Religion: Science of the Soul
Osho on Religion and Psychoanalysis
CAN’T PSYCHOANALYSIS HELP PEOPLE TO KNOW THEMSELVES? IS RELIGION REALLY NECESSARY?
Sugeet, psychoanalysis can help a little bit, it can prepare the ground, but it cannot be a substitute for religion. In the West it is becoming a substitute for religion, and that is going to destroy something immensely beautiful.
Religion is a totally different phenomenon from psychoanalysis. Religion is not analysis at all, religion is meditation. It is not thinking, it is not analysis. Psychoanalysis is concerned with the mind and helping the mind to become adjusted to society, to whatsoever is thought to be normal.
It may be, it may not be.
Usually the average is thought to be the normal, but the average is not necessarily the normal. The word normal comes from ‘norm’; norm means the law. Normal is one who lives according to the law, the ultimate law, the ultimate norm. A Buddha is normal, a Jesus is normal, a Zarathustra is normal, a Bodhidharma is normal. You are not normal, you are simply average. You are not following the norm, you don’t know anything about the norm. But psychoanalysis simply helps you to adjust yourself with the society you live in; it makes your life a little easier.
Sigmund Freud is reported to have said, “We cannot make man happy, because there is no possibility of man ever being happy. All that we can do is to make him less unhappy.” This is a significant statement, and coming from the founder of psychoanalysis it has great importance. And he is being true. One thing must be said about Freud: that he is always sincere. Even though his sincerity goes against many things which he wants, goes against his own psychoanalysis, still he remains sincere. He never hides behind facades and masks. He is a simple man in that way. In that way he has some religious quality about him.
But otherwise, psychoanalysis can help you in particular problems: it can give you a little insight into your problems, it can make you accept them. It can bring you down from your feverish state to the average, and that too at a very great cost and years of work. Meditation can do it within days, and meditation can do far more. It does not help you to become adjusted with society; it helps you to be adjusted with God, with godliness. The society means the crowd. To be adjusted with the crowd is not growth, it is just the opposite of growth. The crowd consists of the lowest, and to be adjusted with the lowest you have to remain the lowest.
Religion takes you to the heights. It takes you towards the sky, it gives you wings. Religion will always be needed. Psychoanalysis may not be needed one day. Psychoanalysis is a temporary phenomenon; it is only the contemporary mind that needs it. For centuries man had lived without psychoanalysis. In the East we have not given birth to any system like psychoanalysis; we have lived without it, we are still living without it. It is just the contemporary Western mind, which has become too tense, that needs psychoanalysis. It is something like a phase which is going to pass. Psychoanalysis will soon be part of history, but religion is going to remain forever. Religion is something without which man cannot be man.
And the psychoanalyst himself is in the same trap as you are. He needs religion as much as you. He needs meditation as much as you, or maybe he needs it more than you, because he has to live with mentally ill people. He becomes infected by all their illnesses.
Patient: “People seem to think I’m brash, provocative and forward.”
Psychiatrist: “I quite understand, Miss. Now, I want to make a few notes. Would you mind getting off my lap for a few minutes?”‘
If you live with people like this long enough, you may be helping them, bits of insight may be given to them, but they are also changing you meanwhile. More psychoanalysts commit suicide than any other profession. More psychoanalysts go mad than any other profession. It is very strange! Psychoanalysts going mad is enough condemnation of psychoanalysis.
A gorgeous girl walked into the psychiatrist’s office. No sooner had she closed the door, when the doctor ripped off her clothes and attacked her.
After fifteen minutes he got up and said, “Well, that takes care of my problem. What’s yours?”
Now, how can these people help you and how much can they help? Professionally they know much about the mind, but they know nothing about the soul. In fact, psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry, should not be named the way that they are, because ‘psyche’ means soul and they don’t believe in the soul. ‘Psychology’ means the science of the soul.
Religion is the science of the soul, psychology is not the science of the soul. Psychology is the science of the mind — and not even a science yet, it is just in a very primitive, crude state, just at the beginning. Religion is the science of the soul. It is an effort to help you to meet and merge with the totality of existence — call it Dharma, Tao, God, or anything you like. It is an effort to destroy all the barriers between you and the whole so that you can start feeling the whole merging with you and you merging with the whole.
When you simply become a wave in the ocean there is great joy, because all fear of death disappears. You are no more separate so you cannot die.
When you are just a wave in the ocean, all anxiety disappears, because anxiety is possible only if you think of yourself as an individual, separate. When you are just a wave in the ocean, then the ocean takes care of you. Sometimes you are there manifest and sometimes you are there unmanifest, but you are there always and forever.
Religion is a totally different phenomenon; psychoanalysis cannot become a substitute for it. It is good that psychoanalysis helps a little bit — people need help — but it is not religion, because psychoanalysis never transforms you.
Religion is the science of transformation. You need a radical transformation, you need a mutation, you need a new birth. Psychology cannot become that. Religion is nothing but the process of rebirthing. You are born anew, you are born in God, you are resurrected. Religion is death and resurrection.
Enough for today.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The White Lotus
Chapter title: Because I Love You
1 November 1979 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Religion, science, psychology, transformation’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
- The Hidden Splendor
- The Path of the Mystic
- The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1, 2
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- Sermons in Stones
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, 2, 7
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
- The Osho Upanishad
- The Transmission of the Lamp