Can you tell me about acceptance and how to learn to accept, because I feel a part in me that is so stupid?
“The first thing is to understand what acceptance means. You say: Can you tell me about acceptance and how to learn to accept, because I feel a part in me that doesn’t want to accept. Accept that part also, otherwise you have not understood. A part in you goes on rejecting – accept that rejecting part also, otherwise you have not understood. Don’t try to reject that part, accept it, that is what total acceptance is.
You have to accept that also which rejects.
“You say you would like to know who that part of you is, that is so stupid. The moment you call it stupid you have rejected it. Why do you call it stupid? Who are you to call it stupid? It is your part. Why are you dividing yourself into two? You are a whole. All these tricks that you have learned about division have to be dropped. You have learned to divide yourself into the godly part and the devilish part, the good and the bad, the high and the low. Drop all divisions – that is what acceptance means….
“In fact whatsoever you have got, everything is needed – maybe in a different arrangement, that’s all. But nothing is to be denied, rejected; don’t call anything stupid in yourself.”
“Acceptance means you accept whatever is the case. If there is anger, you accept it. If there is suffering, you accept it. If there is lust, greed, you accept it. If there is anxiety, worry, you accept it. You accept everything. And then how is it possible to be disturbed? When one accepts everything, disturbance is impossible.
So in the last analysis, silence means total acceptance.”
Is pain also something we need to accept?
“Pain is a part of growth and is very necessary. Nobody can grow without pain, so if you want to grow, you have to accept it. If you don’t grow, pain may not be there, but suffering will be. And that is the difference between suffering and pain.
“Pain is beautiful because it has a potential to grow, and it is something on the way. Suffering is ugly, impotent, barren – nothing comes out of it. One goes on suffering and suffering and suffering, but nothing comes out of it; it is absolutely barren. Always choose pain, but never choose suffering. And that is the difference – you understand me? In the dictionary there may be no difference between pain and suffering, but in life there is a tremendous difference. Pain is beautiful – accept it, be courageous. Nothing is going to happen out of suffering so never accept it.
“Seek some way to grow, because suffering accepted becomes hell; pain accepted becomes heaven.”
How to deal with situations where others are causing my pain?
This is the first truth to be learned in life: that you are always responsible, nobody else.
“With that comes great freedom, because with that all alternatives are open. If you think that somebody else is responsible then you are a slave; then nothing is open. Then you have to be what you are. If your life is a tragedy then it has to be a tragedy, because others are responsible; unless they change, nothing can be done about it. You don’t have any freedom.
“And that is the reason why millions of people live in misery: they think others are creating their misery. Nobody is creating your misery, nobody can create it; and nobody can create your bliss either. It is a totally individual phenomenon. It is just your work upon yourself.”
Osho, Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot, Talk #13
How can I know when I have accepted something or when I have only consoled or distracted myself from the pain?
“It is simple. Consolation is out of thinking, explanations, theories; acceptance is out of understanding. When you explain yourself, you console. When you understand, then there is acceptance. Consolation has to be brought in; acceptance comes on its own. Acceptance is a happening; consolation is a doing.
“You are miserable; then you seek some theory to explain it – past life karmas; somewhere you try to find a shelter. Or maybe God is putting you in misery so that you can grow: it is a challenge to grow – a consolation. Or it is the nature of life; you philosophize, you say, ‘Everybody is in misery, and I cannot be the exception. Buddha says that all of life is misery – so it is. One has to accept it, what else can one do? One has to accept it.’ Then it is consolation. Then you try hard to create a buffer around yourself.
“The misery is there. You look into the misery, and you don’t bring any theory, and you don’t bring any explanation; you simply look into the fact of misery, and looking into the fact of misery, suddenly, you find there is arising an acceptance. If somebody asks, ‘Why?’ you will not be able to answer because there is no why. You will not be able to show the cause. You will simply say, ‘It has happened.’
“Acceptance is like love – all that is really beautiful is always like love.”
Does acceptance just happen? – while consolation is our “doing”?
“Consolation is a belief. A created thing cannot be of much value. You have created it – it cannot be bigger than you, it is bound to be smaller than you. Acceptance is bigger than you – it happens. When does acceptance happen? It happens when you don’t cling to any consolation. So put all the consolations aside….
“Painful? Then let it be painful; what can be done? Whatsoever it is; it has to be looked into. But through that very encounter arises a tremendously new consciousness; a new being is born.”
Is accepting my problem enough? Or should I also do something about it?
“Accepting it is doing something about it. Acceptance is not mere acceptance: it is the very method of changing it. The moment you accept anything, it starts coming into the conscious. It leaves the unconscious, it starts coming to the light because now you are not denying it so there is no need for it to hide. Now you are not against it and there is no need to go on living underground: it can come and face you.
“And when things come to the conscious and you see them clearly… And they can be seen clearly only when you accept. If somewhere you have any kind of denial, rejection, you cannot look into the eyes of a thing. You avoid, you don’t want to see; you’re afraid.
“Acceptance makes you unafraid of any fact – if it is there. The moment you see that it is there and you are no more repressing, it comes up, it surfaces; it comes into the light. You can see it through and through and that very seeing is a transforming phenomenon.
You will never be the same again once you have seen the facts about yourself in their utter nakedness….
“This is what I mean by acceptance. Acceptance is not just acceptance: it is a way of changing the whole situation. Accept it, allow it, and you will see many things are useless, just hang-ups from the past; they can be thrown easily. Just by seeing them – that they are hang-ups from the past – you get rid of them. Nothing else is needed in just seeing that.
