Character or Consciousness?

How to develop a strong enough character that I don’t get disturbed by anything and don’t lose my cool?

Osho: Go to the sea, and watch the sea. Millions of waves are there, but deep in its depth the sea remains calm and quiet, deep in meditation. The turmoil is just on the surface, just on the surface where the sea meets the outside world, the winds. Otherwise, in itself, it always remains the same, not even a ripple; nothing changes.

It is the same with you. Just on the surface where you meet others there is turmoil, anxiety, anger, attachment, greed, lust...just on the surface where winds come and touch you. And if you remain on the surface you cannot change this changing phenomenon; it will remain there.

Many people try to change it there, on the circumference. They fight with it, they try not to let a wave arise. And through their fight even more waves arise, because when the sea fights with the wind there will be more turmoil: now not only will the wind help it, the sea will also help — there will be tremendous chaos on the surface.

All the moralists try to change man on the periphery. Your character is the periphery: you don’t bring any character into the world, you come absolutely characterless, a blank sheet, and all that you call your character is written by others. Your parents, society, teachers, teachings — all are conditionings. You come as a blank sheet, and whatsoever is written on you comes from others; so unless you become a blank sheet again you will not know what nature is, you will not know what Brahma is, you will not know what Tao is.

So the problem is not how to have a strong character, the problem is not how to attain no-anger, how not to be disturbed — no, that is not the problem. The problem is how to change your consciousness from the periphery to the center. Then suddenly you see that you have always been calm. Then you can look at the periphery from a distance, and the distance is so vast, infinite, that you can watch as if it is not happening to you. In fact, it never happens to you. Even when you are completely lost in it, it never happens to you: something in you remains undisturbed, something in you remains beyond, something in you remains a witness.

So the whole problem for the seeker is how to shift his attention from the periphery to the center; how to be merged with that which is unchanging, and not to be identified with that which is just a boundary. On the boundary others are very influential, because on the boundary change is natural. The periphery will go on changing — even a buddha’s periphery changes.

The difference between a buddha and you is not a difference of character — remember this; it is not a difference of morality, it is not a difference in virtue or nonvirtue, it is a difference in where you are grounded.

You are grounded on the periphery; a buddha is grounded in the center. He can look at his own periphery from a distance; when you hit him he can see it as if you have hit somebody else, because the center is so distant. It’s as if he is a watcher on the hills and something is happening in the valleys and he can see it. This is the first thing to be understood.

The second thing: it is very easy to control, it is very difficult to transform. It is very easy to control. You can control your anger, but what will you do? — you will suppress it. And what happens when you suppress a certain thing? The direction of its movement changes: it was going out, and if you suppress it, it starts going in — just its direction changes.

And for anger to go out was good, because the poison needs to be thrown out. It is bad for the anger to move within, because that means your whole body mind structure will be poisoned by it. And then if you go on doing this for a long everybody has been doing, because the society teaches control, not transformation.

The society says, ‘Control yourself,’ and through controlling, all the negative things have been thrown deeper and deeper into the unconscious, and then they become a constant thing within you. Then it is not a question of your being angry sometimes and sometimes not — you are simply angry. Sometimes you explode, and sometimes you don’t explode because there is no excuse, or you have to find an excuse. And remember, you can find an excuse anywhere!

You are angry. Because you have suppressed so much anger, now there are no moments when you are not angry; at the most, sometimes you are less angry, sometimes more. Your whole being is poisoned by suppression. You eat with anger — and it has a different quality when a person eats without anger: it is beautiful to watch him, because he eats nonviolently. He may be eating meat, but he eats nonviolently; you may be eating just vegetables and fruits, but if anger is suppressed, you eat violently.

...Then this will move in every way, in every arena of your life: you will make love, but it will be more like violence than like love, it will have much aggression in it. Because you never observe one another making love, you don’t know what is happening, and you cannot know what is happening to you because you are almost always so much in aggression.

That’s why deep orgasm through love becomes impossible — because you are afraid deep down that if you move totally without control, you may kill your wife or kill your beloved, or the wife may kill the husband or the lover. You become so afraid of your own anger! Next time you make love, watch: you will be doing the same movements as are done when you are aggressive. Watch the face, have a mirror around so you can see what is happening to your face! All the distortions of anger and aggression will be there.

