potential

‘Osho, why, in the first place, have people been distracted from their original self?’

Man is born with an unknown, an unknowable potentiality. His original face is not available when he comes into the world. He has to find it. It is going to be a discovery, and that is the beauty of it. And that’s the difference between a being and a thing. A thing has no potential, it is what it is. A table is a table, a chair is a chair. The chair is not going to become anything else, it has no potentiality; it has only actuality. It is not a seed of something. Man is not a thing. That brings all the trouble and all the joy, all the challenges, all the disturbances.
The child comes just empty, with no writing on him, no indications even of what he is going to be—all dimensions are open. This is the first basic thing to be understood: that a child is not a thing, a child is a being. He is not yet, he is just going to be. He is a process, and there is no possibility to predict where he is going to end; what will be the ultimate outcome of his life’s experiences, anguishes, anxieties, ecstasies; what it is going to amount to in the end, finally. The final sum total of his whole life is not available in the beginning. He does not bring a chart with him.
All the astrologers have been befooling you, palmists have been befooling you, and they could befool you because there was a chance to befool you. The parents are concerned what the child is going to be. And their concern is out of love, hence they can be exploited by all kinds of conmen. Those conmen can predict, ‘He is going to be this, or that,’ but they don’t do much harm; they simply exploit a little bit. Their predictions never come true.

The greater problem arises from the priest, from the politician, from the pedagogues.
The politician is not interested in what the real potential of the child is. He is interested that the child becomes a part of his power trip. He has an investment in every child, because every child is a potential friend or enemy. It is good to start canvassing as early as possible. So before the child starts on his own, he is distracted onto a path which is going to fulfill the politician’s desire, but which is going to kill the seed in the child himself.
The priest is interested—he has an investment. The pope is a bigger pope if he has more Catholics in the world. If Catholics disappear, what is the value of a pope?—who would care about him?
Each child that is born has some power which can be exploited by politicians, priests… soon the child is going to become a fully-fledged citizen of the world—he should be grabbed. He should become a Catholic if he is born out of Catholic parents or if fortunately, he is an orphan, then Mother Teresa can look after him and convert him into a Catholic. They are immensely happy: the more the world has orphans, the more Mother Teresas can get Nobel prizes—and more orphans means more Catholics. The more poor people in the world… they can be easily converted to Christianity.
Jesus says man cannot live by bread alone. That is true of an authentic man but not true about the masses. As far as the masses are concerned, I say to you, man lives by bread and bread alone. And there are only masses—where is the authentic man?
These politicians, these priests, these pedagogues don’t leave anybody to himself so that he can become authentic, so he can get his original face, so that he can find himself. Everywhere there are people with vested interests in every child. And the child is simply a tabula rasa, nothing is written on him; it is a great temptation for everybody to write something on him.
The parents, of course, would like to write their religion, their caste, their philosophy, their politics, because the child should represent them. The child should carry their inheritance. If they have been Hindus for centuries, the child should be a Hindu, carrying the heritage of Hinduism to future generations. They are not interested in the child’s own potential—nobody is interested in it—they are interested in their own investment, and of course everybody is investing… The parents are investing so much in the child, giving birth to him, raising him, educating him; and everything is conditional—whether it is said or not, that is not the point. They will ask one day, ‘We have done so much for you…’ Now is the time that you should be conscious of what they are doing, because this is how they have been brought up by their parents—generation after generation, the same process.
The teacher is interested that the student should represent him. The religious teacher is interested that the disciple should be a model of his teachings.
What I want you to remember is that everybody is interested in the child for something in which the child is not interested at all. But the child is very helpless, he cannot fight all these people. They are powerful. He is dependent on them; if they want to make something of him, he has to become that. This much is absolutely clear to the child, that if he goes against the parents, he is misbehaving, he is betraying them. These ideas are also given by the parents, the priests, the teachers. He feels guilty. Any assertion of his own self becomes guilt, and every pretension of the parents, of the religious priests, of the educationists, of the politicians—which is only a pretense—pays very well. The child starts learning politics from the very beginning: to be hypocritical, base. Be authentic and you are punished. Now, the child has a simple arithmetic, and we cannot condemn him for it.

