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When You are Angry, You are Punishing Yourself
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OSHO : The Discipline of  Transcendence, Volume 1, Chapter 5

The Buddha said:

If a man who has committed many a misdemeanour does not repent and cleanse his heart of the evil, retribution will come upon his person as sure as the streams run into the ocean which becomes ever deeper and wider.

If a man who has committed a misdemeanour come to the knowledge of it, reform himself and practice goodness, the force of retribution will gradually exhaust itself as a disease gradually loses its baneful influence when the patient perspires.

The Buddha said:

When an evil-doer, seeing you practice goodness, comes and maliciously insults you, you should patiently endure it and not feel angry with him. For the evil-doer is insulting himself by trying to insult you.

The Buddha said:

Once a man came unto me and denounced me on account of my observing the way and practicing great loving kindness. But I kept silent and did not answer him. The denunciation ceased.

I then asked him, if you bring a present to your neighbor and he accepts it not, does the present come back to you? the man replied, it will. I said, you denounce me now, but as I accept it not, you must take the wrong deed back upon your own person. It is like an echo succeeding sound, it is like shadow following object. You never escape the effect of your own evil deeds. Be therefore mindful and cease from doing evil.

Man is a crowd, a crowd of many voices -- relevant, irrelevant, consistent, inconsistent -- each voice pulling in its own way; all the voices pulling man apart. Ordinarily man is a mess, virtually a kind of madness. You somehow manage, you somehow manage to look sane. Deep down layers and layers of insanity are boiling within you. They can erupt any moment, your control can be lost any moment, because your control is enforced from without. It is not a discipline that has come from your center of being.

For social reasons, economic reasons, political reasons, you have enforced a certain character upon yourself. But many vital forces exist against that character within you. They are continuously sabotaging your character. Hence every day you go on committing many mistakes, many errors. Even sometimes you feel that you never wanted to do it. In spite of yourself, you go on committing many mistakes -- because you are not one, you are many.

Buddha does not call these mistakes sins, because to call them sin will be condemning you. He simply calls them misdemeanors, mistakes, errors. To err is human, not to err is divine. And the way from the human to the divine goes through mindfulness. These many voices within you can stop torturing you, pulling you, pushing you. These many voices can disappear if you become mindful.

In a mindful state mistakes are not committed -- not that you control them, but in a mindful state, in an alert, aware state, voices, many voices cease; you simply become one, and whatsoever you do comes from the very core of your being. It is never wrong. This has to be understood before we enter into these sutras.

In the modern Humanistic Potential Movement there is a parallel to understand it. That's what Transactional Analysis calls the triangle of PAC. P means parent, A means adult, C means child. These are your three layers, as if you are a three-storied building. First floor is that of the child, second floor is that of the parent, third floor is that of the adult. All three exist together.

This is your inner triangle and conflict. Your child says one thing, your parent says something else, your adult, rational mind says something else.

The child says enjoy. For the child this moment is the only moment; he has no other considerations. The child is spontaneous, but unaware of the consequences -- unaware of past, unaware of future. He lives in the moment. He has no values and he has no mindfulness, no awareness. The child consists of felt concepts; he lives through feeling. His whole being is irrational.

Of course he comes into many conflicts with others. He comes into many contradictions within himself, because one feeling helps him to do one thing, then suddenly he starts feeling another feeling. A child never can complete anything. By the time he can complete it his feeling has changed. He starts many things but never comes to any conclusion. A child remains inconclusive. He enjoys -- but his enjoyment is not creative, cannot be creative. He delights -- but life cannot be lived only through delight. You cannot remain a child forever. You will have to learn many things, because you are not alone here.

If you were alone then there would be no question -- you could have remained a child forever. But the society is there, millions of people are there; you have to follow many rules, you have to follow many values. Otherwise there will be so much conflict that life would become impossible. The child has to be disciplined -- and that's where the parent comes in.

The parental voice in you is the voice of the society, culture, civilization; the voice that makes you capable of living in a world where you are not alone, where there are many individuals with conflicting ambitions, where there is much struggle for survival, where there is much conflict. You have to pave your path, and you have to move very cautiously.

The parental voice is that of caution. It makes you civilized.

The child is wild, the parental voice helps you to become civilized. The word,"civil" is good. It means one who has become capable of living in a city; who has become capable of being a member of a group, of a society.

The child is very dictatorial. The child thinks he is the center of the world. The parent has to teach you that you are not the center of the world -- everybody thinks that way. He has to make you more and more alert that there are many people in the world, you are not alone. You have to consider them if you want yourself to be considered by them. Otherwise you will be crushed. It is a sheer question of survival, of policy, of politics.

The parental voice gives you commandments -- what to do, what not to do. The feeling simply goes blind. The parent makes you cautious. It is needed.

And then there is the third voice within you, the third layer, when you have become adult and you are no more controlled by your parents; your own reason has come of age, you can think on your own.

The child consists of felt concepts; the parent consists of taught concepts, and the adult consists of thought concepts. And these three layers are continuously in fight. The child says one thing, the parent says just the opposite, and the reason may say something totally different.

You see beautiful food. The child says to eat as much as you want. The parental voice says that many things have to be considered -- whether you are really feeling hungry, or just the smell of the food, the taste of the food is the only appeal. Is this food really nutritious? Is it going to nourish your body or can it become harmful to you? Wait, listen, don't rush. And then there is the rational mind, the adult mind, which may say something else, totally different.

