The First Door is Acceptance
9 May 1976 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
[A sannyasin says: I've got piles. I want to die sometimes... Sometimes I'm so high and singing, and all of a sudden, zoom! I would welcome death.] It is alright, but you are not finished yet! Death is perfectly alright, there is nothing wrong in it, but right now you are not finished. So the very idea of death will make you unnecessarily gloomy. You are asking for a premature death. So these things are not to be asked. They are to be left to existence. When they happen, they happen. That's when you accept whenever it happens, it is a great rest. And when your body is completely spent, death is the only thing needed. Then it happens; then you move into another body. You may become a tree or a bird or a tiger or something, and you go on moving. The existence gives you a new body when the old is spent. Nothing is wrong in death. Death is beautiful, but never ask for it, because when you ask for it the quality of death changes towards suicide. Then it is no more a natural death. You may not commit suicide, but the very asking makes you suicidal. When alive, be alive; when dead, be dead. But don't overlap things. There are people who are dying and who go on clinging with life. That too is wrong because when death has come, you have to go... and you have to go dancing. If you are asking for death, even thinking about it, then you are alive and clinging to the idea of death. It is the same in the reverse direction. Somebody is dying and goes on clinging to life, does not want to die. Somebody is alive and wants to die. That is non-acceptance.
Accept whatsoever is there, and once you accept unconditionally, then everything is beautiful. Even pain has a purifying effect. Even piles are divine. So whatsoever comes on your way, just be thankful. God knows better and if He gives piles, perfectly okay! One has to be thankful. One has to live through all sorts of experiences pleasant and painful, sweet and bitter. [Osho said that to be swinging from one pole to another from highs to lows simply indicated an aliveness, and that both experiences were 'gifts from the same hand'. He said that if one held back from unpleasant or negative experiences, one could not be fully into the positive.] But we have been taught to choose to choose between the two so our minds are completely poisoned. We go on choosing, while life is a choiceless thing. It does not depend on your choice it simply goes on happening. Whether you choose or not, you create your choice by your own miseries which are unnecessary. One should simply be ready to accept whatsoever comes sometimes the enemy, sometimes the friend. Both are your guests and both have to be respected. From this very moment start respecting your piles and they will disappear sooner or later. Respect and treat them as friends, as guests, not enemies. Just drop that concept of fighting with them. That antagonism has to be dropped. Pain is there, I know. Suffering is there, I know. Suffer, and just accept. Don't ask for death. When it comes, it comes. One should simply go on enjoying whatsoever comes on the way. Non-asking will give you a state of non-desire. Not complaining will make you more contented. This moment is all. Never go beyond this moment, but whatsoever happens, be true to it. Be authentic to it. With the body, with age, many illnesses enter. They are natural. They can be very great opportunities to grow and they are meant for that. They are not purposeless... nothing is. The purpose is that you can accept the pain also. One who can accept pain becomes incapable of being unhappy. To be happy is not much. It is happening sometimes you become happy; everybody sometimes feels happy. But to become incapable of unhappiness... that is the goal of all spiritual effort. And this comes through understanding that you accept pain also with no complaint. Just see the point: if there is no complaint, the pain is not like pain; almost ninety percent of it has disappeared. It was your interpretation. By and by a distance comes between you and the pain. It goes far away. One mohammedan mystic, Abraham, used to pray to God every day, saying, 'I don't ask for pleasures and I don't ask for happiness, but always give me a little pain. Always continue to give me a few gifts of suffering.' He was staying with another mystic, and the friend heard Abraham praying. He said 'What nonsense are you asking? You know God is compassionate' Mohammedans call God, Rahim and He is so compassionate, that if you ask He will give! What are you asking?' Abraham said, 'Because I came to God through my pain, through my suffering, and because when I am happy I tend to forget Him, I ask for a little pain. When I am in pain I remember God. When I am happy, I tend to forget.' He was saying a great spiritual truth.
