Jeevan asks Osho in a darshan: How do you feel about me singing your words?
During every darshan with Osho I was given a few groups to do, the ‘heavies’ like Primal, Individual Primal, Encounter, etc, and with each group I was gifted a darshan where invariably I asked many questions. I later found out that this was his way of meeting us and getting acquainted with these new Westerners who were coming in droves to be with him. Below is one of the questions that I asked. It came out of my singing my songs using his words, and taping them at the ends of the 3rd sides of the discourse tapes. These tapes only had about 10 or 20 minutes of discourse, so I got a lot of mileage on my songs.
I was living at the Hotel Gulmohar at the time, near the station, and I had a lovely porch overlooking the flowering Gulmohar and I was in bliss, having just listened to Osho and singing songs that came from my heart. But then I began to wonder about whether it was okay to use his words. Thus this question.
Jeevan [a middle-aged, lively American woman]: I have a question I would like to ask you about words. Words are very important to me, and your words are very important. How do you feel about me singing your words?
[smiling] Very good!
They come so easily. I have tapes of you and I sing with you and the birds. It’s very lovely. It’s called plagiarizing on the outside so I just want to check with you.
[chuckling] You enjoy it. It’s very good. And words are important. Sometimes a change of a small word, just replacing it by another word can change your whole life.
Jeevan: Oh, you’ve done that for me in so many ways in the last year and a half.
Mm…because words are not just words. They have moods, climates of their own. When a word settles inside you, it brings a different climate to your mind, a different approach, a different vision. Call the same thing a different name and see: something is immediately different.
So one of the most important things to remember is: if it is possible, live an experience and don’t fix it by any word because that will make it narrow. You are sitting…it is a silent evening. The sun has gone and the stars have started appearing. Just be. Don’t even say, ‘This is beautiful,’ because the moment you say that it is beautiful, it is no more the same. By saying ‘beautiful’ you are bringing in the past and all the experiences that you said were beautiful have colored the word. Your word ‘beautiful’ contains many experiences of beauty. But this is totally new. It has never been so. It will never be so again.
Why bring in the past? The present is so vast – the past is so narrow. Why look from a hole in the wall when you can come out and look at the whole sky? So try not to use words, but if you have to, then be very choosy about them because each word has a nuance of its own. Be very poetic about it. Use it with taste, love, feeling.
There are feeling words and there are intellectual words. Drop intellectual words more and more. Use more and more feeling words. There are political words and there are religious words. Drop political words. There are words which immediately create conflict. The moment you utter them, argument arises. So never use logical, argumentative language. Use the language of affection, of caring, of love, so that no argument arises.
If one starts feeling this way, one sees a tremendous change arising. If one is a little alert in life, many miseries can be avoided. A single word uttered in unconsciousness can create a long chain of misery. A slight difference, just a very small turning and it makes a lot of change. One should become very very careful and use words when absolutely necessary. Avoid contaminated words. Use fresh words, non-controversial, which are not arguments but which are just expressions of your feelings.
If one can become a connoisseur of words, one’s whole life will be totally different. Your relationships will be totally different because ninety-nine percent of a relationship is through words, gestures – and those are also words. The same word has created so many troubles for you and again you blurt it out. If a word brings misery, anger, conflict, argument, drop it. What is the point in carrying it? Replace it by something better. The best is silence. Next best is singing, poetry, love. Good, Jeevan…very good.
Osho, A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose, Ch 10
At each subsequent darshan I brought a song I wrote to sing to Osho and he began to ask when I sat down before him, “Anything to sing, Jeevan?”
I also continued to sing in the ashram as well. I put on shows with songs and I called them Jeevaning. I am a blues singer with a repertoire of 30’s 40’s standards which everyone enjoyed listening to. Famous composers like Gershwin and Cole Porter created beautiful melodies but the lyrics, although very clever, were what are more like co-dependent messages, messages like “I gotta have you or I’ll die!” or “Don’t leave me!” I was advised to stop singing those songs for a while because they were not healthy for me. So I did stop for some years. And then in the 80’s I began to sing them again with a freer feeling of fun and love of the song and taking distance from the lyrics.
Text by Jeevan for Osho News