Maturity: Becoming a Child Again
Osho on Maturity/ Born Again
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MATURITY?
Prem Lalit, maturity means the same as innocence, only with one difference: it is innocence reclaimed, it is innocence recaptured. Every child is born innocent, but every society corrupts him. Every society, up to now, has been a corruptive influence on every child. All cultures have depended on exploiting the innocence of the child, on exploiting the child, on making him a slave, on conditioning him for their own purposes, for their own ends — political, social, ideological. Their whole effort has been how to recruit the child as a slave for some purpose. Those purposes are decided by the vested interests. The priests and the politicians have been in a deep conspiracy, they both have been together.
The moment the child starts becoming part of your society he starts losing something immensely valuable; he starts losing contact with God. He becomes more and more hung up in the head. He forgets all about the heart. And the heart is the bridge which leads to being; without the heart you cannot reach your own being, it is impossible.
From the head there is no way directly to being; you have to go via the heart. And all societies are destructive to the heart; they are against love, they are against feelings. They condemn feelings as sentimentality. They condemned all lovers down the ages for the simple reason that love is not of the head, it is of the heart. And a man who is capable of love is sooner or later going to discover his being. And once a person discovers his being he is free from all structures, from all patterns. He is free from all bondage. He is pure freedom.
Every child is born innocent, but every child is made knowledgeable by the society.
Hence schools, colleges, universities exist; their function is to destroy you, to corrupt you.
Maturity means gaining your lost innocence again, reclaiming your paradise, becoming a child again. Of course it has a difference, because the ordinary child is bound to be corrupted, but when you reclaim your childhood you become incorruptible. Nobody can corrupt you, you become intelligent enough. Now you know what the society has done to you and you are alert and aware, and you will not allow it to happen again. Maturity is a rebirth, a spiritual birth. You are born anew, you are a child again. With fresh eyes you start looking at existence. With love in the heart you approach life. With silence and innocence you penetrate your own innermost core. You are no more just the head. Now you use the head, but it is your servant. First you become the heart, and then you transcend even the heart….Going beyond thoughts and feelings and becoming a pure isness is maturity. Maturity is the ultimate flowering of meditation.
Jesus says: Unless you are born again you will not enter into my kingdom of God.
He is right, you have to be born again. The whole process of Sannyas is a process of rebirthing.
Once Jesus was standing in a marketplace and somebody asked, “Who is worthy of entering into your kingdom of God?”
He looked around. There was a rabbi and the rabbi must have moved forward a little, thinking that he would be chosen — but he was not chosen. There was the most virtuous man of the town — the moralist, the puritan. He moved forward a little hoping that he would be chosen, but he was not chosen.
He looked around. Then he saw a small child who was not expecting to be chosen, who had not moved, not even an inch. There was no idea, there was no question that he would be chosen. He was just enjoying the whole scene — the crowd and Jesus and people talking, and he was listening.
He called the child, he took the child up in his arms and he said to the crowd, “Those who are like this small child, they are the only ones worthy of entering into my kingdom of God.”
But remember, he said, “Those who are LIKE this small child….” He didn’t say, “Those who are small children.” There is a great difference between the two. He did not say, “This child will enter into my kingdom of God,” because every child is bound to be corrupted, he has to go astray.
Every Adam and every Eve is bound to be expelled from the garden of Eden, they have to go astray. That is the only way to regain real childhood: first you have to lose it. It is very strange, but that’s how life is. It is very paradoxical, but life is a paradox. To know the real beauty of your childhood, first you have to lose it; otherwise you will never know it.
The fish never knows where the ocean is — unless you pull the fish out of the ocean and throw it on the sand in the burning sun; then she knows where the ocean is. Now she longs for the ocean, she makes every effort to go back to the ocean, she jumps into the ocean. It is the same fish and yet not the same fish. It is the same ocean yet not the same ocean, because the fish has learned a new lesson. Now she is aware, now she knows, “This is the ocean and this is my life. Without it I am no more — I am part of it.”
Every child has to lose his innocence and regain it. Losing is only half of the process. Many have lost it, but very few have regained it. That is unfortunate, very unfortunate. Everybody loses it, but only once in a while does a Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Krishna, a Jesus regain it. Jesus is nobody else but Adam coming back home. Magdalene is nobody else but Eve coming back home. They have come out of the sea and they have seen the misery and they have seen the stupidity. They have seen that it is not blissful to be out of the ocean. The moment you become aware that to be a part of any society, any religion, any culture is to remain miserable, is to remain a prisoner, that very day you start dropping your chains. Maturity is coming. You are gaining your innocence again. But every child is not a saint. Of course every saint — real saint — is a child. The child has the same quality, but he is unaware of it. And what is the point of having something if you are not aware of it? You may have a great treasure and you are not aware of it; then it is as if you don’t have it. Having it or not having it makes no difference.
A very rich man was very much puzzled because his whole life he tried to be rich and rich and rich, and finally he succeeded. He became rich, he became the richest man in the world, but there was no bliss. And he was thinking that once you become rich, bliss is attained. He was very frustrated. That is the fate of all successful people. He started going around asking for any wise person who could help him to attain bliss.
Somebody suggested a Sufi master. He went to the Sufi master on his beautiful horse. He was carrying a big bag full of diamonds, maybe the most precious stones in the world, and he told the master, “I have all these diamonds, but not a drop of bliss. How can I gain bliss? Can you help me?”
The master jumped — the rich man could not believe his eyes — the master snatched away the bag and ran away. The rich man followed him crying, shouting, “I have been robbed! I have been cheated! This man is not a master, this man is a thief — catch hold of him!”
But in that village the master was well acquainted with all the roads and all the lanes and all the streets, so he dodged the rich man. And the rich man had never run after anybody; it was difficult. A crowd started following. They knew the Sufi master, that his ways were very strange.
Finally they came back to the same tree where the master had been sitting and the rich man had found him. The master was again sitting under the tree with the bag. The rich man came there, the master gave the bag to him, and the rich man held the bag close to his heart and said, “I am so blissful. I am so happy that I have found my lost treasure!”
And the master said, “Have you tasted a little bit of bliss? Unless you lose it you cannot taste it. I have made you taste it. This is the way to taste bliss — lose something.”
If you can lose your ego you will gain yourself — what Buddha calls no-self. He calls it no-self for the simple reason that it is not your old ego anymore. It has no shadow of the ego at all; hence he calls it no-self. Lose the ego and gain the self or no-self, and suddenly you are mature. Lose the mind and gain consciousness and you are mature. Die to the past and be born to the present and you are mature. Maturity is living in the present, fully alert and aware of all the beauty and the splendor of existence.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 12
Chapter title: Music comes closest
24 April 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Maturity, innocence, meditation, intelligence, heart, love, silence’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 4
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
- The Wisdom of the Sands
- Sufis: The People of the Path
- Sat Chit Anand
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Book of Wisdom
- From Bondage to Freedom
- I Say Unto You
- The Messiah
- Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language
- Guida Spirituale