Taking Responsibility


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Have you seen the world lately? News media full to the brim with frustration, desperation, and condemnation, apparently faster climate change and everything costing more than ever before, all it takes is your kid having a tantrum in the frozen-food aisle for you to wish someone would take the reins of your life and do it for you. When you’ve only ever done your best and followed the rules it’s easy to point the finger: “You got me into this, now get me out.” Well guess what? It’s easier than you think! The moment you start taking responsibility, you get yourself out, and here’s an Osho insight on what responsibility means:

“You don´t understand even the meaning of the word responsibility. The society has been so cunning. It has destroyed our most beautiful words, given them distorted meanings. Ordinarily in your dictionaries ‘responsibility’ means duty, doing things the way you are expected to do them by your parents, by your teachers, by your priests, by your politicians, by somebody else.

“Your responsibility is to fulfill the demands made upon you by your elders and your society. If you act accordingly, you are a responsible person; if you act on your own ― individually ― then you are an irresponsible person. And your fear is: in acting spontaneously, here and now, there is a danger ― you may start acting individually. What will happen to your responsibility?

“The fact is that ‘responsibility,’ the very word, has to be broken into two words. It means ‘response ability.’ And response is possible only if you are spontaneous, here and now. Response means that your attention, your awareness, your consciousness, is totally here and now, in the present. So whatever happens, you respond with your whole being. It is not a question of being in tune with somebody else, some holy scripture, or some holy idiot. It simply means to be in tune with the present moment.  This ability to respond is responsibility.

[…]

“Life brings new situations every day. If you are waiting to be guided by past experience, you will miss the opportunity to act responsibly, to act spontaneously. To me the greatest morality is to act spontaneously. And you will always be right because your full awareness will be involved. More than that you cannot do. More than that existence cannot demand from you. And if you are focused totally in the present, what more can you do? You are bringing your whole energy and consciousness to solve the question, to get out of the situation. More than that is not possible. So whatever happens is right.

“This whole idea of responsibility and being guided by experience is told to you by people who don’t want you to be here and now. They go on giving you advice on how to act, what to do, but they don’t know that life does not go according to their guidelines. Their guidance becomes misguidance in any real moment.

[…]

“You have to respond to every kind of situation in the world. Past guidance is not of much help. Every moment you will be coming across something new. The world is very inventive. That’s why all so-called religious people who are guided by the past look so sad. They are always missing the train. They go on looking for guidance, but this is not the situation for which the guidance was given. It may have been right in a certain moment, in a certain situation, but it is nothing that can be eternally true.

“Only one thing is eternally true, and that is your consciousness. If you can bring your consciousness to the present, you cannot go wrong. Whatever you do out of that consciousness is always going to be right, not according to any criterion, but just because it is coming out of a total awareness. Out of total awareness, nobody has ever done anything wrong.

“According to me, right is what comes out of your spontaneity and out of your consciousness and out of your presence here and now.”

Abridged from Osho, Sat Chit Anand – Truth Consciousness Bliss, Talk #20