Osho on Real Problems

Question : Do real problems exist? Are all problems just mind games? Does awareness make problems disappear? Or is there a possibility that awareness brings repression? If i’d that whenever i feel a little more centered and aware than usual i don’t feel any problems, but when i am no more centered all the old problems are back and they look even bigger. Is this repression?

Osho : RATNA, ALL PROBLEMS ARE out of unawareness. Unawareness Creates problems, is the ONLY problem really. So when you become alert, aware, problems disappear — they are not repressed! And if you repress them you will never become aware, remember it; because a person why represses his problems will be afraid of becoming aware. The moment one who has repressed problems becomes aware, those problems will come up. Awareness will bring them to light.

It is as if you are hiding rubbish in your house: you will be afraid to bring light in, because then you will have to see all that you have been hiding there. You cannot bring light in.

I used to live in a village once, for a few days. There was a river, so dirty — just such a small river that you cannot even call it a river. And there was no other way, no other water supply. A guest came to stay with me. Now, I was a little puzzled: how to take him to that dirty river? So I took him early, four o’clock in the morning, and we enjoyed and we talked about the beauty because the moon was there and the river was really looking beautiful. And he enjoyed and he said, “I have never seen such a beautiful spot.”
I said, “That’s perfectly okay, but never come in the day.”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “Just don’t come.”
Naturally, he rushed, in the morning he went back. And he came from there saying, “Such a dirty place!”
But it was looking so beautiful.

If you repress, you will be afraid of becoming aware. That’s why millions of people are afraid of becoming aware. Awareness will bring light into you, and then you will see all the scorpions and the snakes and the wolves… and that is frightening. One keeps oneself in darkness. At least one can go on pretending that there is no problem.

Awareness will release all that is repressed. Awareness NEVER represses — on the contrary, it releases repressions. But Ratna’s experience is true. If you become aware, problems disappear. Naturally, the question arises: Is not awareness repressing those problems? — because how can they suddenly disappear? And when awareness is lost, centering is gone, and you are no more so conscious, again the problems pop up — and they are bigger than ever! So the natural conclusion is: awareness repressed them. It is not so.

When you are unconscious, you create problems. Unconsciousness has its own language — that is the language of problems. It is like when you are groping in darkness. One thing falls, you stumble upon another thing. These are problems because of the darkness. If light comes, you will not stumble upon the table, and nothing will fall. You can move easily now. You will be able to see. But when it is dark, try to move in your own house and many accidents will happen. You may not be able to find the door in the night. You may not be able to find where things are.

In darkness, the way you live creates problems. Darkness or unconsciousness only understands the language of problems; it has no solutions. Even if a solution is given to you, In your unconsciousness you will make a problem out of it. That’s what goes on happening: if I say something to you, you understand something totally different. You understand from your standpoint.

A spinster schoolteacher on her summer vacation was visiting the reservation at Yosemite. She spotted a big brave standing against a tree and became very curious about his sex life.
“How does a great big man like you get satisfaction up here where there are no young squaws?” she asked.
The Indian stared at her unbelievingly and then said, “You see cow?”
“Yes, I see cow… you don’t mean?”
“Yes,” said the brave, “me make love to cow. Also, you see horse?”
“Yes,” said the spinster, horrified. “I see horse.”
“Me make love to horse.”
“Oh, dear!” cried the distraught old maid.
“No,” grunted the Indian sadly. “No make love to deer. Run too fast.”

Unconsciousness understands in its own way. That’s why Buddhas are always misunderstood. That’s a natural fate. It can’t be avoided. It is very difficult to understand a Buddha. It is very easy and natural to misunderstand him. To understand him will require great awareness on your part — because he lives in the world where there are no problems! where there are all solutions and solutions and no problems, all answers and no questions. And you live in a world where there are only questions and questions and no answers. You live so far away… as if you are living on different planets.

He goes on shouting from there, but whatsoever reaches to you is totally different. And you can always find rationalizations for whatsoever you understand. You can become very argumentative, defensive too.

William was seated in the witness stand. He had already calmly answered all the questions of the prosecuting attorney. Now it was the judge’s turn.
“Does the defendant really expect this court of law to accept his story that the completely assembled still on his property was not being used for the purpose of producing illicit whiskey?”
“That’s right, Your Honour!” said Gilliam. “I bought that as a novelty, a conversation piece. I do not now, nor have I ever, operated it as a still to produce whiskey.”
“Hogwash!” howled the magistrate. “As far as this court is concerned, possession of the equipment is proof enough of your guilt!”
“Then, Your Honour, I guess you’d also better charge me with raping your daughter!”
“What!” screamed the judge. “Did you rape my daughter too?”
“No, sir,” said Gilliam. “But she was at my place last night — and I sure got the equipment for it!”

Mind is very cunning and clever. It can argue in clever ways. It can even find rationalizations and proofs; it can give you the feeling that you have understood rightly. But Ratna’s question is of immense importance. It is of importance for everybody who is here. Because this is a place where you have to become more and more aware. Awareness has to become the climate.


They exist only when you are unconscious — then they are real. If unconsciousness is there, they are real. Just as dreams exist when you are asleep — are they real? Yes, when you are asleep they are absolutely real. But when you are awake, you know they are unreal, they were unreal. They were part of sleeping consciousness. Exactly like that — problems exist if you are not centered, not alert. If you become centered, alert, watchful, a witness, problems simply dissipate, evaporate.

Yes. They are all mind games. And ‘mind’ is nothing but another name for unconsciousness.


