The whole of American business now depends on inventing goals. Give people goals– that’s what advertisements and the whole business of advertising is doing. Create goals, seduce people: “Now this is the goal! You must have this, otherwise life is purposeless!” They start running, because they have an achieving mind. But where does it lead? It leads into more and more neurosis.
Only a nonachieving mind can be at peace. But a nonachieving mind is possible only with the background of a cosmic purposelessness. If the whole existence is purposeless then there is no need for you to be purposeful. Then you can play, you can sing and dance, you can enjoy, you can love and live, and there is no need to create any goal. Here and now, this very moment, the ultimate is present. If you are available the ultimate can enter you. But you are not available here; your mind is somewhere in the future, in some goal.
Life has got no purpose and this is the beauty of it. If there was some purpose life would have been mean – just futile. It is not a business, it is a play. In India we have been calling it leela. Leela means a cosmic play… as if God is playing. Energy overflowing, not for some purpose, just enjoying itself; just a small child playing – for what purpose? Running after butterflies, collecting colored stones on the beach, dancing under the sun, running under the trees, collecting flowers – for what purpose? Ask a child. He will look at you as if you are a fool. There is no need for purpose.
Your mind has been corrupted. Universities, colleges, education, society, have corrupted you. They have made it a conditioning deep down within you that unless something has a purpose it is useless – so everything must have a purpose. A child playing has no purpose. At the most, if the child could explain he would say, “Because I feel good. Running, I feel more alive. Collecting flowers, I enjoy, it is ecstatic.” But there is no purpose. The very act in itself is beautiful, ecstatic. To be alive is enough, there is no need for any purpose.
Why ask for anything else? Can’t you be satisfied just by being alive? It is such a phenomenon. Just think of yourself being a stone. You could have been, because many are still stones. You must have been somewhere in the past, sometime, a stone. Think of yourself being a tree. You must have been somewhere a tree, a bird, an animal, an insect. And then think of yourself being a man – conscious, alert, the peak, the climax of all possibilities. And you are not content with it. You need a purpose, otherwise life is useless.
Your mind has been corrupted by economists, mathematicians, theologians. They have corrupted your mind, because they all talk about purpose. They say, “Do something if something is achieved through it. Don’t do anything which leads nowhere.” But I tell you that the more you can enjoy things which are useless, the happier you will be. The more you can enjoy things which are purposeless, the more innocent and blissful you will be.
When you don’t need any purpose you simply celebrate your being. You feel gratitude just that you are, just that you breathe. It is such a blessing that you can breathe, that you are alert, conscious, alive, aflame. Is it not enough? Do you need something to achieve so that you can feel good, so that you can feel valued, so that you can feel life is justified? What more can you achieve than what you are? What more can be added to your life? What more can you add to it? Nothing can be added, and the effort will destroy you – the effort to add something.
Osho, Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Ch 11, Q 1 (excerpt)