In my childhood—because from there I can speak to you more authoritatively; I don’t know your childhood, I know only my childhood—it was an everyday question—I was continually asked to be truthful. And I said to my father, ‘Whenever you say to me to be truthful, you have to remember one thing, that truth has to be rewarded; otherwise you are forcing me not to be truthful. I am willing.’
Very easily I figured out that truth does not pay: you are punished. Lies pay; you are rewarded. Now it was a question of very decisive, very great importance. So I made it clear to my parents that it had to be understood clearly: ‘If you want me to be truthful then truth has to be rewarded, and not in a future life but here and now, because I am being truthful here and now. And if truth is not rewarded, if I am punished for it, then you are forcing me to lie. So let this be clearly understood; then there is no problem for me, I will always be truthful.’
I don’t think that every child tries to figure it out and makes a clear-cut contract with the parents. But this became a contract with my father. Howsoever the truth was against him, his morality, his family, his society, his respect, that did not matter; what mattered was that I was true. And for that I needed immediate reward, ‘Otherwise next time you know I will say what you want to hear—but remember, it will be a lie.’
The day that for the first time I said this to my father, he said, ‘Let me think it over, because you seem to be tricky. You are putting me into a subtle net. You do some mischief and are truthful, and I will have to reward you for your mischief.’
I said, ‘It is your business to decide whether you want me to be truthful or not. Anyway I am going to do what I want to do. The mischief would have happened anyway. It has happened, only afterwards the question arises to be true or to be untrue. So why bring mischief into it? It has already happened. Now nothing can be done about it. You cannot undo it. What can be done is: you can force me to lie, and I can lie. And I can lie with such a face that you will think I am absolutely truthful. I will learn. If that is the way, then let that be the way, but remember, you have been responsible for distracting me from truth because you were rewarding lies and punishing the truth. You can think it over. I am not in a hurry. You are asking me.’
What had happened was that, living two or three blocks away from my family was a brahmin family, very orthodox brahmins. Brahmins cut all their hair and just leave a small part on the seventh chakra on the head uncut so that part goes on growing. They go on tying it and keeping it inside their cap or inside their turban. And what I had done was, I had cut the father’s hair.
In summertime in India, people sleep outside the house, on the street. They bring their beds, cots, on the streets. The whole town sleeps on the streets in the night, it is so hot inside.
So this brahmin was sleeping—and it was not my fault… he had such a long choti; it is called choti, that bunch of hair. I had never seen it because it was always hidden inside his turban. While he was sleeping, it was hanging down and touching the street. From his cot it was so long that I was tempted, I could not resist; I rushed home, brought the scissors, cut it off completely and took it and kept it in my room.
In the morning he must have found that it was gone. He could not believe it because his whole purity was in it, his whole religion was in it—his whole spirituality was destroyed. But everybody in the neighborhood knew that if anything went wrong… first they would rush to me. And he came immediately. I was sitting outside knowing well that he would come in the morning. He looked at me. I also looked at him.
He said to me, ‘What are you looking at?’
I said, ‘What are you looking at? Same thing.’
He said, ‘Same thing?’
I said, ‘Yes. The same thing. You name it.’
He asked, ‘Where is your father? I don’t want to talk to you at all.’
He went in. He brought my father out and my father said, ‘Have you done anything to this man?’
I said, ‘I have not done anything to this man, but I have cut a choti which certainly cannot belong to this man, because when I was cutting it, what was he doing? He could have prevented it.’
The man said, ‘I was asleep.’
I said, ‘If I had cut your finger while you were asleep, would you have remained asleep?’
He said, ‘How could I remain asleep if somebody was cutting my finger?’
I said, ‘That certainly shows that hairs are dead. You can cut them but a person is not hurt, no blood comes out. So what is the fuss about? A dead thing was hanging there… and I thought that you are unnecessarily carrying this dead thing inside your turban for your whole life—why not relieve you? It is in my room. And with my father I have the contract to be true.’
So I brought out his choti and said, ‘If you are so interested in it, you can take it back. If it is your spirituality, your brahminism, you can keep it tied and put it inside your turban. It is dead anyway; it was dead when it was attached to you, it was dead when I detached it. You can keep it inside your turban.’
And I asked my father, ‘My reward?’—in front of that man.
That man said, ‘What reward is he asking for?’
My father said, ‘This is the trouble. Yesterday he proposed a contract that if he speaks the truth… and sincerely; he is not only speaking the truth, he is even giving the proof. He has told the whole story—and even has logic behind it—that it was a dead thing so why be bothered with a dead thing? And he is not hiding anything.’
He rewarded me with five rupees. In those days, in that small village, five rupees was a great reward.
The man was mad at my father. He said, ‘You will spoil this child. You should beat him rather than giving him five rupees. Now he will cut other people’s chotis. If he gets five rupees per choti, all the brahmins of the town are finished, because they are all sleeping outside in the night; and when you are sleeping you cannot go on holding your choti in your hand. And what are you doing?—this will become a precedent.’