There is no necessity that your adult mind may agree with your parents. Your parents were not omniscient, they were not all-knowing. They were as fallible human beings as you are, and many times you find loopholes in their thinking. Many times you find them very dogmatic, superstitious, believing in foolish things, irrational ideologies.

Your adult says no, your parent says do it, your adult says it is not worth doing, and your child goes on pulling you somewhere else. This is the triangle within you.

If you listen to the child, your parent feels angry. So one part feels good -- you can go on eating as much ice cream as you want -- but your parent inside feels angry; a part of you starts condemning. And then you start feeling guilty. The same guilt arises as it used to arise when you were really a child. You are no more a child -- but the child has not disappeared. It is there; it is just your ground floor, your very base, your foundation.

If you follow the child, if you follow the feeling, the parent is angry and then you start feeling guilt. If you follow the parent then your child feels that he is being forced into things which he does not want to do. Then your child feels he is being unnecessarily interfered with, unnecessarily trespassed upon. Freedom is lost when you listen to the parent, and your child starts feeling rebellious.

If you listen to the parent, your adult mind says, What nonsense! These people never knew anything. You know more, you are more in tune with the modern world, you are more contemporary. These ideologies are just dead ideologies, out of date -- why are you bothering? If you listen to your reason then also you feel as if you are betraying your parents. Again guilt arises. What to do? And it is almost impossible to find something on which all these three layers agree.

This is human anxiety. No, never do all these three layers agree on any point. There is no agreement ever.

Now there are teachers who believe in the child. They emphasize the child more. For example, Lao Tzu. He says, The agreement is not going to come. You drop this parental voice, these commandments, these Old Testaments. Drop all "shoulds" and become a child again. That's what Jesus says. Lao Tzu and Jesus, their emphasis is: become a child again -- because only with the child will you be able to gain your spontaneity, will you again become part of the natural flow, tao.

Their message is beautiful, but seems to be almost impractical. Sometimes, yes, it has happened -- a person has become a child again. But it is so exceptional that it is not possible to think that ever the humanity is going to become a child again. It is beautiful like a star... far distant, but out of reach.

Then there are other teachers -- Mahavir, Moses, Mohammed, Manu -- they say listen to the parental voice, listen to the moral, what the society says, what you have been taught. Listen and follow it. If you want to be at ease in the world, if you want to be peaceful in the world, listen to the parent. Never go against the parental voice.

That's how the world has followed, more or less. But then one never feels spontaneous, one never feels natural. One always feels confined, caged. And when you don't feel free, you may feel peaceful, but that peacefulness is worthless. Unless peace comes with freedom you cannot accept it. Unless peace comes with bliss you cannot accept it. It brings convenience, comfort, but your soul suffers.

Yes, there have been a few people again who have achieved through the parental voice, who have really attained to the truth. But that too is very rare. And that world is gone. Maybe in the past, Moses and Manu and Mohammed were useful. They gave commandments to the world. Do this. Don't do that. They made things simple, very simple. They have not left anything for you to decide; they don't trust that you will be able to decide. They simply give you a readymade formula -- These are the ten commandments to be followed. You simply do these and all that you hope, all that you desire will happen as a consequence. You just be obedient.

All the old religions emphasized obedience too much. Disobedience is the only sin -- that's what christianity says. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of god because they disobeyed. God had said not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge and they disobeyed. That was their only sin. But every child is committing that sin. The father says, Don't smoke, and he tries it. The father says, Don't go to the movie, and he goes. The story of Adam and Eve is the story of every child. And then condemnation, expulsion....

Obedience is religion for Manu, Mohammed, Moses. But that world has gone, and through it many have not attained. Many became peaceful, good citizens, good members, respectable members of the society, but nothing much.

Then there is the third emphasis on being adult.

Confucius, Patanjali, or modern agnostics -- Bertrand Russell -- all humanists of the world, they all emphasize: Believe only in your own reason. That seems very arduous, so much so that one's whole life becomes just a conflict. Because you have been brought up by your parents, you have been conditioned by your parents. If you listen only to your reason, you have to deny many things in your being. In fact, your whole mind has to be denied. It is not easy to erase it.

And you were born as children without any reason. That too is there. Basically you are a feeling being; reason comes very late. It comes when, in fact, all that has to happen has happened. Psychologists say a child learns almost seventy-five percent of his whole knowledge by the time he is seven years old. Seventy-five percent of his whole knowledge he has learned by the time he is seven years old, fifty percent by the time he is four years old. And this whole learning happens when you are a child, and reason comes very late. It is a very late arrival. It comes when, in fact, all that has to happen has happened.

It is very difficult to live with the reason. People have tried -- a Bertrand Russell here and there -- but nobody has achieved truth through it, because reason alone is not enough.

All these angles have been chosen and tried, and nothing has worked. Buddha's standpoint is totally different. That's his original contribution to human consciousness. He says not to choose any, he says move in the center of the angle. Don't choose reason, don't choose parent, don't choose the child; just move in the very center of the angle and remain silent and become mindful. His approach is tremendously meaningful. And then you will be able to have a clear perspective of your being. And out of that perspective and clarity let the response come.

