Osho on Self Remembering

Question – In which way can the Practice of Self – Remembering Transform the Human Mind?

Osho – Man is not centered in himself. He is born centered, but the society, the family, the education, the culture, they push him off-center, and they put him off-center in a very cunning way, knowingly or unknowingly. So everyone becomes, in a sense, ”eccentric” – off the center. There are reasons, survival reasons for it.

When a child is born he has to be forced into a certain discipline. He cannot be allowed freedom. If he is allowed total freedom, he will remain with the center – spontaneous, living with himself, living himself. He will be original as he is. He will be authentic, and then there will be no need to practice any self-remembering. There will be no need to practice any meditation because he will never go off the center.

He will remain with himself – centered, rooted, grounded in his own being. But this has not yet been possible. Meditation is, therefore, medicinal. The society creates the disease, and
then the disease has to be treated. Religion is medicinal. If really a human society based in freedom can be evolved, there would be no need of religion. Because we are ill medicine is needed, and because we are off-center methods of centering are needed.

If someday it becomes possible on earth to create a healthy society, healthy in the inner sense, there will be no religion. But it seems difficult to create such a society. The child has to be disciplined. What are you doing when you are disciplining a child? You are forcing something which is not natural to him. You are asking and demanding something which he
will never do spontaneously.

You will punish him, you will appreciate, you will bribe him, you will do everything to make him social – to take him away from his natural being. You will create a new center in his mind which was never there, and this center will grow and the natural center will go into oblivion, into the unconscious.

Your natural center has moved into the unconscious, into the dark, and your unnatural center has become your conscious. There is really no division between unconscious and conscious; the division is created. You are one consciousness. This division comes because your own center has been forced to some dark corner.

Even you are not in contact with it; you are not allowed to be in contact with it. You yourself have become unconscious that you have a center. You live what the society, the culture, the family have taught you to live. You live a false life. For this false life a false center is needed. That center is your ego, your conscious mind.

That is why, no matter what you do, you will never be blissful – because only the real center can happen, only the real center can explode, can come to the climax, the optimum, of the possibility of bliss. The false center is a shadow game. You can play with it, you can hope with it, but ultimately nothing but frustration comes out of it.

With a false anxiety that is bound to be so. In a way everything is forcing you not to be yourself, and this cannot be changed just by saying that this is wrong, because society has its own needs. A child, when born, is just like an animal – spontaneous, centered, grounded, but so independent. He cannot become part of an organization.

He is disturbing. He has to be forced, cultivated and changed. In this cultivation he has to be pushed off-center. We live on the periphery and we live only to the extent that the society allows us. Our freedom is false because the rules of the game, of the social game, are so deeply fixed that you may feel that you are choosing this and that, but you are not choosing. The choice comes from your cultivated mind, and this goes on in a mechanical way.

I am reminded of a man who married eight women in his life. He married one woman, then divorced her, then married another – very cautiously, very carefully, very carefully, in order not to fall into the old trap again. In every way he calculated, and he was thinking that this new woman was going to be totally different than the first one. But within a few days, with the honeymoon not yet even over, the new woman started to prove herself to be just the same as the old one, the first one.

Within six months the marriage was shattered again. He married a third woman and now he was still more cautious, but again the same thing happened. He married eight women, and every time the woman turned out to be the same as the old one. What was happening? And he was choosing very cautiously now, very carefully. What was happening?

The chooser was unconscious. He couldn’t change the chooser, and the chooser was always the same so the choice was going to be the same. And the chooser works unconsciously. You go on doing this and that, and you go on changing outward things, but you remain the same. You remain off-center. Whatsoever you do, howsoever it is apparently different, it ultimately proves to be the same.

The results are always the same; the outcome is always the same; the consequence is always the same. Whenever you feel you are choosing and you are free, then too you are not free and you are not choosing. The choice is also a mechanical thing. Scientists say, biologists particularly, that the mind becomes imprinted, and that happens very early. The first two or three years are the years for imprinting, and things become fixed in the mind.

Then you go on doing the same; you go on repeating in a mechanical way. You are moving in a vicious circle. The child is forced to be off-center. He has to be disciplined; he has to learn obedience. That is why we give so much value to obedience. And obedience destroys everyone, because obedience means now you are not the center: the other is the center; you are just to follow him.

Education is a necessity in order to survive, but we make this necessity to survive an excuse for submitting. We force everyone to be obedient. What does it mean? Obedient to whom? Always someone else – the father, the mother, someone else is there, and you have to be obedient to him.

Why so much insistence for obedience? Because your father was forced to be obedient when he was a child; your mother was forced to be obedient when she was a child. They were forced off their centers; now they are doing the same. They are doing the same with their children, and these children will do the same again. This is how the vicious circle moves on.

Freedom is killed, and with freedom you lose your center. Not that the center is destroyed; it cannot be destroyed while you are alive. It would be good if it was destroyed; you would be more at ease with yourself. If you were totally false and there was no real center hidden within you, you would be at ease. There would be no conflict, no anxiety, no struggle.

The conflict comes into existence because the real remains there. It remains in the center, and just on the periphery an unreal center is created. Between these two centers a constant struggle, a constant anxiety, tension, is created. This must be transformed, and there is only one way: the false must disappear and the real must be given its place. You must be regrounded into your center, into your being; otherwise you will be in anguish.

