Question - Osho, Is it important to have some kind of
attitude towards Life?
Osho - Margrit,
the best way to miss life is to have a certain attitude towards it.
Attitudes originate in the mind, and life is beyond mind. Attitudes are
our fabrications, our prejudices, our inventions. Life is not our
fabrication; on the contrary, we are just ripples in the lake of life.
What kind of attitude can a ripple in the ocean have towards the ocean?
What kind of attitude can a grass leaf have towards the earth, the moon,
the sun, the stars? All attitudes are egoistic, all attitudes are
Life is not a philosophy, it is not a problem; it is a
mystery. You have to live it not
according to a certain pattern, not according to a conditioning -- what
you have been told about it -- you have to start afresh, from the very
scratch. Each human individual should think as if he is the first on the
earth; he is the Adam or the Eve. Then you can open; you can open to
infinite possibilities. Then you will be vulnerable, available; and the
more vulnerable you are, the more available you are, the greater the
possibility of life happening to you. Your attitudes function like
barriers; then life never reaches to you as it is -- it has to fit your
philosophy, religion, ideology, and in that very fitting, something dies
in it. What you get out of it is a corpse: it may look like life but it
That's what people have been doing down the ages. The
Hindus are living according to the Hindu attitude, the Mohammedans
according to the Mohammedan attitude, and the
communists according to the communist attitude. But remember a basic,
fundamental truth: the attitude does not allow you to come in contact
with life as it is; it distorts, it interprets.
There is an old Greek story:
A fanatic king had a beautiful golden bed, very precious, studded with
diamonds, and whenever there was a guest in the palace he would offer
the bed to the guest. But he had a certain attitude: the guest had to
fit with the bed. If the guest was a little longer then the king would
cut him down to size. Of course, the bed was so valuable it could not be
changed, but the guest had to be put according to the bed -- as if the
bed did not exist for the guest but the guest existed for the bed!
And it is very rare, almost impossible, to find a man
to fit a ready-made bed. The average
person does not exist, remember; the average person is a fiction, and
the bed was made for the average person. The king was a mathematician --
great calculation had gone into it. He had measured the height of all
the citizens of his capital, and then the height was divided by the
number of all the citizens; he had come to a fixed average. Now, there
were small children in the capital, young people, old people, pygmies,
giants, but the average was a totally different phenomenon. There was
not a single person in his whole capital who was really average. I have
never come across the average person -- the average person is a fiction.
So whosoever was going to be the guest was in trouble.
If he was shorter than the bed,
then the king had great wrestlers who would pull the man to size. That
must have been the beginning of Rolfing! Ida Rolf must have learnt it
from that king. Of course, each guest died, but that was not the king's
fault -- he was doing everything with the best intentions in the world!
When you have a certain attitude towards life, Margrit,
you will miss life itself. Life is
vast, uncontainable by any attitude; it is impossible to put it into a
certain definition. Yes, your attitude may cover a certain aspect, but
it will be only an aspect. And the tendency of the mind is to proclaim
its aspect as the whole, and the moment the aspect is claimed as the
whole you have missed the very connection with life. Then you will live
surrounded by your attitude in a kind of cocoon, encapsulated, and you
will be miserable. Then all your so-called religions will be very happy
because that's what they have been telling to you: that life is misery.
Buddha says birth is misery, youth is misery, old age
is misery, death is misery -- the
whole of life is nothing but a long, long tragedy. If you start with
attitudes you will find
Buddha absolutely correct; you will be a proof of it. But I want to tell
you that life is not misery, and I don't agree with Buddha at all. Life
becomes a misery, but that is your doing; otherwise life is eternal joy.
But to know that eternal joy you have to come open-hearted, open-handed.
Don't approach life with your fists closed, clenched.
Open your hands. Go into life with
immense innocence. Attitudes are cunning: you have already decided
without tasting, without experiencing, without living. You have already
arrived at certain conclusions, and of course if those conclusions are
there already in you A PRIORI, you will find them confirmed by life. It
is not that life confirms them, but your whole mind will try to find out
ways and means, arguments, data to support them.
Mind is like a sponge: it goes on sucking. It is a
parasite. Once there is the center of a
certain A PRIORI conclusion then that center starts becoming
A man came to me who had been working for years on a certain hypothesis
countries of the world: particularly in the West, and more particularly
in America, the number
thirteen is not thought to be good. There are hotels in America where
the thirteenth floor does
not exist; from the twelfth floor you simply come to the fourteenth.
number thirteen is
avoided, no room has the number thirteen; from the twelfth you
immediately reach the
fourteenth, because nobody wants to live in the thirteenth room or on
the thirteenth floor. A
great fear -- the idea that the number thirteen has something evil in
And this man was working and collecting all kinds of data, and he had
collected a really
huge, mountainous support how many accidents happen on the thirteenth of
every month, how many people die on the thirteenth, how many people
commit suicide, how many people
murder, how many people go mad.
