Chapter 10: All Going Is Going Astray

Question 7



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Question 7


You will have to understand first what immaturity is. That will give you the idea of what maturity is. Immaturity has a few ingredients in it. One, immaturity is a sort of dependence. A child depends on the parents; he is immature. If you are still depending, you are immature. You may depend on God or you may depend on me, but it is immaturity. You are still seeking your parents. Maybe your parents are gone and lost; now you are projecting your parents.

There are many people who come to me and I can see immediately in their eyes they are searching for their father. It is not accidental that the pope is called the pope. "Pope" means "papa". People are looking for a divine daddy, continuously. This is immaturity.

When are you going to stand on your own feet? How long are you going to remain a dependent on the mother, on the father, on this and that?

These dependent people are very dangerous people because they can be exploited easily. Anybody who pretends to be their father, they will become victims to him. They will follow Adolf Hitler; the fuhrer will become their father. The Germans used to call their country the "fatherland," others call their countries the "motherland," but it is all the same nonsense. We go on projecting. The country becomes the mother, the country becomes the father, or God the Father, or Kali the Mother. You go on projecting.

You want to remain a child; you don't want to grow. Growth is responsibility, and you don't want to take any responsibility.

People come to me and they say, "Osho, we surrender to you. Now you are responsible." How can I be responsible for you? Surrender can only mean that you have come to me to learn responsibility. Now you want to avoid responsibility. Surrendering to me can only be a way, a means, to learn to be responsible. But if you want surrender as a substitute for responsibility, your surrender is wrong, ill. It is not healthy, it is dangerous. And then you will start getting angry at me. If nothing is happening you will get angry. Because nothing is happening, you will think I am not doing anything.

Only you can do something. I can indicate, but the real thing is going to happen within you. Nobody else can do it. If I can do it, then I can undo it also. That will not be much of a gain. If Buddha can deliver you from your ignorance, then one day if he gets angry with you he will release all your ignorance again, back to you. That will not be of much use. Freedom is possible only when you learn responsibility, when you start standing on your own feet.

Of course, one feels very helpless. So what? It is how life is. That helplessness is not bad. It teaches you that ego is wrong, that you have to be humble, helpless. And yet there is no other way to stand: you can stand only on your own feet. Nobody can take you on his shoulders to God. You will have to enter into divinity on your own.

So maturity has to be understood through understanding immaturity. First thing: we are taught to be dependent on the parents, on the leaders, on the priests. Nobody wants you to be free, because people are afraid, the society is afraid, of free people. Free people will be rebellious. Free people will start doing THEIR thing, and the society is very much afraid of such people. The society wants you to do things that the society wants. The society wants you to follow a certain pattern. The society has its own goals; they have to be fulfilled. The society does not want you to become a Buddha or a Christ, because they have always been dangerous people. The society wants just zombies. And an immature person can easily become a zombie because he is an imitator.

Have you watched small children imitating, and by imitation they think they are becoming grown-ups? Small children start smoking. Not that they feel very good about smoking, not that it is great or anything. When a child starts smoking he cannot even believe why people smoke, because his eyes start getting red, his throat feels irritated, and he starts coughing, tears come down his cheeks. It is really painful, but he will tolerate the pain because the cigarette gives a certain feeling that he is a grown-up. Only grown-ups are allowed to smoke, so the smoking becomes a symbol of grown-upness.

I have heard:

A man walking down the street noticed a small boy about ten years old sitting on the front doorstep of a house, smoking a cigarette. "Aren't you a little young to be smoking?" he asked.

"Of course I ain't," replied the lad. "I got a girlfriend and all."

"A girlfriend!" said the man.

"Yeah, Picked her up last night, I did. Smashing it was."

"Good Lord! How old was she?"

"I dunno. I was too drunk to ask her."

There are symbols of grown-upness. You need to have a girlfriend, you have to smoke, you have to drink, and even small children start learning these tricks. And then they never grow up, They only imitate, They imitate other, false grownups. And their children will imitate them, and so on it goes.

This world is a world of imitators, monkeys all. And it does not make much difference -- you can be a chairman of the board of monkeys, that doesn't make much difference; or you can be a president of a monkey country, that doesn't make any difference -- all the same you remain the monkey. Maybe you are more monkeyish than others.

