Therapist: A Hollow Bamboo

Birthday of Alfred Adler

My sannyasins working around the world in therapy groups have felt that sometimes they are open to me, available to me, and sometimes they are closed. It is human nature, ups and downs; they are not enlightened yet. Sometimes they see the eternal snows, far away in the Himalayas; but they are far away and just once in a while, when there are not clouds and the sun is shining, you can see them. But you are not there. When a sannyasin is closed, his first work should be not on the group participants, his first work should be upon himself. He has to open, he has to be available to me. This is simply an excuse — because if he is open to me, he is open to the whole existence. The moment you open your door, immediately the fragrance of the flowers enters without making any noise. The sun rays enter. A cool breeze comes in. You have opened the door to the whole universe.

To be available to the master is just an excuse. You will be afraid to be open to the whole universe — it will be too much. The master convinces you that there is no need to open all the doors and all the windows: “You just open a small window — a special window for me.” But once you open even a small window, the whole sky enters in. And the joy, the peace, the beauty that you feel will make you open all the windows and all the doors. My therapists have been seeing the difference in their work. When they are open and available they can see and feel so decisively, so indubitably, that something from beyond is pouring through them. They have just become a hollow bamboo, playing the song, allowing the song to flow. The song is not of the flute. The greatness of the flute is that it does not hinder the song in any way but helps it, allows it to reach into the world.

There is no question of channeling — although I have given you my number. It is a difficult number.

Zero is my number and unless you are zero, you cannot find it. You have to be zero to be in tune with me.

But then you will see a tremendous change in the quality of your work. You can do miracles to the participants. If you are closed, you may be able to conduct a group because you know the technical side…. Do you know the difference between the scientist and the technician? The technician is not a scientist, and the scientist is not a technician. The scientist discovers the hidden treasures of existence and also discovers the techniques and methods to use those treasures. The technician is only concerned with the technique. He is not a discoverer, but he knows exactly what has to be done. There will be a great difference of quality but it may not be felt by the people who have never known anything higher.

A therapist who is not in deep meditation, is not open, is not merging into the universe, will not be able to become a real help to the participants.

Perhaps a consolation… perhaps those participants will feel the euphoria for a few days and then it will fade out. Then again they need another group. They become addicts. Group addicts are in the same category as drug addicts. The group has not helped them to be free and independent; the group has made them slaves. Now they will be continuously searching — this group, that group. But no group is going to give them an insight into themselves because the therapists themselves are not in a situation where all problems are solved, all questions dissolved, where they are simply relishing each breath. They have their problems just like you have.

It happened….

One of the great psychologists, one of the founders of the movement of psychology, Alfred Adler — he is one of the trinity: Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung and Alfred Adler, these are the three pillars. He was talking to his students and a very embarrassing situation arose. One statement he made, that “My experience…” and it was a lifelong experience of the thousands of patients he had studied. He said, “My experience with people is that it is not just an accident that a person becomes a teacher in a school. He wants domination. He is not strong enough to become a terrorist, but he can become a teacher and can torture thirty small boys and girls.”

It seems there is some truth in what he is saying. Everybody chooses a particular profession; there must be a psychology behind it. It has been found in many surveys that the people who study medicine are the people who are most afraid of death. Your doctors are more afraid of death than anybody else. They have come to medicine in search, unconsciously, of finding a way that leads beyond death. It is not a deliberate decision but if they are hypnotized and asked, the answer comes clear: they are afraid of death and they have joined the profession out of that fear…

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Adler was saying that politicians are all suffering from an inferiority complex. They feel inferior for any stupid reason. For example, Lenin, the man who created the Soviet revolution and the Soviet Union was very much worried and concerned and always was conscious of the fact that his legs were small. His upper body was bigger and his lower body was very small. His legs could not reach to the floor. Sitting on the chair, his legs were just dangling there and he was trying to hide them in every possible way so that nobody would see them hanging there in the air. That was Lenin’s problem. That created the Russian revolution. That made him the greatest revolutionary in the world. That made him the greatest, most powerful man on one-sixth of the land of the earth — the Soviet Union is one-sixth of the land of the whole earth. It is almost two continents. It starts in Europe and it ends in Asia, it covers the whole of Europe and Asia.

All politicians are in search of power. It is a will to power. But why? You must be feeling somehow powerless. You want to prove to yourself and to the world that you are not powerless because you know that if you don’t do anything, you will suffer your whole life from inferiority and everybody else will look at you as inferior. This situation has to be changed. In this way, Adler was going to describe every profession possible, and what is the psychological reason behind it. Just then, a student stood up and asked, “What about the psychologists? Is there something loose in their heads? Why does anybody choose psychology? According to the philosophy you have expounded there must be something wrong with his mind, and I agree totally with it.”

Adler was very much shocked — that meant he was mentally retarded, sick, something was wrong in his mind. He never mentioned that theory again! He mentioned it only once in his whole life. That is rare, because the theory is very significant and very true. Why does a man want to be a therapist? Has he done his own therapy? Is he finished with his homework? If not, then what right has he got to interfere in other people’s lives, their minds, their unconscious, their superconscious? He has only read these words, and he is trying these words on poor people — poor because they are being treated as guinea pigs, poor because they have paid two hundred and fifty dollars to be treated as a guinea pig!


And there is a human tendency which is not taken note of…. When somebody pays two hundred and fifty dollars for a therapy session, if he says after the session, “Nothing happened,” then everybody will say, “You are an idiot! They cheated you — two hundred and fifty dollars gone. And we have been telling you that you were hanging around wrong people, but you never listened.”

Now two hundred and fifty dollars are gone, the whole week is destroyed, and to be treated by people as an idiot… this can be avoided. They come out and before they get out of the therapy premises, they start smiling. They start walking as they have never done before, so light! Now, let the people ask.

And people will say, “We were wrong, something has happened. Look at that man — singing a song, unafraid of the world. He has never been like that. It is worth two hundred and fifty dollars.” And when they ask him, he tells them what great things have happened, great experiences. This way he saves face. This is an old phenomenon, and the psychology is simple.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series:

Sermons in Stones

Chapter #9
Chapter title: Mind as a Master is a disaster
8 December 1986 pm in


Osho has spoken on notable Psychologists and philosophers like Adler, Jung, Sigmund Freud, Assaguoli, Aristotle, Berkeley, Confucius, Descartes, Feuerbach, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Huxley, Jaspers, Kant, Kierkegaard, Laing, Marx, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Pythagoras, Russell, Sartre, Socrates, Wittgenstein and many others in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Hidden Splendor
  2. The New Dawn
  3. This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
  4. Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
  5. Beyond Enlightenment
  6. Beyond Psychology
  7. Light on The Path
  8. The Discipline of Transcendence
  9. The Dhammapada
  10. From Bondage to Freedom
  11. From Darkness to Light
  12. From Ignorance to Innocence
  13. The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
  14. From Personality to Individuality
  15. I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
  16. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
  17. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1
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