The vital balance

Fri, 6 January 1971 00:00:00 GMT
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Osho - The Great Challenge
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Question 1:




No one can use his intellect too much. It is such a great force, with so much potential, that you cannot use it too much. Not only do you not use it too much, but you never even use it totally.

Ordinarily, you do not use more than ten to fifteen percent of your total intellectual potential.

And another thing: when you do intellectual work it does not necessarily mean that you are using your intelligence. Intellectual work, too, is mechanical. Once you acquire the know-how, no intelligence is required at all; the mind works just like a computer.

The real problem is not the use of too much intelligence but the non-use of emotion. Emotion is completely disregarded in our civilization, so the balance is lost and a lopsided personality develops.

If emotion is also used, then there is no imbalance.

A balance of emotion and intellect must be maintained in the proper ratio; otherwise the whole personality gets diseased. It is just like using only one leg. You may keep on using it, but you get nowhere; you simply tire yourself. The other leg must be used. Emotion and intellect are like two wings: when we use only one wing the outcome will be frustration. Then the bliss that comes from using both wings simultaneously, in balance and harmony, is never attained.

Don't be afraid of using the intellect too much. Only when intelligence is used do you touch the depths; only there is your potential stimulated. Intellectual work does not mean that your intelligence is being used. Intellectual work is merely superficial; no depth is touched, nothing is challenged.

That gives rise to boredom; it creates work that is without enjoyment. Enjoyment always comes when your individuality is challenged and you have to prove yourself and respond to the challenge.

When challenged, intelligence or emotion both create their own bliss.

A person is schizophrenic if only one part of his personality is working and the other is dead. Then even the part that is working will not work really well because it will be overworked. Personality is a totality; it has no division at all. Actually, the whole personality is a flowing energy. When energy is used in a logical way it becomes intelligence, and when it is not used logically but emotionally it becomes the heart. These are two separate things; it is the same energy flowing through two different channels.

When there is no heart but only intellect, you can never relax. Relaxation means that now the same energy within you is working in a different channel. Relaxation never means no-work, it means work in another dimension. Then the dimension that is overtaxed relaxes.

A person who follows an intellectual pursuit continuously, never relaxes. He does not divert his energy to another dimension, so his mind goes on working in only one direction unnecessarily.

That creates boredom. Thoughts and more thoughts come and go; energy is diffused, wasted.

You cannot enjoy it; on the contrary, you will be disappointed and disgusted with this unnecessary burden. But the mind, or the intellect, is not at fault. Because an alternative dimension has not been provided, because there is no other door open to it, the energy keeps circling round and round inside you.

Energy can never be stagnant. Energy means that which is not stagnant, that which is always flowing. Relaxation does not mean energy which is stagnant or asleep; scientifically, relaxation means that now energy is flowing through another channel, another dimension - it has entered another room.

But even though the room may be different, if it is not the very opposite of the room you were in before, the mind will not relax. For example, if you work on a scientific problem, then you can relax by reading a novel. The work is different: to deal with a scientific problem is to be active - a very masculine mode - whereas to read a novel is to be passive, which is an absolutely feminine mode.

Even though you are using the same mind you will be relaxed, because it is the opposite pole of the mind which is being used. You are not solving anything, you are not active; you are just a receiver, receiving something. The dimension is the same except that emotion, the opposite pole, is being brought into use.

In the same way, when we love, the intellect does not come into play at all. Quite the opposite happens: the irrational part of your personality comes into action. Intelligence must be balanced by love and love must be balanced by intelligence. Ordinarily, this balance is not found anywhere.

If someone is in love and begins to neglect all intellectual pursuits, this too will create boredom.

Even love becomes a tension if it is a twenty-four-hour-a-day affair. Once the challenge is lost, the enjoyment will also be lost: the play will be lost and it will become just work. The same thing happens with an intellectual who neglects the emotional side of his being.

These two parts, these two poles, must be in balance, only then is an integrated and individuated human being born; otherwise, whether emotional or intellectual, it will be the same disease. The East has become warped because it has been too concerned with the heart, while the West has been too concerned with the opposite pole. Both have achieved disastrous results.

In the West, the new generation is now rebelling against intellect, against reason. The whole mind of the new generation is leaning toward the irrational. Nature always takes its own revenge. Nature is very vengeful: it never pardons, it never forgets. If some part of it remains suppressed or unfulfilled it will have its revenge. In the West the irrational is taking its revenge. In the East the appeal is of the rational, the scientific: communism has much appeal and religion has lost its appeal. The irrational no longer appeals to the East because reason has been suppressed for too long.