The false can disappear. The real cannot disappear unless you die. While you are alive the real will be there. The society can do only one thing: it can push it deep down and it can create a barrier so that even you become unconscious of it. Can you remember any moment in your life when you were spontaneous, when you just lived in the moment – when you were living yourself and you were not following someone else?

I was reading one memoir of a poet. His father had died, and the dead body was put in a coffin. The poet, the son, was weeping, crying, and then suddenly he kissed the forehe
ad of his father’s dead body and said, ”There, now that you are dead, I can do this. I always wanted to kiss you on your forehead, but while you were alive it was impossible. I was so afraid of you.”

You can kiss only a dead father – and even if the alive father allows you to kiss, the kiss is going to be false; it cannot be spontaneous. A young boy cannot even kiss his mother spontaneously because always the fear of sex is there; the bodies must not come too closely in contact, even with the mother. Everything becomes false. There is fear and falsity – no freedom, no spontaneousness, and the real center can function only when you are spontaneous and free.

Now you will be able to understand what is my attitude towards this question: ”IN WHICH WAY CAN THE PRACTICE OF SELF-REMEMBERING TRANSFORM THE HUMAN MIND?” It will reground you; it will give you again roots into your own center. By self-remembering, you are forgetting everything other than yourself: the society, the mad world around you, the family, the relationships, everything, you are forgetting. You are simply remembering that you are.

This remembrance is not given by the society to you. This self-remembrance will detach you from all that is peripheral. And if you can remember, you will fall back to your own being, to your own center. The ego will be there just on the periphery, but you will be able to see it now. Like any other object, you will be able to observe it. And once you become capable of observing your ego, your false center, you will never be false again.

You may need your false center because you have to live in a society which is false. You will be able to use it now, but you will never be identified with it. It will be instrumental now. You will live on your center, in your center. You will be able to use the false as a social convenience, a convention, but you will not be identified with it.

Now you know you can be spontaneous, free. Self-remembering transforms you because it gives you the opportunity to be yourself again – and to be oneself is the ultimate and to be oneself is the absolute. The peak of all the possibilities, of all the potentialities, is the divine – or whatsoever you want to call it.

God is not somewhere in the past; he is your future. You have heard it said again and again that God is the father. More significantly, he is going to be your son, not the father, because he is going to evolve out of you. So I say, ”God the son,” because the father is in the past and the son is in the future.

You can become divine, God can be born out of you; if you are authentically yourself, you have taken the basic step. You are going towards divinity, towards total freedom. As a slave you cannot move to that. As a slave, as a false person, there is no path leading towards the divine, to the ultimate possibility, the ultimate flowering of your being. First you must be centered in yourself.

Self remembering helps and only self-remembering helps; nothing else can transform you. With the false center there is no growth – only accumulation – and remember the distinction between accumulation and growth. With the false center you can accumulate: you can accumulate wealth, you can accumulate knowledge, you can accumulate anything, without any growth. Growth happens only to the real center.

Growth is not an accumulation; you are not burdened by growth. Accumulation is a burden.
You can know many things without knowing anything. You can know much about love with out knowing love. Then it is an accumulation. If you know love, then it is growth. You can know much about love with the false center; you can love only with the real center. Real centers can mature.

The false can only get bigger and bigger without any growth, without any maturity. The false is just a cancerous growth, an accumulation, burdening you like a disease. But you can do one thing: you can change your focus totally. From the false, you can move your eyes to the real. This is what is meant by self-remembering: whatsoever you are doing, remember yourself – that you are. Don’t forget it.

The very remembering will give an authentic reality to whatsoever you are doing. If you are loving, first remember that you are; otherwise you will be loving from the false center. And from the false center you can only pretend; you cannot love. If you are praying, first remember that you are; otherwise the prayer is going to be just nonsense, just a deception. And you are not deceiving anyone else; you are deceiving yourself.

First remember that you are, and this remembering that ”I am” must become so basic that it follows you like a shadow. Then even while asleep it will enter, and you will remember. If you can remember the whole day, by and by it enters even in your dreams, even in your sleep, and you will know that ”I am.”

The day you can know even in your sleep that you are, you are grounded in your center. Now the false is no more; it is not a burden to you. You can use it now, it is instrumental. You are not a slave to it, you have become the master.

Krishna says in the Gita that while everyone is asleep, the yogi is not: he is awake. It is not meant that the yogi lives without sleep, because sleep is a biological, bodily necessity. What is meant is that he remembers even in his sleep that he is – that ”I am.” Sleep is just on the periphery. In the center the remembrance is there.

The yogi remembers even while he is asleep, and you are not remembering yourself while you are even awake. You are walking on the street, but you are not remembering that you are. Try, and you will feel a change of quality. Try to remember that you are. Suddenly a new lightness comes to you, the heaviness disappears; you become weightless.

You are thrown off the false center to the real one again, but it is difficult and arduous because we are so much grounded in the false. It will take time, but no transformation is possible without self-remembering becoming effortless for you. You simply start remembering yourself; otherwise no transformation is possible.

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