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Be In The World, But Not Of It

Beloved Osho,
I was in Goa for a few days and there by the ocean I feel it so much, and so much bliss. I'm so thankful that I am existing. All the no's inside turn into a big yes.
But when I am here it is as if it is just a half flame; only a half flame burning. And I don't understand why at this ashram I can't be so ecstatic as I can be by the ocean.

osho

You will be - because it is always so. With the ocean there is no problem; with people there are problems. The ocean creates no problem for you. You may create problems for the ocean - that is up to you - but the ocean creates no problems for you. With the ocean in fact you are alone. The other does not exist. But with people you are not alone - and unless you learn how to be alone in a crowd, the ocean is not going to help.
This too is a sort of ocean - an ocean of consciousness... so many people with so many different waves and rhythms and vibrations. You become affected by them. The ocean simply does not care whether you are there or not. The ocean simply does not know anything about you; it doesn't bother, it is not aware. You think that you are with the ocean. The ocean does not know that you are there, otherwise there also there will be trouble. Sometimes the ocean may like you, sometimes the ocean may not like you. Sometimes the ocean may be bored with you, sometimes the ocean may be happy with you. Sometimes the ocean will say, 'Just go away,' but the ocean does not respond or react. It is simply there whether you come or not. You are alone.
With people the problem arises. Each person responds, reacts in a thousand and one ways. Unless you become such a witness, unless you become ocean-like - that whatsoever happens is happening and you are not worried, it does not make any difference to you.... Somebody insults you - it doesn't make any difference. Somebody says, 'You are great' - and it doesn't make any difference.
When you become ocean-like then you can move in the crowd, in the market-place, undisturbed, undistracted, unperturbed.
If you remain by the ocean for long, by and by the beautiful feeling that has come to you will disappear, because there are so many people who live by the ocean and they don't even know that the ocean exists; they have become completely oblivious. There are fisherman in Goa who simply would not be able to believe... 'What nonsense are you talking? saying that sitting by the side of the ocean you feel so grateful and so peaceful and so silent.' They have lived there - they have been born there; for centuries their parents and their parents parents have lived there, and their children will live there, and it has never happened. 'What nonsense are you talking ?'
If you live there a little longer you will become accustomed, and then this shattering that the vastness of the ocean brings to you, this total indifference that the ocean brings to you, will be lost. It is good once in a while to go, but that is not going to help really. It is an escape from people. I'm not saying don't go to the ocean and to the mountains. Sometimes go - it is really beautiful - but it is not going to help your growth, your integration. It is only people who are going to help, because it is only people who disturb.
It is only people who create worries, anxieties. It is only people who penetrate your heart and poke you this way and that, and will not leave you in rest. Unless you learn how to live with people and yet far beyond, far away into the stars, then nothing is going to happen. Only this is going to become a deep integration in your heart.
So whatsoever you felt by the ocean, carry it here. I have chosen knowingly to remain in the market-place. I could have moved to Goa, but right now if I move to Goa I will not be of much help to you. It will be very good for me, but it will not be of much help to you. I can move to the Himalayas and you will have tremendous beauty, but sooner or later you will become accustomed to it and you will start hankering for the world. You will start hankering for people because only people can satisfy you and only people can dissatisfy you.
People are your atmosphere. We are not simply part of nature. We are part of a subtle atmosphere of humanity. If you remain outside of it there is every possibility that you may become primitive. It has happened to many people - and I am not for it. I would like you to go beyond society - not below it. Both look alike but they are not. You can fall back, you can become more animal-like. That's what is happening in the West - the new generation and all sorts of revolts: hippies and yippies and others. That's what is happening - they are falling out of the society, they are falling beyond it. It is not going to help.
Falling out of the society, you become a little less. Maybe you will be more helpful, but not for long. Sooner or later you will be pulled back by the society because your own innermost being will feel starved. It is not only food that you need, it is not only air and water that you need. You need a subtle human vibration; that's a subtle food that you need.
Sometimes it has happened that a few children have been found in the forest. Some wolf took a child, and a miracle of nature - they didn't eat the child. They helped the child to grow. Four or five times within fifty years, this has happened. The child has grown like a wolf-man - absolutely in nature without any human contact.

...

No, man has to go beyond society - not below it. You have to use society to go beyond it; you have to use society as a ladder. Much is wrong with it, but falling out of it is not going to help, but going beyond it. Buddha is beyond it; below is a wolf-man. Both are no more parts of the society. Buddha is not a part of the society because now he is higher, greater. A wolf-man is also not a part of the society because he is no more human. He is inhuman, fallen back.
My whole effort is this - that you should grow with people, and you should grow beyond them. Never make the ocean or the mountain a substitute for people - there is no substitute. For a human being, humanity is his natural element. And there is much temptation for the mind to move away from the society because people really create so many problems.
Live with a person and you will know many problems. You live with your partner and then you know how many problems. Just such a beautiful woman - she can drive you crazy! Then one starts thinking, 'Leave all. Go somewhere where you are alone,' but then you are escaping from the challenge.
Never escape from any challenge. Tackle it. Try to understand it. Become a witness to it, become more conscious of it. Be in it deliberately and still retain something like a far-away look, a distance. Remain in it and yet distant. That's the whole art of religion -  to be in the world and not be of the world.
But sometimes when you get too lost, go to the ocean, go to the mountains. Have a feel there of how things should be, and let that experience remain with you when with people. If you can bring your ocean to your relationship and it remains there, then something has happened; otherwise you are dreaming.

(Osho - The Great Nothing (a Darshan Diary)

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