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ZEN: THE PATH OF PARADOX

VOL. 3

Chapter 4: Therapy is a Function of Love

Question 1

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Paradox, Vol. 3

 

THE FIRST question:
Question 1
HOW CAN I WORK AS A THERAPIST IN AN EGOLESS WAY? WHAT SHOULD I DO?

THERAPY IS BASICALLY A FUNCTION OF LOVE, and love flows only when there is no ego. You can help the other only to the extent that you are non-egoistic. The moment the ego enters, the other becomes defensive. The ego is aggressive; it creates an automatic urge in the other to be defensive. Love is non-aggressive. It helps the other to remain vulnerable, open, non-defensive. Hence, without love there is no therapy.
Therapy is a function of love. So with ego, you can't help. You may even destroy the other. In the name of help you may hinder his growth. But Western psychology is caught up in a mess.
The first thing Western psychology still thinks in terms of a healthy ego. And ego can never be healthy. It is a contradiction in terms. Ego as such is ill. Ego can never be healthy. Ego is always leading you towards more and more illness. But Western psychology thinks -- the whole Western mind has been -- that people are suffering from weak egos. People are not suffering from weak egos; people are suffering from too much of egoism.
But if the society is male-mind-oriented, aggression-oriented, if the only desire of the society is how to conquer all, then naturally you have to drop all that is feminine in you. You have to drop half of your being into oblivion -- and you have to live with the other half. The other half can never be healthy because health comes through wholeness. The feminine has to be accepted... the feminine is egolessness, the feminine is receptivity, the feminine is love.
A really healthy person is one who is utterly balanced between the male and the female. In fact, he is one whose maleness has been cut, destroyed by his femaleness, who has transcended both, who is neither male nor female -- who simply is. You cannot categorize him. This man is whole, and this man is healthy. And to such a man, in the East, we have always looked as the Master.
In the East we have not created anything parallel to the psychotherapist. The East has created the Master, the West has created the psychotherapist. When people are mentally disturbed, they go to the psychiatrist in the West; in the East, they go to a Master. The Master's function is utterly different. He does not help you to attain to a stronger ego. In fact, he makes you feel that the ego that you have is already too much. Drop it! Let it go!
Once the ego is dropped, suddenly you are one and whole and flowing. And there is no block and no hindrance.
In the West also, sooner or later, psychotherapy will have to understand the ultimate psychology -- the psychology of the Buddhas. Before I enter into it, I would like to say a few things about the ego -- how this mechanism functions, what exactly it is.

