Osho Insights on Tension – Tension is not outside you, it is in your wrong style of life

Osho quotes and insights on Tension

  1. The mental stress and tension the West is suffering from today is the direct result of too much thinking. The anxiety and anguish of the West comes from thinking stretched to its ultimate; it is suffering under the crushing weight of the mind.
  2. It seems tension has nothing to do with anything outside you, it has something to do within you. Outside you always find an excuse only because it looks so idiotic to be tense without any reason. Just to rationalize, you find some reason outside yourself to explain why you are tense. But tension is not outside you, it is in your wrong style of life. You are living in competition — that will create tension. You are living in continuous comparison — that will create tension. You are always thinking either of the past or of the future, and missing the present which is the only reality — that will create tension. It is a question of simple understanding; there is no need of any competition with anybody. You are yourself, and as you are, you are perfectly good. Accept yourself. This is the way existence wants you to be. Some trees are taller; some trees are smaller. But the smaller trees are not tense — neither are the taller trees full of ego. Existence needs variety. Somebody is stronger than you; somebody is more intelligent than you — but in something, you also must be more talented than anybody else.
  3. One should never go against one’s nature. That is the only sin, according to me, to go against one’s nature; and the only virtue is to go with your nature in total harmony. And never compare yourself with others; everybody is different, and everybody’s liking is different. Once you start comparing, thinking that, “Somebody is going deeper into things, moving more slowly, and I am moving faster,” then tension will arise in you: “Perhaps I am hurrying too much.” All these tensions arise out of comparison. Remember one thing: You have to be in tune with your own nature, not in tune with anybody else. So always feel within yourself. If it is pleasant, do it. If it feels tense, forced, then it is not for you. Don’t do it. Always go with the river of life. Never try to go against the current, and never try to go faster than the river. Just move in absolute relaxation, so that each moment you are at home, at ease, at peace with existence.
  4. A real education will not teach you to compete; it will teach you to cooperate. It will not teach you to fight and come first. It will teach you to be creative, to be loving, to be blissful, without any comparison with the other. It will not teach you that you can be happy only when you are the first. That is sheer nonsense. You can’t be happy just by being first. And in trying to be first you go through such misery that you become habituated to misery by the time you become the first. By the time you become the president or the prime minister of a country you have gone through such misery that now misery is your second nature. You don’t know now any other way to exist; you remain miserable. Tension has become ingrained, anxiety has become your way of life. You don’t know any other way; this is your very style. So even though you have become the first you remain cautious, anxious, afraid. It does not change your inner quality at all. A real education will not teach you to be the first. It will tell you to enjoy whatsoever you are doing, not for the result but for the act itself. Just like a painter or a dancer or a musician….
  5. Our vision is small; existence is infinite. So whatsoever we can decide will be of no significance. In fact, it will create all kinds of hindrances. If existence is going to the south and we plan to go to the north, then there will be a tension between you and existence. This is the cause of so many people around the world living in anxiety, anguish, tension, disappointment, frustration. The reason is, that in the first place they started expecting, hoping, desiring, planning. Existence is not at fault. Existence is not deposing their proposals. Existence is simply going on its own way; and my experience is to just go with existence. I call it the “let-go way.” So wherever the river takes….
  6. The ideal means you are not that which you should be. It creates tension, anxiety, anguish. It divides you, it makes you schizophrenic. And the ideal is in the future and you are here. And how can you live unless you are the ideal? First be the ideal, then start living — and that never happens. That cannot happen in the very nature of things. Ideals are impossible; that’s why they are ideals. They drive you crazy and make you insane. And condemnation arises, because you always fall short of the ideal. Guilt is created. In fact, that is what the priests and the politicians have been doing — they want to create guilt in you. To create guilt they use ideals; that is the simple mechanism. First give an ideal, then guilt comes automatically.
  7. In the past man always lived such an unburdened, tension less life. The only reason was: everybody was capable of going into prayer. It was natural. People would go and talk to the mountains or to the rivers or to the sun or to the moon… these are all faces of God! manifestations of him. Alive, throbbing, pulsating, right now.
  8. The mind tries in every way to remain unconscious as much as possible. Down the ages, every society and every culture has condemned alcohol and other intoxicating drugs, but to no effect — they have survived and they go on growing more and more influential. The reason is: mind wants to drown itself in unconsciousness, which is its only relaxation. Otherwise there is always tension.
