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Beloved Master, You Want Us To Be Individuals, But During Work In The Ashram We Have To Be Very Disciplined. Discipline And Individualism - Are They Not Diametrically Opposite?*

Part 1

Sudarshan, I would like you to be individuals, but not individualists. And there is a great difference. The individualist is not an individual yet. The individualist who believes in individualism is only an egoist. And to be an egoist is not to be an individual. Just the contrary: the individual has no ego, and the ego has no individuality. The ego is such an ordinary phenomenon – everybody has it! There is nothing special about it, there is nothing unique about it. Everybody has the ego. It is so common! The uncommon thing is egolessness. Only an egoless consciousness attains to individuality. And by individuality I simply mean the literal meaning of the word: individual means indivisible, individual means integrated; individual means one who is not many, who is not a crowd, who is not multipsychic; one who has attained to unity, one who has become a crystallized being. Gurdjieff uses the word 'crystallization' for individuality.

  

But the basic requirement for crystallization is to drop the ego, because ego is a false entity. It won't allow you to be real, it won't allow you to be authentically real. It won't allow you to grow. It is false, it is a deception, it is an illusion. You are not separate from existence, but the ego goes on pretending separation. And the other word that you have used in the question also has to be understood: discipline. Discipline does not mean anything imposed upon you. Nothing is imposed in this commune. If you enter this commune it is at your own choice. The doors are open – you can leave any moment. In fact, entry is difficult and we make every possible effort to help you to leave. Nobody is hindered from leaving, although every possible effort is made to hinder you from entering. Entry is very difficult.

If you choose to become part of this commune it is your decision – your readiness to commit yourself, to be involved. Out of this decision a discipline arises. You can choose to get out of the commune, but once you are in the commune it means that you have taken a responsibility. And it is only through responsibility that one grows. By fulfilling one's responsibility totally, growth becomes possible.

There are a few people here, only a few, who go on trying to deceive the commune. They are simply befooling themselves; nobody is befooled! They don't want to work, they try to avoid it in every possible way. They find excuses, they even fall ill just to avoid work. But this is so stupid! You have entered the commune to work upon yourself. You have entered the commune to make a concentrated effort to become an integrated individual. You have entered the commune for your spiritual growth, for enlightenment. And if you avoid...and that seems to be the real question behind the apparent question. You say, Sudarshan, "Individualism and discipline – are they not diametrically opposite?" They are not! An individual is always a disciplined phenomenon.

One who is not disciplined is not an individual; he is just a chaos, he is many fragments. All those fragments are functioning separately, even in opposition to each other. That's how people are ordinarily: one part of the mind going to the south, another part going to the north; one part saying one thing, another part opposing it. You know it! I am simply stating a fact – you can observe it. One part says "Do this." Another part immediately says "No!"

Something says "Yes," and something immediately destroys it by saying "No." This is your situation! You are an individual in such a situation, when you cannot even say a total yes or a total no? Your no is always halfhearted and your yes too – and you think you are an individual? An individual means one who can function as a totality, as an organic unity. How are you going to become an organic unity? It can only be through conscious discipline.

That's what Buddha is saying again and again: perseverance, effort, a conscious, deliberate effort to grow – and total effort, not lukewarm. You have to boil at a hundred degrees. Yes, sometimes it is painful, but it all depends on you, on how you interpret it. If you really want to grow it is not painful – it is tremendously pleasant. Each step deeper into discipline brings more and more joy, because it gives you more and more soul, being. Discipline means readiness to learn; hence the word 'disciple', they come from the same root.

Who is a disciple? – one who bows down, surrenders, and is ready to learn. And what is discipline? – the readiness, the openness, the vulnerability, to learn. Entering into this commune you are entering into a buddhafield. It is a surrender, it is a trust! I am here to make you individuals, but you will have to pass through many many devices. Many fires you will have to pass through, many tests. Only then, slowly slowly, will you be welded into one unity.

 

* Osho The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1 Chapter #6; Chapter title: Through a glass darkly; 26 June 1979 am in Buddha Hall; Question 2

Updated on 16-12-2019







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