A child is born. A child is like an uninflated balloon. The balloon is there, it can be inflated, it can carry much air. But right now there is no air in it. Then, by and by, we inflate the balloon. This balloon is the symbol of the ego. From the first year to the seventh year the child exists almost egolessly. He exists in tune with existence, he has no separation, no clearcut boundaries. He does not know who he is, he does not compare, he does not fight. He lives in utter relaxation -- that's the beauty of a child. That's why the eyes of a child are so innocent; no tension floats there, no anguish has arisen, no fear.
Anguish arises only when your boundaries have become very clearcut. With the boundaries you are separate; when you are separate you are in danger. Separation brings danger. When you start feeling that "I am myself and nobody else!" then death starts hovering around you -- because this is a false idea. You are not yourself: you are part of the whole. You are not an island. The ego gives the idea that you are an island. You are not an island; you are involved with the whole of existence. You are not separate, so how can there be death? That's why a child is deathless -- he can go and play with a snake. He has no concept of death, he s so utterly innocent. From where does this fearlessness of the child come?
It comes because there is no division yet; he lives an undivided life, a life of unison, unity. That's why later on we go on thinking with nostalgia how beautiful those days, those few years, were. They continue to remain the golden age -- the poetry of those days, the dance, the joy, the celebration -- that goes on hovering around you for your whole life. As if the best happened first, and since then you have been falling and falling and falling.
Because of this basic mechanism, all the religions carry the parable of 'The Fall'. The Fall presupposes that we were higher first; we were higher and then we became lower. This doesn't seem to be a very good evolution. It is involution! First you were in a golden age -- so say the Hindus, so say the Christians, so say all the religions of the world: that the real golden age passed in the past. Now more and more gloomy days are coming -- Kaliyuga, the Dark Age -- more and more dark it will be. From where does this parable of the Fall come? It comes from the deep experience of every man. It is very fundamental.
The child was really happy. He had known no responsibility, he had known no division, he had known no separation. He was egoless. The balloon was there, potentially ready. You can put hot air into it at any moment. And we start putting hot air in -- the moment the child is born we start putting hot air into it. The moment you start putting hot air in, the child starts becoming more and more of an individual.
All small children look alike. Why do they look alike? They don't have many distinctions. Their faces don't yet have characteristics, they don't have any persona. They are almost alike, similar. That's why all children look beautiful. They have not yet grown a specific character, distinction, a personality. Without this personality they are utterly in existence, one with it. There is a harmony.
But that harmony will be broken sooner or later. We will start preparing them for the world. We will start telling them what their names are. We will start telling them who they are -- Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans. We will tell them whether they are boys or girls. We will start enforcing ideas on them and conditioning them and preparing them for the world. We will send them to school and to college and, by and by, we will train them.
Our WHOLE education consists of a subtle training in the ego; that's why the education is so competitive. It depends on ambition create ambition! Tell the child, "You have to come first in the class. You have to top the college; you have to attain to the gold medal in the university. These are the ways you have to learn how to be the first in line. Then your whole life you will have to work it out. First learn the map, and then your whole life work it out. Wherever you are, go on trying to be the first in line."
Great anxiety is created, great anguish is created. Neurosis is created out of it.
From the first to the seventh year the child remains like an uninflated balloon. From the seventh to the fourteenth the adolescent starts gaining air. That's why adolescents are difficult, always ready to say 'no' and always ready to fight and always ready to rebel. Down the ages it has been so, it is nothing new in this age. Down the ages adolescence has been the age of problems. The ego has started functioning. The adolescent says, "I would like my own way, I want to do my thing! Right or wrong is not the question -- my thing I want to do!"
We create it: we repress it also. We create it so that the child can fight in the world with others. But the child starts fighting with the parents too! There is a problem. The parents don't want the child to bring his ego against them, but where is he going to practise? -- they are the closest. So there is a contradiction in the mechanism. They want him to be against the whole world: "Go and compete with everybody! Be a warrior and show your mettle and show your spine -- show that you are somebody!" But the child starts learning at home. Naturally, everything has to be started at home. He says 'no' to the mother, 'no' to the father. The father says, "Don't smoke!" and he will smoke. And the father says, "Don't go to the movie!" and he will go.
Now we are poisoning. When you poison somebody, you cannot trust that he will throw his poison only at the outside world and he will not throw his poison at you. Adolescence is the most troubled time -- because the adolescent hovers between two oppositions, between two polarities. He knows The childhood has just been there and it was so beautiful. He has not yet left it absolutely. He can still penetrate, sometimes he goes into it. Sometimes an adolescent becomes again a child -- playing with his toys, running after a butterfly, collecting sea-shells on the beach -- he slips back. Then he is again beautiful. Then he comes back because he has to go to school and he has to learn mathematics and geography and history; and he has to compete and the examination is coming close. He goes on moving between these two territories; hence he becomes very anxious, uncertain of himself.
Up to the seventh year he was very certain, there was no problem. Now the problem is arising: the ego is coming up, the balloon starts taking shape -- not very perfect, but the balloon starts taking shape. Now you can see one adolescent becoming different from another.
Adolescents insist on their differences. If you put all the children into one dress, they won't like it -- then they lose their separation. They want their own dress. They want everything of their own. They want their own room with a nameplate. They start signing their names on their books -- the signature has come into being.
Character appears with adolescence. And almost always, if you watch an adolescent rightly, you can write his whole future. The character starts forming, the fundamentals start surfacing -- what the boy is going to become. All possibilities are there, but a few possibilities start becoming actual, and a few possibilities, by and by, shrink and die away. Whether the child will become a musician or a poet or a painter or a politician or a mystic -- adolescence is the age when you can judge. Before that it is impossible to judge because the balloon has no shape, the air has not entered yet. And with adolescence a great effort to be free from all patterns, disciplines....

