[A sannyasin says: I have difficulty accepting other peoples’ looks of disapproval, particularly now that I’m wearing orange. I seem very sensitive to it. I was wondering if you could suggest something I could do.]

Osho – That’s the whole purpose of orange – so that you cannot hide yourself, and so that you stand out. You have to come to terms with every look that crosses your path. Ordinarily we are hiding in conformity. When you conform with society you become part of the crowd, and nobody is looking at you in particular. You live an anonymous existence – that’s why people live in a crowd, in society, sects, groups, parties.

To stand alone, and to become a focus of others’ looks, is one of the most courageous acts. The basic thing to be understood is that you are to forget what others say. You have to ignore and become indifferent about them. It is none of their business. You become disturbed because you still pay attention to their attentions. It is not their opinion that is disturbing you; it is your expectation that they should be favourable to you, that their opinion should not go against you.

Because this expectation is not being fulfilled, you are disturbed. That’s the whole purpose of why I give you orange: to make you so separate that either you will go crazy, or you will have to drop the whole wrong expectation. Why should you expect that the other should approve of you? You are perfectly good as you are; nobody’s approval is needed.

If you live on approval, then you live an inauthentic life. You never live your life; you only live a life that they will approve of. Then life becomes false, pseudo, and you become miserable, phoney. You feel frustrated, that life has no meaning. Life can have meaning only when it is real, and a real life means that you are not worried about what others say. You are simply working out what you can be, not what they expect or will approve of.

Simply forget others, as if you are alone. Move in the crowd, but never become part of it. Why should they be concerned about you? They are neurotic, and your being concerned about them is again a neurosis, a reflected neurosis. A healthy person is not worried about others; he has no judgement about them. If they want to be creative, good. If they want to be crazy, that too is good. That is their life, and finally they are responsible for it. So a healthy man never judges anybody, and never asks anybody’s opinion.

The very asking shows that you are wavering inside, that you don’t have a hold on your being and you need props. Just today I was reading an anecdote. A man enters a train which has written on it that it is going to London, but he asks a person in his carriage, ’Is this train going to London?’ The person says that it is, but he is interested in reading his newspaper, so the answer sounds rather indifferent, not certain, so the man is not convinced. He asks again of the same person, ’Sir, is it really going to London?’

The other man replies, ’Yes, it is really going to London,’ but now he is angry because he has been disturbed. Another person asks the questioner if he can read or not, because it is written everywhere that the train is going to London! Finally the questioner is convinced. Just then they stop at a station, and another passenger enters the compartment and asks the first man, ’Is this train going to London?’ He replies, ’My God, you have made me uncertain again!’

This is what you are doing with yourself, mm? Anybody can make you uncertain whether you are good or beautiful. This is not a true being; it is a false one that you have gathered from other people’s opinion. The whole purpose of sannyas is to drop it, to be on your own; good, bad, or whatever, but to be on your own, to live a true life out of your own source. Soon you will see who you are, and once you do, by and by you forget what others say. It simply shows that they are approving or disapproving of you because they are living in the same approval/disapproval world.

Maybe, just looking at your orange, your difference, your nonconformity, they become afraid. Here is a man who can make them uncertain. You create a suspicion in people. They start thinking that perhaps there is another way of life; maybe they are not living and leading a right life. So to defend themselves they criticize you. You have brought a new window to their world.

They don’t want to see from this window because they have investments in their way of life, have lived a certain life according to certain rules. Now you come with a different world, and different rules. That means there was an alternative, and the alternative may have been better. Maybe they have missed the real thing….

They have been missing the real thing, that’s why the uncertainty. So they are simply trying to defend their own way of life. If they can make you miserable they will be happy, and again certain about themselves. Then they know the train is going to London!

But if you remain laughing and are not disturbed by their opinions, sooner or later they will start asking you what you have gained. If you persist in your way of life, they will start asking you how they should live their own lives; and that if you have found a way not to be miserable, then show them.

First they will laugh and mock at you, criticize you, but if you persist, if you have the courage and the strength, by and by they will start following you. But that is not the point – whether they criticize or follow. The point is, are you going to live your life, or are you going to follow others and their idea of what life is? And it is simple. There is nothing to be done, only an understanding is needed. Try, from this moment! Good!

Source: from Osho Book “Hammer on the Rock”

2 thoughts on “Osho – If you live on approval, then you live an inauthentic life”
  1. This one, and all of the Osho teachings are so beautiful! and so true! I hope someday soon everyone will discover the beauty of these teachings… But for now, I am glad that I have discovered them! greetings from Holland.

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