No need to even ask, I say to you. If Abraham had been here, I would have told him, no need to ask. Because whatsoever you ask even if you ask for suffering you are asking for something pleasurable. Maybe in suffering you remember God and that's your pleasure. So man cannot ask for suffering. Whatsoever he asks, even if he asks for suffering, his innermost desire will be of pleasure. So even if you ask for death, you are asking for a better life. You say this life is worthless, these piles and this age, and the body is becoming old so now take it away. You are simply saying that you would like those things not to be there or that you don't want to be with these things. But either way you are showing a discontent. Just accept that whatsoever is, is, and by and by you will see things are changing. A very subtle change happens. Once you have become capable of accepting pain as a guest, you become incapable of pain. Pain comes but it cannot be painful to you. It comes, but somehow it misses the mark. It does not hit you hard it cannot because by and by you become unavailable to it. You rise higher and higher. It moves around but cannot penetrate to the centre and a distance arises. So this is what I would like to say to you just accept it and then see what happens. [Tathata is a twenty-two hour group. The idea behind it is that unless we can accept ourselves unconditionally, we cannot flow with ourselves and with others.] 'Tathata' means suchness. It means to be with the fact, without any evaluation for or against. If you are angry, then be angry and don't judge that it is good or bad. If you can allow anger without any judgement on your part, you will feel a deep freedom coming out of it. It will be released and a great tension will go with it. It is the same with all emotions. Repression has not to be allowed. Expression has not to be forced. This is what the word suchness, 'tathata', means. [The group leader says it was: A tremendous experience for me. We worked very heavily with body-work into fears.] Very good. The basic work is the body-work that has to be remembered. People have to be brought back to their bodies. They have moved too far into their heads. They have lost all grounding in their body. They are just hovering like ghosts around their bodies; they are no more in them. Christianity and other religions also, more or less, have done something very dangerous. They have created a rift between the body and consciousness. They have created almost an enmity, an antagonism as if the body has to be crushed and destroyed, as if the body is the foe, as if the body is the bondage or the cause of bondage. By and by, through thousands of years of conditioning, people have become completely uprooted from their bodies. They are just like ghosts in the machines. The very basic work in these growth groups is to bring them back to their bodies, to bring them back to their senses. They have to be pulled down from their heads and spread all over the body. Once they are in the body, everything becomes possible because they become alive and sensitive. Once they start feeling their energy, their body energy, they are no more Christian, Hindu, Mohammedans.
They are simply human beings. They become part of the animal world to which they belong... to the trees, to the animals, to the birds. They become vital, alive, and then everything becomes possible. Work hard and break through all their barriers. They will resist, they will resist hard, because you are bringing them back to something which they have been avoiding their whole lives. For their whole life they have been thinking in terms of their being superior, higher, holier than the body. For their whole life they have been shrinking away from the body. They have forgotten the way to come back. The roots have become shrunken, many blocks have developed. Passages are blocked and much has become frozen. When you work on people's bodies, you are moving in a dangerous territory because you can touch points where they are hiding many poisons. If a certain man has been repressing his anger, then in certain parts of his body that anger is there, layer upon layer like a coiled poisonous snake. When you touch that part the anger will recoil and the man can become ferocious. He can almost become murderous. But this has to be done; only then can he be in a state of unwinding. By and by he will relax. One thing more you have to remember in the body-work is that you come easily into your own body if you relate with other bodies. That's why in all societies, touching, hugging, kissing, is prohibited; it is not generally allowed. You don't see people on the street hugging each other, kissing each other, holding hands; only in their privacy, and that too, with a few particular persons a spouse, a husband, a wife, a friend. People have completely forgotten that you cannot be in your body if you don't allow the warm atmosphere of other bodies to enter you. When you hold somebody's hand lovingly, suddenly your hand becomes alive because you have to move your energy into your hand to touch the other person. So touching, hugging, kissing, embracing each other, has to be encouraged. Then people come back easily to their bodies. The warmth spreads and the lava of their life starts flowing . Much body touch is going to be of great help, otherwise people are just holding their bodies away. Even if they are touching each other, they don't touch from the inside. They may be rubbing bodies against each other, but that is not touch. It is touch only when warmth starts flowing, when the touch is no more just a physical touch but takes on the quality of love. So body-work and body relating relating not from the mind, mm? Otherwise people relate only in one way talking. Very good... I feel it has been good. [A sannyasin asks: I see when I smile sometimes that it is a contradiction to what I am feeling and I continue to smile but I feel bad. On the other hand, when I'm happy and I don't smile, I feel my happiness only comes from here (indicating throat).] Mm mm, it is possible. It is so with many people, because the society has created a division in you in everybody. The society expects you to be smiling even in a situation where a smile is not possible. It becomes a social mannerism. A few people learn smiling so much that they forget whether anything is coming from their being or not. They simply go on smiling like a formality and the
