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There Are Three Types of Freedom, But Only One Truly Matters

The first is freedom from, the second is freedom for, and the third is just freedom…

21/04/2017 5:15 AM IST | Updated 28/04/2017 2:30 PM IST
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Freedom can be of three types, and those three types have to be understood well. The first is freedom from, the second is freedom for, and the third is just freedom—neither from nor for. The first, freedom from, is a reaction. It is past-oriented; you are fighting against the past, you want to get rid of it, you are obsessed with it.

Psychoanalysis tries to give you this freedom from—from the past traumas, childhood wounds. Primal therapy is based basically on the past. You have to go backwards to free yourself from the past, you have to reach to the first primal scream, then you will be free. So freedom means—for primal therapy, for psychoanalysis and for other therapies—that the past has to be dropped. You have to fight with it, you have to somehow manage, disentangling yourself from the past; then you will be free.

The first, freedom from, is a reaction. The second, freedom for, is revolution. The third, just freedom, is rebellion.

As far as this freedom is concerned, Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are not opposed to each other; they both agree. Karl Marx says one has to become free from the past, all past social structures, economic structures. His approach is political, Freud's approach is psychological, but both are rooted in the idea of freedom from.

All political reforms are reactions—and when you react you are never free. This has to be understood. It only gives you an appearance of freedom, but it is never true freedom. Out of reaction, total freedom is not possible. Out of reaction, true freedom is not possible. And only total freedom is true freedom.

You can go against the past, but just in being against it you are caught by it from the back door. That's why it has happened again and again that with whomsoever you are fighting, you become like him. Choose your enemies very carefully, because you will be determined by them! Fighting with them, you will obviously have to learn their strategies. You will have to learn their tactics, you will have to learn their ways. Slowly, slowly, enemies become very alike—more alike than friends....

The second idea is freedom for; it is future-oriented. The first is political, the second is more poetic, visionary, utopian. Many people have tried that too, but that too is not possible, because future-oriented you can't live in the present—and you have to live in the present. You don't live in the past, you don't live in the future, you have to live in the present.

Visionaries only imagine. Beautiful utopias they have imagined, but those utopias never become reality, cannot become reality.

If you react to the past, you are determined by the past. If you forget the past and look at the future, you are still driven by the past, you are just not aware of it. Looking at the future you dream beautiful dreams, but they can't change reality. The reality remains the same; dreams are very ineffective, impotent.

What do I mean when I say just freedom? Neither for nor against, no past, no future, just being here, now, just living moment to moment...

The first, freedom from, is a reaction. The second, freedom for, is revolution. The third, just freedom, is rebellion. It is present-oriented. The first is political, the second is poetic, the third is mystic, religious.

What do I mean when I say just freedom? Neither for nor against, no past, no future, just being here, now, just living moment to moment with no ideology, with no utopia.

The real sanyasi, the real mystic, is not against the past, is not for the future. He is so utterly absorbed by the present that he has no time, no energy, for the past and the future. This is how the rebel is born.

The rebel is the most beautiful phenomenon in the world. Buddha is a rebel, so is Jesus; Atisha is a rebel, so is Kabir. These are rebels. You will misunderstand them if you think of them as if they were revolutionaries; they were not. Neither were they reactionaries. Their orientation is totally different, their orientation is now, here. They don't live for any ideal, and they don't live against any ideal. They don't have any ideas; no ideology exists in their consciousness.

The sheer purity of this moment—they live it, they enjoy it, they sing it, they dance it. And when the next moment comes, they live the next moment with the same joy, with the same cheerfulness. They move moment to moment, they don't plan ahead.

Osho,The Book of Wisdom

This Article originally appeared in the OSHO Times

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