And he was showing his great thesis to me, and he said, "What do you
I said, "You do one thing more. You have put so much energy into it, now
try one thing
more. Now find out what happens on the twelfth! And you will come to the
because on the twelfth also people go mad, commit suicide, murder, rob.
every day, but if you have a certain fixed attitude then you will choose
according to that
attitude. And of course when you have so much information and argument
you feel certain
that your attitude is right."
Margrit, I teach you a life without any attitudes. This is one of the
fundamentals of my
experience: if you really want to know that which is then drop all
philosophy, all "ism". Then
go open-handed, utterly naked into the sun, to see what it is.
In the past, it was thought that our senses are doors, that the reality
reaches from our
senses to our innermost being. Now the latest research shows something
else: our senses are
not just doors, they are guards also. Only two percent of information is
allowed to pass in,
ninety-eight is prevented outside. Anything that goes against your idea
of life is prevented and
only two percent filters in.
Now, to live a life of only two percent is not to live at all. When one
can live a hundred
percent, why decide to live for only two percent?
Margrit, you ask me:
IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE SOME KIND OF ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE?
Not only is it not important, it is dangerous to have any attitude
towards life. Why not
allow life to have its dance, its song, without any expectations? Why
can't we live without
expectations? Why can't we see that which is in its purity? Why should
we impose ourselves
upon it? And nobody is going to be the loser. If you impose upon life
you are the only loser.
From London comes the story of the three professors of literature who,
from luncheon, encountered several ladies of pleasure who were
patrolling the street -- en
"What might one call such a congregation?" mused the first professor, a
specialist. "A flourish of strumpets?"
The second professor, being an authority on the novels of Anthony
contributed, "A chapter of trollops."
But the best description came from the youngest and the least
specialized of the professors.
He called the ladies "an anthology of pros."
It is better not to label life, it is better not to
give it a structure, it is better to leave it
open-ended, it is better not to categorize it, not to label it. You will
have a more beautiful
experience of things; you will have a more cosmic experience of things,
because things are not
really divided. Existence is one orgasmic whole; it is one organic
unity. The smallest blade of
grass, the smallest leaf in a poor tree is as significant as the biggest
star. The smallest thing is
also the biggest, because it is all oneness; it is one spectrum. The
moment you start dividing
you start creating arbitrary lines, definitions, and that's the way one
goes on missing life and
the mystery of it.
We all have attitudes; that is our anguish. We all look from a certain
standpoint, hence our
life becomes poor; because every aspect at the most can only be
one-dimensional and life is
multi-dimensional. You have to be more liquid, more fluid, more melting
and merging; you
are not to be an observer. There is nothing to be solved! Don't take
life as a problem, it is a
tremendously beautiful mystery. Drink of it -- it is pure wine! Be a
drunkard with it!
A successful cloak-and-suiter had finally found the girl of his dreams
and he made
preparations for a wedding the garment district would never forget. His
designers prepared for
the bride a wedding gown of the finest imported silks and satins, and
his own marital raiment
was truly a sight to behold.
The affair was nothing less than breathtaking; no expense had been
spared. Then, as the
newly-weds were about to embark on their honeymoon trip to Canada, an
arrived in the form of a telegram.
"It's from my partner," the groom explained. "Urgent business. I'll have
to attend to it
"But what about our honeymoon?" the bride asked tearfully.
"Business comes first," he said. "But you go ahead. I'll catch a later
plane and be there by
"But what if you can't make it by tonight?" she moaned.
"Then," he blustered, "start without me."
A businessman has his own philosophy, his own attitudes. The scientist
has his own
attitudes. Everybody is living in a small prison of his own attitudes.
My effort here is to bring you out of your imprisonment, hence I don't
teach you any
doctrine, I don't give you any dogma, I don't give you any creed to live
by. I am simply trying
to help you to be unburdened of all the nonsense which has been imposed
upon you for
centuries. If you can put aside the mountainous weight of the past, if
you can start living as if
you are the first man, only then is there a possibility that you may
come to know what
godliness is, what freedom is, what joy is. Otherwise, misery is going
to be your lot, and
naturally, sooner or later, you will agree with the pessimistic attitude
of Buddha: that all is
suffering, all is pain.
I absolutely deny it, because my own experience is just the opposite:
all is bliss, all is
benediction. But it depends on you, how you approach life: guarded, with
on your eyes, or unguarded, in deep trust, in love.
Source - Osho Book "The Goose is Out"
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Osho - Why is this life,
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Osho - Why Man continue to live
the way he lives -- in misery, in agony, in suffering
Osho - I
have tried my whole Life to live a Religious Life, but then why am I
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