Name: Destiny, Freedom, And The Soul
Series: Life Essentials
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Edition/ Impression / Year of Publication: 2010
Cover Design: Lisa Marie Pompilio
Cover Photograph: Getty Images
About: A selection of excerpts from the collected discourses of Osho
Osho picks up the most crucial questions which are often neglected but are the guiding force in our lives. Whether is there any meaning to life or is it meaningless and if it is meaningless does it make sense to commit suicide? What is the soul? Is there such a thing as the self and if yes, do we possess it? Will we be born again and reincarnated? Is there such a thing as fate and destiny or do we possess free will? However, all these questions are not significant enough in themselves and the answer to these starts with the first pressing question, ‘Who am I?’
Our life is a journey where we seek ourselves. The question, ‘Who am I‘ is not a mere question but a quest to find out who we are in essence. We know that we are but not who we are. All the above questions are superficial, and that has nothing to do with the quest. However, the answers to those questions are revealed to those who begin their journey of finding oneself. Moreover, when one finds who one is, one sees all. It is not that the answers to all those questions are revealed in theory but that the questions dissolve in the very process of finding oneself.
The questioning of one’s identity fills oneself with the agony and anxiety and gives rise to the existential angst, but it is important to maintain calm and be meditative and not to allow the society to condition oneself with the prevailing concepts that one is this or that. Being completely present with the question unaffected by what is tempting is necessary. Answers are out there to corrupt. They provide one with a readymade set of words, theories, dogmas and destroys the very pure innocence of ignorance. Moreover, it is out of that ignorance that the flower blossoms and the question start dissolving, and one encounters the truth. One becomes the witness to who one is.
The society has given rise to a tension within us that we are not doing that that one might like to do. We have been divided on the psychological grounds. When we do something, a part of us affirms but the other half denies, and with such schizophrenic personality whole-hearted decisions are not possible hence we regret later, on behalf of the other half whom we repressed the other day. Moreover, this harm of doing a split within man is done by those in power, the priests, and the politicians. They know that a divided being is the weakest and easy to rule.
The one who begins the quest of finding oneself defies the rules. The rules are imposed by those who would like to rule you. Moreover, an Enlightened being neither rules nor affirms to the rules. However, the society cannot recognize the enlightenment of your being. Even when you have found yourself, the society cannot accept because it is made up of crowds and the enlightenment is only for the individuals. Enlightenment happens to individuals and not to the society. The search to the question, ‘Who am I,’ is a journey you have to follow alone and when the truth would is revealed, it would be your own and not of the others.
People denied accepting the Buddha as the one who realized the truth of his being. Jesus was also rejected by the society and not accepted. It is important here to know why does the society deny accepting the beauty of their enlightenment. As something starts rising above it becomes difficult for the others to recognize it. When something flies to the highest pinnacle, the person alone identifies oneself and no other person could be found who knows them. It is the reason Buddha declared himself that he is enlightened because nobody else could recognize it. Moreover, to the rest of the humanity, when people looked at him, above in the sky, he was much like an Unidentified Flying Object to them.
Osho says, of whether there is any meaning to this life or not, ‘Living: live and live entirely. Dying: die, and die entirely. And in that totality, you will find significance.’ Life does not have any meaning but significance. We in the society are being accustomed to think that the ends and the means are two different things, and that also is responsible for creating the split within us. And when we use this divided mentality to live, a question emerges, what then is the point of living? Where is it leading and where would it end? Would it make any sense?
The most important things in life are not derived out of purpose whether be it love art, or life. The purpose, aim or goal is for those who need an end to initiate a task or an action, for whom it is difficult to do something for the pure sake of doing it. However, is it love if you are deriving out through it something, can charity be charity if you are more interested in the appraisal, is it really art if you are doing it for the business. Life indeed remains not life when you start living it on the terms of the society, where you work for some meaning, for purpose because there isn’t any. However, the very process of doing it changes, reinvents and transforms you and within it lies the significance to life.
It is essential to let go of the pre-conceived notions of destiny and fate and within the process of that letting go one becomes free, and it is through that freedom one find the very soul, the answer to the question who one is and what is the meaning of this life?