Accept, And Then Just Watch


Through awareness, transformation happens spontaneously. If you become aware of your anger, understanding penetrates

Through awareness, transformation happens spontaneously. If you become aware of your anger, understanding penetrates. Just watching, with no judgment, not saying good, not saying bad. There is lightning, anger, you feel hot, the whole nervous system shaking and quaking, and you feel a tremor all over the body – a beautiful moment, because when energy functions you can watch it easily.

Close your eyes and meditate on it. Don’t fight it, just look at what is happening. Just like you watch a storm in the sky – the whole sky filled with electricity, so much lightning, so much beauty – lie down and look at the sky and watch. Then do the same inside.

Clouds are there, because without clouds there can be no lightning – dark clouds of thoughts are there. Somebody has insulted you, somebody has laughed at you – many dark clouds are there in the inner sky and much lightning. Watch. It is a beautiful scene – terrible also, because you don’t understand. So you are afraid of it.

Awareness is an in-going phenomenon, it always goes inwards: the less aware you are, the more out you are; unconscious – you are completely out of your house, wandering around. Unconsciousness is a wandering outside; consciousness is a deepening of the inside.


When anger is there, keep looking, watching, and soon you will see a change. The moment the watcher comes in, the anger has already started becoming cool, the heat is lost. Then you can understand that the heat is given by you; it is your identification that makes it hot, and the moment you feel it is not hot, the fear is gone, and you feel unidentified with it – a distance is created. It is there, lightning flashing around you, but you are not it. You become a watcher on a hill: down in the valley, there is much lightning… the distance keeps growing, and a moment comes when suddenly you are not joined to it at all. The identity is broken, and the moment the identity breaks, immediately the whole hot process becomes a cool process – anger becomes compassion.

Anything brought by will-power is going to be wrong – let that be a clear criterion. Then how to bring awareness? Understand. When anger comes, try to understand why it has come; try to understand without any condemnation, without any justification either, without any evaluation. Just watch it. Be neutral.

And you will find there is a chain: the anger disappears, but because you looked deeply into it, something else has been found – maybe ego was hurt, that’s why you become angry. Now watch this ego, which is more subtle. Go on watching it. Get deep into it.

Nobody has ever been able to find anything in the ego. So if you go deep into it, you will not find it; and when you have not found it, it is no more. Then suddenly there is a great light – out of understanding, out of penetration, out of witnessing, with no effort, with no will, with no conclusion that it should be like this or should be like that. And this awareness has beauty and benediction.

You feel anger, you feel jealousy, you feel hatred, you feel lust. There is only one way to jump out of their power over you, and that is to understand that to be caught up in them is to be stupid. Watch anger in all its phases, be alert to it so it does not catch you unawares; remain watchful, seeing every step of the anger. And you will see that as awareness about the ways of anger grows, the anger starts evaporating.

And when the anger disappears, there is a peace. Peace is not a positive achievement. When the hatred disappears, there is love. Love is not a positive achievement. When jealousy disappears, there is a deep friendliness towards all.

You have to remember continuously, because the struggle is long, and the journey is arduous. Many times you will forget, many times you will start judging. Many times you will find yourself getting identified with this or that, the ego will assert itself again and again. Whenever the ego asserts itself, whenever identification happens, whenever judgment arises, immediately remember: watch, simply watch, and there will be understanding.

And understanding is the secret of transformation. If you can understand anger, immediately you will be showered with compassion.

Somebody says something and there is anger. There is not even a single moment’s gap. It is as if you are just a mechanism – somebody pushes a button and you lose your temper. Just as if you push the button and the fan starts moving or the light goes on. The fan never thinks whether to move or not to move; it immediately moves. Somebody insults and you immediately react – you are simply controlled by his insult. This is unconsciousness, this is mindlessness.

