Osho on Pain and
identification with Pain
Question: Can you please talk about
pain and our identification with it?
Osho: The witnessing self is never
felt. We always feel some identity; we always feel some
identification. And the witnessing consciousness is the reality.
So why does this happen? And how does this happen? You are in
pain -- what is really happening inside? Analyze the whole
phenomenon: the pain is there, and there is this consciousness
that pain is there. These are the two points: the pain is there,
and there is this consciousness that the pain is there. But
there is no gap, and somehow: "I am in pain" -- this feeling
happens -- "I am in pain."
And not only this -- sooner or later: "I am the pain" begins,
happens, starts to be the feeling. "I am pain; I am in pain; I
am aware of the pain" -- these are three different, very
different states. The rishi says: "I am aware of the pain." This
much can be allowed, because then you transcend pain. The
awareness transcends -- you are different from the pain, and
there is a deep separation.
Really, there has never been any relation; the relation begins
to appear only because of the nearness, because of the intimate
nearness of your consciousness and all that happens around.
Consciousness is so near when you are in pain -- it is just
there by the side, very near. It has to be; otherwise, the pain
cannot be cured. It has to be just near to feel it, to know it,
to be aware about it. But because of this nearness, you become
identified, and one. This is a safety measure again; this is a
security measure, a natural security.
When there is pain you must be near; when
there is pain your consciousness must go in a rush towards the
pain -- to feel it,
to do something about it. You are on the street and suddenly you
feel a snake there -- then your whole consciousness just becomes
a jump. No moment can be lost, not even in thinking what to do.
There is no gap between being aware and the action. You must be
very near; only then this can happen. When your body is
suffering pain, disease, illness, you must be near; otherwise,
life cannot survive.
If you are far off and the pain is not felt, then you will die.
The pain must be felt immediately -- there should be no gap. The
message must be received immediately, and your consciousness
must go to the spot to do something. That's why nearness is a
necessity. But because of this necessity, the other phenomenon
happens: so near, you become one; so near, you begin to feel:
"This is me -- this pain, this pleasure." Because of nearness
there is identification: you become anger, you become love, you
become pain, you become happiness.
The rishi says that there are two ways to disassociate yourself
from these false identities. You are not what you have been
thinking, feeling, imagining, projecting; what you are is simply
the fact of being aware. Whatsoever happens, you remain just the
awareness. You are awareness -- that identity cannot be broken,
that identity cannot be negated. All else can be negated and
thrown; awareness remains the ultimate substratum, the ultimate
base. You cannot deny it, you cannot negate it, you cannot
disassociate yourself from it.
So this is the process: That which cannot be thrown, that which
cannot be made separate from you, is you; that which can be
separated, you are not. The pain is there; a moment later it may
not be there -- but you will be. Happiness has come, and it will
go; it has been, and it will not be -- but you will be. The body
is young, then the body becomes old. All else comes and goes --
guests come and go -- but the host remains the same. So the Zen
mystics say: Do not be lost in the crowd of the guests. Remember
your host-ness. That host-ness is awareness.
That host-ness is the witnessing consciousness. What is the
basic element that remains always the same in you? Only be that,
and disidentify yourself from all that comes and goes. But we
become identified with the guest. Really the host is so occupied
with the guest, he forgets.
Mulla Nasruddin has given a party for some friends and some
strangers. The party is very boring, and half the night is just
lost and it goes on. So one stranger, not knowing that Mulla is
the host, says to him: "I have never seen such a party, such
nonsense. It seems never-ending, and I am so bored that I would
like to leave."
Mulla says: "You have said what I was going to say to you. I
myself have never seen such a boring and nonsense party before,
but I was not so courageous as you are. I was also thinking to
leave it and just run away." So they both run.
Then, in the street Mulla remembers and says: "Something has
gone wrong, because now I remember: I am the host! So please
excuse me, I have to go back."
This is happening to us all. The host is lost, the host is
forgotten every moment. The host is your witnessing self. Pain
comes and pleasure follows; there is happiness, and there is
misery. And each moment, whatsoever comes you are identified
with it, you become the guest.
Remember the host. When the guest is
there, remember the host. And there are so many types of
guests: pleasurable, painful; guests you would like, guests you
would not like to be your guests; guests you would like to live
with, guests you would like to avoid -- but all guests. Remember
the host. Constantly remember the host. Be centered in the host.
Remain in your host-ness; then there is a separation.
Then there is a gap, an interval -- the bridge is broken. The
moment this bridge is broken, the phenomenon of renunciation
happens. Then you are in it, and not of it. Then you are there
in the guest, and still a host. You need not escape from the
guest - there is no need.
Source: from book "From Medication to Meditation" by Osho
^Top Back to Meditation Solutions