We can say it in another way. If you function as a child, that is a childish reaction. Many times you function as a child. Somebody says something and you get hurt, and a tantrum and anger and temper... you lose everything. Later on you feel very bad about it -- that you lost your image. Everybody thinks you so sober and you were so childish, and nothing much was at stake.

Or you follow your parental voice, but later on you think that still you are dominated by your parents. You have not yet become an adult, mature enough to take the reins of your life into your own hands. Or sometimes you follow reason, but then you think that reason is not enough, feeling also is needed. And without feeling, a rational being becomes just head; he loses contact with the body, he loses contact with life, he becomes disconnected. He functions only as a thinking mechanism. But thinking cannot make you alive, in thinking there is no juice of life. It is a very dry thing. Then you hanker, you hanker for something which can again allow your energies to stream, which can again allow you to be green and alive and young. This goes on and you go on chasing your own tail.

Buddha says these are all reactions and any reaction is bound to be partial -- only response is total -- and whatsoever is partial is a mistake. That's his definition of error: whatsoever is partial is a mistake. Because your other parts will remain unfulfilled and they will take their revenge.

Be total. Response is total, reaction is partial.

When you listen to one voice and follow it you are getting into trouble. You will never be satisfied with it. Only one part will be satisfied, the other two parts will be very much dissatisfied. So two thirds of your being will be dissatisfied, one third of your being will be satisfied, and you will always remain in a turmoil. Whatsoever you do, reaction can never satisfy you, because reaction is partial.

Response -- response is total. Then you don't function from any triangle, you don't choose; you simply remain in a choiceless awareness. You remain centered. And out of that centering you act, whatsoever it is. It is neither child nor parent nor adult. You have gone beyond PAC. It is you now -- neither the child nor the parent nor the adult. It is you, your being. That PAC is like a cyclone and your center is the center of the cyclone.

So whenever there is a need to respond, the first thing, Buddha says, is become mindful, become aware. Remember your center. Become grounded in your center. Be there for a few moments before you do anything. There is no need to think about it because thinking is partial. There is no need to feel about it because feeling is partial. There is no need to find clues from your parents, Bible, Koran, Gita -- these are all P -- there is no need. You simply remain tranquil, silent, simply alert -- watching the situation as if you are absolutely out of it, aloof, a watcher on the hills.

This is the first requirement -- to be centered whenever you want to act. Then out of this centering let the act arise -- and whatsoever you do will be virtuous, whatsoever you do will be right.

Buddha says right mindfulness is the only virtue there is. Not to be mindful is to fall into error. To act unconsciously is to fall into error.

Now the sutras.

The Buddha said:

If a man who has committed many a misdemeanour does not repent and cleanse his heart of the evil, retribution will come upon his person as sure as the streams run into the ocean which becomes ever deeper and wider.

If a man who has committed many a misdemeanour does not repent...

Repentance means retrospective awareness, repentance means looking backwards. You have done something. If you were aware then no wrong can happen, but you were not aware at the time you did it. Somebody insulted -- you became angry, you hit him on the head. You were not aware what you were doing. Now things have cooled down, the situation has gone, you are no more in anger; you can look backwards more easily. You missed awareness at that time. The best thing was to have awareness at that time, but you missed it, and now there is no point in crying and weeping over the spilt milk. But you can look, you can bring awareness to that which has already happened.

That is what Mahavir calls pratycraman, looking back; what Patanjali calls pratyahar, looking in. That's what Jesus calls repentance. That's what Buddha calls pashchattap. It is not feeling sorry, it is not just feeling bad about it, because that is not going to help. It is becoming aware, it is reliving the experience as it should have been. You have to move into it again.

You missed awareness in that moment; you were overflooded by unconsciousness. Now things have cooled, you'll take your awareness, the light of awareness, back. You move in that incident again, you look into it again as you should have really done; that is gone, but you can do it retrospectively in your mind. And Buddha says this cleanses the heart of the evil.

This looking back, continuously looking back, will make you more and more aware. There are three stages. You have done something, then you become aware -- first stage. Second stage: you are doing something, and you become aware. And third stage: you are going to do something, and you become aware. Only in the third stage will your life be transformed. But the first two are necessary for the third, they are necessary steps.

Whenever you can become aware, become aware. You have been angry -- now sit down, meditate, become aware what has happened. Ordinarily we do it, but we do for wrong reasons. We do it to put our image back in its right place. You always think you are a very loving person, compassionate, and then you suddenly become angry. Now your image is distorted in your own eyes. You do a sort of repentance. You go to the person and you say, I am sorry. What are you doing? You are repainting your image.

Your ego is trying to repaint the image, because you have fallen in your own eyes, you have fallen in others' eyes. Now you are trying to rationalize. At least you can go and say, I am sorry. I did it in spite of myself. I don't know how it happened, I don't know what evil force took possession of me, but I am sorry. Forgive me.

You are trying to come back to the same level where you were before you became angry. This is a trick of the ego, this is not real repentance. Again you will do the same thing.

Buddha says real repentance is remembering it, going into the details fully aware of what happened; going backwards, reliving the experience. Reliving the experience is like unwinding; it erases. And not only that -- it makes you capable of more awareness, because awareness is practiced when you are remembering it, when you are becoming again aware about the past incident. You are getting a discipline in awareness, in mindfulness. Next time you will become aware a little earlier.