My father said, ‘But this is my contract. If you want to punish him, that is your business; I will not come into it. I am not rewarding him for his mischief, I am rewarding him for his truth—and for my whole life I will go on rewarding him for his truth. As far as mischief is concerned, you are free to do anything with him.’
That man told my father, ‘You are getting me into more trouble. If I do something to this boy, do you think things will stop there? I am a family man: I have my wife, my children, my house—tomorrow my house will be burned down.’ He was very angry, and he said, ‘Especially now it’s a problem, because tomorrow I am going to perform a ceremony in the next village, and people seeing me without my choti…’
I said, ‘There is no need to worry—the choti I am giving you back. You can also reward me with something for giving your choti back. Just don’t ever take off your turban in the other village; even in the night keep your turban on. That’s all. It is not a big problem, it is only a question of one night. And in the night who is going to look for your choti? Everybody will be asleep.’
He said, ‘Don’t you give me advice. I feel like beating you but I know better, because that will create a whole chain of things.’
I said, ‘All has already been created. You have come to complain; you are not rewarding me for my being so absolutely honest and sincere and telling you that I could not resist my temptation. And I have not done any harm to anybody; no violence has happened—not a single drop of blood came from your choti. Just by complaining to my father you have already created a chain of reactions.’
He said to my father, ‘Look…!’
My father said, ‘It is not my business.’
And I said to my father, ‘That’s what the whole brahminism teaches—the chain of reactions.’
My father said, ‘You keep your philosophy to yourself. And stop going to these lectures of the sadhus and the monks and mahatmas, because whatsoever you get from them you somehow manage to conclude such strange things.’
I said, ‘But this is what I am saying, and it is not strange. That’s exactly what the theory of karma is: you do one act, the reaction will follow. He has done an act of complaining against me, now the reaction will follow.’
And the reaction followed, because he had told me that he was going to the other village… He was very angry with me, but when you are angry, you are angry—and he was really completely freaked out. So he was angry with his wife, with the children… I watched everything, and he somehow managed to get his things together and went off in a horse buggy.
The moment he left, I told his wife, ‘Do you understand where he is going? He is going forever—and you don’t know! He had come to say this to my father, that he is going forever and he is never coming back again.’
The wife suddenly started crying and screaming, Stop him! Other people ran and they stopped his buggy.
He said, ‘Why are you stopping me? I have to catch the train!’
They said, ‘Not today. Your wife is crying and beating her heart—she will die!’
He said, ‘But this is strange. Why should she beat herself, and why should she cry?’
But the people would not allow him to go, and they were pulling at his bag and suitcase. The man who was driving the buggy said, ‘I will not take you. If this is the situation, that you are leaving your wife and small children forever, I will not do such an act.’
The brahmin said, ‘I am not leaving, I will come back, but I don’t have time to convince you. The train will be missed—the station is two miles away from my house.
But nobody was listening to him, and I was provoking people: ‘Stop him, otherwise his wife, his children… you will have to look after them—who is going to feed them?’
They brought him back with his bags, and of course he was angry and threw his bag at his wife. His wife asked, ‘What have we done? Why are you…?’ And I was there outside in the crowd. He said, ‘Nobody has done anything. That boy told me there would be a reaction. The reason is that three days before, in the temple, I was teaching the philosophy of action and reaction and this boy was present there. Now he is teaching me.’
He told me, ‘Forgive me and I will never say a single word about this action and reaction. And you can cut anybody’s choti if you want, I will not complain. You can cut off my head and I will not complain—because I want to stop this chain completely. My train is gone.’
Then everybody asked, ‘What is the matter? We don’t understand. Who has cut your choti?’ And I said, ‘Look! The chain is impossible to stop. These people are asking ‘Whose choti? Who has cut it? Where is the choti?’
I said, ‘Just look inside his turban, on his head!’ And a man who was considered to be a wrestler in the town came up and took off his turban and the choti fell out.
My father was also there, and saw it. When we were returning home he said to me, ‘I will reward you but don’t take advantage of our contract.’
I said, ‘I am not. That is not a contract between me and you. My contract is that I will always speak the truth to you, and you will reward me for it.’
And he remained consistent. Whatsoever I had done, howsoever wrong in his eyes, he continually rewarded me. But it is difficult to find a father like that—the father has to forcibly impose his ideals on you.
My father was condemned by my whole city: ‘You are spoiling the child.’
He said, ‘If that is his destiny, to be spoiled, let him be spoiled. I will not be responsible for interfering in his destiny; he will never be able to say, ‘My father spoiled me.’ And if he is happy in being spoiled, then what is the wrong in being spoiled? Wherever, and whatsoever happens in his life, I don’t want to interfere. My father has interfered with my life, and I know that I would have been a different person if he hadn’t. And I know that he is right, that every father turns the child into a hypocrite, because I have been turned into a hypocrite. When I want to laugh, I am serious. When I want to be serious I have to laugh. At least let one person laugh at the time when he want wants to laugh. And let him be serious when he wants to be serious.’
He said, ‘I have eleven children but I will think of myself as having only ten.’ And he always thought that he had only ten. Me he never counted among his children because, he said, ‘I have given him total freedom to be himself. Why should he carry any image of me?’

