Osho answers a question by Asheesh about what transforms one into a disciple.
At times I feel like a sheep, at times like a fox, sometimes more like a disciple. Is it love or understanding that transforms one into a disciple?
It is a true observation. That’s how everyone is. It is from Prem Asheesh. It is an authentic observation. That’s how things are.
At times I feel like a sheep…
And if you are like a sheep, you cannot be a disciple. Of course many sheep think that they are disciples. If it is only because of fear that you follow me, you follow your fear, you don’t follow me. I am not here to make sheep out of you. The society, the politicians, the priests have done enough damage – no more is needed. You have been reduced to cowards down the centuries; everybody has been there forcing you to be a coward. Everybody has forced you into a frightened existence; you are always trembling.
I am here to help you to drop this trembling. There is nothing to fear because there is nothing to lose. There is nothing to fear even with death, because there is nobody to die. No harm can be done to you. Once you understand this, the sheep disappears. The sheep can be a follower but not a disciple.
And a follower is not necessarily a disciple. A follower is just finding ways and means to protect himself, to be secure. A follower is trying just to throw responsibility onto somebody else’s shoulders. The follower is simply trying to find a group where he can be lost and his own fears are no more there, where he is not alone. He is simply seeking company. He cannot be alone, he is afraid to be alone. He cannot trust himself. A follower is one who cannot trust himself.
A disciple is one who trusts himself. Out of his trust he comes to learn from somebody who has gone a little further than himself. He is not a follower, he is not an imitator and he is not seeking security – he is seeking understanding. Even if that understanding brings more insecurity, he is ready for it.
A follower is never ready for insecurity; he comes to a guru, to a master, to seek protection, shelter, to hide behind him. He is seeking a father figure.
A disciple is seeking a master, not a father figure. He wants to learn what life is. Even if life is insecurity, he is ready to learn. Even if life implies death, he is ready to learn.
The follower just wants a map. The disciple wants to go on an adventure. He is not worried about the map, he simply wants a challenge. ‘Challenge me!’ says the disciple. ‘Pull me out of my stupor,’ says the disciple. ‘Send me on a venture,’ says the disciple. The follower says, ‘Protect me, never leave me alone. Without you I am lost. Don’t send me away! Just let me hide behind you.’
Remember, the disciple is a seeker, the follower is simply sick with fear.
At times I feel like a sheep…
Those are the times you cannot be a disciple, at least not to me.
At times I feel like a fox.
Yes, a fox can also not be a disciple. A fox is a very cunning fellow, calculating, rational. The fox mind is always in search of more information, more knowledge – not more understanding. The fox mind is just grabbing whatsoever can be grabbed from every source so he becomes more knowledgeable. Because knowledge brings power.
The fox is in search of power. The sheep is in search of a powerful person who can protect, and the fox is in search of power. The fox pretends to be a sheep many times just to grab a little more from somebody, but deep down the fox is learning only to become more egoistic.
There are people who come to a master just to become a master sooner or later – that’s their only goal. They don’t come to learn; in fact, deep down they have come to teach. Reluctantly they learn, because it is difficult to teach without learning.
The fox is too cunning to be humble. The fox is too cunning and knowledgeable and calculating to move in a deeper relationship with a master, to move in love. The sheep cannot be a disciple because the sheep is too much afraid; the fox cannot be a disciple because the fox deep down is on a power-trip.
But these both are there. And Asheesh has really watched it rightly, exactly rightly.
At times I feel like a sheep, at times like a fox. Only sometimes like a disciple.
Precious are those moments when you feel like a disciple. Nourish them. Those moments have to be nourished more and more, so by and by they come more and more to you, they happen more and more to you. Surrender your sheep and fox both to those rare moments when you are a disciple.
A disciple is neither afraid, nor in search of power. A disciple is in search to know what this life is. He does not want to conquer, he does not want to prove himself in the world that he is somebody, he simply wants to know, ‘Who am I?’ He is not in any way interested in proving, he simply wants to know, ‘What is this mystery that has happened to me?’ In deep humbleness he asks.
His query is not of curiosity, his query is not only of enquiry, his query is that of an authentic seeker, a mumukshu. His query is mumuksha – passionate desire to know what life is. A disciple is one who is in passionate love with life and wants to know what this life is, wants to enter in this mystery.
Is it love or understanding that transforms one into a disciple?
Love alone will not make you a disciple. Understanding alone will also not make you a disciple. It is loving understanding that makes you a disciple. If you simply understand me, you will remain far away; there will be a distance, because there will be no bridge. Without love there is no bridge. You will understand, but your understanding will remain dry. You will not be connected with me; I will not be flowing in you, you will not allow my flow, you will not allow me to flood you, to transform you. You will remain aloof, mathematical.
And just love alone won’t help, because love is so happy that it forgets to understand. Love is so celebrating, it forgets to understand. It gets so involved in love that there is no detachment to understand.
Understanding with a master happens only when you are detached enough to understand, and yet related enough to understand. A bridge exists: I call it loving understanding. Then you participate with me, then you are thrilled with me – but that thrill does not drown you, that thrill does not make you a drunkard. You drink me as much as you can, but still you remain alert, aware; you are not lost in it.
It is a very paradoxical state – loving understanding. Then you are in a deep participation with me, and yet you remain separate; you are one with me and yet you are separate. Only then, and only then, you become a disciple.
Osho, The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 1, Ch 10, Q 4