This time you were angry; after two hours you could cool dawn. Next time after one hour you will cool down. Next time after a few minutes. Next time, just as it has happened you will cool down and you will be able to see. By and by, by slow progression, one day while you are angry you will catch hold of yourself red-handed. And that is a beautiful experience -- to catch yourself red-handed committing an error. Then suddenly the whole quality changes, because whenever awareness penetrates you, reactions stop.

This anger is a childish reaction, it is the child in you. It is coming from the C. And later on, when you feel sorry, that is coming from the P, from the parent. The parent forces you to feel sorry and go and ask forgiveness. You have not been good to your mother or to your uncle -- go and put things right.

Or it can come from A, from your adult mind. You have been angry and later on you recognize that this is going to be too much; there is a financial loss in it. You have been angry with your boss, now you become afraid. Now you start thinking he may throw you out, or he may carry the anger within him. Your salary was going to be raised; he may not raise it -- a thousand and one things... you would like to put things right.

When Buddha says repent, he's not telling you to function from C or P or A. He is saying when you become aware, sit down, close your eyes, meditate upon the whole thing -- become a watcher. You missed the situation, but still something can be done about it: you can watch it. You can watch it as it should have been watched. You can practice, this will be a rehearsal, and by the time you have watched the whole situation you will feel completely okay.

If then you feel like going and asking forgiveness, for no other reasons -- neither the parent, nor the adult, nor the child -- but out of sheer understanding, out of sheer meditation that it was wrong.... It was not wrong for any other reason; it was wrong because you behaved in an unconscious way. Let me repeat it. You go and you ask for forgiveness not for any other reason -- financial, social, political, cultural; no -- you simply go there because you meditated on it and you recognized and you realized the fact that you acted in unawareness; you have hurt somebody in unawareness.

You have to go and console the person at least. You have to go and help the person to understand your helplessness -- that you are an unconscious person, that you are a human being with all the limitations, that you are sorry. It is not putting your ego back, it is simply doing something which your meditation has showed you. It is totally a different dimension.

If a man who has committed many a misdemeanour does not repent and cleanse his heart of the evil, retribution will come upon his person as sure as the streams run into the ocean which becomes ever deeper and wider.

Ordinarily what do we do? We become defensive. If you have been angry at your wife or at your child, you become defensive; you say it had to be done that way, it was needed -- it was needed for the child's own good. If you are not angry, how are you going to discipline the child? If you are not angry with somebody people will take advantage of you. You are not a coward, you are a brave man. How can you just let people do things which should not be done to you? You have to react.

You become defensive, you rationalize. If you go on rationalizing your errors... and all errors can be rationalized, remember it. There exists not a single error which cannot be rationalized. You can rationalize everything. But then, Buddha says, such a person is bound to become more and more unconscious, more and more deeply unaware... As sure as the streams run into the ocean which becomes ever deeper and wider.

If you go on defending yourself then you will not be able to transform yourself. You have to recognize that there is something wrong. The very recognition helps change.

If you feel healthy and you are not ill, you are not going to go to a physician. Even if the physician comes to you, you are not going to listen to him. You are perfectly okay. You will say, I'm perfectly well. Who says I am ill? If you don't think you are ill, you will go on protecting your illness. That is dangerous; you are on a suicidal path.

If there has been anger, there has been greed, there has been something that happens only when you are unconscious, recognize it -- the sooner you do it the better. Meditate upon it. Move to your center and respond from the center.

If a man who has committed a misdemeanour come to the knowledge of it, reform himself and practice goodness, the force of retribution will gradually exhaust itself as a disease gradually loses its baneful influence when the patient perspires.

If you acknowledge it you have taken one very meaningful step towards changing it. Now Buddha says one very important thing: If you come to acknowledge it, if you come to the knowledge of it, reform yourself.

Ordinarily, even if we sometimes recognize that yes, something wrong has happened, we don't try to reform ourselves, we only try to reform our image. We want everybody to feel that they have forgiven us. We want everybody to recognize that it was wrong on our part, but we have asked for their forgiveness, and things are put right again. We are again on our pedestal. The fallen image is replaced back on the throne. We don't reform ourselves.

You have many times asked forgiveness, but again and again you go on doing the same thing. That simply shows that it was a policy, a politics, a trick to manipulate people -- but you have remained the same, you have not changed at all. If you have really asked forgiveness for your anger or any offence against anybody, then it should not happen again. Only that can be a proof that you are really on the path of changing yourself.

Buddha says:

If a man who has committed a misdemeanour come to the knowledge of it, reform himself and practice goodness...

So, two things he is saying. First: the moment you feel that something goes wrong, something continuously makes you unconscious, and you behave in a mechanical way, you react, then you have to do something -- and the doing has to become more aware. That is the only way to reform yourself.

Watch how many things you do unconsciously. Somebody says something and there is anger. There is not even a single moment's gap. It is as if you are just a mechanism -- somebody pushes a button and you lose your temper. Just as if you push the button and the fan starts moving and the light goes on. There is not a. single moment. The fan never thinks whether to move or not to move; it simple moves.

Buddha says this is unconsciousness, this is mindlessness. Somebody insults and you are simply controlled by his insult.

