Modern psychology leaves no possibility for growth

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Osho states, “In deep compassion you will be able to help many more people – because, in fact, compassion is the only thing that helps.”

Osho 27

I am a so-called psychologist. Usually I enjoy it. Recently I have begun to appreciate witnessing. I wonder now if I am ‘qualified” to be a psychologist. Carl Rogers used the phrase “unconditional positive regard” as the core of psychotherapy. Compassion is so foreign and new to me.

Kindly advise.

All psychologists are so-called psychologists – because the real psychology does not exist yet, because man is still not known. Psychology is just a groping. It is still not a science; it is just in a very primary stage.

So every psychologist is a so-called psychologist because psychology is a so-called psychology. The real psychology is yet to be born. But the so-called psychology is paving the way for it, so it is valuable. When I say it is so-called psychology, I am not condemning it.

It is just like alchemy preceded chemistry and astrology preceded astronomy. This so-called psychology is preceding, is a requirement, for the real psychology to be born. Just as alchemists are no longer remembered, forgotten, you cannot even mention their names; sooner or later Freud and Jung and Adler will be forgotten the same way – they are alchemists of the inner world.

Sooner or later, you will be surprised, a few other names will become more important which are already there but known only to a few people. For example, Gurdjieff will become more important than Freud in the coming century – because he has tried to give a few keys for a real, objective psychology. Ouspensky’s name will become more important than Jung’s. And a few completely unknown names will bubble up into prominence.

But Freud, Jung and Adler have done a great service. They have paved the way. Without alchemy, chemistry would not have been born. It is a must – but it is so-called. We call it psychology because nothing else exists, but it is not yet real. It simply watches human beings from the lowest rung of the ladder.

You go to a pond; you see a lotus – the lotus comes out of dirty mud. The modern psychology reduces the lotus to the dirty mud: it says the lotus is nothing but the dirty mud. It is right in a way, and yet absolutely wrong. Right in a way because the lotus needs the dirty mud; it comes out of the dirty mud. But to reduce it back to the dirty mud is not right.

The real psychology, if you ask a Buddha, or you ask a Patanjali, who are the pioneers of a real psychology – which has not yet settled, which has not yet found its place in the human consciousness, which is still hovering around, seeking, searching for a nest – they will say that rather than reduce the lotus to the dirty mud, why not raise the value of dirty mud to the lotus itself? Why say that the lotus comes out of the dirty mud? Why not say that the dirty mud carries a lotus within itself? That the dirty mud is an abode of the lotus, a temple? Why not raise the value of the dirty mud? And that seems to be better, more objective.

The higher should never be explained by the lower. The lower cannot explain the higher, but the higher can explain the lower.

Watch… Darwin says man comes from the monkeys, so he is nothing but a monkey. Freud says art comes out of sexuality, so it is nothing but sexuality; meditation, religion, God, are nothing but frustrations, repressions, complexes. Then religion looks like a mass neurosis.

Darwin or Freud, they reduce the higher to the lower – mm? But then go on the whole way. From where do the monkeys come? Then reduce them back, further back, go on, go on… finally you will come to matter. Then everything is reduced to matter. Then even Darwin is reduced to matter. You reduce religion to repressed sexuality, then how will you treat Freud himself? Then what is psychology? Then that too is reduced.

I have heard an anecdote: Adler was talking to a few friends and a few visitors. A group of Americans had come to see him, and he was talking about his famous theory about the inferiority complex. And he said, “If a man is inferior in one way, he tries to compensate for it in another.

“For example: Lenin was very small, his legs were very short, out of proportion. When he sat on a chair, his legs would not reach to the ground. That was the reason he rose so high: to prove that he was very powerful and he was not a weakling.” Adler talked on and on, and he gave many examples as to why people who lack something always become ambitious for power.

Then somebody stood and said, “And what about psychologists? Do they lack something in their minds so that they become psychologists? Do they have a smaller mind than other people so that they try to compensate for it by thinking and talking and creating theories about mind?”

I don’t know what Adler said to it, but in fact there is no answer to it. If religion is repressed sexuality, art is repressed sexuality, science is repressed sexuality, then what is psychology? What are Freud, Jung and Adler? Then you go on reducing backwards, and finally nothing is left – only matter.

But everything comes out of this matter! – that means everything is implied in matter; then matter is no more material; then matter carries gods hidden behind it… because a Buddha is born, a lotus flowers.

In the East we have a totally different attitude about psychology, and the attitude is: Always explain the lower by the higher. We say that sex is nothing but the lowest rung of samadhi, sex is nothing but the lowest rung of your superconsciousness. Then the whole view changes. Then there is a possibility to grow.

The modern psychology leaves no possibility for growth. It reduces everything to dirt – and there is no possibility to grow. In fact, there is no point in growing because all is going to be just repressed sexuality. If you listen to the modern psychologists, their definition of the normal man makes life worthless.