It depends on you. There is a little danger of it. If YOU FORCE awareness upon yourself, it will be repressive. If you allow awareness to take possession of you, it will be non-repressive. If you practice awareness, stubbornly, if it is a kind of will, then you will repress. Will always represses. Will is the source of repression. Wherever will is, there will be repression.

So your consciousness has not to be out of will-power. It has to be out of understanding. It has to be relaxed. It has to be a kind of let-go. Not enforced. That is one of the most essential things to understand. If you try to become aware, you will repress.

For example, anger has arisen, and you try to become aware of the anger — stubbornly, forcibly, violently, aggressively. activity, with will. With that effort, anger will recede. It will fall into the reservoir of your unconscious. It will move into the basement of your being, and will wait there. When your effort is gone… and effort cannot be continuous, because effort tires. You can make effort, will for a moment, for a few moments, for a few hours, or for a few days, but sooner or later you will need a holiday. You will be tired of the whole effort. And the MOMENT you are on a holiday, the anger will come back, and with greater force — because while it was repressed it became pressurized. And whenever any energy is pressurized, it gains energy, it becomes more condensed. So whenever the lid is off your effort and will and the weight is removed, it will explode into violent rage.

That’s what happens to people who cultivate things. They can repress their anger but they will be creating only rage. Anger is momentary. Rage is chronic. Anger is nothing to be worried about — it comes and goes. It is just a breeze. But rage is dangerous. It becomes part of you. It becomes your foundation. It is always, there. Don’t you know people who are always angry? And they may not show their anger at all, and they are always angry. Whatsoever they do, they do in anger. The anger is constantly flowing underneath them like an undercurrent. It has become underground. But it affects their love, it affects their friendship, it affects their very vise. They become repulsive, they become ugly. And they may not be angry at all, not showing anger.

Ordinarily what happens is that people who become angry for small reasons are good people, they are never in rage. You can trust them: they cannot murder or commit suicide. They will never gather that much poison. Small poison is created, thrown away. They are always fresh, healthy. Situations create anger, but they don’t collect it, they don’t accumulate it — they are not hoarders.

The so-called good people, respectable people, saints, etcetera, they are the really dangerous people — they go on accumulating. One day it is going to explode. And if-it is not going to explode, it has to become their very life-style. Chronic it will be.

Never bring awareness through willpower. Anything brought by will-power is going to be wrong — let that be the criterion. Then how to bring awareness? Understand. When anger comes, try to understand why it has come; try to understand without any condemnation, without any justification either, without any evaluation. Just watch it. Neutral you should be.

Just as you watch a cloud moving in the sky: in the inner sky an anger cloud moves — watch it. See what it is. Look deep into it. Try to understand it. And you will find there is a chain: the anger cloud disappears, but because you looked deeply into it, something else has been found — maybe ego was hurt, that’s why you become angry. Now watch this ego cloud, which is more subtle. Go on watching it. Get deep into it.

Nobody has ever been able to find anything in the ego. So if you go deep into it, you will not find it; and when you have not found it, it is no more. Then suddenly there is a great light — out of understanding, out of penetration, out of witnessing, with no effort, with no will, with no conclusion that it should be like this or should be like that. A neutral witnessing. And awareness arises. And this awareness has beauty and benediction. This awareness will heal you. And if this awareness comes, you will never be tired of it, because it has not been forced in the first place. So there is no need for any holiday!

Just think: the Christian, the Jewish God, after six days was tired and had to rest on the seventh day. In the East we don’t have any conception for God’s rest. Why? It looks a little hard on him. The Eastern God goes on working, goes on working — no holiday. Why is there no holiday in the East for God? In fact, the holiday that happens here in the East, in the offices, in the schools and colleges, has been brought from the West. Otherwise, there was no question of holiday at all, because life was seen from a totally different vision. It is play, not work.

The Jewish God MUST have got tired. Six days work, such a long work, and such a failure! Must have got tired. And finally, in the end, he created man, and since then he has not created anything. It indicates what has happened to him: he became so fed up with his own creation that after man he stopped it. He said, “Enough is enough!”

But the Eastern God is a continuum of creativity. It is play — LEELA. Then it is possible. Let your awareness be a play. Effortless, relaxed, and then it can become a continuum, it will be there, it will not be lost. My feeling is that Ratna must be making this effort too much. That’s why she says:


There must be a little bit of it, otherwise those problems will never come back. Once you have looked into any problem deeply, relaxedly, it is finished for ever. Because ALL anger is the same. If you have looked into one anger situation deeply, you have understood it for ever. It is finished, you are treed from it And all that energy that was getting involved in anger will be yours. And all that energy that was getting involved in greed is yours. Suddenly one finds oneself a great reservoir of energy. Then one can dance, overflow, with joy. Then life is no more an endurance but becomes enjoyment. Then life is a celebration.
Unless your awareness is without will you will be repressing. And repression can be very subtle. Then always, when the awareness is gone, the repressed thing will come, and in a bigger form, with vengeance. It will take revenge.

Ratna, don’t force awareness on yourself in any way. Let it grow. Become more relaxed, calm, quiet, accepting One has to accept all — the good and the bad, success and failure, love and hate ALL one has to accept. In that acceptance, relaxation happens. And awareness is nothing but the fragrance of relaxation. It is the flowering of let-go.Then problems disappear and disappear for ever….

Source – Osho Book “The Perfect Master, Vol 1”

One thought on “Osho – Do real problems exist? Are all problems just mind games?”
  1. whenever i become aware of problems it dissappears. but why it appears like repression? whenever i become aware of fear it does not dissapear instead increases. why so?

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