Gurdjieff used to say that a small thing transformed his life completely. His father was dying and he called the boy -- and Gurdjieff was only nine years old -- and he said to the boy, I have nothing much to give you, but only one advice that was given from my father to me from his deathbed, and it has tremendously benefited me. Maybe it can be of some use to you. I don't feel that you will be able to understand it right now, you are too young. So just remember it. Whenever you can understand, it will be helpful.

And he said, Remember only one thing -- if you feel angry, then wait for twenty-four hours. Then do whatsoever you want to do -- but wait twenty-four hours. If somebody insults you, you tell him, "I will come after twenty-four hours and do whatsoever is needed. Please give me a little time to think over it."

Of course the nine-year-old Gurdjieff could not understand what it is, but he followed it. By and by he became aware of the tremendous impact of it. He was completely transformed. Because two things he had to remember -- one, he had to be aware not to do the anger, not to move into anger when somebody was insulting, not to allow himself to be manipulated by the other -- he had to wait for twenty-four hours. So when somebody was insulting or saying something against him, he would simply remain alert not to be affected. For twenty-four hours, he had promised his dying father, he would remain cool and calm. And by and by he became capable.

And then he understood it -- that after twenty-four hours it is never needed. You cannot be angry after twenty-four hours.

After twenty-four minutes you cannot be angry, after twenty-four seconds you cannot be angry. Either it is instant or it is not. Because anger functions only if you are unconscious; if you are this much conscious -- that you can wait for twenty-four seconds -- finished. Then you cannot be angry. Then you have missed the moment, then you have missed the train; the train has left the platform. Even twenty-four seconds will do -- you try it.

Buddha says one who acknowledges his errors... and he simply says acknowledges it, he does not say who condemns, because there is nothing to condemn. It is human, it is natural; we are unconscious beings. Buddha used to say that god, or the universal soul, or existence, sleeps in the mineral, totally oblivious; in the vegetable the sleep is not so deep, a few fragments of dreams have started moving around; in the animal, god is dreaming; in man he has become a little aware -- just a little. Those moments are few and far between. Sometimes months pass and you are not aware for a single moment, but in man there is the possibility of a few moments of awareness. In a Buddha, god has become perfectly aware.

Watch existence all around. In these trees, Buddha says there are just a few fragments of dreams. In the rocks... fast, deep sleep, dreamless -- sushupti. In the animals -- in the cat, in the dog, in the lion, in the tiger, in the birds -- god is dreaming, many dreams. In man he is coming above, just a little, a few moments of awareness.

So don't miss any opportunity whenever you can become aware. And those are the best moments -- when unconsciousness pulls you deep down. If you can use those moments, if you can use those moments as challenges, god will become more and more aware in you. One day your awareness becomes a continuous flame, an eternal flame. Then god is perfectly awake, no sleep, no dream.

This is the meaning of the word Buddha. Buddha means one who has become absolutely aware. In no situation does he lose his mindfulness. His mindfulness has become just natural like breathing. Just as you breathe in and breathe out, in exactly the same way he inhales awareness, he exhales awareness. His centering has become permanent. He does not function from personalities -- the personality of the child, the parent, the adult, no. He simply functions from a point which is beyond all personalities.

This is what he calls reform. The word reform is beautiful. It means to make it again -- reform, to re-build, to re-create. Reform does not mean just reform, reform does not mean just modifying here and there. Reform does not mean that somewhere the plaster has fallen so you put it again, somewhere the color has disappeared, evaporated, so you paint it again. Reform does not mean small modifications. Reform is a very revolutionary word. It simply means form it again, be reborn, be totally new, take a quantum jump, move from the old personality, be away from the old nucleus, attain to a new center.

He reforms himself, practices goodness...

Whatsoever you feel is your basic error, just don't get chronically attentive towards it, don't get obsessed by it.

That too is a fault. There are many people, they come to me and they say, We cannot control anger. We continuously are trying to control it, but we cannot control. What to do?

Buddha says don't become obsessive about anything. Recognize it, become aware, and do something just the opposite. If you feel anger is your problem, don't be too attentive towards anger; become more compassionate, become more loving. Because if you become too much concerned about anger, where will you put the energy that will be released if you don't become angry? Create a path for the energy to move. It is the same energy. When you have compassion it is the same energy as it was in anger. Now it is positive, then it was negative. Then it was destructive, now it is creative. But it is the same energy -- anger becomes compassion. So before you want to change anger you will have to channelize, you will have to make new channels towards compassion.

So Buddha says practice goodness, practice virtue. Find out your chief fault and create new pathways in your being. If you are a miser then just crying about it and talking about it is not going to help. Then start sharing. Whatsoever you can share, share. Do something that becomes a breakthrough, do something that goes against your past, do something that you have never done before. It is possible that you are angry because you don't know how to have compassion. It is possible you are a miser because you don't know how to share.

Buddha's emphasis is to be positive -- do something so the energy starts moving and flowing. Then by and by it will be taken away from anger. Become conscious but don't be obsessed.

You will have to make a distinction between these two things because human mind is such that it goes on misinterpreting. When Buddha says become mindful, he is not saying become obsessed, he is not saying continuously think of anger. Because if you continuously think of anger you will create more and more angry situations for yourself. Be conscious, but there is no need to contemplate. Be conscious, but there is no need to be too much concerned. Take a note of it and then do something which changes your energy pattern. That's what he means when he says practice goodness.