inner synchronisity is broken. Sometimes you are feeling unhappy but the smile keeps on coming. It is a misalignment, as if you are functioning like two persons. So for one month, do one thing: become more aware. Only smile when you feel like smiling, otherwise don't. Even if you feel that it is going against your character, against your routine, for one month, just whenever you catch yourself smiling and there is no inner need to smile, drop it in the middle. Even if it looks a little awkward and the other person thinks that you are a little odd, don't be worried. After one month, tell me how you feel. It will be difficult because smiling has such a good pay-off. When you smile at people, even if you don't mean it, people feel good, and when they feel good they make you feel good. When you smile at somebody he feels that you are so happy to see him and you are simply smiling a bogus smile. It has nothing to do with him! But he feels good and when he feels good, he smiles. He says beautiful things to you, that you are a beautiful person and you feel good, and so it goes on. If you stop smiling your false smiles, you will feel that strange things are happening. People are not so friendly towards you. You become a misfit in groups; people want to avoid you. Accept that too. For one month, whatsoever the cost, smile only when you feel like smiling. This will bring an alignment. And after one month I will see, mm? Good! [The group co-leader said that he found it strange to be pushing people into areas where he felt he needed to go, or seeing blocks in them which were also in him. Osho said that one could learn best through teaching, and that he should regard the role of groupleader as just being a role, and that of participant just another; that they were both just part of the game the game of therapy. The thing is to play your part as perfectly as you can. Osho said that there are two types of knowledge scientific and religious. In the scientific, one remains outside the experiment, otherwise one becomes prejudiced.... ] This is one way easier. The other way is of religion. Exactly the opposite is the rule: you have to become a participant, involved, completely drowned in it. So when it is your problem it is a religious situation. When it is somebody else's problem it is a scientific situation. It is very easy to be scientific. It is very difficult to be religious. because you have to be both the experimented and the experimenter, both the experiment and the scientist. There is no separation inside. You are playing a mono-drama. In an ordinary drama there are many actors and roles are divided. In a mono-drama you are alone. All the roles have to be played by you. A zen monk used to call out loudly every morning, 'Bokuju, where are you?' That was his own name (laughter). And he would answer, 'Yes sir? I am here.' Then he would say, 'Bokuju, remember, another day is given. Be aware and alert and don't be foolish!' He would then say, 'Yes sir, I will try my best.' And there was nobody else there! His disciples started thinking he had gone mad or something. But he was playing a mono-drama. And that's how the inner situation is. You are the talker, you are the listener, you are the commander
and you are the commanded. It is difficult because roles tend to get mixed, to overlap. It is very easy when somebody else is the led and you are the leader. If the roles are divided, things are clear-cut. Nothing is overlapping; you have to finish your role, he has to finish his. It is easy; the situation is arbitrary. When you are both, the situation is natural, not arbitrary, and of course it is more complicated. But you will learn by and by. This has been a very good insight. And always remember that a growth group is not an analysis. It is not to be an analysis it has to be an insight. It is not that you think about and you analyse and categorise, that you conceptualise and theorise no. You just live in the whole situation and an insight arises in you. This is an in-sight to see that you are telling a person to do something which you need yourself. This will make you humble and you will not get into any ego-trip of being a leader. Otherwise you may be helpful to others, but you will create a great disease for yourself. So the leader is in danger. He is playing with fire. He may get into the ego-trip too much of 'I am the leader and I am helping so many people. Look how many people are flowering. This is my work'. Then you miss the insight. You may have helped others but you are drowned. Then you remain ill. Your medicine may be working for others but it doesn't work for you. This is an insight 'I am in the same boat; my problem is the same.' It makes you more human, more understanding, more tender, soft ... great compassion arises in you. Then you are not condemnatory if the led is not following you. You know how difficult it is. You cannot follow yourself. Good, mm? It has been good. [Another group participant says: I 'm starting to accept myself. My heart is pumping. In the group also, it was pumping. I start to like it (laughter).] (chuckling) Good. If you can start to like yourself and to accept yourself, much becomes available. Many doors open but the first door is always of acceptance. If you condemn yourself, everything remains closed because you have not even opened the first door. Every child is brought up in condemnation. Every child is told that he is not accepted as he is. If you do certain things that your elders want you to do, you are good. If you go against them, you are bad. So your actions decide whether you will be loved or not, not your being. A child by and by starts learning that 'I am not valuable in myself. I have no intrinsic value. If I do certain things that elders think are good, then I am accepted. I am a good boy or a good girl. If I don't do that and I follow my own instincts and it goes against the elders, I am bad, and I will not receive any love from them.' And in a very dangerous world, a small child is so helpless, so tremendously helpless, that he has to compromise. He feels hurt that he is not accepted for himself as he is. He feels 'Great demands are being made upon me which are foolish and the elders go on saying very strange things. They say "It is because we love you, that's why we want to do this. Because we love you, that's why we want to beat you. Because we love you, that's why we try to discipline you. It is all for your own sake. It is all for your own good."'
