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The Roots of Tension*

  

This same phenomenon happens if you love your body; you become relaxed, you care about it. It is not wrong, it is not narcissistic to be in love with your own body. In fact, it is the first step toward spirituality. [26]

The original source of all tension is becoming. One is always trying to be something; no one is at ease with himself as he is. The being is not accepted, the being is denied, and something else is taken as an ideal to become. So the basic tension is always between that which you are and that which you long to become.

You desire to become something. Tension means that you are not pleased with what you are, and you long to be what you are not. Tension is created between these two. What you desire to become is irrelevant. If you want to become wealthy, famous, powerful, or even if you want to be free, liberated, to be divine, immortal, even if you long for salvation, moksha, then too the tension will be there.

Anything that is desired as something to be fulfilled in the future, against you as you are, creates tension. The more impossible the ideal is, the more tension there is bound to be. So a person who is a materialist is ordinarily not so tense as one who is religious, because the religious person is longing for the impossible, for the far-off. The distance is so great that only a great tension can fill the gap.

Tension means a gap between what you are and what you want to be. If the gap is great, the tension will be great. If the gap is small, the tension will be small. And if there is no gap at all, it means you are satisfied with what you are. In other words, you do not long to be anything other than what you are. Then your mind exists in the moment. There is nothing to be tense about; you are at ease with yourself. To me, if there is no gap you are religious.

The gap can have many layers. If the longing is physical, the tension will be physical. When you seek a particular body, a particular shape – if you long for something other than what you are on a physical level – then there is tension in your physical body. One wants to be more beautiful. Now your body becomes tense. This tension begins at your first body, the physiological, but if it is insistent, constant, it may go deeper and spread to the other layers of your being.

If you are longing for psychic powers, then the tension begins at the psychic level and spreads. The spreading is just like when you throw a stone in the lake. It drops at a particular point, but the vibrations created by it will go on spreading into the infinite. So tension may start from any one of your seven bodies, but the original source is always the same: the gap between a state that is and a state that is longed for.

  

If you have a particular type of mind and you want to change it, transform it – if you want to be more clever, more intelligent – then tension is created. Only if we accept ourselves totally is there no tension. This total acceptance is the miracle, the only miracle. To find a person who has accepted himself totally is the only surprising thing.

Existence itself is non-tense. Tension is always because of hypothetical, non-existential possibilities. In the present there is no tension; tension is always future-oriented. It comes from the imagination. You can imagine yourself as something other than you are. This potential that has been imagined will create tension. So the more imaginative a person is, the more tension is a possibility. Then the imagination has become destructive.

Imagination can also become constructive, creative. If your whole capacity to imagine is focused in the present, in the moment, not in the future, then you can begin to see your existence as poetry. Your imagination is not creating a longing; it is being used in living. This living in the present is beyond tension.

 

* excerpt from OSHO. From Medication to Meditation

 







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