Go astray as far as you can go

Osho, I am always afraid of wasting time. Time is valuable, and I want to use it rightly. Can you guide me as to what I should do so that no mistake is committed?

First, time is not valuable. There have been people who have been saying “time is money.” They are neurotic people. They have created much neurosis in the world. Time is not valuable, because eternity is available. There is no end to time and there is no beginning to time. So don’t be worried about it. The more you worry, the more you waste. Only an unworried person knows how to live joyously, moment to moment. Time consciousness is a great disease… and the whole West is suffering from it. And the disease is spreading to the East too. It has even spread to the animals. I was reading one anecdote….

An old lady kept a parrot which was always swearing. Every Sunday she kept a lid over the cage, removing it on Monday morning, thus preventing the bird from swearing on the Sabbath. On a Monday she saw the minister coming towards the house; so she again placed the cover on the cage. As the priest was about to step into the parlor, the parrot remarked, “This has been a damned short week!”

You have enough time. And don’t be so afraid of committing mistakes! That is the only mistake one has to avoid — the only mistake, I say, that a man can commit in life — and that is: becoming afraid of committing mistakes. Then you never grow, then you never go anywhere, then you never do anything. Then by and by you will slip into dullness and deadness. You will become stuck, stagnant. Commit mistakes. What is wrong in committing mistakes?

Just remember one thing: don’t commit the same mistake again. Commit new mistakes every day. Be inventive. Innovate. A man only learns when he commits many, many mistakes. Go astray as far as you can go. God is everywhere. Where can you go? And the further astray you go, the deeper is your understanding of coming home; and when you come home, you understand what you were missing.

Nothing is wrong. You are too afraid and too cowardly. Drop this fear and drop this cowardliness.

Osho, The First Principle, Ch 6, Q 3