Osho on Misery

Question – Why can i not live without Misery?

Osho – Very few people can. Very few people can afford to live without misery. Misery gives you a sense of being, misery defines you. Misery gives you the ego, the self-identity. Misery gives you something to hold on to, you can cling to it.

Bliss is very elusive. You can possess misery, you cannot possess bliss – on the contrary, bliss possesses you. You can control misery, you cannot control bliss. In bliss you have to disappear, the controller has to disappear. Very few people can afford that much, they are so afraid to go into the unknown. Misery is known; well-acquainted you are, well-introduced you are. A thousand and one times you have suffered the same thing, the same nauseous thing. But by and by you have become accustomed to it. A kind of familiarity has grown between you and the misery.

You ask: Why can I not live without misery?

The ’I’ cannot exist without misery, that’s why. You will not be there without misery. Once misery is missing, you will be missing. You must have heard Descartes’ famous statement: Cogito ergo sum – ’I think, therefore I am.’ Yes, he is true in a sense – not in the sense he means, but in a totally different sense he is true. The moment thinking ceases, you will cease – in that sense it is true: I think, therefore I am. So you cannot afford to lose thinking.

In bliss, thinking disappears. In bliss there is no thought. Bliss is not a thought at all. Even when you recognize that you are blissful it is only later on when the bliss has gone, when the moment has disappeared. When the bird has again flown back into the unknown and you are left in your misery – then you remember; you recapitulate. It is always a memory. Yes, you say ’I was blissful.’ You never know ’I AM blissful.’ No, nobody has ever known that ’I am blissful.’ Because when bliss is, I am not.

Bliss is so vast it simply throws you away. The flood comes and you are gone. If you are ready to die, if you are ready to disappear, if you are ready to lose yourself – only then will you be able to drop misery. Misery works, it has some utility for you. You have much investment in it. And because it works you go on clinging to it. For example, just watch your misery and see the investments. Everybody goes on saying ’I don’t want to be miserable’ – but he has some indirect investments in it and he is not ready to lose those investments.

For example, if you are miserable it is easy to have people’s sympathy. Now, that is an investment. If you are ill everybody pays attention to you, everybody takes care of you. Once that has happened it becomes very difficult to be healthy again. Because once you are healthy the care, the attention, the sympathy, that yoU were getting will disappear also. Naturally – it was not given to you, it was given to your disease. Now the disease has a subtle attraction – then why not remain in it? Your wife has never been so loving as she has been since the heart attack. Now again to be healthy and ’going’, seems to be taking a risk. And you know your wife – so knowing her, knowing your whole life, she has never been so careful about you, so attentive to you, so caring about your needs. Now suddenly she is so caring; all care she is. How can you afford to lose your illness? You can only hope for heart failure now, nothing else. You can pray to God: ’Now give me heart failure. The heart attack has been so good.’

You cling to misery because it has some investment somewhere, it works. A guide was conducting a party of tourists around Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury If you look up to your left,’ he said, ’You’ll see a large bay window, the third one along from the end. That is the Archbishop’s study.’
’Oh,’ said one of the sightseers, ’I do wish we could catch a glimpse of the Archbishop himself.’
’Right,’ said the guide, and stooping down, he picked up a large stone and hurled it through the window. Immediately, a face appeared behind the broken glass, red with anger and shouting incoherently.
’There you are!’ said the guide. ’That always gets the old boy!’

Now once you know it works, ’it always gets the old boy’, you have stumbled upon a key. Now you will go on using that key. That’s why you are miserable. When you are miserable the whole world is sympathetic towards you. When you are happy everybody is jealous of you. When you are happy nobody can forgive you. When you are unhappy everybody is so polite to you, everybody is so friendly, everybody is so generous. When you are happy everybody becomes the enemy. For a blissful mall the whole world turns to be an enemy. That’s why Jesus is crucified – he is crucified for daring to be blissful. Socrates is poisoned – he is poisoned for daring to be happy. Mansoor is killed, murdered, butchered – what is his crime? A simple crime, that he was ecstatic.

These miserable people all around, they cannot forgive an ecstatic person. Because that ecstatic person reminds them of their failure. Jesus walking by your side, suddenly reminds you that you have failed. A Mansoor singing a song of joy, suddenly makes you feel guilty – what are you doing here? You have sold yourself for mundane things, and here is this man full of God, full of joy, full of light. You cannot tolerate this man. This man is a thorn, it hurts. If it is possible to Mansoor and to Christ and to Socrates, why is it not possible to you? Destroy this man and rest at ease. Then you know ’Everybody is just like me, even worse than me.’ That makes you feel good.

That’s why people like to know about wrong things about people, what wrong is going on. If you start talking about somebody and you say that he is a saint and he is pure and he is holy, immediately the other person will start criticizing. If you say he is the greatest sinner, the other will say ’I know. You are right. I have never said it but I have always known.’ No proof is needed. But if you say somebody is holy, no proof is enough; nobody is going to believe it.

Jesus is not killed by Jews, Jesus is killed by miserable people. He would have been killed anywhere. Jews should be completely forgotten in regard to it, they have not killed him. He would have been killed by Greeks, he would have been killed by Indians. He would have been killed – it doesn’t matter where, he would have been killed anywhere. That’s why you cling to misery. And once you have tasted the joys of misery, once you have got hooked to the joy of misery, it is very difficult.

A woman was applying for a maintenance order against her husband, who was said to have deserted her for seven years and to have made no provision for her or his children.
’I understand,’ said the magistrate, ’that you have three children, aged respectively, two, four, and six. How exactly do you square this with your allegation that your husband has deserted you for seven years?’
’Well, your worship,’ replied the woman, ’he keeps coming back to apologize.’
Once you get hooked you go on falling back. It becomes a rut. A groove is created in your being, and whenever you have nothing to do you start moving to that groove. There you can always trust you will have some occupation.

You are miserable because you have decided to be miserable – maybe the decision is unconscious. And you have to be conscious about the decision, only then can it be dropped. Because nothing can be dropped from the unconscious. The unconscious is a great preserver, it preserves everything.

Once you make anything unconscious it will be preserved for ever and ever unless you make it conscious again and throw it. Your unconscious is a basement where you never go, and you always go on throwing things in the basement. Whenever you are miserable you repress it. Your eyes may be full of tears but you try to smile – you throw those tears into the unconscious. You may be boiling with anger but you go on repressing the anger, the sexuality, the greed.

You go on throwing all this into the basement, and there all these things are creating a great chemistry. All these things meeting together, melting into each other – it is almost a lab of an alchemist. Just in the reverse order – the alchemists transform the baser metal into gold and you transform the gold into baser metal, but still you are an alchemist.

You have to bring your misery into the conscious. You have to face it. And you have to see what your investments are with it. And then if you decide that those investments are worth it then it is perfectly okay. Then be miserable but don’t make a fuss about it. If you think that misery is not worth those investments, it is foolish, then just seeing the foolishness of it is the cessation of it. To see anything totally, to recognize its absurdity, is to drop it. There is no need to drop it then – in that very seeing, it drops. Seeing is transformation. IHI PASSIKA, says Buddha: Come and see.

Source – Osho Book “This Very Body the Buddha”

One thought on “Osho on Misery – You are miserable because you have decided to be miserable”
  1. you have to see what your investments are with it. And then if you decide that those investments are worth it .

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