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Do we need to renounce the world for this kind of meditation?*

 

<...> Religion is not against the world. Religion is not against the family. Religion has nothing to do with dropping everything and running away. Religion is a transformation of your consciousness. It has nothing to do with outer circumstances, it has to do with the state of your mind. It is a matter of changing your mind, not your circumstances. You change yourself.

Nobody is transformed by running away from the outer world. If I am filled with hatred, what will I do in the forest? – I will also be full of hatred there. If I am full of ego, what will I do in the mountains? – I will still be full of ego, plus there will be another danger. As long as I lived in the society, in the crowd, I would come across my ego every day. But in the coolness of the Himalayas, sitting on a mountain, there will not be any people and I will not notice my own ego. And not to notice it is a totally different thing from the ego disappearing. <…>

So there is no point in escaping. You don’t have to escape, you have to transform. So don’t take escaping as a key to life, but rather take transformation as the key. When religion became based on escapism it became lifeless. When religion again becomes based on transformation it will regain its life-energy. Remember, you have to change yourself, not your environment.

It is meaningless to change your environment. It is deceptive to change your environment because by doing this you may not notice certain things. In a new environment, in a new, silent atmosphere you may start thinking that you have become silent.

A silence which does not survive in unfavorable circumstances is not silence at all. This is why the people who are intelligent choose to practice their silence in unfavorable circumstances, because if they attain it in these unfavorable circumstances then this is the real silence.

This is why it is not a matter of running away from life. Take life as a test. And remember that all the people around you are helpful to you. The man who abused you in the morning is also helping you; he has given you an opportunity. If you want to, you can find love within yourself. Someone who expresses their anger towards you is helping you, someone who criticizes you is helping you. A man who spatters mud all over you is helping you. Someone who spreads thorns on your path is also helping you, because that is also an opportunity and a test. If you are able to go beyond it, you will feel indebted to him. What the saints cannot teach you in this world, your enemies can.

I will say it again: what saints cannot teach you in this world, enemies can. If you are alert and have the intelligence to learn, you can make a ladder out of each and every stone in your life. But the ignorant people take even stepping-stones to be obstacles and stop there. If you are intelligent, then every stone can be made a stepping-stone. If you are intelligent, every stone can be a step.

Think about this a little. Make your house, your family and all the things which seem like obstacles to you – because you think that they can prevent you from becoming silent – the center of your meditation, and you will see that those very things will help you to be silent. What are the things that don’t allow you to be silent? What is the obstacle in the family? What are the things that prevent you? Just think about whether there might be a way to make them into stepping-stones. There definitely are ways. And if you think about it and understand it, you will find a way.

What is the logic that tells you that if you drop the family you will become silent and experience truth? There is no real logic. Try to understand your life and your mind rightly, and use all the circumstances around you. But what do you do? You don’t use these circumstances, instead the circumstances use you. You remain lost your whole life because you don’t make use of the circumstances and instead allow them to make use of you. And you remain lost because you go on reacting, you never act.

If you insult me, I will immediately insult you even more strongly. If you abuse me I will abuse you, even more so, using even more abusive words. And I will not think that I have just reacted. One abusive word has been said to me, so I return two. This is not an action, it is reaction.

If you look at your life for twenty-four hours, you will find that there are only reactions. Somebody does something, and in reaction to that you do something. I ask you, do you do anything which is not a reaction to something else, which is not a reply to something, which has not come as a reaction to something, which is not a reaction but an action? This is the discipline of action.

If you think about it, you will see that you are reacting twenty-four hours a day. Others do something, and you do something in reaction to that. Have you ever done anything which only you have done, something which originated in you and took birth in you? Just look at it and meditate on it…so that right in the middle of the family, the house and the world, you attain sannyas.<...>

So I don’t tell you to drop things and run away. I tell you to drop the attitudes. Things will remain as they are, but your attitudes towards them will change – and you will be free.

 

 

* excerpt from OSHO. The Path of Meditation

 







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