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Question - Beloved Master, Why is it so difficult and scary to show your Feelings and Just to be Yourself?

Osho - Prem Deven, it is difficult to show your feelings and just to be yourself because for thousands of years you have been told to repress your feelings. It has become part of your collective unconscious. For thousands of years you have been told NOT to be yourself. Be Jesus, be Buddha, be Krishna, but never be yourself. Be somebody else. Down the ages you have been taught so continuously, so persistently that it has gone into your blood, into your bones, into your very marrow.

A deep self-rejection has become part of you. All the priests have been condemning you. They have been telling you you are sinners, you are born in sin. Your only hope is that Jesus can save you, or Krishna can save you, but there is no hope as far as you are concerned -- you cannot save yourself, somebody else will save you. You are doomed, you can only pray to Jesus, to Krishna, to save you. As far as you are concerned you are just worthless, you are just dust and nothing more. You have no value, you have been reduced to ugly things, to disgusting beings. It is because of this, Deven, that one finds it very difficult and scary to show one's true feelings. You have been taught to be hypocrites.

Hypocrisy pays, and whatsoever pays seems to be valuable. They say honesty is the best policy -- but remember, the best POLICY. Even honesty has become only a policy because it pays. If it does not pay, then? -- then DIShonesty is the best policy. The whole thing depends on what works, what pays, what makes you richer, more respectable, what makes you more comfortable, more safe, more secure, what gives you more nourishment for the ego -- that's the best policy. It may be honesty, it may be dishonesty... whatsoever it is, use it as a means; it is not an end.

Religion also has become a good policy. It is a kind of insurance for the other world. You are preparing by being virtuous, by going to the church, by donating to the poor, for the other world. You are opening a bank account in paradise, so when you go there you will be received with great joy, angels shouting "Alleluia!", dancing, playing on their harps. How big a bank account you have there will depend on how many virtuous deeds you have done.

Religion too has become business, and your reality is repressed. And the repressed people have been respected so much. You call them saints; they are really schizophrenic. They should be treated, they need therapy -- and you worship them. Out of your hundred saints, even if one turns out to be a real saint that will be a miracle. Ninety-nine are just hocus-pocus, pretenders, deceivers. And I am not saying they are deceiving you... they are deceiving themselves too. They are repressed people.

I have known many mahatmas in this country, respected by the masses like anything. I have been very intimate with these people, and in their privacy they have opened their hearts to me. They are more ugly than you will find the ordinary people.

I used to visit prisoners, to teach them how to meditate, and my observation was.... I was surprised in the beginning that prisoners -- even those who have been sentenced for their whole lives -- are far more innocent than your saints, are far better people than your saints, far simpler, far more innocent. Your saints are cunning, clever, and your saints have only one quality: that they are able to repress themselves. They go on repressing. Then naturally, they become split. Then they have two kinds of lives: one that they live at the front door, and the other that they live at the back door; one that they live as a showpiece, and the other -- the real one -- that they don't show to anybody. They are afraid even to see it themselves.

And that's the case with you too, on a smaller scale, of course, because, Deven, you are not a saint. Your illness is not yet incurable, it can be cured. It is not yet so acute, it is not yet chronic. Your illness is just like the common cold: it can disappear easily.
But everybody is influenced by these so-called saints, who are really insane people. They are repressed so much -- they have repressed their sex, they have repressed their greed, they have repressed their anger -- and they are boiling within themselves. Their inner life is very nightmarish. There is no peace, no silence. All their smiles are painted.

I have heard of a beautiful woman who came from the West in search of peace. She went to the Himalayas. She had heard about a great saint who used to live in the caves. It was hard to reach to those caves, but you know Americans: the harder a thing is, the more they become interested; it becomes a challenge.

So the American lady reached to that peak where the saint lived. He had lived there for thirty years absolutely alone. Not a single human being had visited him all this time, because Indians are very lazy; they don't bother to go that far. They have managed in a different way: every twelve years they gather in Allahabad and all the saints from all the caves come down so they can have all the saints together. They don't bother much to go to the Himalayas. Those who want to be worshipped come on their own.

But the American lady reached with arduous effort, and she told the saint -- he was very old, ancient -- she told the saint, "I have come here in search of peace. I want peace of mind and peace of heart."

The saint said, "Yes, you have come to the right place. You will be given both. Don't be worried, my daughter. It is not difficult. You will have peace of mind and peace of heart."
She was very happy. At last somebody is so certain. She has seen many psychiatrists and therapists; they all said that it will take seven years, ten years of analysis, and then too there is no guarantee. This man is so certain, and he looks so silent, so happy... a man from a totally different world, so unearthly.