... The force of retribution will gradually exhaust itself as a disease gradually loses its baneful influence when the patient perspires.

Somebody has taken too much alcohol. What do you do? You can give him a hot bath or you can put him in a sauna bath. If he can perspire the alcohol will go with his perspiration.

Buddha says to do virtue is like perspiration. Your unconscious habits evaporate through it. So not doing bad is actually doing good. Don't be negatively interested, be positive. If you just sit and think about all the wrongs that you have done, by and by thinking too much about wrongs that you have done, you will be giving too much food to them. To give attention is to give food, to give attention means to play with the wound.

Take note, be mindful, meditate, but don't play with the wound. Otherwise you will be making the wound again and again more alive. It will start bleeding. So don't become too much concerned about your small things -- they are small.

I have heard about a saint who used to beat himself every morning, and he would cry, God, forgive me. I have committed a sin. This continued for forty years. Again and again he was asked... He had become a very respectable man, he was thought to be a very holy man, and nobody knew that he had ever committed any sin because he was such a virtuous man. And for forty years people had watched him -- he was always in the public eye, he was always surrounded by people. When he was asleep, then too people were surrounding him, and nobody had seen that he had ever done anything wrong; he was continuously praying. But every morning he would beat himself, blood would flow from his body.

Continuously he was asked, What wrong have you done? What sin? Let us know. But he would not say. Only when he was dying, he said, Now I will have to say, because last night god appeared in my dream and he said, You are creating too much fuss about it. Forty years is enough! And I have to tell you this, otherwise I won't allow you in heaven. You have not done anything wrong."' Just when he was young he saw a beautiful woman pass and desire arose in him, just an urge to have this woman. That was the only sin that he had committed -- just a thought -- and for forty years he was beating himself. Even god had to appear to him in a dream: Please, now... because tomorrow you are going to die. I will not allow you in heaven if you continue this. You have not done anything much, but you are creating too much fuss about it. Don't be fussy.

All errors are just ordinary. What extraordinary sin can you commit? All the sins have been committed already; you cannot find a new sin -- it is very difficult. It is almost impossible to be original about sin. For millions of years people have committed everything that can be committed. Can you find anything new? It is impossible -- and what can you commit?

Bertrand Russell used to say that the christian god seems to be almost absurd, because the christian god says that if you commit a sin you will be thrown into hell for eternity. Now this is too much. You can throw a man for five years, ten years, twenty years, fifty years. If a man has lived for seventy years you can throw him for seventy years. That means he was continually sinning for seventy years -- not even a gap, not even a holiday. Then too you can throw him for seventy years.

And christians believe in only one life. It is good that they believe in one life, otherwise what will they do? For one life's sins they throw you in hell for eternity! Just think of hindus -- so many lives; one eternity will not be enough.

Russell used to say, I count my sins -- those which I have committed and also those which I have not committed, only thought -- and I cannot conceive how, for these small things, I am going to be thrown for eternity into hell, and I will be tortured for eternity. Even a very very hard magistrate cannot send me to jail for more than four years. And he was right.

What errors can you commit? What errors have you committed? Don't call them sin because the very word has become contaminated, it has a condemnation in it. Buddha simply calls them misdemeanors, ungraceful acts. Beautiful is his term -- ungraceful acts, acts in which you behaved in an ungraceful way. You became angry or you said something which was not graceful, or you did something which was not graceful -- just misdemeanors.

The Buddha said:

When an evil-doer, seeing you practice goodness, comes and maliciously insults you, you should patiently endure it and not feel angry with him. For the evil-doer is insulting himself by trying to insult you.

Try to understand this sutra. It always happens -- if you become good you will find many people becoming angry at you. Because your very goodness creates guilt in them -- they are not so good. Your being good creates a comparison. It is very difficult for people to forgive a good man. They can always forgive a bad man, but it is very difficult for them to forgive a good man. Hence for centuries they remain angry against a Jesus, against a Socrates, against a Buddha. Why does it happen? You can watch in life.

I was once in a university, I was a teacher there, and one clerk who was the best on the whole staff and a very sincere worker, told me, I am in trouble. The whole staff is against me. They say, "Why do you work so much? When we are not working you are also not supposed to work. Just two hours is enough -- just go on putting files from here to there, there is no need..." His table was always clean, no files piling, and everybody else's tables were full of files. Of course they were angry, because this man's presence created a comparison. If this man can do, why can't they do?

A good man is never loved because he creates comparison. A Jesus has to be crucified, because if such innocence is possible, then why are you not so innocent? It becomes a deep wound in your ego. You have to crush this man; only by killing him will you be satisfied. You have to poison Socrates because this man is so truthful. Why can't you be so truthful? Your lies are revealed by this man's truth. This man's reality, authenticity, makes you feel all pseudo. This man is dangerous. It is as if in a valley of blind people one man comes who has eyes.

H. G. Wells has a story that there was a valley of blind people somewhere in South America, and once a traveler came who had eyes. All the blind people gathered together and they thought that something must be wrong with this man; it had never happened. They decided to operate. Of course, in a valley of blind people, if you have eyes something is wrong with you.

Mulla Nasrudin is a hypochondriac. Once he came to me and told me, There must be something wrong with my wife.

I said, What is wrong with your wife? She looks perfectly healthy.

He said, There must be something wrong. She never goes to the doctor.

