Question - What is the
difference between Maturity and Aging?
Osho - A great difference, a vast difference, and people always remain confused about it. People think to age is to become mature, but aging belongs to the body. Everybody is aging, everybody will become old, but not necessarily mature. Maturity is an inner growth. Aging is nothing that you do, aging is something that happens physically. Every child born, when time passes, becomes old. Maturity is something that you bring to your life -- it comes out of awareness. When a person ages with full awareness he becomes mature. Aging plus awareness, experiencing plus awareness, is maturity.
You can experience a thing in two ways. You can simply experience it as if you are hypnotized, unaware, not attentive to what is happening; the thing happened but you were not there. It didn't happen in your presence, you were absent. You just passed by. It never struck any note in you. It never left any mark on you. You never learnt anything from it. It may even have become a part of your memory because in a way you were present, but it never became your wisdom. You never grew through it. Then you are aging. But if you bring the quality of awareness to an experience the same experience becomes maturity.
There are two ways to live: one, to live in a deep sleep. Then you age, every moment you become old, every moment you go on dying, that's all, your whole life consists of a long slow death. But if you bring awareness to your experiences -- whatsoever you do, whatsoever happens to you, you are alert, watchful, mindful, you are savouring the experience from all the corners, you are trying to understand the meaning of it, you are trying to penetrate the very depth of it, what has happened to you, you are trying to live it intensely and totally -- then, it is not just a surface phenomenon. Deep down within you something is changing with it. You are becoming more alert. If this is a mistake, this experience -- you will never commit it again.
A mature person never commits the same mistake again. But just an old person goes on committing the same mistakes again and again. He lives in a circle. He never learns anything. You will be angry today, you were angry yesterday, and the day before yesterday, and tomorrow also you are going to be angry, and the day after tomorrow also. Again and again you get angry, again and again you repent, again and again you take a deep decision that you are not going to do it again, but that decision makes no change. Whenever you are disturbed the rage takes over, you are possessed. The same mistake is committed. You are aging.
If you live an experience of anger totally, never again will you be angry. One experience will be enough to teach that it is foolish, that it is absurd, that it is simply stupid -- not that it is a sin, it is simply stupid. You are harming yourself, and harming others, for nothing. The thing is not worth it. Then you are getting mature. Tomorrow the situation will be repeated, but anger will not be repeated. And a man who is gaining in maturity never decided that he will not be angry again, no, that is the sign of a man who is not getting mature. A man of maturity never decides for the future. The maturity itself takes care. You live today. That very living will decide how the tomorrow is going to be -- it will come out of it.
If the anger was painful, poisonous, you suffered hell through it, what is the point of deciding, or taking a vow and going to the temple and saying before the Master: Now I take a vow that I will never be angry again? All this is childish. There is no point! If you have known that anger is poisonous -- finished! That way is closed. That door no more exists for you. The situation will be repeated tomorrow but you will not be possessed by the situation. You have learnt something -- that understanding will be there. You may even laugh, you may even enjoy the whole thing of how people get so foolish. Your understanding is growing through every experience.
You can live life as if you are in a hypnosis -- that's how ninety-nine per cent of people live -- or you can live with intensity, awareness. If you live with awareness you mature, otherwise you simply become old. And to become old is not to become wise. If you have been a fool when you were young and now you have become old, you will be just an old fool, that's all. Nothing. Just becoming old, you cannot become wise. You may be even more foolish, because you may have attained to mechanical habits, robot-like.
Life can be lived in two ways. If you live unconsciously you simply die; if you live consciously you attain to more and more life. Death will come, but it never comes to a mature man, it comes only to a man who has been aging and getting old. A mature one never dies, because he will learn even through death. Even death is going to be an experience to be intensely lived, and watched, allowed.
A mature man never dies. In fact before a mature man, on the rock of maturity, death struggles and shatters itself, commits suicide. Death dies, but never a mature man -- that is the message of all the awakened ones: that you are deathless. They have known it, they have lived their death. They have watched, and they have found that it can surround you but you remain aloof, you remain far away. Death happens near you but it never happens to you.
Deathless is your being, blissful is your being, divine is your being, but those experiences you cannot cram in the mind and in the memory. You have to pass through life and attain them. Much suffering is there, much pain is there. And because of pain and suffering people like to live stupidly -- it has to be understood why so many people insist that they should live in a hypnosis; why Buddhas and Christs go on telling people to be awake, and nobody listens. There must be some deep involvement in hypnosis, there must be some deep investment. What is the investment?
The mechanism has to be understood, otherwise you will listen to me and you will never become aware You will listen and you will make it a part of your knowledge that: Yes, this man says be aware and it is good to be aware. And those who attain to awareness become mature... But you yourself will not attain to it, it will remain a knowledge. You may communicate your knowledge to others, but nobody is helped that way.
