Osho on Happiness and Seriousness
WHY DO I FEEL HESITATION IN ENJOYING ANYTHING?
Joy is not allowed; you are preconditioned against joy. From the very childhood you have been taught that if you are happy then something is wrong — unhappy, everything is good. If you are miserable nobody is worried about it, but if you are too happy, everybody is worried about you. You must have done something wrong.
Whenever a child is happy the parents start looking for the cause: he must have done some mischief or something. Why is he so happy? — the parents are not happy. They have a deep jealousy towards the child because he is happy. They may not be aware of it, but they are jealous. It is easy to tolerate somebody else’s misery, but it is almost impossible to tolerate anybody else’s happiness.
I was reading an anecdote. A very religious father was bringing up his son as perfectly as possible. One day when they were going to church he gave the boy two coins: one, a one rupee coin; another, a one paise coin. He also gave him the choice that whatsoever he thought was right he could put in the donation plate in the church. He could choose the rupee or the paise. Of course the father believed and hoped that he would put the rupee in the church plate. He had been brought up in such a way — he could be expected to, relied upon. The father waited. After church he was very curious to know what happened. He asked the boy, “What did you do?” The boy admitted that he had donated the one paise coin and kept the rupee for himself. The father couldn’t believe it. He said, “Why? Why did you do this? — we have always been inculcating great principles in you.” The boy said, “You ask why. I will tell you the reason. The priest in church talked right before. In his sermon he said, ‘God loveth a cheerful donator.’ I could donate the one paise coin cheerfully — not the one rupee!”
God loveth the cheerful giver. I am absolutely in agreement with the boy: what you do is not the question; you are religious if you can do it cheerfully. It may be a one paise coin — it doesn’t matter. It is immaterial because the real coin that you are giving is your cheerfulness. But from the very beginning every child is taught not to be so cheerful. To be cheerful is to be childish. To be cheerful is to be natural, but not civilized; to be cheerful is somehow primitive, not cultured. So you have been brought up not to be cheerful and whatsoever you have ever enjoyed was condemned again and again. If you enjoyed just running and shouting around the house, somebody was bound to be there saying,”Stop that nonsense! I am reading the newspaper!”-as if the newspaper is something very valuable. A child shouting and running is a more beautiful sight than any newspaper. And the child cannot understand: “Why do I have to stop? Why can’t you stop your newspaper reading?” The child cannot understand: “What is wrong in my being happy and running?” “Stop!” — the whole cheerfulness is suppressed, the child becomes serious. Now he sits in a corner unhappy. The energy needs movement: the child is energy, he delights in energy. He wants to move shout and scream. He is full of energy he wants to overflow, but whatsoever he does is wrong. Either the mother is saying, “Keep quiet,” or the father, or the servant, or the brother, or the neighbors. Everybody seems to be against his flowing energy…
That’s the problem. You ask, “Why do I feel hesitation in enjoying anything? ” Because your parents, your society, are still after you. If you are really with me, drop all that nonsense that has been forced on you. There is only one religion in the world and that religion is to be happy. Everything else is immaterial and irrelevant. If you are happy, you are right; if you are unhappy, you are wrong.
Every day it happens, people come to me — the wife comes or the husband comes and the wife says she is very unhappy because the husband is doing something wrong. I always tell such people that if the husband is doing something wrong, let him be unhappy. “Why are you unhappy? The wrong itself will lead him towards unhappiness — why are you worried?” But the wife says, “But he is not unhappy. He goes to the pub and he enjoys. He is not unhappy at all.” Then I say, “Something is wrong with you, not with him. Unhappiness is the indicator. You change yourself; forget about him. If he is happy, he is right.”
I tell you, if you can go happily to a pub, that is better than going unhappily to a temple — because finally one comes to discover that happiness is the temple. So what you do is not the question — -what quality do you bring to it while doing it? Be happy and you are virtuous; be unhappy and you are committing what religious people have called sin. You must have heard them say that the sinner will suffer some day in the future, in some future life, and the saint will be happy somewhere in the future, in a future life. I say that is absolutely wrong. The saint is happy here and now, and the sinner is unhappy. Life does not wait for so long; it is immediate.
So if you feel yourself unhappy, you have been doing something wrong with yourself. If you cannot enjoy — if some hesitation comes in, if you feel afraid, guilty — it means somewhere by the corner the shadows of your parents are still lurking. You may be enjoying, or trying to enjoy, ice cream, but deep in the unconscious the shadow of the mother or the father is lurking. “This is wrong. Don’t eat too much, this is going to harm you.” So you are eating, but the hesitation is there. The hesitation means that the contradiction is there.
Try to understand your hesitation and drop it. And this is one of the most unbelievable phenomena: that if you drop the hesitation it may come to pass that you stop eating too much ice cream automatically (because eating too much may be part of it). Because they have denied it, they have created a certain attraction in it. Every denial brings attraction. They have said, “Don’t eat it,” and that has created a hypnotic, a magnetic, attraction to eat it.
