Mind body are not two things

The body-and-mind distinction is a delusion

Woman happy in body and mind

Firstly, your mind and your body are not two things, as far as Tantra is concerned. Remember that always. Do not say, “physiological process” and “mental process”. They are not two—just two parts of one whole. Whatsoever you do physiologically affects the mind. Whatsoever you do psychologically affects the body. They are not two, they are one.

The direct connection

You can say that the body is a solid state of the same energy and the mind is a liquid state of the same energy. So no matter what you are doing physiologically, do not think that this is just physiological. Do not wonder how it is going to help any transformation in the mind.

If you take alcohol, what happens to your mind? Alcohol is taken in the body, not in the mind, but what happens to the mind? If you take LSD, it goes into the body, not into the mind, but what happens to the mind? Or if you go on a fast, fasting is done by the body, but what happens to the mind? Or from the other end: if you think sexual thoughts, what happens to your body? The body is affected immediately. You think in the mind of a sex object and your body starts getting ready.

From body to mind

There was a theory by William James. In the first part of this century it apparently looked very absurd, but in a sense, it is right. He and another scientist named Lange proposed this theory, which is known as the James-Lange theory. Ordinarily, we say you are afraid and that is why you escape and run away, or you are angry and that is why your eyes get red and you start beating your enemy.

But James and Lange proposed quite the contrary. They said that because you run away, you feel fear; and because your eyes get red and you start beating your enemy, you feel anger. It is just the opposite. They said that if this is not so, then we want to see even one instance of anger when the eyes are not red and the body is not affected and one is simply angry. Do not allow your body to be affected and try to be angry—then you will know that you cannot be angry.

The anger exercise

In Japan, they teach their children a very simple method of controlling anger. They say, whenever you feel angry, do not do anything with the anger, just start taking deep breaths. Try it, and you will not be able to get angry. Why? Just because you take deep breaths, why can you not get angry?

It becomes impossible to get angry. Two reasons… you start taking deep breaths, but anger needs a particular rhythm of breathing. Without that, anger is not possible. A particular rhythm in breathing or chaotic breathing is needed for anger.

If you start taking deep breaths, it is impossible for the anger to come out. If you are consciously taking deep breaths, then the anger cannot express itself. It needs a different breathing, which should be allowed. You need not do it; the anger will do it itself. With deep breathing, you cannot be angry.

And secondly, your mind shifts. When you feel angry and you start to take deep breaths, your mind is shifted from anger to breathing. The body is not in a state to be angry, and the mind has shifted its concentration toward something else. Then, it is difficult to be angry. That is why the Japanese are the most controlled people on earth. It is just a training from childhood.

It is difficult anywhere else to find such an incident, but in Japan it happens even today. It is happening less and less because Japan is becoming less and less Japanese. It is becoming more and more Westernised, and the traditional methods and ways are becoming lost. But it was happening, and it still happens today.

The starting point

Physiological processes and psychological processes are not two things, they are one, and you can start from either pole to affect and change the other. And any science will do that. For example, Tantra believes deeply in the body. Philosophy is vague, airy, verbal; it may start from something else. Otherwise, any scientific approach is bound to start from the body because that is within your reach.

If I talk of something, which is beyond your reach, you may listen to it, you may gather it in your memory, you may talk about it, but nothing happens. You remain the same. Your information is increased, but not your being. Your knowledge goes on increasing, but your being remains the same poor mediocrity; nothing happens to it.

Remember, the body is what is within your reach; just now you can do something with it and change your mind through the body. By and by, you will become a master of the body, and then you will become a master of the mind. And when you become a master of the mind, you will change the mind by and by, and you will be moving beyond it.

If the body changes, you move beyond body. If the mind changes, you move beyond mind. And always do something, which you can do.

For example, you may not be capable of becoming a master of anger, like a Buddha, just now. But you can change your breathing and then you can feel the subtle effect, the change. Do it. If you feel filled with passion, sexual passion, take a few deep breaths and feel the effect: the passion will have dispersed.

It’s ultimately about energy

Aldous Huxley’s wife, Laura Huxley, has written a beautiful book—just simple devices for doing certain things. If you feel angry, Laura Huxley says, just tighten up your face.

You can tighten in such a way that no one will be able to see. Go on tightening it as much as you can, and then suddenly relax and feel the difference. The anger will have gone. Or if it has not gone, do it again. Go on doing it—twice, thrice…

What happens? If you tighten your face muscles and you go on tightening and tensing them, the energy that was going to become anger moves into the face. And it is very easy for it to move into the face.

When you are angry, how do you feel? You feel you want to beat someone with your fists. The energy is there, so use it. If you can use it, it is dispersed. Your face will become relaxed, and the other person will not even be able to know that you were angry. It will appear as if nothing has happened to you.

And once you know these things, you become more and more aware that energy can be transformed, diverted, checked, released, or prevented from being released, or used in a different way. If you can use your energy, you become the master. Then one day you may not use it at all; you may preserve it.

Excerpted from The Book of Secrets/ courtesy Osho International Foundation/ www.osho.com

This was first published in the October 2009 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here