A grown-up person is one who does not imitate, who starts feeling his own way, who starts being in his own way, who starts looking into his nature: "Who am I? And what REALLY do I feel?"

One woman came home, driving, she got out of her car, and fell down flat on the ground. The husband rushed, asked, "What is the matter? What happened? Why did you faint?"

She said, "It was too hot."

The husband looked at the car and he said, "But why didn't you open the windows?"

She said, "What! Open the windows, and let the neighbours know that our car is not air conditioned?"

One can die but cannot allow the neighbours to know that the car is not air conditioned. She had to keep the windows closed. She was fainting, but that is okay, but to keep the windows open hurts much more.

Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that's what maturity is all about.

If you imitate you will again and again fall into a ditch because whatsoever you imitate never fits reality. Reality is continuously changing, it is a flux, nothing is ever the same. It is a river; it goes on flowing.

If you imitate your father.... Just see, your father lived many years before. Your father was a child maybe thirty years before or forty years before. He learned things in a different world. For example, your father, when he was a child, was not sitting five hours glued to the chair before the TV. Now, you don't know how much the TV has done to the small children. The father does not know. His childhood was not at all influenced by the TV. Five hours sitting before a TV is no ordinary phenomenon.

In fact, before TV happened, down the centuries, people had never looked into a source of light for five hours continuously. Now the scientists say that the whole nervous system changes because of those five hours of looking directly into the source of light. The TV goes on throwing strong rays on your eyes. It has never happened before. Five hours is too much. Scientists may if you sit near a color TV, four feet away, you will get cancer, you will suffer from many diseases which your parents had not known, ever. The eyes are eighty percent of your life. Five hours of just strong light rays reaching into your head -- your sleep will be disturbed. If America suffers from insomnia, it is natural. The TV is one of the basic causes.

Ordinarily man has lived with light, natural light. In a primitive society, the sun rises, people rise, and the sun sets and people set, people go to sleep. A natural rhythm with light. Now we are living too much with the light; the eyes are not made for that much light. The inner nervous system is disturbed; it becomes too loaded.

And a thousand and one things will happen. In America a new phenomenon is happening. Many places it has happened, and people have become really worried about it, what to do? In one place a woman was murdered, and twenty persons were standing there, almost paralyzed, not doing anything. A psychological investigation was done. What is the matter? Twenty young, healthy people standing there, and a woman was killed just in front of them and they didn't do anything -- they didn't even shout, they didn't call the police. What happened? And you will be surprised. The finding is that it is because these twenty people have lived on TV for too long.

On the TV screen murder happens so many times. What do you do? You don't do anything; you remain glued to your chair. They have become accustomed to it. It was another TV scene. They have lost track of reality. The TV has become more real. For five hours you are not with anything else -- and a continuous bombardment of light, and strong light, and things are moving in your head. You become a watcher. They were standing there juSt glued to their spots, paralyzed -- just watching. They could not do anything, because they are no more doers.

Now, your father, who had a different kind of childhood, will not be able to understand it. You are living in a different world, in a world which is more of TV watchers than of participants. Whatsoever he says will not be fit for your world; hence the generation gap. The father speaks a different language, you speak a different language. You live in a different world, he lived in a different world. Now, those two worlds never coincide.

If you are an imitator you will always be taking false moves. You have to learn to live in YOUR world; you have to respond to the reality that surrounds you. Things have changed dramatically. They have always been changing, but the change has been too fast in this century. And it will be faster and faster.

You have to become aware of the situation and respond accordingly.

An experienced plumber was giving instructions to his apprentice.

"Working in other people's homes," he said, "can sometimes lead to embarrassing situations, but you can always get out of them by using tact. For example, the other day, I walked into a bathroom and found a lady taking a bath. I backed out saying,'Excuse me, sir.' In that way, the lady thought I had not gotten a good look at her and it was all right."

The following afternoon, the apprentice staggered into the office in a beat-up condition.

"What happened to you?" asked the boss.

"You and your tact," cried the apprentice. "I went to the bridal suite of the Etter Plaza Hotel to fix a faucet. I was half-way through the bedroom before I realized there was a couple making love in the bed. The husband cussed at me, but I remember what you had said, so I tipped my hat and said,'Excuse me, gentlemen!"'