To me, neither a human being nor a human culture can be healthy without an inner balance between the rational and the irrational. I do not take them to be two different things. I take them to be two poles of the same energy.

All energy can only exist between two opposite poles; energy requires an inner tension in order to create itself, in order to be. The poles can be negative and positive as in electricity, or north and south as in magnetism, or male and female as in biology, but energy cannot exist at only one pole.

The opposite is needed in order to challenge, to stimulate, to create the necessary tension.

But in human society the other pole is always suppressed - either intellect is suppressed or emotion is suppressed. A total culture has not come into existence yet, because there have only been civilizations of either the intellect or of the emotions. Culture, meaning a civilization in which the two poles function simultaneously, is as yet unborn.

Always balance one pole by its opposite. Then the more one pole is put to use, the more the opposite pole for which it is a relaxation will be illuminated. The mind must be capable of changing from one pole to the opposite pole just as easily as one moves from waking to sleeping. One must be able to be close to one dimension and remain open to the other. When this happens life is no longer dull; it becomes bliss.

Unfortunately, we become addicted to one polarity. Why is there this addiction to one extreme? We become addicted to one way of functioning because we have been trained for it. It is easier - you can function in the way that is familiar to you without any conscious effort - consciousness is not required. When you change from one pole to the other, when you change your total perspective, you become an amateur. In this other realm you are not an expert; you are not trained in it. When you try to escape from it, then you tend to overburden that realm in which you are proficient.

This overdoing is the problem. One must not be an expert twenty-four hours a day; one must also do something in which one is a no one and about which one knows nothing. One must be a child sometimes: playing, immature, unknowing, ignorant.

Every genius has a child in him; no genius can exist without a child inside him - this child is the source of all his energy! Because of the child within him, sometimes he can be a novice, sometimes he can be totally ignorant: he can touch realms about which he knows nothing. A mathematician who turns to poetry is never a loser. He comes back to his mathematics with a purer mind, with new experiences that are unknown to mathematics.

Nothing has ever been invented or discovered by someone who is strictly professional. It is always discovered by one who approaches the subject like an outsider coming with the mind of a child. Only a child is inventive, never an old man. The old man is an expert, and an expert cannot invent. He will go on repeating the same thing, doing it and overdoing it; he will make it more perfect but never new. A professional cannot contribute anything new to knowledge because he knows too much; he cannot see the new, he is always oblivious to the new. Professionals are always orthodox, they are never revolutionaries. They cannot be - their very being is heavy.

Whenever it happens that a scientist turns to poetry, or a poet turns to mathematics, or a businessman turns to painting, or a painter becomes a sannyasin, then something new is born.

And to give birth to something new is blissful; otherwise your daily work becomes dull and boring.

Man cannot work like a machine - he cannot go on just producing the same things mechanically, repeating the same routine endlessly. If he goes on doing this, he will be completely dead long before he dies. He will only know that he has been alive when death comes.

If you are just functioning mechanically as a human machine, there is every danger that you will be replaced by a humanlike machine, and you can never be at ease, because whatever you can do can be done more efficiently by a mechanical device.

Society does not need individuality, it needs efficiency. So the more human a person becomes the less useful he is to society - and the more dangerous. The whole pattern of our civilization and, in fact, of all the civilizations that have existed in the world, is to turn the human being into an automaton. Then he is obedient, efficient and not dangerous. Otherwise a mind that is inventive, inquiring, seeking and searching for the new and always trying to give birth to something unknown, is bound to create disturbances. The establishment cannot be at ease with him.

Society begins to kill individuality as soon as a child is born. Before he is seven, his individuality is killed completely. Only if by chance the establishment is not successful in doing this can a person become an individual. But this is rare.

Every type of social institution is a means of killing the individual and converting him into a machine.

All our universities are factories to kill the spontaneous, to kill the spark, to kill the spirit and change man into a machine. Then the society feels at ease with him. He can be relied upon. The society knows what he can do, what he will do - he can be predicted. We can predict a husband, a wife, a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist. We know who they are and how they will react; we can be at ease with them. But it is impossible to be at ease with a person who is alive, spontaneous, because we don't know what he will do - he is unpredictable.