Einstein is abnormal, because a normal man never bothers about the mathematics of the world – why should he bother? Michelangelo is abnormal; he must have some psychological problem – that’s why he becomes so imaginative. Van Gogh is abnormal. Buddha, Jesus, Krishna – all are in some way neurotic. They are not normal: abnormal. They are all condemned. Then who is normal?

The man who only lives in unconsciousness is normal: he gets up early in the morning, goes to the marketplace, earns his living, gives birth to children, makes a house – goes on moving in a routine for seventy years, then dies. This is the normal man. Not creative, not innovative, not original in any way; has nothing to contribute – no art, no science, no religion.

Just think about a really normal world according to Freud: it will be the most boring world possible. There will be no music because it is repressed sexuality. There will be no poetry because it is just fantasy. There will be no science, because to be a scientist is just nothing but a deep instinct of voyeurism.

If you remain clean, you like a shower, you use beautiful clothes, then it is exhibitionism. Then everything is condemned. Then everything is suspected and doubted. Then only animals are normal – and if man is to be normal he has to just live an animal life. Then you cannot soar high. Then the whole sky is taken away from you, and you live caged in your small cages of normal routine life.

A world of normal people according to Freud is going to be worse than hell. Hell at least must be interesting! The world is beautiful because people soar high – because there are Buddhas and Michelangelos and Van Goghs and Picassos; musicians and dancers and philosophers, and psychologists and poets and painters. The world is beautiful because not all are normal – a few people try to be abnormal, a few people try to go beyond the norm, beyond the ordinary. And they try to raise themselves a little higher, to see more, to perceive more, to Live more.

People who are not satisfied with a dead, routine life, people who are adventurous, people who take risks, people who dare, and people who go into the unknown and the unfamiliar… you are all abnormal according to Freud! Otherwise, what are you doing here with me? Meditating? Meditation is not a good term with Freud. Then something has gone wrong; otherwise, an ordinary, normal person never thinks of meditation.

According to Freud, a normal person never thinks about himself. To think about the self is to become morbid. A normal person only thinks about others, never thinks about himself. Self-knowledge is a disease. The very idea of knowing oneself is ill. You are all abnormal. In fact, all great people, all rare people, are abnormal.

This psychology cannot be a real psychology. It cannot help us to explain Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mahavir, Patanjali; it cannot help us to understand the lotus – it can only help us to understand the dirty mud. What type of psychology is this? It does not help us to see above the boundaries, beyond the boundaries. It confines us to the boundaries. I call it a so-called psychology. Necessary, a preparation for the real psychology to come and take over. That’s why I call all psychologists ‘so-called’.

And the person who has asked the question says: “I am a so-called psychologist.” Good that you are aware of the so-calledness of your science, that you are aware that it is not enough, that you are humble. It is very difficult to find a psychologist who is humble, because he thinks he has known man, he has known all that is possible to know. He becomes very, very egoistic. Good! It is a religious quality to be humble.

“Usually I enjoy it.” It is good to help people; it is good to help them grow. Just one thing remember always: Don’t help them just to be normal – help them to grow; help them to become unique. Don’t help them to become normal! Normal, they will be just part of a collectivity. Help them to become individuals. Help them to become rare, unique. Enjoy it!

“Recently I have begun to appreciate witnessing. I wonder now if I am ‘qualified’ to be a psychologist.”

If you ask me, and if my certificate can mean anything: To whomsoever it concerns, I certify you. By becoming a witness, the first rays are entering in you. You are really becoming qualified to be a psychologist. How can you be a psychologist if you have not witnessed even your own self? Then all your observations are from the outside. You see people’s behavior – you can be a behaviorist but not a psychologist.

When you have watched your innermost core… and that is the only way to watch it. You cannot watch it in somebody else – because watching somebody else, you are always outside. You can watch the real human soul only from the inside. You have to become an introvert – witnessing. That’s why the questioner has become suspicious whether he can call himself qualified, because if he goes and asks Freudians they will say, “You are dropping out of the profession. An introvert is morbid. Witnessing? There is nothing to witness. You are losing your track.” But I will say to you: For the first time you are really becoming a psychologist.

“Carl Rogers used the phrase ‘unconditional positive regard’ as the core of psychotherapy.”

Yes, it is – compassion. An unconditional acceptance of the other’s being as he is. Ordinarily psychology has a condemnatory attitude – it goes on labelling. You say something and they will say you are a schizophrenic. You say something and you are a split personality. You say something, you are a neurotic or a psychotic. And they go on labelling – as if man is just a thing to be labelled. Man is not a thing to be labelled: man is something to be revered, with deep regard.

“Compassion is so foreign and new to me.”

Yes, it is foreign to psychologists because they take people as patients not as persons. They have to treat you. Something has gone wrong; they have accepted it. It is new. If you start witnessing your being, you will feel more and more compassion. Allow it to happen more and more.

In deep compassion you will be able to help many more people – because, in fact, compassion is the only thing that helps. Compassion is therapeutic. Compassion is the only therapy there is.

Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Ch 6, Q 4

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