Aging + Awareness = Maturity

Age alone does not give you maturity. It is aging and experiencing events with awareness that leads to maturity

Elderly man with pet dogPeople think to age is to become mature, but aging belongs to the body. Everybody is aging, everybody will become old, but not necessarily mature. Maturity is an inner growth. Aging is nothing that you do; aging is something that happens physically. Every child born, when time passes, becomes old. Maturity is something that you bring to your life – it comes out of awareness. When a person ages with full awareness, he becomes mature. Aging plus awareness, experiencing plus awareness, is maturity.

You can experience a thing in two ways. You can simply experience it as if you are hypnotised, unaware, not attentive to what is happening; the thing happened but you were not there. It didn’t happen in your presence, you were absent. You just passed by. It never struck any note in you. It never left any mark on you. You never learnt anything from it. It may even have become a part of your memory because in a way you were present, but it never became your wisdom. You never grew through it.

Then you are aging.

But if you bring the quality of awareness to an experience, the same experience becomes maturity. There are two ways to live: one, to live in a deep sleep. Then you age, every moment you become old, every moment you go on dying, that’s all, your whole life consists of a long, slow death. But if you bring awareness to your experiences – whatever you do, whatever happens to you, you are alert, watchful, mindful, you are savouring the experience from all the corners, you are trying to understand the meaning of it, you are trying to penetrate the very depth of it, what has happened to you, you are trying to live it intensely and totally – then, it is not just a surface phenomenon. Deep down within you something is changing with it. You are becoming more alert. If this is a mistake, this experience – you will never commit it again. A mature person never commits the same mistake again. But just an old person goes on committing the same mistakes again and again. He lives in a circle. He never learns anything.

You will be angry today, you were angry yesterday and the day before yesterday, and tomorrow also you are going to be angry, and the day after tomorrow also. Again and again you get angry, repent, take a deep decision that you are not going to do it again, but that decision makes no change. Whenever you are disturbed, the rage takes over, you are possessed. The same mistake is committed. You are aging.

If you live an experience of anger totally, never again will you be angry. One experience will be enough to teach that it is foolish, that it is absurd, that it is simply stupid — not that it is a sin, it is simply stupid. You are harming yourself, and harming others, for nothing. The thing is not worth it. Then you are getting mature. Tomorrow the situation will be repeated, but anger will not be repeated. And a man who is gaining in maturity never decides that he will not be angry again, no, that is the sign of a man who is not getting mature. A man of maturity never decides for the future. The maturity itself takes care. You live today. That very living will decide how the tomorrow is going to be — it will come out of it.

If the anger was painful, poisonous, you suffered hell through it, what is the point of deciding, or taking a vow and going to the temple and saying before the Master: Now I take a vow that I will never be angry again? All this is childish. There is no point! If you have known that anger is poisonous – finished! That way is closed. That door no more exists for you. The situation will be repeated tomorrow but you will not be possessed by the situation. You have learnt something – that understanding will be there. You may even laugh; you may even enjoy the whole thing of how people get so foolish. Your understanding is growing through every experience.

You can live life as if you are in a hypnosis – that’s how 99 per cent of people live – or you can live with intensity, awareness. If you live with awareness, you mature – otherwise you simply become old. And to become old is not to become wise. If you have been a fool when you were young and now you have become old, you will be just an old fool, that’s all. You may be even more foolish, because you may have attained to mechanical habits, robot-like.

Life can be lived in two ways. If you live unconsciously you simply die; if you live consciously you attain more and more life. Death will come, but it never comes to a mature man, it comes only to a man who has been aging and getting old. A mature one never dies, because he will learn even through death. Even death is going to be an experience to be intensely lived, watched, allowed.

A mature man never dies. In fact, before a mature man, on the rock of maturity, death struggles and shatters itself, commits suicide. Death dies, but never a mature man – that is the message of all the awakened ones: that you are deathless. They have known it, they have lived their death. They have watched, and they have found that it can surround you but you remain aloof, you remain far away. Death happens near you but it never happens to you.

Deathless is your being, blissful is your being, divine is your being, but those experiences you cannot cram in the mind and in the memory. You have to pass through life and attain them.

Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.