In a better society—and when I say in a better society, I mean a society which understands each person’s integrity, respects even a small child’s being, and does not impose on it. But that society seems to be far, far away, because all people have got their vested interests, and they cannot stop their trips; they have to use and exploit people.
Somebody becomes a president; you never think that he has become president at your cost, that something in you has been killed so that this man can become the president of the country.
If everybody was left unique, original, it would be impossible for the people who are presidents and prime ministers, who are ruling the whole world and who have been destroying the world for thousands of years and go on destroying it, to continue doing this. With individuals there will be totally different kinds of societies: there will be communes, not societies. There will be no nations, because there is no need.
What is the need of nations? The whole earth is one. Only on the maps do you go on drawing lines, and over those lines you go on fighting and killing and murdering. It is such a stupid game that unless the whole of humanity is mad, it is impossible to think how it goes on continuing. What is the need of nations? What is the need of passports and visas and boundaries? This whole earth belongs to us: wherever one wants to be, one has the right to be. The sun is nobody’s property, the earth is nobody’s property, the moon is nobody’s property; the wind, the clouds, the rain—nothing is anybody’s property. Why do you draw these lines?
You can understand it easily… soon you will see lines on the moon. Right now there are not but soon you will see a Soviet zone, an American zone, a Chinese zone. Nobody lives there, nobody will ever live there. There seems to be no possibility of life growing on the moon. The moon is a dead planet—not a single drop of water. Yes, you can be there for a few hours with all your gas masks and oxygen cylinders and everything, but this is not the way that people can live there. But already they have put their flags… There is nobody to see the flag, there is nobody to salute the flag—not even a bird sometimes to shit on the flag! The first thing the Americans did was to place a pole, and put up the flag. How idiotic! And for whom? But soon other fools will follow. They will go to Mars, they will go to other planets, and they will do the same thing everywhere.
There is no need for nations—except that politicians need nations because without nations there will be no politics—except that generals need nations, because without nations there will be no wars—except that the factories that produce weapons will go out of production. What will happen to your nuclear weapons plants and all the energy involved in them?—because if there are no nations there is no need to create nuclear weapons. For whom?
The simplest solution to save humanity is to remove from the map all the lines—and just from the map—on the earth there are no lines. Just from the maps simply remove all the lines and you won’t have the third world war, and you will not need so many armies all around the world.
Millions of people are doing nothing except turning left, turning right… If somebody is watching from above, he will be surprised. Why do people go on turning right, then left, then about turn, then march, then come back, disperse—every day millions of people all around the earth? He will certainly think something is wrong—some nut, some bolt, needs to be put right.
These nations can exist only if your personality is false.
These churches and religions can exist only if you don’t have your original face, because a man who has his own original face—what business has he to do that he needs to go to the pope? For what? There is no reason why he should go to any religious teacher or to any temple or to any synagogue. And why should he become a Mohammedan, a Christian, a Hindu? Why? With your original face you will feel so contented, so immensely fulfilled and at home that there will be no search left; you have found it. But these people will not allow you to find it. They will distract you, for the simple reason that they have some trips, they have some ideas of their own, and you have to be sacrificed for their ideas.
Politicians will sacrifice you for their politics. Religions will sacrifice you for their kind of politics. Nobody is interested in the child, and the reason is clear: the child has to be molded into a certain pattern which fits in a society, in a nation, in a particular ideology.
In Russia the child has to be taught communism from the very beginning. He has to know the names of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Lenin; they are their gods. In non-communist countries it is the same thing only the names differ. Everybody is sacrificed to some stupid ideology, theology, politics, religion. That’s why people get distracted.
But the child allows it for the simple reason that he does not know who he is going to become. Naturally he depends on his parents, elders—those who know better. And he is not aware that they don’t know better; they are in the same boat, as ignorant as the child. The only difference is they are cunning, and just because of their cunningness, they go on hiding their ignorance in borrowed knowledge.

