Osho on Helplessness

[A sannyasin said that Ma Vipassana who is seriously ill is his friend; he would like to do something but feels helpless.]

Osho – It is good to feel helpless… prayer arises out of helplessness. And that helplessness will help your ego to drop. If you can do something in every situation then the ego never drops. You have to come to face certain situations where you are absolutely impotent. You would like to do something but you cannot do anything… it is simply impossible to do anything. Vipassana’s situation may be very very helpful to you.

Just see the helplessness of man… and all the nonsense that ego goes on thinking. Neither birth nor death are in our hands. Nothing is in our hands. Once you realise this, prayer arises. Prayer is a cry, a deep cry, of helplessness. And prayer makes a person religious. … it is not a question of Vipassana suffering for you… she is not suffering for you. But she has given you a chance, mm?

This is how things are… but man has created a facade of power. We try in many ways – our doctors, our medicine, our this and that… this is all a power trip. It gives a feeling that everything is in control – and nothing is in control. It is just a mask. It is not only that you are feeling helpless – the doctor who is watching her, the doctor who is going to operate – he is also feeling helpless. He will not say, mm? because it is not good to say so. He will try to pretend that he is in power, in control, that he is doing whatsoever is needed. He will create a deception around himself. He is also helpless, he is also trembling inside.

Science has created a pretension, and it has helped the human ego so that man feels less helpless. Prayer by and by has disappeared. And God feels very very far away. In these moments when you suddenly become helpless and you cannot do anything, in that impotence, two possibilities open: either you become suicidal, or you can become prayerful. So use this opportunity for prayer. Go and sit beside Vipassana and pray.

[The sannyasin answers: I don’t really know if I know how to pray, Osho.]
Osho – No, no, there is no need to know how. Helplessness will give you…. It is not a question of words. Just sit helplessly by her side. And just feel your helplessness. Something will start arising. You may start bowing down to the earth, or you may start looking up at the sky. You may start saying something which you will be surprised that you can say. You will become like a small child – and what can a child do when he feels helpless, unhappy, suffers, and finds no way? The child cries for the father or mother. And that cry is tremendously meaningful. It will be tremendously meaningful for you, and for Vipassana too.

I am not saying that you have to use certain cliches, or you have to repeat some christian prayer or this and that. No, nothing – just what you can do when you feel helpless and lost. Let this opportunity be a great experience for you. Let prayer happen… let communication be there.

[The sannyasin says: I feel that I communicate with her on an astral level… but I think that this is just my imagination.]
Osho – Don’t be worried. Don’t doubt it – let it be imagination. Imagination is a faculty, and it is more potent than reason. There are many things which can happen through imagination which can never happen through reason. But in the modern mind, the moment we say something is imagination it is already condemned. We think of it as if it is unreal.

Imagination is as real as anything else. It is more real than reason, because it is more primal. Reason is just the latest arrival… just a child. Imagination is ancient. We share imagination with animals, with trees, with rocks. Reason we share with nobody. It is just a local thing – human. So don’t be worried about it – let it be imagination. Imagination simply means that you are not thinking in language, but in pictures, that’s all. It is as real, more real in fact, than the verbal mind – because it is more deep-rooted in your being than the verbal mind. The verbal mind is just a superficial layer. So don’t interfere with the imagination.

And it is not much of a question whether somebody survives or not. Because how long can one survive? We are fighting a losing battle. One day, one year, ten years – it doesn’t matter much. These few months she has been here she has changed tremendously. If she dies there is not much of a problem. She has used this life. If she lives – good. If she dies I will not feel unhappy for her. She has earned something – a certain integration – and she will be able to use it in her next life.

For me it is not a question of whether she lives or not. The whole question is whether she has earned some integration, some centring – and she has. She has been going well… she has grown much. I am happy, mm? I can say goodbye to her with happiness. There is no repentance that she missed something. So you just be prayerful by her side… it has helped you.

Source – Osho Book “Nothing to Lose But Your Head”

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