...Through suppression, mind becomes split. The part that you accept becomes the conscious, and the part that you deny becomes the unconscious. This division is not natural, the division happens because of repression. And into the unconscious you go on throwing all the rubbish that society rejects — but remember, whatsoever you throw in there becomes more and more part of you: it goes into your hands, into your bones, into your blood, into your heartbeat. Now psychologists say that almost eighty percent of diseases are caused by repressed emotions: so many heart failures means so much anger has been repressed in the heart, so much hatred that the heart is poisoned.

Why? Why does man suppress so much and become unhealthy? Because the society teaches you to control, not to transform, and the way of transformation is totally different. For one thing, it is not the way of control at all, it is just the opposite.

The first thing: in controlling you repress, in transformation you express. But there is no need to express on somebody else because the ‘somebody else’ is just irrelevant. Next time you feel angry go and run around the house seven times, and after it sit under a tree and watch where the anger has gone. You have not repressed it, you have not controlled it, you have not thrown it on somebody else — because if you throw it on somebody else a chain is created, because the other is as foolish as you, as unconscious as you. If you throw it on another, and if the other is an enlightened person, there will be no trouble; he will help you to throw and release it and go through a catharsis. But the other is as ignorant as you — if you throw anger on him he will react. He will throw more anger on you, he is repressed as much as you are. Then there comes a chain: you throw on him, he throws on you, and you both become enemies.

Don’t throw it on anybody. It is the same as when you feel like vomiting: you don’t go and vomit on somebody. Anger needs a vomit. You go to the bathroom and vomit! It cleanses the whole body — if you suppress the vomit it will be dangerous, and when you have vomited you will feel fresh, you will feel unburdened, unloaded, good, healthy. Something was wrong in the food that you took and the body rejects it. Don’t go on forcing it inside.

Anger is just a mental vomit. Something is wrong that you have taken in and your whole psychic being wants to throw it out, but there is no need to throw it out on somebody. Because people throw it on others, society tells them to control it.

There is no need to throw anger on anybody. You can go to your bathroom, you can go on a long walk; it means that something is inside that needs fast activity so that it is released. Just do a little jogging and you will feel it is released, or take a pillow and beat the pillow, fight with the pillow, and bite the pillow until your hands and teeth are relaxed. Within a five-minute catharsis you will feel unburdened, and once you know this you will never throw it on anybody, because that is absolutely foolish.

The first thing in transformation, then, is to express anger, but not on anybody, because if you express it on somebody you cannot express it totally. You may like to kill, but it is not possible; you may like to bite, but it is not possible. But that can be done to a pillow. A pillow means ‘already enlightened’; the pillow is enlightened, a buddha. The pillow will not react, and the pillow will not go to any court, and the pillow will not bring any enmity against you, and the pillow will not do anything. The pillow will be happy and the pillow will laugh at you!

The second thing to remember: be aware.

In controlling, no awareness is needed; you simply do it mechanically, like a robot. The anger comes and there is a mechanism; suddenly your whole being becomes narrow and closed. If you are watchful control may not be so easy.

Society never teaches you to be watchful, because when somebody is watchful, he is wide open. That is part of awareness. One is open, and if you want to suppress something and you are open, it is contradictory, it may come out. The society teaches you how to close yourself in, how to cave yourself in...don’t allow even a small window for anything to go out.

But remember: when nothing goes out, nothing comes in either. When the anger cannot go out, you are closed. If you touch a beautiful rock, nothing goes in; you look at a flower, nothing goes in: your eyes are dead and closed. You kiss a person; nothing goes in, because you are closed. You live an insensitive life.

Sensitivity grows with awareness. Through control you become dull and dead. That is part of the mechanism of control: if you are dull and dead then nothing will affect you, as if the body has become a citadel, a defense. Nothing will affect you, neither insult nor love.

But this control is at a very great cost, an unnecessary cost; then it becomes the whole effort in life: how to control yourself — and then die! The whole effort of control takes all your energy, and then you simply die. And the life becomes a dull and dead thing; you somehow carry it on.