If you stop having any hesitations, you drop all the parental voices, all the upbringing that you have been forced to go through. You may suddenly see the ice cream as just an ordinary thing. Sometimes one can enjoy it, but it is not a food. It has no nutritious value — it may even be harmful. But then you understand. If it is harmful you understand it, you don’t eat it. And you can always eat it sometimes, sometimes even harmful things are not so harmful. Once in a while you can enjoy it, but there is no obsession to eat it too much. That obsession is part of the repression.
Drop hesitations. People come to me and they say they want to love, they hesitate; they want to meditate, but they hesitate; they would like to dance, but they hesitate. If this hesitation is there and you go on feeding it, you will miss your whole life. It is time: drop it! And nothing else is to be done: just become aware that this is just the way you have been brought up, that’s all.
Consciously it can be dropped; it is not your being. It is just in your brain, it is just an idea which has been forced upon you. It has become a long habit — and a very dangerous habit at that because if you can’t enjoy, then what is this life for?
And these people who cannot enjoy anything (love, life, food, a beautiful scene, a sunset, a morning, beautiful clothes, a good bath — small things, ordinary things), if you cannot enjoy this things, and there are people who cannot enjoy anything: they become interested in God. They are the most impossible people; they can never reach to God. God enjoys these trees, otherwise why does He go on creating them? He is not fed up at all, not at all. For millennia He has been working on trees and flowers and birds, and He goes on listening.He goes on replacing: new beings, new earths, new planets. He is really very, very colorful! Look at life, watch it, and you will see the heart of God — how it is.
People who are very up-tight, unable to enjoy anything, unable to relax, incapable even of enjoying a good sleep, they are the very few people who become interested in God. And they become interested for the wrong reasons. They think that because life is useless, futile, they have to seek and search God. Their God is against life remember.
Gurdjieff used to say, :I have searched into every religion, into every church, mosque and temple, and I have found that the God of the religious people is against life.” And how can God be against life? If He is against, then there is no reason why life should exist or should be allowed to exist. So if your God is against life, in fact, deep down, you are against the real God. You are following a Godot, not a God.
God is the very fulfillment of life, God is the very fragrance of life, God is the total organic unity of life. God is not some thing that exists like a dead rock, God is not static. God is a dynamic phenomenon. God does not exist, It happens When you are ready, It happens. Don’t think that God exists somewhere and you will find a way to reach Him. No, there is nowhere, and there is no God existing somewhere waiting for you. God is something that happens to you when you are ready. When you are ready, when the sadness has disappeared and you can dance, when the heaviness has disappeared and you can sing, when the heavy weight of conditioning is no more on your heart and you can flow — God happens. God is not a thing that exists; It is something that happens. It is a dynamic, organic unity.
And when God happens, everything happens: the trees, the stars, the rivers. And to me, to be capable of enjoying is the door. Serious people have never been known to have reached Him.
Seriousness is the barrier — the wrong attitude. Anything that makes you serious is irreligious.
Don’t go to a church that makes you serious…
A really happy person does not pray. Happiness is his prayer, and there cannot be a higher or a greater prayer than just to be happy. A happy person does not know anything about god, does not know anything about prayer. His happiness is his God, his happiness is his prayer-he is fulfilled. Be happy and you will be religious: happiness is the goal.
I am a hedonist, and as far as I see it, all those who have known have always been hedonists, whatsoever they say. A Buddha, a Jesus, a Krishna — all hedonists. God is the ultimate in hedonism, He is the peakest peak of being happy. Drop all the conditioning that you carry with you. And don’t try to condemn your parents because that won’t help. You are a victim of there conditioning, but what could they have done? They where victims of there on conditionings of their parents, so it is a long succession. Nobody is responsible, so don’t feel angry that your parents destroyed you. They couldn’t help it. If you understand, you will feel pity for them. They were destroyed by their parents, and their parents were destroyed by somebody else, and it has always been going on. It is a succession, a chain.
You simply get out of it. There is no point in condemning anybody and there is no point in being angry — an angry young man and this and that. There is no point. That is again a foolishness. Once you are sad, then you become angry. That is as bad as sadness. Just look at the whole thing and get out of it. Simply slip out of it without making any noise. That’s what I call rebellion.
The revolutionary gets angry. He says the education has to be changed, he says the society has to be changed, he says a new type of parent is needed in the world. Then only will everybody be happy. But who will do this? The doers are always in the same mess, so who will be the help? “Create a new education” — but who will create it? The teachers have to be taught first. And the revolutionaries are just as much a part of this nonsense as the reactionaries, so who will bring the revolution? The hope is futile.
There is only one hope: you can bring light to your being. And it is available immediately, there is nothing to it. Have you ever seen a snake slipping out of his old skin? — it is just like that. You simply slip out of it: forgive and forget. Don’t be angry against your parents; they themselves were victims. Feel pity for them.
Don’t be angry against the society, it could not have been otherwise. But one thing is possible: you can slip out right now. Start being happy from this very moment. Everything is available — only a deep attitudinal change is needed: that from now on you will look at happiness as the good and misery as the sin.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: Come Follow To You, Vol 1
Chapter title: Gods in Exile
22 October 1975 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘prayer, happiness, joy’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
- The Beloved, Vol 1
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2
- From Personality to Individuality
- Guida Spirituale
- The Hidden Harmony
- Just Like That
- The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6
- The Hidden Splendor
- The Razor’s Edge