A few days ago I stumbled on a book that was in a closet in my house. Love, Freedom, and Aloneness by Osho. Osho was basically this badass guru who brought eastern philosophies to the west in the 1960s-80s. This book drops knowledge bombs all over the place. Everything he says in a single page makes more sense then all of the religious texts I have read in the ten years I went to a Catholic school. Here is a passage from the beginning of his book.
“Don’t condemn yourself. You have been condemned so much, and you have accepted all that condemnation. Now you go on doing harm to yourself. Nobody thinks himself worthy enough, nobody thinks himself a beautiful creation of God; nobody thinks that he is needed at all. These are poisonous ideas, but you have been poisoned. You have been poisoned with your mother’s milk- and this has been your whole past. Humanity has lived under a dark, dark cloud of self-condemnation. If you condemn yourself, how can you worship existence? If you cannot worship existence within you, you will become incapable of worshipping existence in others; it will be impossible.
You can become part of the whole only if you have great respect for the God that resides within you. You are a host, God is your guest. By loving yourself you will know this: that God has chosen you to be a vehicle. In choosing you to be a vehicle he has already respected you, loved you. In creating you he has shown love for you. He has not made you accidentally; he has made you with a certain destiny, with a certain potential, with a certain glory that you have to attain. Yes, God has created man in his own image. Man has to become a God. Unless man becomes a God there is going to be no fulfillment, no contentment.
But how can you become a God? Your priests say that you are a sinner. Your priests say that you are doomed, that you are bound to go to hell. And they make you very much afraid of loving yourself. This is their trick, to cut the very root of love. And they are very cunning people. The most cunning profession in the world is that of the priest. Then he says, “Love others.” Now it is going to be plastic, synthetic, a pretension, a performance.
The greatest miracle in the world is that you are, that I am. To be is the greatest miracle- and meditation opens the door of this great miracle. But only a man who loves himself can meditate; otherwise you are always escaping from yourself, avoiding yourself. Who wants to look at an ugly face, and who wants to penetrate into an ugly being? Who wants to enter into the hell that you think you are? You want to keep this whole thing covered up with beautiful flowers and you want to always escape from yourself.
Hence people are continuously seeking company. They can’t be with themselves; they want to be with others. People are seeking any type of company; if they can avoid the company of themselves, anything will do. They will sit in a movie house for three hours watching something utterly stupid. They will read a detective novel for hours, wasting their time. They will read the same newspaper again and again just to keep themselves engages. They will play cards and chess just to kill time- as if they have too much time!
We don’t have too much time. We don’t have enough time to grow, to be, to rejoice.
Each child is born beautiful and then we start distorting his beauty, crippling him in many ways, paralyzing him in many ways, distorting his proportion, making him unbalanced. Sooner or later he becomes so disgusted with himself that he is ready to be with anybody. He may go to a prostitute just to avoid himself.
Love yourself, says Buddha. And this can transform the whole world. It can destroy the whole ugly past. It can herald a new age, it can be the beginning of a new humanity.”
Thank you Osho. Your words are very inspiring. May I learn to love myself whole heartedly, for that is the key to the door which will lead to a fulfilled life of freedom.