Question - Beloved Osho, What are the differences, and
maybe the similarities, between latihan and self-hypnosis?
Osho - Latihan is a good method, but it is closer to Dynamic Meditation than self-hypnosis. Its function is to bring you into a state where you surrender yourself totally to existence and let your body energy move, not according to your mind but according to the universal spirit.
Just stand in an empty room, relaxed, with your eyes closed, and wait. And suddenly you will feel your hand is moving, or your head is moving -- then don't stop it, then just go with it. Don't exaggerate either. If the hand is moving only this much, then don't move it more than that, because then you have again become the doer.
Latihan is a let-go. Your bodily energy falls in tune with the universal energy and things start happening in your body: you may start dancing, you may start whirling, your hands may start moving, your legs may start moving. You may start saying words and you don't understand what their meaning is or whether there is any meaning in them, or whether they belong to some other language that you don't know.
But you are not to interfere, either to check or to help the process; either way you will be disturbing. You just have to leave... and it seems to be dangerous when it happens for the first time. Just as you were afraid of madness you will be afraid, because you will look mad. Suddenly you are sticking your tongue out for no reason, moving your head for no reason, jumping, dancing, doing strange exercises that you have never imagined or thought of.
But just a forty minute latihan will give you a tremendous feeling of well-being. Nothing else can give you that well-being. And if you add one thing more which is not in latihan... That's why I had to create Dynamic Meditation -- it is latihan plus something more, because in latihan you are lost completely. I want you to remain a witness. Don't be a doer. Don't push any action, don't force anything, don't prevent anything. One thing which is missing in latihan -- it is an Indonesian method... One thing is missing in it and that is the witness, because without the witness it can be dangerous.
Latihan has proved dangerous to many people. You may not be able to stop at forty minutes; the whirlwind of the energy may be too strong. You may get afraid that you cannot stop. You may get exhausted if you do it more than forty minutes. And if you get exhausted -- it is great physical exercise -- rather than giving you well-being, you can fall unconscious. And when you wake up you will not find yourself refreshed, you will find your whole body aching. You will find yourself feeling sick, feeling like you want to vomit; your whole stomach has been disturbed. You will not find yourself strengthened by it, but weakened. And sometimes people have gone mad doing it -- they would not stop.
And the danger is... because you have not been a witness, it can start sometimes when you are not prepared to do it -- on the street, in a shop, anywhere. You are not the master of the method because you were not the witness of it. There has not been anyone above it. So any situation can create it -- anywhere, any place -- and that will look really strange and awkward. If you want to prevent it that will look very awkward, and if you do it that will also look very awkward.
So I am not in favor of latihan alone. It is a good method, but witnessing has to be joined to it so you can stop when you want, you can start when you want, so it cannot happen anywhere, any time, on its own. And if witnessing is there, then the body is relaxing its tensions, throwing away its tensions.
You will be surprised that our bodies also collect tension: for example you wanted to hit someone and you did not hit him. Your body was ready, your muscles were ready, because your body and muscles just listen to your mind. Your mind wanted to hit the person, your hand was ready to hit the person, but your mind is always in a split. Your religions say: this is not good, this is violence; do not do it.
One part of your mind says, "This is criminal. You may unnecessarily get into trouble." Another part of the mind says, "You can hit the person, but the other person is stronger than you. He will not just stand there and take it and say goodbye to you and go home. He will jump upon you and you will be unnecessarily beaten, so why create such a situation?"
But your hand was ready. The energy has reached to your muscles, to your fingers, to your hand. You stopped for any reason: nonviolence, fear, he is your superior, he is your boss -- for any reason you stopped. But what will happen to the tension?
Your hand was ready; the energy cannot go back. There is no system for any energy that has become ready to be expressed to go back to its original source. It will remain in your wrist, it will remain in your fingers, it will remain in your hand. This kind of energy accumulates in different parts of your body -- that's why latihan works. In latihan this kind of energy starts moving and you may start hitting an enemy who is not there.
But the witness is absolutely needed so that your body is relieved of all the collecting tensions and you will feel fresh, a beautiful feeling of well-being. Secondly those forty minutes of witnessing are even more important because you will see more easily that you are not the body; you are not controlling it, you are not doing anything, you are not preventing anything. You can see that it has nothing to do with you, it is going on its own. You can disidentify yourself more easily. That is the superiority of Dynamic Meditation over latihan.
Latihan can help somebody who has not much tension in his body, has not much repression in his mind, but now to find such people is very difficult. It is an old method. Now everybody is full of tensions. So there was a time, just twenty years ago... latihan became a worldwide movement and it appealed to everybody, but then slowly it has disappeared. It had to disappear because it created more problems than it solved. It made many more people insane than it helped.
The basic thing was missing for the simple reason that to the man who introduced latihan to the world it had happened naturally: just being alone in the forest one day, he found some movements were happening. And just being interested what these movements were and why they were happening, he allowed them to happen. But he had not many tensions in him. He was a simple man -- and particularly men like that are always simple -- he was a woodcutter.
Now a woodcutter never collects any violence in him. He is doing so much violence every day, cutting wood, that there is no possibility that his hands will ever collect any energy to hit anybody. Woodcutters, fishermen, farmers -- for them latihan may be perfectly good, because already their body is doing so much. So there is nothing left over. Within ten or fifteen minutes the latihan is over and they feel good. And their work is such that even if it happens on their farm or on the lake or in the forest... it is not a problem if it starts happening on its own.
But in the world, if it starts happening in your office and you suddenly jump on your table and start doing latihan the police will soon be called. Latihan will have you end up in jail, and you will not be able to explain to anybody that it is something spiritual. Nobody is going to understand your spirituality -- it was sheer madness, you could have done anything. You are a dangerous man.
And the repressed energy is so much because in the modern civilization people are sitting the whole day in their chairs. Bodies were not made for that. Man is basically a hunter. His body was made to follow deer when they run. Have you seen deer running? They go like an arrow, and the hunters were able to follow them. The body was made to work hard -- eight hours, twelve hours -- and the question of tensions in the body was out of the question. Latihan would have been good for these people. Perhaps a few minutes and they would have felt very fresh, just like a shower -- but not the modern man.
You are collecting so much that you may go on doing latihan for hours... and there is nothing to control you, because you have dropped yourself completely. You are not to check, you are not to do anything, so you will be almost in a state of having a fit. And you will continue for hours and then fall down, maybe in a coma, unconscious. You may wake up mad or you may wake up really good, but it is a chance and I don't want anybody to take such chances.
It is better to keep the witness which can always prevent you, which will allow you to be able to be always in control, with mastery, so it does not start happening just anywhere. Then it will give more benefit to your body -- the whole benefit that latihan can give -- and for yourself a forty minute witnessing is a tremendous benediction. Latihan will be forgotten soon, but witnessing will remain with you forever and forever. It is your nature.
Source - Osho Book "The Path of The Mystic"