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Naturally moral*

Part 2

<...> The roots of man's behavior are in his inner being. Behavior follows the inner being, it does not precede it. Hence, any effort to change behavior can never become anything other than suppression. And can suppression bring about any transformation?

What is suppression anyway? Suppression is not allowing spontaneous feelings and behavior to arise from our inner being; it is forcibly bring­ing out and expressing what is not really there.

But where will what we suppress go? Will we become free of it this way? How can freedom come out of suppression? The suppressed things will continue to be there within us, but they will now have to find deeper, darker and more uncon­scious recesses in which to live. They will enter still deeper regions. They will hide themselves where even our awareness of suppression will not be able to locate them. But these roots that have gone deep will continue to sprout, the branches will blossom and bear fruit, and then there will be such a conflict between our con­scious and unconscious minds that the ultimate result will be insanity.

Insanity is the natural outcome of a civilization based on this kind of false, so-called morality. Hence, insanity increases with the advance of civilization and the time may come when our whole civilization will end in insanity. The last two great wars were this kind of madness and we are preparing for a third, perhaps the final.

The explosions that happen in a man's personal life and those that occur in society — violence, rape, immorality, brutality — are all the results of suppression. A man cannot lead a simple and natural life because of suppressions, and one day he simply succumbs to the tension. No doubt those who resort to hypocrisy save themselves from this inner conflict. They pretend to be what they are not. They are not in an inner conflict, they are acting things out.

Hypocrisy too is born out of morality based on suppression. That too is an offspring of the so-called morality. It is a means of keeping oneself free of inner conflict.

As I have already said, in our so-called moral lives we do not allow spontaneous behavior to arise from within and be expressed, and we ex­press what is not really there. The first of the two processes leads to suppression; the second, to hypocrisy. The final outcome of the first process is a madman; and of the second, a hyp­ocrite. Neither of the two outcomes is any good; neither is worth choosing. Our civilization offers only these two alternatives. But there is a third alternative as well: living the life of an animal. The criminal is born out of this alternative. We wish to avoid that, we wish to avoid becoming animals, so our civilization offers only the first two alternatives.

Becoming an animal means complete surrender to unconscious instincts. This too is impossible, because what has become conscious in man can­not become unconscious again. We seek this very unconsciousness in intoxication. The search for intoxicants is an indication of our desire to become animals. Only in a thoroughly unconscious state can man be in full conformity with nature, with the animal. But this is equivalent to death. This truth deserves our very careful con­sideration.

How does man, in a thoroughly unconscious state, become animal-like and why does he seek an unconscious state in order to become animal-like? It is indicative of the truth that consciousness in man is not part of the animal world, of nature, but is a part of the divine. It is a potential. It is a seed, not to be destroyed but to be nurtured. Only with its full growth is there the possibility of freedom, liberation and bliss.

Then what shall we do? Our civilization gives us three alternatives: that of the animal, that of the madman and that of the hypocrite. Is there also a fourth alternative?

Yes, I call that fourth alternative religion. It is the path of intelligence, of consciousness - not of bestiality, madness or hypocrisy. It is not the path of indulgence, suppression or acting; it is the path of real life and of knowing. It bears the fruit of good conduct and it eliminates the ani­mal in man; it does not suppress unconscious passions but frees man from their grip. It does not lead to the pretense of good conduct but to real living. It is not assuming a mask or any outward behavior; it is the transformation of the inner being. It is not a solution of the society but of the self. It does not change our relationships but transforms our very selves. Relationships automatically change as a consequence. It brings about a revolution in one's being, in one's bare individuality, in what one actually is. Then all else is automatically transformed.

Morality is social; religion, entirely individual. Morality is behavior; religion, the inner being. Morality is the periphery; religion, the center. Morality is personality; religion, the soul. Reli­gion does not follow on the tail of morality but morality invariably follows religion. Morality cannot even succeed in making a man moral, so how can it make him religious? Morality begins with suppression, with holding things down in oneself, whereas religion begins with knowing.

There is evil, impurity and untruth in life. One has to find their roots. Where and how is evil born? Where is the center in oneself from which these poisons erupt and make one's behavior venomous? Even when one thinks of virtue, of good, why does evil drive away all these thoughts and engulf one, surrounding one's life, permeating one's behavior? Why does the power of passion always defeat one's thoughts of the good?

One has to observe all of this for oneself. Conclusions borrowed from others do not help because it is during the process of observation, during self-observation alone, that the power and energy to destroy the very source that breeds and sustains evil is generated. One has to practice this continuous observation oneself because it is not just a method of knowing about evil, but of eliminating it as well. By observing the "I," the inner unconsciousness, by becoming awake and watchful toward it, light reaches one's dark recesses within. And this light not only exposes the roots of one's behavior, it begins to transform them. <...>


* - Excerpt from OSHO. The Perfect Way


Updated on 26-11-2018

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