Discourses — 17 February 2015

The art of transforming suffering, pain, evil, into something good is the art of seeing the necessity of the opposite.

Light can exist only if darkness exists. Then why hate darkness? Without darkness there will be no light, so those who love light and hate darkness are in a dilemma; they don’t know what they are doing.

Osho Close-up

Life cannot exist without death. Then why hate death? Because it is death that creates the space for life to exist. This is a great insight, that death is the contrast, the background, the blackboard on which life is written with white chalk. Death is the darkness of night on which life starts twinkling like stars. If you destroy the darkness of the night the stars will disappear. That’s what happens in the day. The stars are still there – do you think they have disappeared? They are still there, but because there is too much light you cannot see them. They can be seen only in contrast.

The saint is possible only because of the sinner. Hence, Buddha says don’t hate the sinner, he makes it possible for the saint to exist. They are two aspects of the same coin.

Seeing this, one is neither attached to good nor detached from bad. One accepts both as part and parcel of life. In that acceptance you can transform things. Only through that acceptance is transformation possible.

comes and goes,
comes and goes,
it is a passing show.

And before you can transform suffering you will have to become a witness; that is the third point. First: do not resist evil. Second: know that opposites are not opposites but complementaries, inevitably joined together, so there is no choice – remain choiceless. And the third is: be a witness, because if you are a witness to your suffering you will be able to absorb it. If you become identified with it you cannot absorb it.

The moment you become identified with your suffering you want to discard it, you want to get rid of it, it is so painful. But if you are a witness then suffering loses all thorns, all stings. Then there is suffering, and you are a witness to it. You are just a mirror; it has nothing to do with you. Happiness comes and goes, unhappiness comes and goes, it is a passing show; you are just there, a mirror reflecting it. Life comes and goes, death comes and goes; the mirror is not affected by either. The mirror reflects but remains unaffected; the mirror is not imprinted by either.

A great distance arises when you witness. And only in that witnessing can you become able to transform the baser metal into gold. Only in that witnessing do you become a scientist of the inner, a detached observer. Now you know the opposites are not opposites, so they can be changed into each other. Then it is not a question of destroying evil in the world, but of transforming evil into something beneficial; transforming poison into nectar.

Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Ch 5 (excerpt)