If you simply follow and you don't understand, you are immature. Never follow. Try to understand. Let understanding be your basic law of life. Let things come out of your understanding, not out of your memory.

The immature person functions through memory. Whenever there is a situation he looks into his memory, into his past, and finds a clue. The mature person looks into the situation, puts his past aside, because the past is irrelevant. He brings his total attention to the present situation and functions out of that totality. His action is in the present. The immature person is always living through his past; the immature person is always turning his future into his past. He is repetitive, he is parrotlike, he is a shadow, a reflection. He is not real.

When a party of tourists climbed to the top of a famous echoing mountain, they saw an old man, sitting on a rock, an enormous telescope in his hands. Every few moments he let out a series of shouts.

The puzzled tourists watched him for some time. Then one of them went up to the old man and asked, "Why do you keep looking through that thing and then calling out as if you were in pain?"

The old man-answered impatiently, "Don't talk to me. You will distract my attention and I will lose my job. I am the echo for this hill."

Many people have become just echoes. Watch yourself when something happens and you react. Are you reacting the same way as your father used to react in such a situation? Are you saying the same thing as your mother would have said if she were in this situation? Are your gestures the same as your teacher's in the school you loved so much? Just watch -- your gestures, your words, your actions -- and you will be surprised. Ninety-nine percent they are just echoes, they are not true.

How can you be fulfilled with such echoes?

Your father is living through you, not you. Your parents are living through you, not you. Your parents' parents are living through you, not you. The whole of humanity and its past is living through you, but not you. This is immaturity.

Maturity means you discontinue with your past. With one stroke of the sword you become discontinuous with your past and your heritage and the tradition, and you start living independently. The gesture is yours; then it is meaningful, then it is full of significance, then it is not an empty gesture. The words are yours, not borrowed, not somebody else's; then your life becomes more and more authentic and real.

To live in immaturity is to live in a kind of dream. It is a shadow world. Your eyes are so full of fog, you don't have clarity.

A frustrated young man went to see his doctor.

"Doc," he explained, "every night I have the strangest dreams. Beautiful blondes, brunettes, and redheads appear, and one by one they try to kiss me and put their arms around me."

"So?" answered the doctor.

"So nothing, Doc. I keep pushing them away -- every one of them."

"What would you like me to do?"

"Doc, please," pleaded the patient, "break my arms."

People are living in their dreams. They are ready to break their real arms for their unreal dreams.

Watch! You will find many times the same happening in your life. You are ready to kill your reality for some unreal ideal, some utopia, some ideology, some scripture. Somebody insults the Bible. Are you ready to fight? Then you are a fool. Somebody says something against Ram, and you are Hindu and you are ready to be killed or kill. Then you are a fool. Then you are living in shadows and you have become too attached to shadows.

In fact, a really alert man will not feel offended even if somebody insults him personally. Even if somebody says something against his name, he will not feel offended, because he will know, "I am not my name. The name is just an appendage, a label -- useful, but not real, just a make-believe. Any other name would be the same." He will not feel offended.

A really alert man, even if you hit his body, will not feel offended, because he will know he is not the body. He will know he is not his mind. He will know that he is something transcendental, and he will remain in that transcendentalness. In that transcendence is his being.

Then life will have a totally new quality and it will become a new experience. That experience is divine. Maturity is the door to divinity. Immature, you remain asleep. Mature, you become awake.

The question is from Prem Anam. He has many things which are immature in him. His question is relevant, relevant to his being, and it is good that he has asked.

Now, Anam, watch, become more careful. Drop your childishness more and more.

I say again and again, I quote again and again, Jesus' saying that "Unless you are like a child, you will not enter into my kingdom of God." But remember, he does not mean childishness. Childishness is just the opposite of being LIKE a child. A childish person is never like a child. He pretends to be a grown-up; he is a pretender. A childlike person is one who has become so mature, so alive, so aware, that he drops all pretensions. He is nude and naked, he is true, he is innocent.

Drop childishness, and become a child; and you will be mature. And you will be ready, ready to take the jump into yourself.


Next: Chapter 10: All Going Is Going Astray, Question 8


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