Gurdjieff said that a small thing transformed his life completely. His father was dying and he called the boy – Gurdjieff was only nine years old – and said, ‘I have nothing much to give you, except an advice I got from my father on his deathbed, and it has tremendously benefited me. You are perhaps too young to understand it right now, so just remember it. Whenever you can understand, it will be helpful. The advice is that whenever you feel angry, wait for twenty-four hours. Then do whatever you want to do. If somebody insults you, tell him, “I will come after twenty-four hours. Please give me a little time to think it over.”‘

Gurdjieff followed the advice, and by and by became aware of its tremendous impact. He was completely transformed. Two things he had to remember – one, he had to be aware and alert not to move into anger when somebody was insulting him, not to allow himself to be manipulated by the other – and he had to wait for twenty-four hours. By and by he became capable of it, and then he understood – after twenty-four hours you cannot be angry. Either it is instant, or it is not. Because anger functions only if you are unconscious. If you have this much consciousness, that you can wait for twenty-four hours, or even just twenty four seconds, then you cannot be angry. Then you have missed the moment, then the anger is finished. Even twenty-four seconds will do – try it.

Reaction is dominated by the other person. He insults you: you get angry, and then you act out of anger. This is reaction. You are not an independent person; anybody can pull you this way or that way. You are easily affected; you can be blackmailed emotionally. You were not angry. The man insulted you, and his insult created anger; now out of anger comes your action.

Response is out of freedom. It is not dependent on the other person. The other person may insult you, but you don’t become angry; on the contrary you meditate on the fact – why is he insulting you? Perhaps he is right. Then you have to be grateful to him, instead of getting angry. Perhaps he is wrong. If he is wrong, then for his wrong why should you burn your heart with anger? But whether he is right or wrong, in either case anger is irrelevant. If he is right – and that you can see only if there is no anger in you, because anger clouds the vision, the clarity – if you see he is right, you will be grateful to him, because he was favoring you by telling a truth about you which nobody has told you. Perhaps he was saying that you are a coward… you take his statement and enquire within yourself, and you find the coward.

So when somebody says anything to you, ponder over it. Tell the person, “Please wait for ten minutes. Let me think about it – perhaps you are right.” If he is right, be grateful. If he is wrong, then feel sorry for him and tell him, “You have a wrong idea. You are master of your own ideas – you can have this idea – but from my side, just a humble suggestion that the idea is not right. I would love it if you would give it a little more consideration.”

Response is very silent, very peaceful. It is not dependent on the other person; it is your own understanding, acting spontaneously in the moment.

For example, you are sad. Your conditioning, your mind, says, “You should not be sad. This is bad. You have to be happy.” Thus comes the division, the problem. You are sad: that is the truth of this moment. And your mind says, “You should not be like this, smile. What will people think of you?”

How can you know yourself if you don’t accept yourself? If you are always repressing your being? When you are sad, accept the sadness: this is you in that moment. Don’t say “I am sad.” Don’t say that sadness is something separate from you. Simply say, “I am sadness in this moment.” And live your sadness in total authenticity.

And you will be surprised – if you can live your sadness with no ideal of being happy or anything else, you become happy immediately, because the division in you disappears. There is no effort, no conflict. “I am simply this,” and there is relaxation. And in that relaxation is grace, is joy.

I am not saying try to be happy; I am not saying, “Accept your sadness so that you can become happy”. If that is your motivation then nothing will happen; you are still struggling. You will be watching from the corner of your eye: “So much time has passed and I have accepted sadness, and I am saying ‘I am sadness’, and joy is still not coming.” It will not come that way.

Joy is not a goal, it is a by-product. It is a natural consequence of unity. Just be united with this sadness, with no motivation, for no particular purpose. This is how you are this moment, this is your truth this moment. And next moment you may be angry: accept that too. And next moment you may be something else: accept that too.

If you can live moment to moment, with tremendous acceptance, without creating any division, you are on the way towards self-knowledge.

You can come to know yourself by dropping the division inside. You are against yourself. Drop all ideals which create this antagonism in you. You are the way you are: accept it with joy, with gratitude. And suddenly a harmony will be felt. The two selves in you, the ideal self and the real self, will not be there to fight any more It is not really sadness that gives you pain. It is the interpretation that sadness is wrong that gives you pain, and that becomes a psychological problem. It is not anger that is painful; it is the idea that anger is wrong that creates psychological anxiety. It is the interpretation, not the fact. The fact is always liberating.

excerpt from Osho, And the Flowers Showered, Ch 3

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