How to handle happiness

Being happy is an alive state—dynamic, unpredictable, undefined and hence unclear. So when we experience joy, we can rarely handle it

Happy woman with flowers

Misery is clear-cut. We know every nook and corner of it. We are great experts in being miserable. When happiness comes, everything collapses. One is simply confused. One does not know what is happening, why it is happening. Happiness is so unknown that it is natural to feel confused.

Misery against happiness

Misery is very superficial. You can manage it just on the surface, and manipulate it—it is under your control. That is the key word to be remembered about misery: it is under your control. And happiness is just the opposite.

You are under its control, hence it is confusing. Nobody can control happiness. When it comes, it is too much. It is bigger than you. It is so vast and you are so tiny… as if an ocean has dropped into a drop. It brings great confusion. But it is very blissful to be confused so.

Everyone loves misery

It is better to be confused with happiness than to be clear-cut with misery. It is better to be controlled by happiness than to be in control with misery.

That is why people go on clinging to misery. They can control it more easily. It is their own creation. They are the masters, so the ego remains on the throne like a king—suffering—but still, on the throne. That’s why people don’t leave misery easily. They suffer but they will cling. They will say that they want to get rid of it, but nobody is barring their way. They say they want to drop it, but they go on clinging to it like a treasure. Misery is not against the ego. It is all for it. It is very ego-enhancing. It feeds the ego, nourishes it.

But when happiness comes, it is as if the heavens are open for you and it is raining cats and dogs, and your small hut is just in a flood… all boundaries are lost. It is maddening.

Happiness is abstract, godly

Accept confusion. It is just temporary, transitory. Once you have become acquainted, with the ways of happiness, confusion will disappear. The guest is very new.

You don’t know who this guest is and how you are to behave with him. But by and by you will become more acquainted and confusion will disappear.

So don’t seek clarity, otherwise you will start clinging to your misery, because misery is very clear. You go to a doctor and if you have any disease he can diagnose it in a clear-cut way. He can diagnose if you have TB or cancer or this and that, a thousand and one diseases. But if you are healthy, he has nothing to diagnose.

In fact, medical science has nothing to define what health is. At the most, they can say that you are not ill, but they cannot be very definite about what health is. Health remains undefined. It is so big that no category is big enough. It cannot be pigeon-holed.

Happiness is bigger than health. Health is happiness of the body. Happiness is health of the soul. Wherever there is happiness, there is godliness. So listen to it. If it leads to confused states, okay. If it leads to unmapped, uncharted territories, okay. If it leads to chaos, okay. Welcome it, because wherever it leads, it leads towards godliness.


Clarity is of the mind. Happiness is of the total. All that is alive is always confusing. Only dead things are clear and non-confusing. They can be categorised. You can say that this is a chair and this is a table. But is it so easy to say that this man is good and this man is bad? Not so easy, because the good man can turn into a bad one in a single moment, and the bad can turn into good in a single moment.

But that is the beauty of humanity, of personality—the dignity of man not being like a chair. You cannot categorise him. The time you take in categorising him may be enough for him to change. A saint can become a sinner in a single moment—because it is his decision—and a sinner can become a saint. So man remains open. Chairs are closed. The chair was a chair yesterday. The chair is a chair today. The chair is going to be a chair tomorrow. A chair has no growth. It is just stuck. That is the definition of a thing.

A person is an opening. Tomorrow who knows who you will be? Even you cannot say who you will be, because you have not known tomorrow yet and what it brings. So people who are really alert never promise anything, because how can you promise? You cannot say to somebody, “I will love you tomorrow also”, because who knows? Real awareness will give you such humbleness that you will say, “I cannot say anything about tomorrow. We will see. Let tomorrow come. I hope that I will love you, but nothing is certain.” And that is the beauty.

If a man can promise and can fulfil his promise, he is a thing; he is not a person. He is predictable. He has a character but he has no soul. A man of soul has no character. He is freedom and very confusing. A man of character is very clear, but a man who lives in freedom is very confusing to himself and to others also. But it has a beauty in it because it is alive, throbbing always with new possibilities, new potentialities.

Clarity is bogus

So forget about confusion because confusion is bound to be there. You are moving in new territory that you have never tasted before, so your old patterns will be confused. Listen to happiness; let that be the indicator. Let that decide your direction and move into that. Whatsoever the stake, never lose track of happiness.

Once you lose track of happiness, you may be very clear, philosophically very clever in labelling things and categorising things; you may become a great expert, but you will remain poor. Your soul will not be there. That is the difference between philosophy and religion. Philosophy seeks clarity. Religion seeks reality. These are totally different dimensions. If something is real, it is going to be confusing because the real is so vast that it contains contradictions. And if something is very clear, beware—it is going to be something false.

Mathematics is very clear. The most clear-cut science is mathematics because it is completely man-oriented. If man disappears, mathematics will disappear. It is just a man-manufactured thing. It is clear. Man has made it—it is not from God. It is from man, it is from the mind. It is the most clear-cut science in the world because it is the most bogus science. It corresponds to no reality. It is simply symbolic, just in the mind.

But if you seek reality, you will find it very confusing. You love a man and you find that you also hate him. It is very confusing and books don’t say that. They say if you love a man, you love him; you never hate him. But that’s philosophy. If you love a man, you hate him also. If you are happy with a man, you are also unhappy with him. Otherwise with whom are you going to be unhappy? Books say that when you love a man, you love. When you are happy with a man, you are always happy. That is nonsense. It is not a real thing; it is just a concept.

Reality is chaotic. It is wild… it is very stormy.

Excerpted from A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose/ Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/


Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here