Could you say something about silence and celebration and life?
In the west, celebration is associated with the American idea of having a good time which is synonymous with noise, loud music, watching movies, smoking, sex, and release of energy as such, while silence and serenity are automatically associated with boredom and excessive accumulation of energy which results in tension and anxiety. Please comment.
[You can read the first part of Osho’s response to this question: East and West: The Inner vs the Outer. Now Osho talks more about how choosing only one of these gestalts, for example, the inner or outer, consciousness or scientific progress, we are choosing only half the man.]
“I teach you the whole man. The inner is real – as real as the outer. And the outer is as significant as the spiritual. You have to attain to a certain balance, a balance in which neither the inner predominates nor the outer but both are equally complementary to each other. This has not happened up to now. But unless this happens, there is no possibility for any humanity to exist in the world.”
The West is dying of its own success. The East has already died of its success. It is a very strange story that people have died because of their victories – choosing the half is dangerous. But choosing the whole needs courage, insight and overwhelming understanding.
“And a mobility…just as you come out of your home and go back inside the home, your coming out of your being and going into your being should be as simple as that.”
“Whenever you are needed in the market, you should be in the market with your totality. The market cannot destroy your soul. And anybody who has preached to the world to renounce it, was against humanity. Neither does going inward, being in a meditative silence, take away anything from the outside world. You don’t have to condemn it, and you don’t have to declare it illusory. It should have been so simple to see, that I am amazed why thousands of years have passed, and still it is not a recognized fact around the whole world.”
“I am reminded of a great Indian mystic, Adi Shankara. He is one of the proponents of the philosophy that the world is absolutely illusory. One morning he is coming out of the Ganges, after taking his early bath before going into prayer. The sun has not risen yet. It is dark. He is coming up the stone steps in Varanasi and a man touches him. It would not have been much of a trouble, but the man simply said, ‘Forgive me. I am not supposed even to come close to you. I am a sudra, an untouchable. Even my shadow is evil.'”
Shankara was very angry. He said, “I will have to take another bath to purify myself.” But he was not aware who the man was.
“The man said, ‘Before you take another bath, you will have to answer a few questions. One is, if the outside is unreal, do you believe me to be a reality? I am certainly outside you. And if the outside is unreal, then what is the reality of the pure River Ganges of the Hindus? It is also outside. And what do you think about your own skin? Is it inside or outside? Unless you explain it to me, I am going to remain here. You can take as many baths as you want; I will touch you again and again.'”
“Hindus don’t like to talk about the incident. And Shankara does not seem to be an honest man, because after this incident he continued to preach that the outside is illusory.”
Every day you need the outside food and every day you need the outside water, and still the outside is illusory?
“It is such pure nonsense that it is time to condemn all these people who have renounced the world and who have been teaching the world that the outside is nothing but a dream.”
“I cannot believe it – if the outside is unreal, whom are you teaching? If the outside world is unreal then what are you renouncing, where are you going? To the Himalayas? The Himalayas are as much outside as M.G. Market!”
And the same kind of stupidity has been dominating the Western mind. A scientist is perfectly rational when he is working in his lab on objects, but the moment you ask him about himself, he starts saying that there is nobody inside.
“He cannot see what an irrational statement he is making: if there is nobody inside, who is working in the lab? If there is nobody inside, then who is watching, calculating, coming to conclusions? The science is true and the scientist himself is saying that he is not true.”
“These two idiotic ideologies have destroyed the whole of humanity – its peace, its love, its grandeur, its dignity. It has to be restored. I deny Adi Shankara and I also deny Karl Marx in the same breath; I am against the atheist and I am against the theist because both are trying to divide reality, which is indivisible.”
The outer cannot exist without the inner. Neither can the inner exist without the outer. They are both two sides of the same coin.
“But believe it or not, there is not a single statement in the whole history of man declaring that man is one, that the outer and the inner are not contradictory but complementary, that they cannot exist in separation, that they are supported by each other and they should be used together. Only then man can rise to his real heights and blossom into his ultimate flowering.”
“You are saying, “In the West, celebration is associated with the American idea of having a good time which is synonymous with noise, loud music, watching movies, smoking, sex, and release of energy as such. This is the half side – the people who have chosen to be extroverts and have forgotten their own inner center. But they are getting fed up with it. Now the greatest philosophers in the West like Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Marcel, Jean Paul Sartre, all are in absolute agreement that life is meaningless, that it is nothing but boredom. And the only conclusion out of all these philosophies is a very simple one: except suicide, there is no way. But there are wonders and wonders: of all these great philosophers I have named, none have committed suicide.”
“It reminds me of a great Greek philosopher, Zeno, who was teaching the same thing two thousand years ago. He lived a long life, he died when he was ninety, but he was such a convincing, impressive personality that thousands of people committed suicide because they could not prove what is the meaning of life. If there is no meaning, then you are simply a coward and you go on dragging yourself – gather courage and commit suicide! When he was dying, one man asked him: ‘Zeno – following you, thousands of young people have committed suicide. A question arises: why did you not follow your own philosophy?'”
“But philosophers are basically very clever people. Zeno said, “I had to suffer life just to teach people the truth.” He has been a martyr, because he lived for ninety years! You should worship him, because he lived so you could commit suicide.”