He goes every day, regularly, religiously, and every doctor of the town is annoyed by him. Now he is worried about his wife. There must be something wrong with her because she never goes to any doctor.

If you live with unhealthy people, to be healthy is dangerous. If you live with insane people, then to be sane is dangerous. If you live in a madhouse, even if you are not mad at least pretend that you are mad, otherwise those mad people will kill you.

Buddha says:

When an evil-doer, seeing you practice goodness, comes and maliciously insults you...

They will come and insult you. They cannot tolerate the idea that you can be better than them. It is impossible for them to believe that anybody can surpass them. Then the surpasser must be a pretender, then he must be a deceiver, then he must be trying just to create an image about himself, about his ego. They become restless. They start taking revenge.

When an evil-doer, seeing you practice goodness, comes and maliciously insults you, you should patiently endure it...

You should remain at your center, you should patiently endure it, you should simply watch it, what is happening. You should not get disturbed about it. If you get disturbed then that malicious person has defeated you. If you get disturbed then you are conquered. If you get disturbed then you have cooperated with him.

Buddha says just keep quiet, endure it, remain patient, and don't feel angry with him... for the evil-doer is insulting himself by trying to insult you. He is insulting his own potentiality.

When we crucified Jesus, we crucified our own innocence. When we crucified Jesus, we crucified our own future. When we crucified Jesus, we killed our own divinity. He was nothing but a symbol that this is possible to you also, that whatsoever has happened to him can happen to you also.

When we poisoned Socrates we poisoned our whole being, we poisoned our whole history. He was nothing but the coming star, the herald of the future. He was saying, This is your potentiality. Whatsoever I am is just a messenger to give you the message that you can also become like me.

Buddha says: for the evil-doer is insulting himself by trying to insult you. You remain patient, you endure it, don't get angry.

The Buddha said:

Once a man came unto me and denounced me on account of my observing the way and practicing great loving kindness.

It looks absurd. Why should people go to somebody, who has done nothing wrong to them, to denounce him? Why should they go and denounce Buddha? Because he has not done anything wrong to anybody. He is in nobody's way -- he has renounced all competitiveness. He is almost a dead person as far as the world is concerned. But why should people go out of their way to denounce him?

His very presence is insulting to them. The very possibility that a man can be so good hurts them. Then why are they not so good? It creates guilt. That's why down the centuries people go on writing that a man like Buddha never existed, that Jesus is a myth, that these are just wish-fulfillments. These people never existed, these are human desires, utopias; they never really existed. Or even if they existed they were not like they are depicted; they are just fantasies, dreams. Why?

Even today people go on writing against Buddha, against Jesus. Still today something hurts. Twenty-five centuries have passed since this man walked, but still there are people who don't feel at ease with this man. If he existed really, historically, then they are condemned. They have to prove that this man never existed, it is just a myth. Then they are at ease.

Once they have proved that there has never been a Buddha, never a Jesus, never a Krishna, once they have proved that there is no god, then they can rest, then they can be whatsoever they are, then there is no comparison. They are the last word in existence. Then they can remain as they are without any transformation. Then they can remain and go on doing whatsoever they are doing. Then they can go on doing rubbish and they can go on talking garbage, and they can go on being unconscious drunkards as they are. But if ever a man like Buddha walked on the earth -- with such flame, with such glow, with such glory -- they feel hurt.

Once a man came unto me and denounced me on account of my observing the way and practicing great loving kindness. But I kept silent and did not answer him.

That's what I mean when I say get out of the triangle of PAC. Because if you answer you will react. You remain quiet, you simply remain at your center; don't be distracted. You just remain silent, serene, collected, calm.

But I kept silent and didn't answer him.

That has to be understood. Because what is the point in answering such a man? He will not understand in the first place. In the second place the possibility is he will misunderstand.

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus at the last moment when he was going to be crucified, What is truth? and Jesus remained silent, he didn't say a single word. His whole life he was talking about truth, his whole life was sacrificed into the service of truth, and at the last moment why is he quiet? Why is he not answering? He knows that the answer is futile, it won't get home. There is every possibility that it will be misunderstood.

Silence is his answer -- and silence is more penetrating. If some disciple had asked him he would have answered, because a disciple is one who is ready to understand, who is receptive, who will take care of whatsoever is said to him, who will feed on it, who will digest it. The word will become flesh in him.

But Pontius Pilate is not a disciple. He is not asking it in a deep, humble attitude, he is not ready to learn. He is just asking -- maybe out of curiosity, or just joking, or just trying to make a laughing stock of this man. Jesus remained quiet, silence was his answer.

And Buddha says:

I kept silent and did not answer him. The denunciation ceased.

Because that silence must have surprised the man. An answer would have been okay, he could have understood. But silence he couldn't understand at all. He must have been shocked. He is denouncing and Buddha is simply quiet, silent. He is insulting and Buddha is unperturbed. If he was perturbed, if he was disturbed and distracted, then the man could have understood the language. That language he knew, but he did not know this totally unknown language of silence, of grace, of peace, of love, of compassion.

He must have felt embarrassed, he must have felt puzzled. He could not figure it out. He was at a loss. The denunciation ceased. What is the point of going on now? This man seems to be almost like a statue. He has not answered, he has not reacted.

I then asked him, if you bring a present to your neighbor and he accepts it not, does the present come back to you?

