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Why You Shouldn't Bother To Be 'Good'

17/04/2016 8:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Our judgments of good and bad, right and wrong, keep us split. In this inner division, the ego flourishes. When we are living fully, accepting the totality of what is, happiness flourishes.

Don't bother to be good, don't bother to be this and that, just be whosoever you are. Accept it and live it. If you can start living totally, fully, not holding anything back, if you start flowing totally, your life will have a fragrance; that fragrance I call religion. It has nothing to do with holy or unholy, with virtue and sin. It is the fragrance of a flowing life, of a dynamic life, of one who is not stagnant, of one who is not divided, of one who has no future, no past, of one who has only the present--the only moment--and lives it.

Don't bother to be good, don't bother to be this and that, just be whosoever you are. Accept it and live it.

Live each moment as if you were going to die the next, and then there will be a great intensity and a great passion. You will be aflame with life. That being aflame is what being divine is to me. If you ask me, that will be my definition of the holy: aflame with life--as if a torch were burning from both ends. A great passion, a great fire.... This is the last moment, why not live it totally? If existence allows you another moment, again it is the last moment. Don't wait, don't postpone.

All these ideas of being good are of postponement. How can you be good right now? You will have to wait for tomorrow. To be good means to train, to discipline yourself, to drop many things, to grow new qualities, to have a new character, morality. Of course it is going to be very painful because you will constantly be in a fight with yourself. Anything that creates a rift in your being is ugly. Anything that creates a division in your being, which makes you split, makes you schizophrenic, is pathological. Be total, be one.

The moment you say: "This is good and that is bad," you have judged, you have divided. Now you will be in trouble.

So don't judge. The moment you say: "This is good and that is bad," you have judged, you have divided. Now you will be in trouble. Whenever you will be doing something bad, you will only be doing it half-heartedly because one part will say, "You know this is bad, don't do it!" And if you do good, you will know that it is not satisfying, and the bad part will go on pulling you: "Why are you wasting your energy? Why are you fasting while you could have feasted? Why do you remain in celibacy when you could have loved a beautiful woman?"

When you are trying to be good, whatsoever you have called bad will take revenge, will go on pulling you from the back. Sooner or later, it will pull you into the bad. When you are doing the bad, when you are making love to a woman, suddenly you will remember that Mahatma Gandhi says brahmacharya is the only thing to be done. Making love to a woman... and in comes a mahatma and stands just between you and your woman. Again everything is disturbed. You cannot love perfectly, totally, absolutely; and then there is frustration. You feel that you have committed a sin. Then you want to do something good to keep the balance; otherwise you will become very lopsided.

This is how I see people: moving from good to bad, from bad to good, again and again; their whole life is just a continuous movement between opposite polarities.

When you are making love to a woman, suddenly you will remember that Mahatma Gandhi says brahmacharya is the only thing... everything is disturbed.

What is my teaching? To accept life in its totality and not to divide it. There is nothing good and nothing bad. Whatsoever happens, let it happen. Allow it. Don't struggle.

When you listen to me, suddenly your mind will say that this is dangerous, because you know you have repressed many bad things, so if you allow it, those bad things will start coming into your mind. Just listening to me, watch your mind. When I say: "Whatsoever happens, let it happen," you have started planning to escape with the neighbour's wife. You have been avoiding it because you are a good person, a respectable citizen. What to do then?

When I say, "Do whatsoever happens," suddenly you will feel the great urge of all that you have repressed. That's natural, but that is only because you have repressed; it will come and go. If you allow it, soon it will be released; you will become normal. You will become absolutely normal and healthy. And once you have become balanced and you are not being pulled in opposite directions continuously, integrity arises in you--and I call that integrity real holiness. It has nothing to do with good, nothing to do with bad; it has something to do with totality.

If you have the misfortune of living with a goody-goody person you will feel like vomiting. He is so good, no salt at all... saccharine.

The word holy comes from the word whole. Whole means total. Holy means one who is living a whole life. Don't try to be goody-goody, allow everything, then your life will have richness. A goody-goody person is nauseating. If you have the misfortune of living with a goody-goody person you will feel like vomiting. He is so good, no salt at all... saccharine. A man needs a little salt too, a man needs a little bitterness too, a man needs a little sourness too--that makes life enriched. A man needs a little devil too; then you live more fully.

If you want to paint you have to use many colours. If you use only one colour your painting will be very dull and boring. The more colours, the more rich the painting will be. And if you drop black completely, your painting will miss something. Black is needed, because only through the black does the white come clear and loud. So I am not teaching you to be good, I am not teaching you to be bad; I am teaching you only to be whole. To be whole is to be healthy and to be healthy is to be holy.

I am not teaching you to be good, I am not teaching you to be bad; I am teaching you only to be whole.

But the ego does not want to be whole, because once you are whole the ego cannot exist. The ego exists only in the split. When you are fighting with yourself, the ego exists. The ego always exists through conflict; conflict is its food, its nourishment. If you are whole, the ego cannot exist.

You can watch it. You can go and watch the criminals; they have their ego. You can go and watch your saints; they have their ego...the ego of the good and the ego of the bad. But if you can find a man who has no ego, he will be neither a sinner nor a saint, he will be very simple. He will not claim anything good or bad; he will not claim at all.

To drop the conflict between good and bad is the greatest act of courage... and that brings you to the very door of the divine.

Ego is created by the rift. When you are fighting, the ego comes in; when you are not fighting, the ego cannot come in. Ego is a tension. If you want the ego, then divide yourself as fully as possible--become two persons. That is what has happened to the whole of humanity: everybody has become two persons. One voice says do this, the other voice says don't do that--then the ego arises.

Out of friction ego arises, and ego is very intoxicating; it makes you unconscious. It is the greatest drug that exists, and it drugs you so badly that you become almost incapable of seeing what is what. But the ego is created by conflict between good and bad, so if you want to drop the ego, you will have to drop the conflict between good and bad. And to drop the conflict between good and bad is the greatest act of courage a man can afford, and that brings you to the very door of the divine.

Excerpted from Tao: The Pathless Path, Osho

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