My grandfather used to take me to any mahatma, any saint, and he used to say to me, ‘If you don’t come then I am not going, because then it is so dull. You make it alive.’ And I was simply raising very simple questions. What can a child do?
One Hindu monk, Swami Vidyananda, used to come to the town every rainy season. For four months he lectured there—he was a well-known teacher. The first day I went with my grandfather, I simply stood up; and because of my grandfather, nobody could throw me out or tell me to sit down. Everybody knew about him, that he was a dangerous man in that matter. If anybody said, ‘Boy, you sit down, you don’t understand such great things,’ my grandfather would say ‘But I don’t understand either, and I am seventy years old. So you keep quiet, you understand!’ And he would tell me, ‘You ask.’
It was clear that they could not throw me out, they could not stop me, so I simply asked Vidyananda, ‘One thing I want to know about what you are saying: is it borrowed or experienced? Now, remember that you are sitting in the temple of God.’
It was a Rama Mandir, the best place in the town, the most precious temple of the town with a very beautiful marble hall—so all the best discourses were arranged there.
So I told him, ‘You look at the statue of Rama; and remember that you are in a sacred place and remember your robe, that you are a monk. Don’t disgrace your robes and don’t disgrace your God; just say the truth: whatever you are saying, is it experienced? Do you know God? Have you seen God just the way you are seeing me? Have you talked with God the way you are talking with me? Or have you just learned from the books?’
There was a great silence. The man hesitated.
I said, ‘Your hesitation says everything. You better tell the truth because if you have seen God, why should you hesitate? You feel a little afraid—I can see perspiration on your forehead, and it is cool inside.’
The man said, ‘I never thought about it. But being a sannyasin and being in the temple of God, I cannot speak untruthfully. I have no experience. I am saying whatsoever I have heard and read and studied.’
Then I said to him, ‘Get out! Get out from this place immediately. Then find a person who has himself known, and bring him here. You are throwing borrowed rubbish on these poor people’s heads, and giving them the idea that they also know… because I know these fools, they are all from my own town, and they talk as if they know.’
And I told the people, ‘Listen to your guru!’ He was almost the guru of the whole city, because for years—he must have been sixty at that time—for years he had been visiting the town for four months every year. But that was the last time. Since then I have not heard about him in that town.
When I was traveling about India I went on enquiring about what happened to Vidyananda, whether he died or he was still alive; what happened? Finally I met him in a place I had never expected, near Madras, in Adyar.
Adyar is the headquarters of the theosophical movement. I had gone to deliver a few talks in Madras, and my host wanted to go and see Adyar. Adyar is beautiful, the theosophists had done a really good job. They had made a beautiful place, but it is now lying deserted, nobody goes there. They had made beautiful houses, cottages, a great garden—a whole colony. Adyar has perhaps the biggest bo tree. When the theosophical movement was alive, underneath that bo tree they used to have their conventions; thousands of people can sit under its shade. And Adyar has perhaps one of the most precious libraries in the world. Theosophists had collected manuscripts from China, Tibet, Ladakh, Mongolia, Korea—strange places, strange languages—and they have a very great underground library of ancient scripts.
I found this man there in the library; he was working as a librarian, but he was no longer a monk.
I asked him, ‘What happened?’
He said, ‘That day you changed my whole life. After that I could not speak with the same authority as I had spoken before; I lost my courage. I tried, but every time the question arose in me that I don’t know, so why am I telling these people? Perhaps it is not right, perhaps it is right—who knows? I am committing a sin, because these people will start thinking that they know. That day in your city…’
He had not been able to recognize me. I had to remind him because he had last seen me as a child. I could recognize him, although by then he was nearabout ninety; but from sixty to ninety, not much change happens… Yes, you become older, but no basic change happens. He was older, fragile, but in a way younger, more alive.
I said to him, ‘You are thirty years older now, but I can see your eyes are younger, more alive.’
He said, ‘Yes, because I have dropped that life of phoniness. Now I am simply what I am. I don’t know—I am searching but I don’t know that it will be possible to know in this life because so much is lost.
I said, ‘Don’t ever be pessimistic. It can happen any day—it can happen today. If it is not happening that means that still somewhere you are carrying the borrowed. Can I ask you again, after thirty years, another question?’
He said, ‘I will be obliged because that first question has done me a great service. It has taken away my monkhood, my mahatmahood, my followers—everything.’
I said, ‘Why did you start working in the library as a librarian?—because this is again the same kind of business. Now you are searching in ancient scripts found in Tibet, found in Ladakh, found in Nepal. You are still not looking in yourself. First you were searching for truth in printed books, now you are searching for it in hand-written ancient scripts, thinking that these people must have known. But you are again doing the same foolishness. Neither the printing press knows… It goes on printing Bible after Bible—millions of Bibles—and the printing press remains just a printing press; it does not even become a Christian. And do you think in hand-written scripts you will be able to find? These people were just working as writers. They were simply copying, and they were being paid for it. It is not that they were knowers, they were copiers, and they were doing a primitive method of printing. In those days printing was not possible so people used to write, copying from one manuscript to another manuscript, and from that to another manuscript, and they would sell them. Do you think these people knew?’
He said, ‘Again you are right. I have been here for twenty years in this underground library, looking into all kinds of strange methods, ideologies—very impressive, very logical—but certainly I am doing the same thing; I am not looking in. Now you will not find me anywhere.’
He dropped his job that very day. While I was still in Adyar he left. When I came back after walking around… It is a big place and once it was a very throbbing commune; when Annie Besant was alive thousands of people lived there. When I came back to the main office and enquired about Vidyananda they said, ‘He has left. What have you told him?—because after you met him in the library he came into the office and he said, ‘I am leaving, and leaving forever. I am finished with books. Although I am much too old… But perhaps a few days may be enough, or at least before I die I should begin rightly. Perhaps in the next life I can complete my search, but at least I should begin.’

