Osho on Clinging to Misery

Question – Beloved Osho, Why do I cling to my Misery? Why can I not drop it?

Osho – The I, the ego, is not something separate from the misery, that’s why it is absolutely impossible for anyone to drop it. Who is going to drop it? They are not two, the dropper and the dropped. The ego is nothing but a complex of all your miseries, sufferings, anxieties, anguishes, wounds; your anger, your jealousy, your hate — they are, all together, one complex.

The problem arises because when you start feeling miserable, it is not the whole complex which is feeling miserable — just a part, a fragment, and the remaining whole becomes your “I”; a false division is created. you want to drop the misery; you think yourself separate from the misery.

The same goes on happening with everything else: you feel anger — then anger is taken as a separate thing from you. Or jealousy …. It never happens that all these things, this whole hell, you want to drop completely. Why do you want to drop misery in the first place? — because it is unpleasant; you would like to be joyous, blissful.

But in the very liking, the very desiring of joy and bliss and happiness, you have created the misery. The desire is the cause of the misery, and the same desire is befooling you — now you want to drop misery. You have created it. You, and only you, are responsible, and still you will go on creating more and more, even while you are thinking of dropping it.

This becomes now a new misery: “I cannot drop my misery.” Do you see the game? You were miserable enough, now you want to drop it. More misery is added. You were angry, now you want to drop anger. You become even more angry because you cannot drop it. You feel trapped. Your ego, the whole of you, consists of a thousand and one things; hence it becomes possible that you can separate yourself from one thing.

Anger, jealousy, misery, hatred, you can separate, but those one thousand things that are now playing the role of being your “I” are not your “I” at all. They are part and parcel of the same complex system; they are all interrelated. If one can be dropped, then the whole can be dropped. But because the whole is trying to drop one, you are in a mess.

You cannot figure out what is happening. “I don’t want to be miserable” — still the misery continues. It continues because everything else that supports it, nourishes it, helps it, has become your “I”. Every time you separate a fragment from yourself, this is going to be the case. I cannot suggest to you how to drop it.

There are not methods to drop, there is no possibility to drop. I am not saying that you are going to remain miserable forever. I am simply trying to make it emphatically clear that it is not a question of dropping; it is a question of understanding. And in the very understanding of misery, it disappears. Not that you have to drop it — who are you?

Just try to look around, and you will find yourself nothing but a combination of a thousand and one things; the whole junk of the world is within you. And the major part of junk tries to drop a small part of junk. And they are related, they are relatives. They are one family, they cannot really be separated.

Just see: Can you separate anger from hate? Can you separate hate from love? To separate anger from hate obviously seems to be impossible, because without hate, anger is not possible. Without anger, hate is not possible. Then try to separate hate from love. Just try to think: don’t you hate the man you love also? Haven’t you been destructive in a thousand ways to the same man you love? Have you not tried to possess the man or the woman? Is possessiveness love? Can a man who loves even think of possessing? Is it not very clear that to possess someone is to reduce him from a being to a thing?

There is nothing worse that you can do. Let me repeat, there is nothing worse than this that you can do, that you are capable of: reducing a being to a thing. And that’s what possession is. Only things can be possessed; beings cannot be possessed.

You can have a communion with a being.
You can share your love, your poetry,
your beauty, your body, your mind.
You can share but you cannot do business.
You cannot bargain.
You cannot possess a man or a woman.
But everybody is trying to do that all over the earth.

The result is this madhouse we call the planet earth. You try to possess — it is naturally impossible, it cannot happen in the very nature of things. Then there is misery. The more you try to possess a person, the more that person tries to become independent of you, because every person has a birthright to be free, to be himself or herself.

You are trespassing on the privacy of the person, which is the only sacred place in the whole world. Neither Israel is sacred, nor is Kashi sacred, nor is Mecca sacred. The only sacred space in the true sense is the privacy of a person — his or her independence, the beinghood. If you love a person you will never trespass.

You will never try to be a detective, to be a Peeping Tom, peeping into the privacy of the other person. You will respect the privacy of the other person. But just look at the so-called lovers — husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. All they are doing, around the clock, is finding ways to trespass, to enter into the private world of the other person. They don’t want the other person to have any privacy. Why?

If the person has independence, privacy, individuality, they are afraid. The person tomorrow may not love them — because love is not something stagnant. It is a moment, it is nothing to do with permanency. It may continue for eternity, but basically love is a phenomenon of the moment. If it happens again in the next moment you are blessed. If it does not happen you should be thankful that at least it did happen before.

Remain open: perhaps it may happen again — if not with this person, then with another person. The question is not persons, the question is of love. Love should remain flowing, it should not be stopped. But in their stupidity people start thinking, “If this person goes out of my hands then I am going to starve my whole life without love.”

And he does not know that by trying to hold this person permanently in his captivity, he will starve. He will not get love. You cannot get love from a slave. You cannot get love from your possessions; from your chair, table, house, your furniture, you cannot get love. You can get love only from a free agent whose uniqueness is respected by you, whose freedom is respected by you. It is out of the freedom of the other that this moment of love has happened.

Don’t destroy it by trying to possess, by trying to hold, by creating a legal bondage, a marriage. Let the other be free, and remain free yourself. Don’t let anybody else possess you either. To possess or to be possessed, both are ugly. If you are possessed you lose your very soul.

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