in a thousand and one ways. The most fundamental is a lovingness — not a love relationship, but just pure lovingness, without any conditions, not asking anything in return; just pouring your heart on people, even on strangers, because it is overflowing with sensitivity.

Now the scientists say you can shake hands with a tree, and if you are friendly you will feel tremendous sensitivity in the tree itself. There are old stories, unbelievable, which cannot be factual — but one never knows, maybe they are factual. It is said that whenever Gautam Buddha passed, trees which had been without leaves suddenly grew leaves to give him shade. Whenever he sat under a tree, suddenly thousands of flowers blossomed and started falling over him. It may be simply symbolic, but there is a possibility of its being real too. And when I say that, the modern scientific research about trees is in my support. It was the first Indian Nobel prize winner, Jagdish Chandra Bose, who proved to the scientific world that trees are not dead. He was given a Nobel prize for it. But since Jagdish Chandra Bose much has happened. He would be tremendously happy if he could come and see what scientists have managed. Now they can have something like a cardiogram attached to the tree. A man comes to the tree, a friend with love in his heart, and the tree starts dancing even without any wind and the cardiogram becomes very symmetrical. The graph on the paper becomes almost a harmonious beauty. When another man comes with an axe, with the idea to cut the tree, even if he has not come close, the graph of the cardiogram goes berserk. It loses all symmetry, all harmony; it simply goes insane. Something is going to harm the tree. It is strange because the tree has not been harmed; it is just an idea in the woodcutter’s mind. The tree is so sensitive that it catches even your ideas. And the same man comes with the axe, not desiring to cut the tree, and the graph remains sane. There is no fear, nervousness in the tree.

And another thing they became aware of was that if one tree is trembling with fear — they had not thought about it… One scientist just put a few cardiograms on other trees surrounding, and when the tree started trembling with fear, other trees also participated. They must have been old friends. Growing in the same grove, they must have shared their love with each other, they must have been friendly. They also reacted immediately.

The whole of existence is full of sensitivity — and man is the highest product of this existence. Naturally, your heart, your being, is ready to overflow. You have been hiding it, repressing it; your parents and your teachers have told you to be hard, to be strong, because it is a world full of struggle. If you cannot fight and compete you will be nobody. So a few people like poets, painters, musicians, sculptors, who are no more in the competitive world, who are not hoping to accumulate billions of dollars, are the only people who have some trace of sensitivity left. But a meditator is on the way of the mystic; he will become more and more sensitive. And the more you share your sensitivity, your love, your friendliness, your compassion, the closer you will come to the goal of being a mystic.

Even small children, particularly male children, are deprived from the very beginning are told that “you are not supposed even to cry.” It is something condemnatory. Women can weep and cry because they have never been accepted up to now as equal human beings. They are somewhat subhuman; so it is allowed for them — these women are weak. Sensitivity has been thought to be weak. The strong person should not have any sensitivity. When he cuts off people’s heads he will not think twice. The day President Truman ordered the first atom bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — which killed more than two hundred thousand people — he remained awake till he received the message that the atom bombs had been dropped, and according to the calculations they had functioned perfectly well. Then he went to sleep.

In the morning he was surrounded by the news media and their first question was, “After killing two hundred thousand innocent people” — because they were just citizens, they were not soldiers — “could you sleep in the night?”

And President Truman said, “Of course! I slept as deeply as possible for the first time in a few months. The work is done perfectly. Now Japan is bound to surrender. When I received the news, I was so contented that for once I slept the whole night without even waking up.”

These are the insensitive people — and his name is “True Man!” Since that day I have started calling him President Untrueman.

But from the very childhood, the head is trained and the heart is left absolutely untrained.

Ernie was talking to Ronnie, the little boy from next door.

“How old are you?” asked Ernie.

“I don’t know,” replied little Ronnie.

“Do women bother you?” inquired Ernie.

“No,” said Ronnie.

“Then,” said Ernie knowingly, “You are four.”

Prem Anugita,

my final suggestion to you is, keep climbing upwards. You may never reach the top, but it is definitely the right direction. Sensitivity is the beginning of a new opening in your being. Don’t be afraid; just go on climbing higher and higher. Become more and more sensitive. Hopefully, it will bring you the ultimate flowering of humanity — the mystic rose.

It was a very special day in Paddy’s household and Maureen came down to breakfast with an air of expectancy.

“This is our tenth wedding anniversary,” she whispered to Paddy, who was reading the newspaper, “so let’s have a chicken from our own farm and celebrate.”

Paddy looked up and said, “Why kill an innocent bird for what happened ten years ago?”

“Some young man is trying to get into my room through the window,” screamed old Mrs. Kleinman into the telephone.

“Sorry, lady,” came back the answer, “you’ve got the fire department. What you want is the police department.”

“No, no,” she pleaded, “I want the fire department. What he needs is a longer ladder!”

“My poor husband,” said Mrs. Ginsberg to her psychoanalyst, dragging her husband behind her. “He’s convinced he’s a parking meter.”

The analyst looked at the silent, morbid fellow and asked, “Why doesn’t he say something for himself? Can’t he talk?”

“How can he,” said Mrs. Ginsberg, “with all those coins in his mouth?”

You are living in a very insane, pathetic world. If you don’t take yourself out of the mob psychology and manifest your authentic reality, you will be drowned in the mess of the whole world.

In my vision, a Sannyasin is one who is making every effort to get rid of the insanity that he has been conditioned for. Sensitivity will help immensely to make you sane, sensible. And if you go on moving in the right direction it will become your meditation, and finally your mystic experience of enlightenment.


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

Discourse Series: Satyam Shivam Sundram

Chapter #13

Chapter title: A peace that passeth all misunderstanding

13 November 1987 am


Osho has spoken on ‘Sensitivity, love, compassion, enlightenment, mystic rose’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:

  1. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  2. From Death to Deathlessness
  3. Satyam Shivam Sundaram
  4. The Ultimate Alchemy
  5. The Rebellious Spirit
  6. I Am the Gate
  7. A Sudden Clash of Thunder
  8. The New Dawn
  9. Zen: The Path of Paradox
  10. Tao: The Pathless Path
  11. Ancient Music in the Pines
  12. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
  13. The Razor’s Edge
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