  9. Whatsoever we go on giving to the mind, we are only concerned that it must remain occupied; that’s all. Occupation in itself becomes an aim. One should not be unoccupied, so go on reading anything, go on listening to anything, go on seeing anything, go on… do something with the mind! So whatsoever is around, we are vulnerable to it. This is fatal, because then you create a very confused mind-body, very confused — with contradictions, with infinite contradictions. And that’s the reason there is so much anguish, so much tension, and so much misery inside. That’s the reason the mind is just mad.
  10. The West has just the opposite idea — of a small life. It created great tension and anxiety, but it created technology, scientific developments, richness, comfort, luxuries; it created everything. But the man inside was lost, because he was always running. He was never where he was; he was always going for something else. And that goal where you can stop never comes. So in the West people have means of speed, and they are going fast. But don’t ask them, “Where are you going?” Don’t waste their time in asking such stupid questions! All that matters is that they are going fast; it does not matter where they are going and why they are going.
  11. Idea of a short life is a dangerous idea. That’s why even though the East is very poor, there is no despair, there is no anguish. The West is rich, but the richness has not brought anything to its spirituality, or its growth; on the contrary, the West is very tense. It should be more relaxed, it has all the comforts of life. But the basic problem is that deep down the West knows that life is such a short thing; we are standing in a queue, and every moment we are coming closer to death. Since we were born, we started the journey towards the graveyard. Every moment life is being cut — becoming shorter and shorter. This creates a tension, an anguish, an anxiety. All the comforts, all the luxuries, all the riches become meaningless, because you cannot take them away with you. You will have to go into death alone. The East is relaxed. First, it does not give death any importance; it is just a change of form. Second, because it is so relaxed, you become aware of your inner riches, which will be going with you — even beyond life. Death cannot take them away. Death can take everything that is outside you and, if you have not grown your inner being, naturally there will be fear that you cannot save anything from death; it will take everything that you have. But if you have grown your inner being, if you have found peace, blissfulness, silence, joy, which are not dependent on anything outside, if you have found your garden of being and seen the flowers of your own consciousness, the question of fearing death does not arise at all.
  12. What really went wrong is man has never been, hitherto, accepted in his totality. That has been the misery in the West; that has been the misery in the East. The West has chosen only the body part and has forgotten about the soul. The Western culture is the culture of the without, and the Eastern culture is the culture of the within. The East tries to live only as a soul, and the West tries to live only as a body. The West is rich, affluent, and will become more and more affluent, richer and richer. It has worked hard to make the world beautiful. The West knows how to live, but because the soul has been neglected, there is great tension inside. The West is poor inside — rich on the outside, poor on the inside. The East has tried to meditate, to pray, to search for the inner truth, and has neglected the outside. So the outer has become very poor; the inner has a richness.
  13. Man has completely forgotten the inner dimension, he has become obsessed with the outer. He goes on and on changing toys, more money, more power, more prestige. These are all toys. You can play with them but meanwhile you are wasting precious time. They can keep you occupied but they will also keep you in deep anguish, in tension, in anxiety, for the simple reason that the world outside is a world of competition, it is struggle. You are not alone there; millions and millions of people are searching for the same things. All are after money, so everybody is at each other’s throat. It is a violent struggle, a war — sometimes in the open, sometimes underground. Life on the outside remains feverish; it is a kind of delirium, an insanity. There is no rest, no peace, no bliss, no relaxation, unless one enters inside, then one enters a totally different world. There you are alone. There is no question of conflict, there is nobody to fight anybody, no question of competition. There is nothing to achieve, nothing to lose, nothing to gain; a great calmness descends upon you. That is the meaning of Sauro; Sauro means in the shade. To be outside yourself is to be under the hot sun, it is to be continuously under fire. To be in is to be in the shade — cool, calm, collected.
