Stop Talking and Thinking


“If you go on thinking ‘about’ you miss the whole life – everything is crossed out by and by. In the end you are also crossed out: not only is the word crossed out, you are also in the end crossed out. Thinking becomes like smoke; everything moves into it and everything is finished. And action becomes impossible – even to send a telegram is not possible. Action becomes impossible because action is direct and thinking is indirect. They never meet.

“This is the problem in the world. People who think never act; and people who don’t think go on acting. The world is in misery. People who are fools, go on acting because they never think, they jump into everything. Hitlers and Napoleons and Maos go on doing things, and wise people, the so-called thinkers – Aristotle, or Kant, or Hegel –go on thinking, they never do anything.

“The problem for a man who is seeking reality is how to stop the vicious circle of thinking, yet be aware – because fools also don’t think, but they are not aware. Be aware: the energy that moves into thinking should become awareness. Consciousness that goes on in a vicious circle with thinking should be retained, purified. Thinking should stop; the whirling of consciousness should stop, but not consciousness. Consciousness should become more crystallized. And action should be there, action should not stop.

“Awareness plus action, and you will attain reality immediately. And not only you – you will create a situation in which others can also attain reality. You will become a milieu, a climate around which things will start happening. That’s what happened with a Buddha, with a Sosan, with a Chuang Tzu.

“Remember: action is good, thinking is a vicious circle; it never leads anywhere. So thinking has to stop but not action. There are people who will go on thinking: action will stop. That’s how it happens when a person renounces life, moves to the forest or the Himalayas. He renounces action, not thinking. He renounces the world where action was needed. He is renouncing reality itself, because through action you come in contact with reality. Seeing is action, moving is action, dancing is action, painting is action. Whatsoever you do, you come in contact with reality. You have to become more and more sensitive in your doing. Doing is not to be renounced.

“Action should be totally there, because that is the passage through which you move into reality and the reality moves into you. Try to understand, because this is very basic – basic to me: renounce thinking, don’t renounce action.

“There are people who go on thinking, and there are people who go on renouncing action. But in the Himalayas what will they do? Then the whole energy, not moving in action, will move into thinking. They will become great philosophers. But philosophy is a fool’s land; you live in words, not in realities. Love disappears, only the word love is retained. God disappears – because he was there in the fields, in the market, in the world – but the word God is retained. Actions disappear, only concepts are carried. Your head becomes your whole being.

“Avoid this. Never renounce action, only renounce thinking. But if you renounce thinking there is a possibility you may become unconscious – or you may become a fool. You may start doing anything whatsoever, because now you don’t know what to do, and you don’t think. You may go crazy. Thinking is to be renounced, but you are not to become more unaware, more unconscious. You have to become more conscious.

“This is the whole art of meditation: how to be deep in action, how to renounce thinking, and how to convert the energy that was moving into thinking, into awareness.”


Excerpted from Osho, Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Talk #3

Osho Times International/courtesy Osho International Foundation/