Unpredictability is always a source of insecurity. A wife cannot be at ease with a husband who is unpredictable. The moment he is unpredictable, he is unmanageable; he cannot be manipulated.

No one is at ease with an unpredictable person - not even a father with an unpredictable son.

But only the unpredictable man can feel happiness, can feel like no one else. Life itself is unpredictable, unmanageable. Life as such always moves from moment to moment toward the unknown. It is an opening into the unknown - nothing more, nothing less.

If you are open, just like life itself, then you necessarily live in each of your dimensions: the physical, the intellectual, the emotional, the spiritual. Then you live totally; then there is no bifurcation, no division. Your energy flows as if from one room to another and then to another. There is no barrier to your energy; it is not pulled in any one direction, it is like a flowing river. Then you are always fresh and relaxed. Whenever you return to your particular field of work you approach it with a newness, a freshness that only comes from having relaxed in the opposite dimension.

The problem, as I see it, is not excessive intellectual work but too little or no work in the other dimensions, particularly the emotional. Reason is balanced by emotion. If you can do an exercise in logic but cannot weep, then you are bound to be in trouble. If you can only argue and not laugh, you are inviting trouble.

But whenever a person appears whose life is like a flowing river it is difficult to understand him, because he cannot be categorized.

There is a Zen story:

A famous monk, who was a great teacher, died. He was best known, however, because of his chief disciple. Thousands of people came to pay homage to the monk when he died and to their amazement they found the chief disciple weeping. They were at a loss to understand him - an unattached person should not weep, especially one who has always said that the spirit never dies!

Someone came and asked, "Why do you weep?"

The monk replied, "I cannot always live with 'whys.' There are moments when there is no why. I am weeping, that's all."

Still they insisted, "You have always said that the soul is immortal. Why do you weep then?"

He replied, "I still maintain that the soul is immortal. But that does not stop me from weeping."

This sounds illogical: if the soul is immortal, one should not weep. But the monk said, "The soul itself is weeping, and I cannot do anything about it. Whatsoever comes to me, I am one with it. Tears are coming, and I am one with them."

The monk's attitude cannot be categorized. We can understand someone's weeping if he believes that the soul is mortal. If he believes the soul to be immortal and does not weep, that too is understandable, it is all right. The soul is immortal: for whom to weep? No one has died. But the chief disciple had said that the soul is immortal and yet he was weeping. There was no why; the tears were just flowing.

The people asked, "Do you weep for the body?"

The monk said, "Yes, it must be for the body that I am weeping. The body, too, was beautiful and it will never be seen again. I weep for the body."

"But you are a spiritual man," they said. And the argument went on. They accused him of confusing them.

"I myself am confused," he said. "Life is such! The soul is important, but so are my tears. Such is life - so contradictory. It exists in contradictions. I myself am confused; but I am at ease with my confusions, I am at ease with my contradictions, so I am not tense. You see my tears, you see me weeping, but I am at ease. I am relaxed. I am blissful."

The other part must not be denied. The more you use reason, the more you must use the irrational to balance it. The moment it is balanced, you become weightless. You feel free. The weight of one is offset by the weight of the other; a balance is achieved. You are free. Otherwise you will feel the burden, the weight, more and more until a moment comes when nothing exists but the burden. You are no more, only the burden will be felt; that is the only reality you will be conscious of. And the burden will be with you so continuously that you will not be able to conceive of what it is to be without it.

No one is without burden, but one burden can be balanced by another burden from the opposite pole. When the two burdens are balanced, there is no burden. A mind which is not burdened is not really a mind without burdens; rather, it is a mind with balanced burdens.

I am in favor of reason and no-reason existing together at the same time. I advise a perpetual balance between the two. As soon as a burden is felt, know that the balance is lost and you must set about restoring it by adding the necessary weight wherever it is required. If the intellect is heavy, do something irrational. Meditate!

Meditation is not concerned with reason; it is irrational. So when someone asks me to explain meditation I am at a loss simply because there is no way that you can understand meditation. It is not concerned with logic, reason, arguments, and understanding at all. The only way to know it is to do it.

There are people who have been studying meditation all their lives and still have not understood it. They cannot. Krishnamurti talks about understanding it and makes understanding equivalent to meditation - as if meditation were something to be understood. Rather, understanding must be balanced by meditation, because meditation is the opposite pole, and once you try not to understand meditation you can do it.