  14. If you are only attentive then sooner or later you will be tired of it. You cannot be attentive for twenty-four hours; you will need holidays. You will need alcohol, drugs, to drop out of that attentiveness. That’s what is happening in the West. People have become more attentive; attentiveness has been cultivated. The whole educational mechanism forces you to become more attentive. Those who are more attentive succeed, those who are less attentive fail. It is a very competitive world — if you want to succeed you have to be very attentive. But then it tires you. Then the tension becomes heavy on the head, then it drives you neurotic. Then madness becomes a very very natural by-product of it. Many more people go neurotic in the West than in the East. The reason is clear: in the West, attentiveness has been practised, down through the ages. It has paid much. The technology, the scientific progress, affluence — all that has come through being attentive. In the East, people have remained in a relaxed state. But if you are relaxed without being attentive, it becomes lethargy. It becomes passivity, it becomes a kind of dullness. Hence the East has remained poor, unscientific, non-technological, starving.
  15. The higher your centre of breathing is, the more tense you are; the lower the point of your breath, the more you are relaxed. If your breathing is from tanden, there will be no tensions in your life. This is the very reason why children are free from tension. Observe your breath in a moment of relaxation. You will find it coming from tanden. When you are filled with tension and anxiety, observe your breath. It will become short, and it will come from the chest. Short breath is an indication that you are far removed from your original nature. There is a reason why we breathe from the chest. A very wrong concept has pervaded in the world. According to this, the chest should be well developed and large, and the abdomen should be flat, almost against the back. This mad tendency has created a terrible disturbance within the human body. In order to inflate the chest, the breath has to fill the chest and not be allowed to go down further. This brings about the dangerous state of segregation of the animal level and the mental level.
  16. The more tension-ridden the mind, the more momentary the intercourse. Ejaculation takes place quicker when the mind is tense. The greater the tension, the quicker the ejaculation, because a tension-ridden mind is not looking for intercourse but for release. In the West sex serves no greater purpose than a sneeze. A tension is thrown out, a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out you feel dissipated. To relax is one thing, to feel dissipated is quite another. Relaxation means the energy is within and you are resting, and to feel dissipated means energy is thrown out and you lie exhausted. You are weakened with the loss of energy and you think you are relaxing. So as tension increased in the West sex became a release from tension, a freedom from the pressure of an internal energy. There are thinkers in the West who are not ready to consider sex as being any more valuable than a sneeze. The nose tickles, you sneeze, and so the mind is relieved. In the West they are not ready to give sex any more recognition than this. They are correct also, because what they are doing with sex is no more than this. In the East people are slowly coming to this point, because the East is also becoming tense. Somewhere, in some distant mountain cave, we might find a man who is not tense. He lives in a world of mountains and streams, trees and woods, and is as yet untouched by civilization.
  17. In the West you eat almost five times. The eastern mind cannot conceive of it. What are you doing — five times? Two times is enough! Buddhists cannot believe it — five times? Once is enough! But the West is so active, so hectic, that the energy is being dissipated. Everybody is boiling and destroying their energy. There is so much worry and tension that everybody is almost always on the verge of breakdown.
  18. Even by continuously talking, violence is released. Women talk more than men because men can be violent in other ways while women cannot be. That is the only reason. They talk more! They talk continuously, they talk madly, because man has other possibilities for expressing violence — in the office, with the car, etc. Have you observed a man who is angry driving his car? He is releasing his anger through the accelerator. The car will speed up He is releasing anger, and the car is just a medium. Fifty percent of car accidents are not because of cars but because of drivers. not because of traffic but because of mental tension.
  19. Everybody is confused, otherwise all would have been Buddhas! The whole world is confused. Confusion is intrinsic to the human mind. The confusion has a very fundamental reason, there is an ontology to confusion. Man comes from the animals and man has to become god, that is the confusion. Half belongs to the world of the animals, the unconscious part, and the other half is trying to become conscious, absolutely conscious, hence the tension. Both go on trying to manipulate you, and you are never sure who you are — whether to go this way or to go that way. In being pulled between these two the confusion arises.
  20. To be born as a human being is just the beginning, and then you have to come to this point where all discipline can be dropped. Then you have become a God, then you have become as spontaneous as nature, then there is no tension, then you don’t have any character, then you are as innocent as a child. Your awareness is perfect now, your awareness is enough now. Nothing else is needed.
  21. Hell is hot, fire. But I tell you, you are providing your own coal. This is how things are: If you move against nature you will be in misery. Misery means moving against nature, and misery is a good indication — if you understand. It shows that somewhere you are going wrong, that’s all. Put things right! Misery is a help. Anguish, anxiety, tension, are indications that somewhere something is going wrong. You are not with the total. Somewhere you have started your own private movement — and then you will be in misery.