Friday, August 01, 2008

Osho: "Courage" Part 6 - The Way of Intelligence

(Cover) Courage: The Joy of Living DangerouslyContinuing my series on Osho's bookCourage: The Joy of Living Dangerously. In this part we begin to examine the section, "The Way of Intelligence".

Intelligence is aliveness, it is spontaneity. It is openness, it is vulnerability. It is impartiality, it is the courage to function without conclusions.

Functioning Without Conclusions

Osho's meaning is not immediately clear without remembering that he has just finished urging us to abandon "ready-made answers" and think with originality (see previous post, "Listen To Your Heart"). So he is equating these "ready-made answers" with conclusions: decisions and determinations based on analyses that we have already made. To function within our conclusions is to live within the safety and security of the known.

In opposition, Osho proposes that we function in innocence. But what could he mean? Clearly he does not mean that we should act as if we have never learned anything:

One may go astray, but that is how one arrives. Going many, many times astray, one learns how not to go astray... Knowing what is error, one comes closer and closer to what is truth. It is an individual exploration; you cannot depend on others' conclusions.

So it is all about learning for yourself. But here we have a very broad statement. It seems certain that he does not mean, "Jump off a cliff to test for yourself whether it is dangerous." Or see for yourself how fast you can drive the mountain road before your car leaves the highway.

And does he then mean that it's ok to depend on our own conclusions, just not the conclusions of others? I think not, because our own conclusions are apt to be overly general, or perhaps mistaken or obsolete. They too should be re-examined or refined.

I hope he returns to this topic, because to "function in innocence" still seems to me hopelessly vague.

Born as a No-Mind

If you were born as a no-mind, then the mind is just a social product. It is nothing natural, it is cultivated.

Do you agree with Osho that our minds are imposed upon us by family and society? My four children are each quite different. Yes, they do share much "mind" that is of course a product of their upbringing. But they also think for themselves, have their own experiences and have drawn their own conclusions. Even from the day they were born they had their own unique personalities. Is that not part of the mind?

Existence precedes thinking. So existence is not a state of mind, it is a state beyond. To be, not to think, is the way to know the fundamental.

Ironically, for a section titled "The Way of Intelligence" Osho is advocating that we adopt a "nonthinking approach", a religious approach in order to know "the fundamental." That's because

Thinking can think only about the known -- it can chew the already chewed. Thinking can never be original... At the most, thinking can imagine new combinations, but it cannot know the unknown... So thinking goes in a circle, goes on knowing the known again and again and again.

In contrast, "religiousness" is a superior way to know because

It drops all that hinders, it unblocks you; you start flowing into life. You don't think that you are separate, looking. You don't think that you are a watcher, aloof, distant. You meet, mingle and merge into reality.

And that is Osho's central objective,

To come upon reality originally, radically, to come upon reality without any mediator -- to come upon reality as if you are the first person to exist -- that is liberating. The very newness of it liberates.


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