Osho speaks on ‘Anxiety’; “Desires don’t create anxiety… Anxiety creates desire.”
Desire is nothing but an escape from the state of anxiety. Desires don’t create anxiety, as ordinarily is believed. Anxiety creates desire.
Man is anxiety.
Just the other day I was telling you: animals have no anxiety, because they don’t have to become — they are. A dog is a dog, and a tiger is a tiger, and there is no problem! The tiger is not trying to become a tiger. He is! He already is! There is no becoming involved.
In the world of animals there is no anxiety. In the world of Buddhas again there is no anxiety, they have arrived, they have become. They are siddhas — they are beings. Now there is no goal left, no movement. The journey is complete. They have arrived home. […]
Between these two is man: half animal, half Buddha. And that is where anxiety exists. Anxiety is this tension. A part of you wants to go back to the animals. It goes on pulling you backwards. It says, “Come back! It was so beautiful — where are you going?”
The other parts goes on hoping for the future. In some indirect way you know perfectly well that to be a Buddha is your destiny. The seed is there! And the seed goes on saying to you, “Find the soil, right soil, and you will become a Buddha. Don’t go back, go ahead….”
This tug-of-war is anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most important words to be understood, because it is not only a word: it is the very situation man finds himself in. This is the human dilemma. The most fundamental dilemma is anxiety: To be or not to be? To be this or to be that? Where to go?
Man is stuck on a crossroads, all the possibilities open. But if you choose one, you have to choose against other possibilities — hence the fear. You may be choosing wrong. If you go to the right — who knows? — the path going to the left may have been the right path. […]
This is the anxiety: Where to go? What to do? And whatsoever you do, anxiety will remain. If you become an animal, the Buddha part will go on rebelling against it. Go and do something that your animal part feels good doing, but your Buddha part starts creating guilt in you. […]
If you follow one part, the other part makes you feel guilty. And vice versa. This is anxiety. And this anxiety is very existential. It is not that somebody is suffering it and somebody is not suffering — no.
It is existential: everybody is born into it. Humanity is born into it. Human beings are born into anxiety. That is their challenge. That is the problem they have to solve — that is the problem they have to transcend.
Now, there are two ways to transcend it. One is the way of the world — you can call it desire. Desire is the way to hide this anxiety. You rush into earning money, madly. You become so absorbed in earning money that you forget all existential anxiety. Then there is no point, no time to think about real problems. Then you put aside everything and you just go into the search for money, more money. And as you get money, more and more desire arises. This desiring for money or political power is nothing but a cover for your anxiety. […]
Desire is a way to avoid anxiety, but only to avoid. You cannot destroy it by desiring. And desire gives you small anxieties, remember, very small anxieties, which are not existential. Of course, when you are earning money you will have a few anxieties: the market and the share market, and things like that, and prices. And you have put so much money — are you going to earn out of it or are you going to lose? These small anxieties. These are nothing compared to the real anxiety — these are tricks to avoid the real. […]
Desire is a cover-up for anxiety. It is a trick, a strategy. And meditation is to uncover it. […]
Real meditation is not a technique. Real meditation is just relaxing, sitting silently, letting it happen, whatsoever it is. Allowing the whole anxiety to come up, to surface. And watching it, watching it.
And doing nothing to change it. Witnessing it is real meditation.
In that witnessing your Buddhahood will become more and more powerful. Witnessing is the nourishment for your Buddhahood. And the more powerful your Buddhahood is, the less anxiety there is. The day your Buddhahood is complete, all anxiety is gone.
Osho, The Perfect Master, Vol 1, Ch 8 – June 1978
A quote published in The Book: An Introduction to the Teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Index Osho A-Z