“All these five great philosophers of the West – and these are the topmost – are not interested in committing suicide, they are only interested in writing about boredom, meaninglessness, anguish, angst. They all come to the conclusion that suicide seems to be the only way out, but nobody gets out of the way.”
“The West has reached, by its own success, to the ultimate failure. And this failure of nerve is very dangerous, because they are in control of enormous destructive power, nuclear weapons. They can destroy the whole planet not only one time, but as many times as you want. Ordinarily every human being dies only once, except Jesus Christ. But the politicians and the scientists of the West have been making arrangements for everybody to die seventy times.”
“I don’t think anybody is going to have seventy resurrections. One time will do – perhaps once in a while, somewhere, some Jesus Christ… but even Jesus Christ cannot survive seventy times.”
“But the politicians are ready to destroy the whole planet seventy times. This is the success of the Western approach of taking the outside man as the whole reality. And nothing better has happened in the East. Almost fifty percent of the people in the East are hungry, starved, undernourished. And by the end of this century at least five hundred million people will die, only in this land; I am not counting people who are going to die in China, in Taiwan, in Korea, in Japan. Just in this country five hundred million people are going to die within ten years.”
The earth cannot support this huge humanity which goes on growing, unless we also start being scientific, being technological.
“Science is capable even now to support a humanity seven times bigger than the present one. Right now, there are five billion people in the world. Science has the capacity now for seven times more people to live comfortably – but science cannot do it on its own. It needs scientific minds, it needs people who are technologically expert.”
“My own understanding about the East is that even if people come from the West, well-educated in science and technology, their old stupidities continue inside their being.”
“I have seen D.Sc.’s worshipping before a monkey god, Hanuman. I cannot believe my eyes! Sometimes I think it would have been better to be blind. These people who are worshipping monkey gods, elephant gods – these people don’t have scientific minds. They may have had a scientific education, which is a totally different thing.”
“To know about science is one thing and to be creative about science is another thing. To know about meditation is one thing and to meditate is totally different.”
The West needs a more meditative mind and the East needs a more scientific mind. Then we will be able to create a humanity which can live without poverty, without hunger – a healthier, longer life, which you cannot even think of.
“The scientific calculation is that the present body that we have is capable of living at least three hundred years – just the right food, right medical care, right ecological environment and these people can live for three hundred years. I cannot conceive what treasures will be revealed if a Gautam Buddha can live three hundred years, if Albert Einstein can live three hundred years, if Bertrand Russell can live three hundred years.”
“Up to now the way we have lived is such a sheer wastage. People who are trained, educated, cultured, become old, die at the age of seventy.”
We need a very scientific approach about the outside and a very meditative approach about the inside.
“You are saying, “…while silence and serenity are automatically associated with boredom and excessive accumulation of energy which results in tension and anxiety.” If things remain the same then this is a truth. If you don’t exert your energy… with your food, your continuous breathing, your drinking water, you are generating energy. It has to be used; otherwise it is going to become a tension, and finally it is going to become anxiety. But if my idea is understood… I am saying you are half outside, half inside.”
“Use your energy in the outside world in creative activities, not in football. There is so much to create, so much to discover, such a vast universe is standing there as a challenge to explore. Use your energies to make the world more beautiful, more poetic, more healthy.”
“And when you feel that you are exhausted, tired, move withinward. Rest. And your rest will become your meditation, because meditation does not need any exertion of energy. On the contrary – it conserves, it preserves; it makes you a pool of great energy. When you feel that your serenity and your silence and your joy inside wants to dance outside, both are yours: then sing, then dance, then create. And if your creativity comes from your silences of heart, it will have a different quality, a different flavor.”
It is only a question of a little intelligence and balance. Inside is the source of your energies; outside is the world, to let that energy create – be a creator. But you cannot be a creator unless you are a meditator.
“My sannyasin has a new definition; it is not the definition of the old. In the old definition sannyas meant renouncing the world. My sannyas means rejoicing in the world. But before you can rejoice, you should accumulate energy so much that you start overflowing with love, sensitivity, creativity, poetry, song, dance….”
“And certainly these things will have a very compassionate quality. They will not be violent. I cannot conceive of a meditator playing football. I cannot conceive a Gautam Buddha having a boxing match. But a Gautam Buddha can create a beautiful garden of roses. A Gautam Buddha can paint. And his paintings will be far superior to the paintings of Picasso, because Picasso is almost insane. If you look at the paintings of Picasso, you will feel a kind of sickness to throw out. Just keep a Picasso painting in your bedroom and you will have nightmares, because those paintings have come from nightmares of Picasso – air-conditioned nightmares.”
“There have been meditators who have created. You can see the Taj Mahal…that has been created by the Sufi mystics. Just watching it in the full-moon night, you can suddenly fall into a deep silence which you have never touched within yourself. If you can sit silently by the side in the deep night, the beauty of Taj Mahal starts changing something within you. The Taj Mahal does not remain just there outside, it starts becoming a part of your own being.”
“There are temples in China, in Japan, in India, created by meditators. Just sitting there and you will find that what has been so difficult for you, to stop your thinking, stops itself. The whole atmosphere of the temple, the fragrance, the incense, the statues…they are all creating a certain space within you.”
Once humanity learns both things together – meditativeness and a scientific approach about the world – we will have entered into a new phase, into a totally new phase discontinuous with the ugly, unhealthy, sick and insane past.
Abridged from Osho, Om Mani Padme Hum, Talk #13