But in the middle of the night the saint jumped into the bed of the woman. She was so shocked, for a few seconds she could not utter a single word. And the saint started making love, wild love, to the woman.

And the woman said, "What are you doing? You had promised me peace of the mind and peace of the heart! And what are you doing?"
He said, "First things first: piece of ass! We will take care of other things later on. One has to begin from the beginning."

If you repress.... That was his problem. Peace of mind and peace of heart was not his problem; he must have been repressing for thirty years, and he had not seen even a single woman. And I don't know whether the woman was really beautiful or not, because if you don't see a woman for thirty years, any woman looks beautiful! Any woman looks like she is coming from the gods.

Hindu scriptures are full of the stories that whenever a great saint reaches very close to attaining enlightenment, beautiful women come from the gods to disturb him. I have not been yet able to find out why the gods should be interested in disturbing these poor fellows. Some ascetic, fasting for years, repressing, standing on his head, torturing himself... he has not done any harm to anybody else except himself. Why should the gods be so interested in distracting him? They should really help him! And they send beautiful women... naked... and those women dance around and make obscene gestures to the poor fellow. Naturally he becomes a victim, he is seduced, falls from grace -- as if the gods are against anyone who is reaching closer to enlightenment. This seems so ridiculous. They should help. Rather than helping they come to destroy.

But those stories should not be understood literally; they are symbolical, they are metaphors. They are very meaningful. Had Sigmund Freud come across those stories, he would have utterly enjoyed them. It would have been a treasure for him. It would have supported his psychoanalysis as nothing else. Nobody was coming; those repressed people were projecting. These were their desires, repressed desires -- so long repressed that now they have become so powerful that even with open eyes they were dreaming.
So I don't know whether this woman was really beautiful, but she must have appeared beautiful to the so-called saint.

In India, if a woman is sitting in one place, the saints are taught not to sit in the same place after the woman has left for a certain length of time, because that space vibrates with danger. Do you see the foolishness of it all? And these have been the teachers of humanity. And these are the people who have made you, Deven, scared of your own feelings -- because you cannot accept your own feelings. You reject them, hence the fear.

Accept them, nothing is wrong, nothing is wrong with you! All that is needed is not repression or destruction. You have to learn the art of creating harmony in your energies. You have to become an orchestra. Yes, if you don't know how to play on musical instruments, you will create noise, you will drive your neighbors mad. But if you know the art of playing on the instruments you can create beautiful music, you can create celestial music. You can bring something of the beyond on the earth.

Life is also a great instrument. You have to learn how to play upon it. Nothing has to be cut, destroyed, repressed, rejected. All that God has given to you is beautiful. If you have not been able to use it beautifully, it simply shows that you are not yet artful enough. We have all taken our lives for granted, and that is wrong. We are given only a raw possibility. We have been given only a POTENTIAL for life; we have to learn how to actualize it.

That's what sannyas is all about, Deven. That's what all the devices are: meditation, therapies -- all possible sources have to be used so that you can know how to use your anger in such a way that it becomes compassion, how to use your sex in such a way that it becomes love, how to use your greed in such a way that it becomes sharing. EVERY energy that you have can become its polar opposite, because the polar opposite is ALWAYS contained in it.

Your body contains the soul, matter contains mind. The world contains God. Dust contains divineness. You have to discover it, and the first step towards discovery is to accept yourself, rejoice in being yourself. You are not to be a Jesus, no, you are not to be a Buddha. You are not to be me or anybody else. You have to be just yourself. God does not want carbon copies; he loves your uniqueness. And you can offer yourself to God only as a unique phenomenon. You can be accepted as an offering but only as a unique phenomenon. An imitation Jesus, Krishna, Christ, Buddha, Mohammed -- these won't do. Imitators are bound to be rejected.

Be yourself, authentically yourself. Respect yourself. If God has given you life he respects you. And do you have higher standards than God himself? Love yourself. God loves you. And then start watching all kinds of energies in you -- you are a vast universe!
And slowly slowly, as you become more conscious, you will be able to put things right, into right places. You are topsy-turvy, that is true, but nothing is wrong with you. You are not a sinner -- just a little rearrangement and you will become a beautiful phenomenon.

Source - Osho Book "The Dhammapada, Vol 10"

Related Osho Discourses:
Why do I always compromise?
Why it is so difficult for me to love myself?
Can you say some thing about Guilt and Fear
Osho on Trusting oneself and stop doing Imitation
Osho on need for Approval and Acceptance from others
Why am I such a Beggar for Attention? What can I do about it?
In my relationship I often lose my self and start feeling Closed in. What can I do?
I am so terribly Ugly and I have suffered much because of That. What should I do?

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