The vicious circle of worries

From Keerti's desk Media Watch

America is certainly a very modern country and this worry is also very modern, observes Keerti. Published in The Asian Age on September 4, 2019.

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While travelling in the USA recently, I heard people saying to each other, “Don’t worry” so often that I became curious why do they say this every so often. I asked a local friend: Why do people say this repeatedly, is it habitual or do people actually worry a lot? The friend said to me: Yes, we do worry a lot and even if there is nothing to worry about, we continue worrying and will be worrying why there is nothing to worry about. This is a new invented worry for many Americans – and they worry also about how to stop worrying. This is a vicious circle of worry, which doubles the worries. America is certainly a very modern country and this worrying is also very modern.

Osho remembers successful American author Dale Carnegie who wrote the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, and says: “These people create more worries because they give you a desire that worries can be stopped. They cannot be stopped, but they disappear – that I know.”

Osho explains the nature of worries and says: “They cannot be stopped, but they disappear! You cannot do anything about them. If you simply allow them and don’t bother a bit, they disappear! Worries disappear, they cannot be stopped – because when you try to stop them, who are you? The mind which is creating worries is creating a new worry: how to stop. Now you will go crazy, mad; now you are like a dog chasing its own tail.

“Watch a dog; it is a beautiful phenomenon. In winter in India you can watch anywhere dogs sitting in the morning sunning themselves, enjoying. Then they suddenly become aware of their tail just by the side. Such temptation, they jump. But then the tail jumps farther back. Of course this is too much for a dog to tolerate, this is impossible. It hurts: this ordinary tail, and playing games – with such a great dog? He goes mad – round and round he goes. You will see him panting, tired, and he cannot believe what is happening. He cannot catch this tail?

“Don’t be a dog chasing your own tail, and don’t listen to Dale Carnegies. That is the only method they can teach you: chase your own tail and go mad.”

The enlightened mystic says: “Be a watcher and don’t be a doer. Don’t ask how to stop. When you ask how to stop, you are asking what to do. No, nothing can be done. Accept them – they are. In fact, look at them, watch them from every angle, what they are. Forget about stopping, and one day suddenly you realize just by watching, looking, a gap arises. The worries are no longer there, the traffic has stopped, the road is empty, nobody passing… In that emptiness, God passes by. In that emptiness, suddenly you have a glimpse of your Buddha nature, of your inner plenitude, and everything becomes a benediction.”

Excerpts by Osho from Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 6, Ch 2, Q 6


Keerti facilitates Osho meditation retreats all over the world and is the author of various spiritual books.

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