If one goes on trying to understand meditation, there is less possibility of practicing it. There are people who say that they understand Krishnamurti perfectly. Intellectually, you can understand him, because understanding is intellectual. But even though he says intellectual understanding is not enough, still he equates understanding with meditation.

If intellectual understanding will not do, then only a nonintellectual jump will do. In fact, there is no understanding that is not intellectual. Whenever you go into meditation it is less like understanding and more like feeling: it is felt, it is never understood.

Philosophy and science are intellectual processes; religion and art are nonintellectual processes.

Philosophy must be balanced by religion and science must be balanced by art; otherwise a topsy- turvy, lopsided world is created in which everyone is diseased.

I have not come across a single individual who is at ease - something or other is always disturbing him. It does not matter what it is, all that matters is that he is disturbed. Everyone is disturbed! There must be something in our very concept of humanity which has gone wrong; something in the very structure of our society has gone wrong. People who are mentally disturbed are only symptomatic of what is happening to the whole society.

There is one very surprising fact: in the thirties, all the mental patients who visited psychoanalysts were primarily disturbed by violence. Then came the second world war. The same thing had happened in the early twentieth century, and this was followed by the first world war. So as I see it, mental patients are the forerunners of us all: they herald that which is to come. In a way they are more sensitive; they perceive things before the rest of us do.

The same is true of artists. Everything that is to happen first happens in poetry, painting, music, etcetera. If we look deeply into Picasso's art, for example, we will find the indication of a diseased civilization. In his painting guernica - or, for that matter, in any of his other works - he never portrays a human figure as it is. He never paints all the parts together or puts them in the right context. The head will be in one place, the neck somewhere else, and the eyes may be under the head. Such is his painting: schizophrenic, schizoid. He was an especially sensitive person who saw the shape of things to come, and the plight of the human being in times to come.

A society that is basically only scientific will be lacking in an aesthetic art - art will become ugly. All of Western art has become ugly. Grotesqueness and absurdity have become the criteria. Ugliness is appreciated as greatness in art: the more ugly and distorted a painting, the more it is appreciated.

There should be no harmony, no rhythm, no music; everything should be deranged and decayed like the present human mind.

These are indications and symptoms. They are symbolic expressions that the other side of the human mind is taking its revenge; it is demanding attention. A society which is basically only philosophic will be lacking in religion. And when a society becomes less and less religious, religion takes its revenge; it becomes ugly, ritualistic. A church and priesthood emerge and religion diminishes. The church is religion turned ugly, and the priest is the revenge of the prophet. The prophet has no place in the church, so the priest comes in and fills the vacuum.

We have not yet even conceived of a total culture, a total personality, a total mind. The totality is the sum total of the opposite polarities, so a totally consistent personality is an imperfect and partial personality which is, in a way, on the path to madness. This is dangerous. The part that has been denied expression and attention because of a consistent mind will take its revenge. The irrational will become aggressive; it will emerge with a vengeful force and will shatter all reason.

You must not only understand but also feel. It is not difficult to understand intellectually; the problem comes with feeling. You must also feel!

This can be possible only when you do something irrational. Jump and dance for an hour and you will see how relaxed and refreshed and alert you will feel. The mind becomes purified because the irrational is satisfied. Now reason can work freely without an enemy waiting to take revenge.

Give both sides of the mind an opportunity to express themselves freely; always balance the two.

Live in these two complementary compartments: the intellect and the emotions. They are not contradictory; they only appear so because we have been living at one extreme and have become fixated there.

When you dream you do not feel the contradiction and inconsistency of the dream - you see a friend approaching, and suddenly he turns into something else. But in the dream you take this as a fact; you feel no inconsistency, no contradiction. You do not ask how a man can change into an animal, because a dream has no logic; it still has to find its Aristotle. In the dream you cannot say that if A is A then it cannot be B; if A is A it cannot be not A. In the dream, A can be not A and not A can be A.

No logic is taken into account, nor is anything seen to be contradictory. So there are realms that are totally lacking in logic, but which are part of you all the same. Or it might be better to say that you are part of them, because the fact is that they are greater than you.

When contradictions are not seen to be contradictory, you are never bored. Are you ever bored in a dream? If a balance is achieved between the rational and the irrational, boredom vanishes. There is a moment-to-moment bliss. Every moment comes with a bliss of its own, otherwise life becomes a burden. But life is not responsible for this; we alone are responsible because the choice lies with us.

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(All These Things, A.N. Field;
The Rulers of Russia, Denis Fahey, p. 37)