Sunday, August 03, 2008

Osho: "Courage" Part 8 - The Way of Trust

(Cover) Courage: The Joy of Living DangerouslyContinuing my series on Osho's bookCourage: The Joy of Living Dangerously with "The Way of Trust", a section in the first chapter, "What Is Courage?".

Trust is the Greatest Intelligence

Osho argues that fear and insecurity give rise to doubt, being the opposite of trust. And that we are afraid because we lack confidence in our own intelligence. If we believed in our own intelligence then we would not be afraid of being "cheated". Personally, I would be more afraid of failure than of being cheated, but the principle appears to be the same.

Trust needs great intelligence, courage, integrity. It needs a great heart to go into it. If you don't have enough intelligence, you protect yourself through doubt.

A cynic could point out that these assertions are self-serving for a teacher: if you doubt his words it shows you lack intelligence! But the real truth at the heart of his teaching is that we must learn to believe in ourselves, to trust ourselves and our own judgment. And armed with this confidence, we must finally have the courage to act.

If you have intelligence you are ready to go into the unknown because you know that even if the whole known world disappears and you are left in the unknown, you will be able to settle there.

I still find it somewhat awkward to be discussing this in terms of intelligence. So it is useful to remember that Osho has previously said

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

and he has very carefully distinguished this intelligence from "intellect". Thus armed with our confident, wide-eyed spontaneity we can approach one of his most important statements:

Don't try to understand life. Live it! Don't try to understand love. Move into love. Then you will know -- and that knowing will come out of your experiencing.

When I was a teenager, I recall thinking deeply about the meaning of life. For several years, as I became self-aware, I struggled trying to figure it out. Until one day I delved deeply inside myself, seeking and seeking for the answer, only to discover that there was no solution to this "problem" because life is not a problem to be solved.

For nearly 40 years now I have tried to live by this principle. So when I read Osho's next words, I felt that I had come home:

Life is not a problem... It is a mystery to be lived, loved, experienced.

Osho suggests that it is because we are afraid that our restless, fearful minds try to solve the problem of life. In fear we require explanations -- an explanation is a map, and a map gives a feeling of familiarity to the unknown.

But life is like that, and no map is possible because life goes on changing. Every moment it is now. There is nothing old under the sun... Only change is permanent... Life is not stagnant... It is not measurable, it is an unmeasurable mystery. Don't ask for explanations.

When one can look at life "without questions", and plunge ahead with courage and fearlessness, Osho calls it "maturity of mind". I think in this he is insisting that our intelligence should be sufficient in a given situation to simply act without a long analysis.

As I look inside myself, there are certainly more than enough occasions on which I have stood aside from events, watching them and wondering about them, when I could have been a participant. In every case, lurking at the core is fear. What if instead I had been bold, trusting in my ability to navigate the unknown?

Fortunately, I have those memories as well -- times when I've stood forth and sailed into uncharted spaces. Not without bangs and bruises, but the rewards have been great.

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