Why? Have you asked this question ever? Why don't you attain to awareness? If it leads to the infinite bliss, to the attainment of SATCHITANANDA, to absolute truth -- then why not be aware? Why do you insist on being sleepy? There is some investment -- and this is the investment: if you become aware, there is suffering. If you become aware, you become aware of pain, and the pain is so much that you would like to take a tranquillizer and be asleep. This sleepiness in life works as a protection against pain. But this is the trouble -- if you are asleep against pain, you are asleep against pleasure also.
Think of it as if there are two faucets: on one is written 'pain' and on
another is written 'pleasure'. You would like to close the faucet on
which pain is written, and you would like to open the faucet on which
pleasure is written. But this is the game -- if you close the faucet
'pain', the pleasure immediately closes, because behind both there is
only one faucet on which 'awareness' is written. Either both remain open
or both remain closed, because both are two faces of the same
phenomenon, two aspects.
Now you are in a dilemma. If you want no pain -- immediately pleasure disappears from your life, happiness disappears. If you want happiness, you open the faucet -- immediately there is pain also flowing. If you have to be aware, you have to be aware of both. Life is pain, pleasure. Life is happiness, unhappiness. Life is day and night. Life is life and death. You have to be aware of both.
So remember it. If you are afraid of pain you will remain in hypnosis, you will age, become old and die. You missed an opportunity. If you want to be aware, then you have to be aware of both, pain and pleasure. They are not separate phenomena. And a man who becomes aware becomes very happy, but also becomes capable of deep unhappiness, of which you are not capable.
It happened, a Zen Master died, and his chief disciple -- who was a famous man on his own, even more famous than the Master, in fact the Master had become famous because of the disciple -- the chief disciple started crying; sitting on the steps of the temple he started crying with tears flowing down. A million people had gathered; they could not believe it because you never see any awakened man crying and weeping, with tears rolling down. They said: We cannot believe it. What is happening? You are crying, and you yourself have been saying to us that the innermost being never dies. Death does not exist. We have heard you say millions of times that death does not exist -- so why are you crying? Your Master is still alive in his being.
The disciple opened his eyes and he said: Don't disturb me. Let me cry and weep. I'm not crying for the Master and his being. I am crying for his body. His body was also beautiful. Never again will that body exist. And then somebody tried to persuade' him that this would create a bad name for him: So many people have gathered, and they will think that you are not enlightened. The disciple said: Let them think whatsoever they want to think. But since the day I became enlightened I have become infinitely blissful, but I have also become infinitely sensitive to pain and suffering. It seems to be as it should be. If you hit Buddha, Buddha will suffer more than you will if somebody hits you. Because he has become infinitely sensitive. His sensitivity is very delicate. He is just like a lotus petal. Your stone will hit him very deeply. It will give him deep suffering.
Of course he will be aware of it. Of course he will be aloof from it. Of
course he will be transcendental to it, he will be knowing it, that it
is happening, and he will not be a part of it, he will be a cloud-like
phenomenon surrounding it -- but it is happening.
A Buddha suffers infinitely, Buddha enjoys infinitely. Always remember,
whenever you reach to a high peak, simultaneously near the high peak a
deep valley is being created. If you want to reach to the heavens, your
roots will have to go to the very hell.
It is just like -- you are afraid so much of enemies that you have closed the doors of your house. Now even the friend cannot enter, even the lover is Left out. The lover goes on knocking on the door but you are afraid, maybe it is the enemy. So you are closed -- that's how I see you all: closed, afraid of the enemy, and the friend cannot enter. So the friend you have turned into an enemy. Now nobody can enter, you are so afraid.
Open the door. When the fresh air enters the house there is every possibility of dangers also entering. When the friend comes, the enemy comes also. because day and night enter together, pain and pleasure enter together, life and death enter together. So don't be afraid of pain otherwise you will live in anaesthesia. Afraid of pain, you take anaesthetics. The surgeon gives an anaesthetic before he operates on you, because there is going to be much pain, you will not be able to tolerate it. Your consciousness has to be dimmed, darkened. Then he can cut your whole body and you will not suffer.
Because of the fear of pain you have forced yourself to live in a dim consciousness, in a very dimmed existence almost not alive. This is the fear -- you have to drop that fear, you have to face pain, you have to move through suffering, only then the possibility opens for the friend to enter. And when you know both you immediately become the third. When you know both, pain and pleasure, the duality, the day and night -- suddenly you have become transcendental. This is what I was talking about yesterday. 'The sixth' which transcends all. Maturity is awareness. Aging is just wasting yourself.
Source - Osho Book "Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol 4"