Nobody is asking, ‘What you know, is it your knowledge?’ If it is not your knowledge, put it aside; it has no value. ‘What you are doing, is it your aspiration? Do you really feel a bell ringing in your heart?’ If it is not so then don’t waste a single moment more.
People go on doing things which other people have forced them to do—and people are going to continue to force them.
It is most improbable that parents will stop forcing their children to be just images of their own idea, that teachers will stop forcing on them whatsoever they ‘know’, as if they really know. They will go on pretending that they know.

My principal in high school was a mathematician. I was not a student of mathematics but I used to go to his office whenever I saw that he was alone and talk about higher mathematics—because now the older mathematics is not applicable any longer to physics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry. They are going beyond it. So he told me, ‘Why don’t you start attending my classes?’
I said, ‘I have no problem, I am not a student of mathematics, but whenever I am free and you have a class I would love to come if you allow me. But then don’t get disturbed by me because I will not just be dead there, I will be alive.’
He said ‘What do you mean by being ‘alive’?’
I said, ‘Exactly what it means: being alive. You just give me a chance and see.’
I was always interested in many things, trying to find out whether they were really based in knowing or were only hypothetical—because if they were hypothetical then they were not really true, they were just pragmatic, helpful, convenient.
For example, Euclidian geometry—that’s the class he was teaching when he allowed me for the first day… Now Euclid’s definitions—even a child can see that they are wrong. Euclid says: ‘A line has length but no breadth.’ Now, without breadth, how can a line be? It is so simple, one does not need to be a mathematician; I am not a mathematician, and I was not at all at that time. And I asked him, ‘This is stupid what you are saying, that it has length but no breadth—it does have breadth. Draw a line on the board without breadth, just with length, then I will accept your hypothesis.’
He said, ‘Now I know what you mean by being alive. I have done post-graduation mathematics and this question never came to my mind. Euclid says it; every school, every college, every university teaches it, so I never thought… but perhaps you are right. I can see, there is…’
And I said, ‘It is measurable. With the chalk you draw a line on the blackboard, and still you’re saying that it has no breadth. And ‘the point’ Euclid says, ‘has neither length nor breadth.’ Then how can it be? It may have a very, very small length, a very, very small breadth, but that does not mean that it has none. You just need a magnifying glass. You just wait and I will run to the chemistry lab and bring the magnifying glass and show you.’
He said, ‘There is no need to go—I can understand. But then, what am I to teach? Euclid is finished, because these are basic definitions.’
I said, ‘These are hypotheses. Just one thing you have to accept, that these hypotheses are practical, but not truth.’
So you have to find out about whatsoever you know—whether it is just hypothetical, useful in life, or really a truth that you know, that you have felt, that you have experienced. If it is only a hypothesis, put it aside and you will feel such an unburdening.
All hypotheses, all borrowed knowledge that has gathered there and which you are carrying—you are dragging a mountainous load, you are being crushed under it—just put it aside. Be ignorant, accept that ‘I am ignorant.’ And from that point you can start the search.
Every child is going to be burdened. I hope that someday it will not be so. In fact there is no need, because when you are teaching Euclid, you can teach very simply that this is not truth, it is only a hypothesis. With this hypothesis it becomes easier to understand the triangle, the circle and everything. But remember that at the base there is a hypothesis, and the whole palace is hypothetical.
Similarly, your God is a hypothesis and the whole pyramid of theology is based on nothing but that hypothesis. If you start looking into things it does not need great intelligence, it needs only simple innocence to see.
That principal called me into his office and he said, ‘You are not to come again to my classes because now it will be difficult for me to deal with the children. They have seen me as ignorant. Up to now I was an authority—you destroyed that.’ But he was a sincere man in a way. He said, ‘I can understand you, but don’t do it to any other teacher because they may not understand it. And now I know why so many complaints go on coming against you, that you are a disturbance. But this was not a disturbance. You have opened my eyes, I will never again be able to be the same. But what puzzles me is that I never thought about it, I simply accepted it.’