FROM THE FOURTEENTH TO THE TWENTY-EIGHTH year is the third stage of the balloon or the ego -- youth inflated to the full. With the fourteenth year a kind of fullness enters into life because one becomes sexually mature. Nothing gives more air to the ego than sex. Without sexual maturity you remain lacking something. Your parents have something -- they can produce children, you cannot. You feel impotent. By the age of fourteen, a boy is no more a boy -- at least he does not think that he is a boy. Inside he starts thinking of himself as the man, a grown-up man. And boys start taking more air; more flavour of the ego enters. With sexual maturity ego comes to its full bloom. The balloon is inflated to the full, personality arises clear and loud.
In adolescence you could have looked deeply and found personality, but on the face of youth you need not look deeply -- it is written all over the face. With adolescence there was a little rebellious spirit, but with youth there is revolution. He is ready to destroy anything. He becomes destructive, because it is only through destruction that he can show that he is somebody. He is against ALL rules, regulations; he does not want to believe in anything. He does not want to believe in any tradition, in any religion. He wants to say 'no' to father. 'no' to mother. Not only that: he wants to say 'no' to God, 'no' to the church, 'no' to the Bible, 'no' to the Gita. He wants to say 'NO' with his whole heart. The ego has come in a perfect way.
This third stage gives him the feeling "I am me and nobody else!" Ego at its full peak. At this time the youth is always ready to fight, to explode. Aggression, violence, competition, ambition, revolution -- all enter into his blood and bones.
The fourth stage is from the twenty-eighth to the fifty-sixth year -- middle age -- inflated beyond the natural capacity. The balloon is inflated beyond the natural capacity. The natural capacity is attained by the twenty-eighth year; that's how far the balloon can go. Between twenty-eight and fifty-six it starts getting beyond the limit of the balloon. Hypertension arises. These are the most difficult days.
Up to twenty-eight you were taught to inflate the ego more and more, so you go on inflating. It has become a habitual thing. For twenty-eight years you have been practising only one thing -- through education, through teaching, through conditioning -- inflate the ego. Now it has become a routine: you go on inflating without thinking at all that there is a limited capacity to the balloon. You go on pushing more and more air in -- hypertension arises. So it is somewhere between twenty-eight and fifty-six that you start getting high blood pressure, heart attacks. It is somewhere between these two ages that you have to consult the psychotherapist, that you start becoming shaky, that things don't seem to go the right way, as you had expected them to go, as they were at least appearing to go up to twenty-eight. Now they are no longer going the right way. Everything seems to go wrong.
You are succeeding in life; you have money, you have prestige, respectability, but somehow you are disappearing in it. You are losing your being, your peace, your rest. A restlessness, a great restlessness, a feverishness arises. These are the most difficult days. These are the days when a person becomes physically, mentally ill. Anxiety arises, anguish arises, psychosis and all kinds of neurosis enter into your being. This is the fourth stage.
The fifth stage is from fifty-six to one hundred and twelve, the ultimate expansion. Just on the verge, any moment, of exploding. You are ready, just a puff more and you will explode. No more inflation is possible. This is the time when a person starts hoping that now death should be coming, starts thinking about death. Not only starts thinking, but having a kind of hope that "Death will come and relieve me of all this burden."
Then the sixth stage: the balloon explodes.
Out of the sixth there are two possibilities -- the seventh stage has two possibilities -- the Eastern and the Western. The Western possibility is: you di, and you are reborn again as an uninflated balloon in some womb. Death is the seventh possibility if Western psychology is allowed its full say. If there is nothing like religion, then out of the sixth the seventh is born automatically. You die here, you know only one way of being, you are again born in a womb -- again an uninflated balloon -- and you start the same circle, the same repetition, the same rut.
This is what, in India, we call the samsara -- the world. Each death brings you back to life again, and again you start the same game! And the game has been played millions of times! And you go on playing, you go on playing... the same again and again. Those who are perceptive and intelligent, they become alert. They see the whole futility of it. What is the point? Why go on repeating like a wheel? Why this wheel of birth and death?
Then there is another possibility and that is the Eastern possibility: either you die -- you explode and you are born; or you don't die -- you don't explode. Seeing the whole absurdity of the ego, you yourself relax, you puncture it. That's what I call sannyas -- you puncture the balloon. The air goes out of it, the balloon shrinks back; it becomes like it was when you were a child.
This is the second childhood: you have become twice-born. Not in some other womb, not in some other life -- herenow. You have dropped out of the wheel. That's why we say the saint is again like a small child. The circle is complete. No womb is needed for him: he has become a womb unto himself. Again he is innocent. Again trees are colourful, again the sun is a joy. Again everything is celebration. God walks on the earth again. He is in paradise. He has not gone anywhere! He has simply dropped that balloon that was creating the whole trouble.
This is the birth of a new consciousness; not of a new body, but of a new soul -- the birth of a new being; not of a new mechanism, not of a new house, but the DWELLER has changed. This is transformation.
Now, these two possibilities are there at the ultimate stage. But if you have been brought up continuously in the Western way, in the materialistic way, in the egoistic way, then it will be difficult for the other alternative suddenly to happen.
So in the East we have been doing a very strange paradoxical thing. In the East we do one thing: we go on helping the newcomer to become egoistic, and by the side we go on helping him to remember that ego is not the goal -- a good game, but one has to come out of it. We teach the ego, certainly, but simultaneously we also teach egolessness. We give him both the wings, so it remains always possible for him to change the direction whenever he wants. At whatsoever point he wants to change the direction, he can change the direction. Any moment the balloon can be punctured. We teach him the art of puncturing it too.
In the West you have only been taught one thing -- how to go on pumping more air into the balloon. And if sometimes punctures happen automatically, you have been taught how to mend them. Your psychology is nothing but... it is like a garage. The car is not functioning well, you go to the garage, and the garage mechanic maintains it back to its normality. He brings it back to its old functioning order.
The psychotherapist's couch is like a garage for you. When -- ever some puncture starts appearing in your life pattern, you immediately rush to the psychotherapist, so that he can cover the puncture and again you can go on pumping air in it.
The Eastern way, the psychology of the Buddhas, is that whenever the puncture happens, feel happy. Help it, it is good! Let this balloon go! But remember, that does not mean that we want nobody to grow into ego. First you have to grow into ego -- that's a natural part of growth.

