The Extraordinary Ordinary Life
I FEEL LIFE IS VERY BORING. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
AS IT IS, YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE ENOUGH. You have made life boring — some achievement! Life is such a dance of ecstasy and you have reduced it to boredom. You have done a miracle! What else do you want to do? You can’t do anything bigger than this. Life and boring? You must have a tremendous capacity to IGNORE life. Just the other day I was telling you that ignorance means the capacity to ignore. You must be ignoring the birds, the trees, the flowers, the people. Otherwise, life is so tremendously beautiful, so ABSURDLY beautiful, that if you can see it as it is you will never stop laughing. You will go on giggling — at least inside.
Life is not boring, but MIND is boring. And we create such a mind, such a strong mind, like a China Wall around ourselves, that it does not allow life to enter into us. It disconnects us from life. We become isolated, encapsulated, windowless. Living behind a prison wall you don’t see the morning sun, you don’t see the birds on the wing, you don’t see the sky in the night full of stars. And, of course, you start thinking that life is boring. Your conclusion is wrong. YOU are in a wrong space; you are living in a wrong context.
You must be a religious person, Brij Mohan, because to make life boring one has to be religious; one has to be very scholarly. One has to know Christianity, Hinduism, Islam. One has to learn much from the Vedas and the Koran and the Bible. You must be very well-informed.
A man who is too well-informed, too knowledgeable, creates such a thick wall of words — futile words, empty words — around himself that he becomes incapable of seeing life. Knowledge is a barrier to life. Put aside your knowledge! And then look with empty eyes…and life is a CONSTANT surprise. And I am not talking about some divine life — the ORDINARY life is so extraordinary. In small incidents you will find the presence of God — a child giggling, a dog barking, a peacock dancing. But you can’t see if your eyes are covered with knowledge. The poorest man in the world is the man who lives behind a curtain of knowledge.
The poorest are those who live through the mind. The richest are those who have opened the windows of no-mind and approached life with the no-mind.
Brij Mohan, this is not only YOUR experience; you are not alone in it. In fact, the majority of people will agree with you. They don’t find any surprise anywhere. And each moment there are surprises and surprises because life is never the same; it is constantly changing, and it takes such unpredictable turns. How can you remain unaffected by the very wonder of it? The only way to remain unaffected is to cling to your past, to your experience, to your knowledge, to your memories, to your mind. Then you cannot see that which is; you go on missing the present.
Miss the present and you live in boredom. BE in the present and you will be surprised that there is no boredom at all.
Start by looking around a little more like a child. Be a child again! That’s what meditation is all about: being a child again — a rebirth, being innocent again, not-knowing.
That’s what we were saying the other day. The Master said: NOT-KNOWING IS THE MOST INTIMATE. Yes, you must have become very alienated from life, hence boredom. You have forgotten the intimacy, the immediacy. You are no longer bridged. Knowledge functions as a wall: innocence functions as a bridge. Start looking like a child again. Go to the seashore and again start collecting seashells. See a child collecting seashells — as if he has found a mine of diamonds. So thrilled he is! See a child making sandcastles and how absorbed he is, utterly lost, as if there is nothing more important than making sandcastles. See a child running after a butterfly…and be a child again. Start running after butterflies again. Make sandcastles, collect seashells.
Don’t live as if you know. You know nothing! All that you know is about and about. The moment you KNOW something, boredom disappears. Knowing is such an adventure that boredom cannot exist. With knowledge of course it can exist; with knowing it cannot exist. And let me remind you: I am not talking about some divine knowledge, some esoteric knowledge; I am simply talking about THIS life. Just look around with a little more clarity, with a little more transparency…and life is hilarious!…
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Chapter title: Neti Neti
4 January 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘knowledge, life, boredom, mind’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Ancient Music in the Pines
- The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 3
- From Personality to Individuality
- The Golden Future
- Take It Easy, Vol 1
- Satyam Shivam Sundram
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Zen: The Special Transmission
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Heart Sutra
- The Messiah, Vol 2
- The Perfect Master, Vol 1, 2
- The Secret
- Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 3
- That Art Thou