And that’s the point I want you to notice. You have accepted everything up to now: what they have said, you have accepted. You have to start questioning, doubting. Don’t be afraid of authorities—there is no authority. Krishna or Christ, Mohammed or Mahavira—nobody is an authority. And if they are an authority, then they are an authority to themselves, not to you.
You will be an authority only to yourself if someday you come to know the truth of your own original face. Then too, you will not be an authority to somebody else. Nobody can be an authority to anybody else.
This whole idea of authority has to disappear from the world. Yes, people can share their experience, but that is not authority.
I don’t want to force anything on you—not a single word, not a single concept. My whole effort is somehow to make you alert and beware of all authorities. And the moment you see there is some authority hanging around your being, throw it out. Be finished with all that has been given to you, forced upon you, and the original face will start showing up.
You never know, you cannot even imagine what your original face will be, what your true being will be. You will know only when you know, when you are face to face with yourself, when there is no hindrance of any kind and you are left totally alone. In that aloneness have flowered all the beings that have flowered.

Not many have flowered. Only once in a while… It is a strange tragedy that millions of people are born and only once in a while a person blossoms. That’s why I say there is no gardener, no God looking around, watching, caring, otherwise millions of trees and only one tree comes to flower…? Spring comes and goes and only one tree blossoms; millions of trees simply remain barren, unproductive. What kind of gardener is looking after the garden? This is enough proof that there is no gardener, no God; but that does not mean that you have to become pessimistic. In fact that gives you a new dimension—that you have to be your own gardener. It is good that there is no God, because you can be your own gardener. But then the whole responsibility is yours, you cannot blame anybody. I am taking the God away so that you cannot blame the poor old man. Enough He has been blamed for everything: He created the world, He created this, He created that… I take all that blame away from Him—He does not exist. You have created Him just to throw your responsibility on Him. Take your responsibility back.
Accept your aloneness.
Accept your ignorance.
Accept your responsibility, and then see the miracle happening.
One day suddenly you see yourself in a totally new light, as you have never seen yourself before. That day you are really born. Before that it was only a pre-birth process.

There are reasons why people have been distracted from their originality. First, you don’t know what your originality is. Second, there are people who are in a hurry to impose some idea of their own on you, because once that idea is imposed, you are psychologically enslaved.
A Christian cannot find truth, a Hindu cannot find truth, because Christianity is a prison, Hinduism is a prison. Somebody is burdened by the Koran and somebody else is burdened by the Torah. So it is not a question of what has to be thrown—whatever it is… That’s why with me, a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Jaina, a Buddhist, a Parsee, a Sikh—anybody can find something transpiring in him, because what I am saying is applicable to all. Whether you are burdened with the Bible or the Koran makes no difference. I am not interested in you throwing the Bible, I am interested in you throwing any kind of garbage that you are carrying. And I call it garbage because it has been given by others to you; it is not yours.
Remember it: only what you experience is yours.
What you know—only that you know. Let it be very small, don’t be worried; seeds are very small, but a seed has potentiality. It is not a thing, it is a being who is ready to burst forth—it just needs the opportunity.
And that’s what to me is the function of the Master: to create the opportunity—not to give you knowledge—not to give you discipline—not to give you a doctrine or a dogma, but to create an opportunity where all these things slowly, slowly disappear. They are not clinging to you, you are holding onto them hard. So when I say they disappear, I mean slowly, slowly you open your fist. Of course you take time because for so long you have thought that you are holding something precious, but even if you understand me, again and again the idea comes that perhaps if you drop it you may lose something precious. But there is nothing precious there.
Remember one criterion: anything precious is only that which you know, and there is no way to lose that which you know. Anything that can be lost, and which you have to cling to, cannot be precious because it can be lost. That shows that it is not your experience.