So if you ask me, my suggestion is: up to the age of fifty-six... that is the middle age if we take the life span from one to one hundred and twelve years of age. That's what yogis say the natural age of man is: one hundred and twelve years. Each man is capable of living at least that long if things go right. If life energy moves in the right direction, one hundred and twelve years has been fixed by the yogis down the ages as the natural limit of life. If we die before then something has gone wrong -- either in the body or in the mind, or in the food, or in the society, something has gone wrong. We have not completed the natural course. So fifty-six is just the middle line. That's why Hindus say that after fifty you start thinking of sannyas, of renunciation. And by seventy-five, thinking won't do: you take the jump.
But we prepare from the very beginning. We say: Have a strong ego, and also have a different kind of strength which is not of the ego, so that when the ego becomes too much you can drop it too. Let your being also be strong, just as your ego is strong. Strong being is needed to drop the strong ego.
In the West you have been taught only to grow in strength as far as the ego is concerned. Then the ego becomes too strong and you are too impotent and you cannot do anything with it, you cannot drop it.
For example: you have been taught how to think, but you have not been taught how to stop thinking. So thinking becomes very very skillful, very logical, rational, very focussed. concentrated. Then one day you want to stop it but you cannot stop -- your being is very very impotent. You have put your whole energy into thinking and being has remained without energy. Now the slave that you have trained becomes the master. It is as if you have been continuously feeding the slave and starving the master. By and by, the slave comes to know that you are nothing. Why should he allow you on the throne? He throws you off the throne and sits on the throne, and you cannot do anything.
You have watched it many times. In the night you want to go to sleep and the thoughts continue. And you say to them, "Please, stop!" But they don't stop, they don't hear at all, they don't bother about you. They go on and on and on.
Good to teach thinking, but it is FAR better to teach how not to think too! so that thinking remains a slave and the being remains the master. Good to have an ego, otherwise in life you will not have any spine. You will be crushed by anybody. If you don't have any ego in life, you will remain a non entity, yoU will be exploited, oppressed, tortured. Anybody, any Adolf Hitler will become your shepherd, and you will be a sheep. No, that's not good. You should be taught the ego, but simultaneously, far MORE important and significant is to teach you so that any moment you want to disconnect yourself from the ego you can disconnect. Any moment you want to puncture the ego you can puncture. Any moment you want to put the balloon away, you can put the balloon away.
The outer journey needs the ego, the inner journey needs egolessness. When you are fighting, the ego is needed. The soldier needs the ego, but the saint needs egolessness. And life is not all fight. If life is all fight, then it is meaningless. There are joyous moments which don't come through fight, which come through relaxation. Ego never allows you to relax; it keeps you continuously tense. Hence, the stress destroys you -- the body, mind, everything is destroyed by the stress and the strain.

