[A sannyasin says he is not sure whether to continue with his master’s degree in sociology when he returns. He has four more years to complete. He enjoys university life but wonders if he could do more. Osho checks his energy]

Osho – My feeling is that you should complete it; and it can be used in many ways…. Sociology can become of great importance if you know how to use it creatively. It will give you a background to understand man, to understand the human mind, to understand how the human mind has been functioning in the past. It is your past, it is man’s biography, and if one does not want to repeat the past again, one has to understand it, otherwise one goes on repeating. It can be of great significance if you study it with the right perspective.

Don’t be bothered about it only as a subject and don’t be too much concerned about the degree – that is secondary. The primary thing should be an effort to understand man… and in understanding man everything comes in. Man is his science, man is his religion, man is his art – man is all! We live in a human world! Without the human mind you will not be in the same reality. Humanity has created a special world of its own… and we live in it. It is like an ocean and we are like the fish in it.

To understand that ocean is very very helpful in understanding yourself. And if you want to be free of this society, then to understand sociology is very very important. If you want to get out of the prison, you will have to understand the prison, its laws, the gaolers, the guards, how it functions and who manages it, how it is ruled, and what the loopholes are… from where you can escape, which the weakest links are in it.

No, I would like you to finish it. Don’t be negative about it. And side by side be creative, meditate, but finish it. It will give you a good foundation to start with and much can be done, so don’t think in those terms. And always remember that even if something looks futile it can be used. The question is not whether something is useless or not – the question is whether you are capable of using it or not. You may have one of the most precious things and you may not be able to use it.

For example, you can have the best brush and the best colours and the best canvas and your painting may be just third rate, while a great painter may not have the best brush in the world, may not have the best canvas, may not have the best colours, but still creates a great painting. It does not depend much on the materials you use; it depends more on you and how you use them.

We produce better paint now – better brushes, better canvases and everything – but still, a
michelangelo is a michelangelo; we cannot produce a Michelangelo. He has done something with
colour – those colours were not as good as our colours are, but he has created poetry out of those ordinary colours.

Our greatest painters – Picasso and Salvador Dali and others – are just childish before him. Howsoever skilful they are – our modern painters – they just look like school children. Michelangelo remains the master. He does something to the colour which is not in the colour; that’s the whole art. He brings into the colour some new quality which is not a chemical component. It was not there; it is he who brings it.

So always remember: it is finally you who will do whatsoever you are going to do, and all that
you learn will be used if you move in the right direction, with the right perspective, with the right understanding. Then everything that you have lived, known, experienced – good and bad – all can be used. And my feeling is that nothing is useless in that way.

So continue, mm? but continue with this idea: you are not only studying sociology, you are studying your own past. You are studying the past of man and how to get rid of it, how to get out of it, how to get out of sociology and become an individual, how to go beyond sociology, how to really create a psychology. People have sociologies – they don’t have psychologies.

Gurdjieff used to say that psychology does not exist yet because man does not exist yet – only
society exists. So at the most, in the name of psychology, we try to understand the science of
behaviour, not the science of the mind. Because the mind is not there, so how can you study that
which is not there? You can study Gurdjieff and then there will be psychology.

You study Richard Nixon – it will be just sociology, it cannot be psychology… or Jimmy Carter – it will be sociology, it cannot be psychology. Only by looking into a buddha can you see what psychology is. So study it with the view that you have to go beyond it, and all this knowledge will be helpful.

Source: from Osho Book “This is It”

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