So we have to accept that the society is going to continue the way it has continued, but we can find intelligent people and take them out of the society. That’s what I mean by sannyas.
People cannot understand it because they think that I am trying to create a certain religion by giving you a certain dress, a certain identity. No, I am not creating any religion. It is absolutely religionless religion.
This dress I am giving you is simply so that you start having a distance from the crowd, so that the crowd pushes you out and does not allow you in. Otherwise you would like to be inside. Who wants to be outside the crowd?—it is so cozy there, so warm. I give you this dress simply as a strategy, a device so that people will avoid you; wherever you go, people will turn away. That’s the only way to save you; you cannot mix with the crowd. Otherwise it would have been easier for me and easier for my sannyasins if I had not made you different-looking from other people. Many more people would have come here more easily.
But I am not interested in many more people. I am not a politician, I am not a pope; what do I have to do with ‘many’ people? I am interested only in those chosen few—intelligent, courageous, capable of coming out in the cold and dropping the coziness of the crowd and the mob. Just in the beginning it feels cold; soon your body has its own system of creating warmth. Your being soon starts creating its own aroma.
So we have to go on pulling people from the crowd, and continue to destroy whatsoever the crowd has given to them—because when you pull a person out of the crowd that person brings the crowd in his mind.
You can pull the person out of the crowd very easily—it is not so difficult—but the person brings the crowd in his mind. Then the second part of the work is more difficult: to push the crowd out of his mind.
Both things have to be done: pull the person out of the crowd, and then push the crowd out of the person, so he is simply left alone. And to me there is nothing greater than to be left utterly alone, in your pure, essential beinghood.

—  Osho
My Fatal Flaw, as an INFJ

Nothing is truer than an infj’s ability to see the potential in each individual. We have a tendency to look at people as their whole story, not just who they are in the moment. We consider everything that went into making people the way they are…from our significant others to family members to strangers on the street. We do it with everyone, without even really meaning to. That’s just how we see people.

One thing I’m unsure of, however, is how good for us that is. I have a terrible problem of falling in love with people for the way they COULD be.

Yes, I know they COULD live up to my high standards, but that doesn’t mean they will. In every relationship I’ve ever been in, it’s always been a constant struggle trying to help them see that they have that potential within them, and it’s only a matter of working towards it. It’s not that I expect people to perfect. I don’t at all. I just expect people to constantly be trying as hard as I am to become a better version of myself. Because that’s what I’m always doing.

I honestly feel hopeless sometimes that I’ll never be able to find someone that understands that. I don’t want a perfect person. But I do want a compatible person. And I do want someone who tries hard to always be their best. Is that fair?

I am constantly asking myself the question, “Is that normal?!” because I’m so convinced of an idea myself, but I forget that not everyone looks at life the way I do. So I feel incredibly isolated and lonely, because I feel like I would only ever know if I was “normal” or “reasonable” if I knew another INFJ to compare myself to. But we’re so rare! Chances are I have met at least one in my life, but I sure don’t know any personally. It’s incredibly frustrating, and it makes me start to feel defective.

I’m a right and a left brain-ed thinker. I am very emotional and feel things a lot, but I ALWAYS have a reason for feeling what I do. I always have some type of logic behind every feeling, and I don’t come to conclusions quickly. But as soon as I feel I’ve gathered enough information, I feel very strongly. It’s rationality and emotion combined. And that is so freaking hard to understand in myself sometimes.

10 Habits Of Ultra-Likable Leaders

Here are key behaviors that emotionally intelligent leaders engage in that make them so likable:

1. They Form Personal Connections

2. They’re Approachable

3. They’re Humble

4. They’re Positive

5. They’re Generous

6. They Demonstrate Integrity

7. They Read People Like A Book

8. They Appreciate Potential

9. They Have Substance

One more habit of ultra-likable leaders.

That moment when you’re talking to a POT on the phone and you confuse him with another one and you give him your usual $5k allowance request and he agrees in .2 seconds flat and then it clicks and you remember he’s the one with his “lifestyle budget” set to ‘High’ on SA and you’re just like HOLY SHIT I JUST LOW-BALLED MYSELF AND I’M FURIOUS AT MYSELF.


So that’s how my POT search is going rn.

“[W]e are always haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. So when we are not thinking, like the character in Randall Jarrell’s poem, that ‘The ways we miss our lives is life’, we are grieving or regretting or resenting our failure to be ourselves as we imagine we could be. We share our lives with the people we have failed to be.”

Adam Phillips, from Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2013)