Osho on Destiny and Free Will
Question - Are Our Lives Predestined or Not?
Osho : This is not a personal problem, it is a philosophical question.
Our lives are both predestined and they are not. Both yes and no. And
both answers are true for all questions about life. In a way, everything
is predetermined. Whatever is physical in you, material, whatever is
mental, is predetermined. But something in you constantly remains
undetermined, unpredictable. That something is your consciousness.
If you are identified with your body and your material
existence, in the same proportion you are determined by cause and
effect. Then you are a machine. But if you are not identified with your
material existence, with either body or mind – if you can feel yourself
as something separate, different, above and transcendent to body-mind –
then that transcending consciousness is not predetermined. It is
Consciousness means freedom; matter means slavery. So
it depends on how you define yourself. If you say, ”I am only the body,”
then everything about you is completely determined. A person who says
that man is only the body cannot say that man is not predetermined.
Ordinarily, persons who do not believe in such a thing as consciousness
also do not believe in predetermination.
Persons who are religious and believe in consciousness ordinarily
believe in predetermination. So what I am saying may look very
contradictory. But still, it is the case. A person who has known
consciousness has known freedom. So only a spiritual person can say
there is no determination at all. That realization comes only when you
are completely unidentified with the body. If you feel that you are just
a material existence, then no freedom is possible.
With matter, no freedom is possible. Matter means that
which cannot be free. It must flow in the chain of cause and effect.
Once someone has achieved consciousness, enlightenment, he is completely
out of the realm of cause and effect. He becomes absolutely
unpredictable. You cannot say anything about him. He begins to live each
moment; his existence becomes atomic.
Your existence is a river-like chain in which
every step is determined by the past. Your future is not really future;
it is just a by-product of the past. It is only the past
determining, shaping, formulating and conditioning your future. That is
why your future is predictable.
Skinner says that man is as predictable as anything else. The only
difficulty is that we have not yet devised the means to know his
total past. The moment we can know his past, we can predict everything
about him. Based upon the people he has worked with, Skinner is right,
because they are all ultimately predictable. He has experimented with
hundreds of people and he has found that they are all mechanical beings,
that nothing exists within them that can be called freedom.
But his study is limited. No Buddha has come to
his laboratory to be experimented upon. If even one person is free, if
even one person is not mechanical, not predictable, Skinner’s whole
theory falls. If one person in the whole history of mankind is free and
unpredictable, then man is potentially free and unpredictable.
The whole possibility of freedom depends on whether you emphasize your
body or your consciousness.
If you are just an outward flow
of life, then everything is determined. Or are you something
inner also? Do not give any preformulated answer. Do not say, ”I am the
soul.” If you feel
there is nothing inside you, then be honest about it. This honesty will
be the first step toward the inner freedom of consciousness. If you go
deeply inside, you will feel that everything is just part of the
outside. Your body has come from without, your thoughts have come from
without, even your self has been given to you by others.
That is why you are so fearful of the opinion of others – because they
are completely in control of your self. They can change their opinion of
you at any moment. Your self, your body, your thoughts are given to you
by others, so what is inside? You are layers and layers of outside
accumulation. If you are identified with this personality of yours that
comes from others, then everything is determined.
Become aware of everything that comes from the outside and become
non-identified with it. Then a moment will come when the outside falls
completely. You will be in a vacuum. This vacuum is the passage between
the outside and the inside, the door. We are so afraid of the vacuum, so
afraid of being empty that we cling to the outside accumulation. One has
to be courageous enough to disidentify with the accumulation and to
remain in the vacuum. If you are not courageous enough, you will go out
and cling to something, and be filled with it.
But this moment of being in the vacuum is meditation.
If you are courageous enough, if you can remain in this moment, soon
your whole being will automatically turn inward. When there is nothing
to be attached to from the outside, your being turns inward.
Then you know for the first time that
you are something that transcends everything you have been thinking
yourself to be. Now you are something different from becoming; you are
being. This being is free; nothing can determine it. It is absolute
freedom. No chain of cause and effect is possible.
Osho on Destiny and Free Will Continued....
(why enlightened person cannot be predicted)
Related Osho Discourses:
Osho - Why am
I forcing situations according to my Will
Osho on Coincidence,
Coincidence simply means that there is a possibility of freedom
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