And the child cannot say anything. He cannot rebel and he cannot revolt because he is helpless. His whole survival is at stake. For his survival he accepts compromises, becomes diplomatic, tries to do things others are saying to do; at least, pretends to. He tries not to do things which he wants to do, or at least tries to hide that he has been doing them. A great dichotomy arises. Then you are always condemning; something or other is always wrong. This is your parental voice, society, educationists. Their voice is working inside you and they' are continuously condemning you, making you feel guilty. They have crippled all humanity. If you start accepting yourself you have taken the first step against this insane society. You have taken the first step towards being a new human being. You have laid the first brick for a different type of humanity, which will be accepting, loving. Everybody should be valued for his own sake. The value should be intrinsic, not for what he does. His very existence is valuable. Accept yourself and drop those parental voices by and by. The more you get rid of them, the more free and alive you will feel... more spontaneous. [Another group participant says: Everybody says I have blocks and I can't recognise them so I can't bring them up. I don't feel any blocks but the groupleader thinks I have. I think he's crazy. Osho checks his energy.] He is not wrong blocks are there. He may be crazy but he is right... and sometimes crazy people are right (laughter). Blocks are there, but they are very dead so you cannot feel them. Blocks have many qualities. If the block is not absolutely settled, then you can feel it. It is loose and something is still flowing around, so you can feel it. But if the block is completely dead and it has become settled for many years, you cannot feel it. You have accepted it as part of your body, just as you accept your bones so you don't feel them. They are there. Good (laughter). Then you will start feeling the block also. Just wait... and don't be worried about it because it has nothing to do with your worrying. You cannot bring it in this way. [The sannyasin adds: About a week or so ago, I had a satori experience and I climbed on the bull's back for a short time. He has a slippery back. How can I stay on the back of the bull? it was at a party. Good. It will come again. And don't be worried, one slips many times. The bull is difficult and slippery also. You will slip many times, but by and by one becomes more skilful. Many times the glances of satori come but you cannot hold them. But nothing is wrong in it and don't be worried that you could not hold it for longer. Forget all about it. Just remember the situation in which it happened and try to move in that situation again and again.
The experience is not important. How you were feeling just a moment before, that is important. If you can create that situation again, the experience will happen again. Experience is not important. The situation is important; how you were feeling flowing. Loving... what the situation was. Music may have been on, people were dancing, eating... the flavour of food, or some beautiful woman just by your side, a friend talking to you and suddenly.... Just remember the aroma in which it happened, the field. Try to create that field. When the field is right and you are in tune again, the bull will enter and you can ride on him... One day one has to. Just sit silently and try to create that situation again, because it is a field that you can create. Sometimes it happens accidently. The whole science of Yoga developed out of accidents. For the first time people were not looking for satori, because how could they know it then? For the first time it happened in a certain situation and they became aware. They started seeking it, searching for methods to reach it. Naturally they became aware that if the situation can be created again, maybe the experience will follow. This is how, by trial and error, the whole science of Yoga, Tantra, and Zen, developed. It took centuries to develop it. For example many people became aware that if you sit silently and the body is not moving at all, the bull enters very easily. So people have been sitting silently, unmoving. People became aware that when the breathing is so silent that it is almost stopped, suddenly it happens. They became aware that if you sit with eyes fully open, it is difficult. If you sit with eyes fully closed, it is difficult, because when you sit with eyes fully closed, the moment you become silent you become sleepy. The bull may come but you will be asleep so you will miss the opportunity. If you have open eyes the world comes inside too much so you are distracted too much. People started looking just at the tip of the nose, with eyes neither open or closed, just half-way. Just looking at the tip of the nose, you cannot fall asleep and the world cannot enter in so much, and then it can happen more easily. People became aware that if you stand you get tired soon. You cannot remain in that state for long; your body starts swaying. It is difficult to remain immobile while standing because the standing posture is for walking. If you lie down you fall asleep, because the lying posture is for sleep. So they started sitting erect. This is the padmasan, the lotus posture, in which you are sitting. In this posture you can stay longer than you can standing and you can remain awake more easily than when you are lying down. This is a very symetrical posture. The body is just in the middle, the backbone is erect and the whole body is loosely hanging on it. Both the hands, the palms, are touching each other. Feet upon feet. They make a circle, and the body electricity moves in a circle. That creates a harmony and in that harmony, satori happens easily. These are just situations. They are not necessary situations. It is not that if you can sit it has to happen. No, this is simply creating a more flexible state in which it can happen, but there is no necessity. A person can sit for his whole life and it may not happen. Everybody has to find in what situation his satori starts bubbling, his own samadhi starts happening. Everybody has to feel his own way. If you are a little alert, after a few experiences you will become able to create the situation, mm?