We owe a lot to our imperfections, says Osho

Perfection breeds stagnation. We grow because we are imperfect

Sign on road saying

Man’s glory is that he is the only animal who grows. Out of his imperfections man has become a tremendous power. The child of man is the most helpless child, and out of that helplessness great things have happened.

Man is born with very weak instincts. That’s why he becomes intelligent—he has to become intelligent, he has to substitute his weaker instincts with a stronger intelligence. A dog need not do anything; a dog is perfect. He lives through his instincts; he never allows his intelligence to grow. What is the point? The instincts are doing far better, more perfectly, than intelligence will ever be able to do.

Intelligence is there because you are weak in your instincts. Man has developed all kinds of technologies, science, because man is very weak.

Out of his imperfections, man blooms

Just watch: he cannot run like a wolf or a dog, he is not strong like a lion or a tiger, he is not swift like a deer. Out of these imperfections he has done great things. He has developed weapons because he is weak physically; he could not have survived without weapons.

He is delicate, he is not strong. Because he is not speedy he has developed speedy vehicles. Because he is prone to illness and disease he has developed medicine.

Out of imperfection, man blooms. Because he does not know, he has developed philosophies and religions. No dog has developed a philosophy or a religion. There is no need; the dog knows already, knows instinctively. The dog is not ignorant, so there is no need to know. Man is ignorant, it hurts. He tries to know, he becomes curious, he explores, he becomes adventurous.

All animals are satisfied; only man is continuously in discontent. That’s his beauty. Out of his discontent he grows, he finds new ways of growth. Only man is anxious, anxiety-ridden. Hence he develops meditation techniques. Just watch: whatsoever you have—in culture, in art, in philosophy—is out of your imperfections.

Totality, not perfection

Don’t be bothered about perfection. Replace the word “perfection” with “totality”. Don’t think in terms of having to be perfect, think in terms of having to be total. Totality will give you a different dimension.

That’s my teaching: Be total, forget about being perfect. Whatsoever you are doing, do it totally—not perfectly, but totally. And what is the difference?

When you are angry the perfectionist will say, “This is not good, don’t be angry; a perfect man is never angry.” This is just nonsense—because we know that Jesus was angry. He was really angry against the traditional religion, against the priests, against the rabbis. He was so angry that single-handed he drove all the money-changers from the temple, a whip in his hand. And he was shouting at the top of his voice, and they became frightened—his anger was so intense, passionate. It is not just an accident that the people he was born to had to kill him. He was really angry, he was in rebellion.

Remember, the perfectionist will say, “Don’t be angry”. Then what will you do? You will repress your anger, you will swallow it; it will become a kind of slow poisoning in your being. You may be able to repress it but then you will become an angry person, and that is bad.

Anger as a flare-up once in a while has its own function, has its own beauty, has its own humanity. A man who cannot be angry will be spineless, will not have guts. A man who cannot be angry will not be able to love either—because both need passion, and it is the same passion.

A man who cannot hate will not be able to love; they go together. His love will be cold. And remember, a warm hate is far better than a cold love. At least it is human—it has intensity, it has life, it breathes.

And a man who has lost all passion will be dull, stale, dead, and his whole life will be angry. He will not express it, he will go on repressing. Layer upon layer, anger will accumulate; he will be simply angry.

It is the stretched soul that makes music

You can go and see your so-called mahatmas and saints, they are angry people. They think they have controlled their anger, but what can you do with a controlled anger? You can only swallow it. Where will it go? It belongs to you, it is part of you, it will remain there unexpressed.

Whenever anger is expressed, you are released from it. And after the anger you can again feel compassion; after the anger and the storm are gone you can again feel the silence of love. There is a rhythm between hate and love, anger and compassion. If you drop one thing, the other will disappear.

And the irony is that whatsoever you have dropped, you have only swallowed it. It will become part of your system. You will be simply angry for no reason at all; your anger will be irrational. It will show in your eyes, in your sadness, in your somberness, in your seriousness. You will become incapable of celebration.

When I say replace perfection with totality, I mean when you are angry be totally angry. Then just be anger, pure anger. And it has beauty. And the world will be far better when we accept anger as part of humanity, as part of the play of polarities.

You cannot have East without having West and you cannot have night without having day, and you cannot have summer without having winter. We have to accept life in its totality. There is a certain rhythm, there is a polarity.

It is the stretched soul that makes music. And souls are stretched by the pull of opposites—opposite bunts, tastes, yearnings, loyalties.

Where there is no polarity, where energies flow smoothly in one direction, there will be much doing but no music, much noise but no music. The music is created by the meeting of silence and sound; it is created by the polar opposites.

Just look at life. If there are only men on the earth there will be no more music, if there are only women on the earth there will be no more music. The music is between the polarities: man and woman, yin and yang, Shiva and Shakti.

Only the stretched souls can create music—stretched between polarities. A man who can be angry and totally angry will be able to be in love and totally in love.

We need feasting and fasting

And this too has to be understood, that it is a fact that you love a man and you hate the same man. You love and hate the same person—who else? When you have invested your love in somebody, naturally you have invested your hate too, because hate and love are two aspects of the same coin.

Lovers fight, they are intimate enemies. And whenever the fight disappears between two lovers, love also disappears. It cannot exist without the fight.

There is an inner mechanism. When you love a person you want to come close to him, you want a deep intimate relationship. But after a deep experience of intimacy you want to separate too, you want to go far away. You have feasted, now you would like to fast, otherwise there will be nausea.

You can love and you can be intimate only for a certain amount of time. You cannot eat for 24 hours, you cannot love either. When you eat, enjoy it totally. But then there is a need for 6  8 hours’ fast—only then does the hunger arise again.

The same is true about love. When you love a person you come close; you eat of him, he eats of you, you participate in each other’s being. You come closer and closer and closer, to a point where no more closeness is possible. Then the reverse process sets in: you have to go away to come back again—you have to fast to feast again.

Excerpted from The Revolution | Courtesy: Osho International Foundation

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