You ask me: HOW CAN I WORK AS A THERAPIST IN AN EGOLESS WAY?

In the East our approach is that the therapist has not to work at all. The therapist becomes just a vehicle for God's energy. He has just to be available like a hollow bamboo so God can pass through him. The healer has to become just a passage.
The patient is a man -- in Eastern eyes -- who has lost his contact with God. He has become too egoistic and he has lost his contact with God. He has created such a China Wall around himself that he no more knows what God is, he no more knows what the totality is. He's utterly disconnected from the roots, from the very source of life. That's why he is ill -- mentally, physically or any other way. Illness means that he has lost track of the source. The healer, the therapist in the East, is expected to connect him to the source again. He has lost the source, but you have the connection still.
You hold the hand of the person. He is hidden behind a wall. Let him be hiding behind the wall. Even if you can hold his hand through a hole in the wall... if he can trust you -- he cannot trust a God, he does not know what God means. That word has become meaningless to him. But he can trust the therapist, he can hold the hand of the therapist. The therapist is empty, just in tune with God, and the energy starts flowing. And that energy is so vital, so rejuvenating, that sooner or later it destroys those China Walls around the patient, he has a glimpse of egolessness. That glimpse makes him healthy and whole, nothing else makes him healthy and whole.
So if the therapist himself is an egoist, then it is impossible. Both are prisoners. Their prisons are different, but they cannot be of much help.
My whole approach about therapy is that the therapist has to become instrumental to God. I'm not saying don't know the know-how. Know the know-how! -- but make that know-how available to God. Let Him use it. Learn psychotherapy, learn all kinds of therapies. Know whatsoever is possible to know, but don't cling to it. Put it there, let God be available through you. Let God through all your know-how, let God flow through all your know-how. Let Him be the source of healing and therapy. That's what love is.
Love relaxes the other. Love gives trust to the other. Love showers on the other, heals his wounds.

 

Next: Chapter 4: Therapy is a Function of Love, Question 2

 


Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Paradox, Vol. 3

 

 

Chapter 4:

 

 

 

ENERGY

ENHANCEMENT MEDITATION

MEDITATION HEAD

 HOME PAGE

 

GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

THE ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL PROCESS

LEVEL2

THE KARMA CLEARING PROCESS APPRENTICE LEVEL3

MASTERY OF  RELATIONSHIPS TANTRA APPRENTICE LEVEL4

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

MORE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES

 - FIFTY FULL TESTIMONIALS

2003 COURSE

 
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