Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Osho: "Courage" Part 9 - Belief, Doubt and Trust

(Cover) Courage: The Joy of Living DangerouslyContinuing the section "The Way of Trust" in the first chapter of Osho's bookCourage: The Joy of Living Dangerously.

People... have been taught to believe, they have not been taught to know... Never believe. If you cannot trust it is better to doubt.

Osho's view of religion is that for most people it is an empty set of hand-me-down false beliefs, by which he means something quite superficial, in which they have no real confidence. This was not, however, my own experience in many years as a practicing Christian. In fact I am doubtful whether it applies to any but the most superficial religionists, even if they happen to be in the majority. So many people are willing to die for their faith, even if false, that I think they must have great trust, great confidence.

Nevertheless, this is really just a distraction from the main thrust of Osho's argument. He wants us to know by our own experience and thus have confidence in what we know.

Trust has become a belief, not an experience... All beliefs are borrowed; others have given them to you, they are not your flowerings... Trust is personal; belief is social.

So as a first step he advocates the replacement of hand-me-down "belief" with doubt, not because doubt is in itself a good place to be -- on the contrary it is a "nightmare" of division and indecisiveness. But this unstable state will motivate us to go beyond it, to press on, to experience, to know.

And unless you know, you cannot be liberated. Knowledge liberates, only knowing liberates.

So Osho's essential point here is that simply trying to cultivate "trust" for it's own sake is what supports empty religious beliefs. Instead:

Discover trust within yourself, don't cultivate it. Go deeper into your being, to the very source of your being, and discover it... How can you trust anybody or anything if you don't trust yourself?

Osho wants to prepare us for a great journey of discovery. For this we will need courage, and that courage must be supported by a certain amount of trust. And that trust must begin with ourselves. Emphasizing these things, he returns to the topics of intelligence and heart.

Intelligence is intellect in tune with your heart.
The heart knows how to trust.
The intellect knows how to seek and search.

Using a parable of two beggers, one blind and one legless, who cooperate to escape a fire, Osho makes the point that

Alone your intellect is blind. It.. can move fast but because it is blind it cannot choose the right direction in which to go.

But we also have our heart. The heart "which sees, which feels, but which has no legs." Thus they must work together, our intellect under the direction of our heart.

In the hands of the heart the intellect becomes intelligent. It is a ... total transformation of energy. Then the person does not become an intellectual, he simply becomes wise.

Osho is endearing in many ways, and one is his bias toward action and experience. Wisdom is not an end in itself, but a tool to guide us in life's great adventure. And with greater confidence in our own capabilities, we gain the courage necessary to step up and step out.

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