The society teaches you control and condemnation, because a child will control only when he feels something is condemned. Anger is bad; sex is bad; everything that has to be controlled has to be made to look like a sin to the child, to look like evil.

A deep condemnation enters about all that is alive. And sex is the most alive thing — has to be! It is the source. Anger is also a most alive thing, because it is a protective force. If a child cannot be angry at all, he will not be able to survive. You have to be angry in certain moments. The child has to show his own being, the child has to stand in certain moments upon his own ground; otherwise he will have no backbone.

Anger is beautiful; sex is beautiful. But beautiful things can go ugly. That depends on you. If you condemn them, they become ugly; if you transform them, they become divine. Anger transformed becomes compassion...because the energy is the same. A buddha is compassionate: from where does his compassion come? This is the same energy that was moving in anger; now it is not moving in anger, the same energy is transformed into compassion. From where does love come? A Buddha is loving; a Jesus is love. The same energy that moves into sex becomes love.

So remember, if you condemn a natural phenomenon it becomes poisonous, it destroys you, it becomes destructive and suicidal. If you transform it, it becomes divine, it becomes a God-force, it becomes an elixir; you attain through it to immortality, to a deathless being. But transformation is needed.

In transformation you never control, you simply become more aware. Anger is happening: you have to be aware that anger is happening — watch it! It is a beautiful moving within you, becoming hot!

It is just like electricity in the clouds. People were always afraid of electricity; they thought in olden days, when they were ignorant, that this electricity was the god being angry, being threatening, trying to punish — creating fear so that people would become worshippers, so that people would feel that the god was there and he would punish them.

But now we have domesticated that god. Now that god runs through your fan, through your air conditioner, through the fridge: whatsoever you need, that god serves. That god has become a domestic force, it is no longer angry and no longer threatening. Through science an outer force has been transformed into a friend.

The same happens through religion for inner forces.

Anger is just like electricity in your body: you don’t know what to do with it. Either you kill somebody else or you kill yourself. The society says if you kill yourself it is okay, it is your concern, but don’t kill anybody else — and as far as society goes that is okay. So either you become aggressive or you become repressive.

Religion says both are wrong. The basic thing that is needed is to become aware and to know the secret of this energy, anger, this inner electricity. It is electricity because you become hot; when you are angry your temperature goes hot, and you cannot understand the coolness of a buddha, because when anger is transformed into compassion everything is cool. A deep coolness happens. Buddha is never hot; he is always cool, centered, because he now knows how to use the inner electricity. Electricity is hot; it becomes the source of air conditioning. Anger is hot — it becomes the source of compassion.

Compassion is an inner air conditioning. Suddenly everything is cool and beautiful, and nothing can disturb you, and the whole existence is transformed into a friend. Now there are no more enemies...because when you look through the eyes of anger, somebody becomes an enemy; when you look through the eyes of compassion, everybody is a friend, a neighbor. When you love, everywhere is God; when you hate, everywhere is the devil. It is your standpoint that is projected onto reality.

Awareness is needed, not condemnation — and through awareness transformation happens spontaneously. If you become aware of your anger, understanding penetrates. Just watching, with no judgment, not saying good, not saying bad, just watching in your inner sky. There is lightning, anger, you feel hot, the whole nervous system shaking and quaking, and you feel a tremor all over the body — a beautiful moment, because when energy functions you can watch it easily; when it is not functioning you cannot watch.

Close your eyes and meditate on it. Don’t fight, just look at what is happening — the whole sky filled with electricity, so much lightning, so much beauty — just lie down on the ground and look at the sky and watch. Then do the same inside.

Clouds are there, because without clouds there can be no lightning — dark clouds are there, thoughts. Somebody has insulted you, somebody has laughed at you, somebody has said this or that...many clouds, dark clouds in the inner sky and much lightning. Watch! It is a beautiful scene, terrible also, because you don’t understand. It is mysterious, and if mystery is not understood it becomes terrible, you are afraid of it. And whenever a mystery is understood, it becomes a grace, a gift, because now you have the keys — and with keys you are the master.

Source: (Osho: And the Flowers Showered)

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