Rather than answering him, when the denunciation ceased Buddha asked him:

If you bring a present to your neighbor and he accepts it not, does the present come back to you? the man replied, it will. I said, you denounce me now, but as I accept it not, you must take the wrong deed back on your own person. It is like echo succeeding sound, it is like shadow following object. You never escape the effect of your own evil deeds. Be therefore mindful and cease from doing evil.

He has shown something without saying it. He asked the man, If you bring a present to a neighbor... he calls it a present ... and he accepts it not, what will you do? Of course the man must have said, I will take it back. He was persuaded, now he cannot turn back. Buddha said, And you have brought a present to me -- maybe of insults, denunciation -- and I accept it not. You can bring, that is your freedom, but whether I will accept it or not is my freedom, it is my choice.

This is something beautiful to be understood. Somebody insults you. The insult is not yet meaningful unless you accept it. Unless you immediately take it, it is meaningless, it is noise, it has nothing to do with you. So in fact nobody can insult you unless you take it, unless you cooperate with it.

So whenever you were insulted, you felt insulted, it was you, it was your responsibility. Don't say that somebody else insulted you. Why did you accept it? Nobody can force you to accept it. It is his freedom to insult, it is your freedom whether to accept or not. If you accept then it is your responsibility, then don't say that he insulted you. Simply say, I accepted the insult. Simply say, I was not aware; in unawareness I simply accepted it and then I became disturbed.

Buddha says, Accept only that which you need. Accept only nourishment.

Why accept poison? Somebody brings a cupful of poison and he wants to present it. You say, Thank you sir, but I don't need it. If sometime I want to commit suicide I will come and ask, but right now I want to live. There is no need; just because somebody has brought poison to you there is no necessity that you should drink it. You can simply say, Thank you. That's what Buddha did.

He says," but as I accept it not, what are you going to do with it?" You will have to take it back. I feel sorry for you. You will have to take it on yourself, it will fall on yourself... just as a shadow follows the object, or the echo succeeds the sound. Now it will follow you forever and ever. Your insult will be like a thorn in your being. Now it will haunt you. You have not done something against me, you have done something against yourself.

To be a help to this poor man who has done something wrong against himself, Buddha feels sorry, Buddha feels compassion. He says, Be therefore mindful. Do only that which you would like to follow you. Do only that which will follow you and you will feel happy. Sing a song, so if the echoes come, they will shower more songs on you.

In Matheran, a hill station just nearby, I used to have many camps. The first camp, I went to see a place, an echo point. A few friends were there with me. One started barking like a dog and the whole valley echoed as if many dogs were barking. I told the man, Take a lesson -- this is the whole situation of life: life is an echo point. If you bark like a dog, then the whole valley will echo and it will follow and haunt you. Why not sing a song?

He understood the point and he sang a song, and the whole valley showered, echoed.

It depends on you. Whatsoever you do with others, in fact you are doing with yourself, because from everywhere things will return back, a thousand-fold. If you shower flowers on others, flowers will come on you. If you sow thorns in others' paths, the path is going to be yours.

We cannot do anything to anybody else without doing it to ourselves in the first place. We can do something to somebody else only if he accepts it, and that is not decidedly so. Maybe he is a Buddha, a Jesus, and he simply sits silently. Then the deed falls on our own being.

Buddha says: be therefore mindful... He must have said in deep compassion... And cease from doing evil... because you will suffer unnecessarily.

Let me repeat one thing so that you can remember it. You have three layers: the child, the parent, the adult -- and you are none. You are neither the child nor the parent nor the adult. You are something beyond, you are something eternal, you are something far away from all these struggling parts, conflicting parts.

Don't choose, just be mindful, and act out of your mindfulness. Then you will be spontaneous like a child, and without being childish. And remember the difference between being like a child and being childish. They are two different things.

If you act out of mindfulness you will be like a child and yet you will not be childish. And if you act out of your mindfulness you will be following all the commandments without following them at all. And if you act out of your mindfulness whatsoever you do will be reasonable. And to be reasonable is to be really rational.

And remember, reasonableness is different from rationality.

Reasonableness is a very very different thing, because reasonableness accepts irrationality also as part of life. Reason is monotonous, rationality is monotonous. Reasonableness accepts the polarity of things. A reasonable man is a feeling man as much as a reasoning man.

So if you act out of your innermost core, you will become tremendously content; contented, because all layers will be fulfilled. Your child will be fulfilled because you will be spontaneous. Your parent will not feel angry and guilty because naturally all that is good will be done by you, not as an outer discipline but as an inner awareness.

You will follow the ten commandments of Moses without ever having heard about them; you will naturally follow them. That's where Moses got them -- not on the mountain but on the inner peak. And you will be following Lao Tzu and Jesus -- and you may not have heard about Lao Tzu and Jesus. That's where they got their childhood again, that's where they got born. And you will be following Manu and Mahavir and Mohammed, very naturally, and still you will not be irrational.

Your mind will be in total support with it. It will not be against your adult rationality. Your adult rationality will be totally convinced by it, your Bertrand Russell will be convinced by it.

Then all your three conflicting parts fall into one whole. You become a unity, you are together. Then those many voices disappear. Then you are no more many, you are one. This one is the goal.

So, be therefore mindful.

OSHO : The Discipline of Transcendence, Volume 1, Chapter 5
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