“And the remaining are messages of tremendous import from your deepest core, from your navel to the head – which has gone very, very far away. Those messages are very significant; they have to be understood. By understanding them you will be creating a bridge between your unconscious and conscious. By understanding them you will become more one, more individual. The division, the split will disappear. You will start feeling a new center arising in you – the center which is called integration.”
Osho, The Further Shore, Talk #20 – Become an Instrument to Me
Why do we find it difficult to accept ourselves?
“It is difficult for everybody, because we have been taught not to accept ourselves; it has become an ingrained habit. No child is loved for his own being. Hence the child starts learning one thing, that ‘I am not acceptable as I am; I have to earn acceptance. I have to do this and I have to do that, then I will be loved, but I cannot be loved simply, just by being myself.’
“And that is being done all over the world, in every country, in every culture, more or less. Every child is poisoned by this. It is good that you are aware of the fact, because it can be dropped through awareness. It is just a hangover, a hangover from your parents, teachers, priests. They are all teaching one thing continuously, from every nook and corner they are conditioning everybody that ‘You are not of any worth unless you prove yourself. You have to prove your worth. Become a great painter, then it is good. Become a great politician, then it is okay. Become a great poet, then it is okay. But if you are just yourself, with no claim, then you are worthless.’ This stupid idea has been taught to everybody.”
Osho, The Shadow of the Bamboo, Talk #11
“You have been conditioned to hate yourself, to condemn yourself, to reject yourself.
“‘Within me? And paradise?’
“So from the outset, rejection.”
“If you have a certain idea of how you should be, then you cannot accept the experiential truths of your being. If you have the idea that you have to be a brave man, that bravery is a value, then it is difficult to accept your cowardice. If you have the idea that you have to be a Buddha-like person – compassionate, absolutely compassionate – then you cannot accept your anger. It is the ideal that creates the problem.
If you don’t have any ideals, then there is no problem at all. You are a coward, so you are a coward.
“And because there is no ideal of being a brave man, you don’t condemn the fact. You don’t reject it, you don’t repress it; you don’t throw it into the basement of your being so that there is no need for you ever to look at it. Anything that you throw into your unconscious will go on functioning from there; it will go on creating problems for you.
“It is like a disease that you have pushed inward. It was coming to the surface, and from the surface there was a possibility that it might have disappeared. If a wound comes to the surface it is good, it is on the way to being healed. Because it is only from the surface that it will be in contact with fresh air and the sun and it will be healed.
If you force it inward, if you don’t allow it to come to the surface, then it is going to become a cancer.
“Even a small disease, repressed, can become a dangerous disease. No disease should ever be repressed. But the repression is natural if you have some ideal. Any ideal will do….
“If a person can accept his reality as it is, in that very acceptance all tension disappears. Anguish, anxiety, despair all simply evaporate. And when there is no anxiety, no tension, no fragmentariness, no division, no schizophrenia, then suddenly there is joy, then suddenly there is love, then suddenly there is compassion. These are not ideals, these are very natural phenomena. All that is needed is to remove the ideals because those ideals are functioning as blocks. The more idealist a person is, the more blocked he is….
“A very fundamental thing to be remembered: only communion with psychological pain opens the door for its liberation and transcendence, only communion with psychological pain. All that is painful has to be accepted. A dialogue has to be created with it. It is you. There is no other way to go beyond it. The only way is to absorb it….
“Psychological pain ends only by accepting it in its totality. Psychological pain does not exist just because of the mere presence alone of some stimulus or reality termed ‘painful.’ Rather, the pain is produced by the interpretation of the fact or reality which produces the tendency to avoid or resist that fact.
“Try to understand it. Psychological pain is your own creation….
“Only when the mind recoils from a fact or reality is there pain. You are recoiling from the facts of cowardice, fear, anger, sadness. Don’t recoil. Recoiling from a fact creates pain.
Psychological pain is part and parcel of the process of escape and resistance.
“Pain is not inherent in any feeling but arises only after the intent to reject it arises. The moment you decide to reject something, pain arises.”
Is awareness the key to this?
A choiceless awareness – that is the ultimate key to open the innermost mystery of your being. Don’t say it is good, don’t say it is bad. When you say something is good, attachment arises, attraction arises. When you say something is bad, repulsion arises. Fear is fear – neither good nor bad. Don’t evaluate, just let it be. Let it be so.
“When you are there without condemnation and justification, then in that choiceless awareness all psychological pain simply evaporates as dewdrops in the early morning sun. And left behind is a pure space, left behind is virgin space.
“This is the one, the Tao, or you can call it God. This one that is left behind when all pain disappears, when you are not divided in any way, when the observer has become the observed, this is the experience of God, samadhi or whatever you will.
“And in this state there is no self as such because there is no observer, controller, judger. One is only that which arises and changes from moment to moment.
So accepting myself as a strategy for transformation is not really acceptance is it?
“Acceptance has to be unconditional, for no reason at all, without any motivation. Then only does it free. It brings tremendous joy, it brings great freedom, the freedom does not come as an end. Acceptance is itself another name for freedom. If you have truly accepted, if you have understood what I mean by acceptance, there is freedom – immediately, instantly.
“It is not that first you accept yourself, practice acceptance, and then one day there will be freedom – no. You accept and there is freedom because psychological pain disappears immediately.
Is accepting myself the essential starting point?
“If you accept yourself, that is the beginning of accepting all. If you reject yourself, you are basically rejecting the universe. If you reject yourself, you are rejecting existence; if you accept yourself, you have accepted existence.”
This article is published on Medium