DON’T EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS PUBLICLY
Osho on Expressing Emotions in Aloneness
Question : Beloved Osho, Have you suggested that now is the time for me to live out my negative emotions, because in the past i never allowed myself to show them in public? I remember a group experience, years ago, in which one of the exercises was to express, in your own way, any emotion suggested, and I was unable to express anything except anger. Maybe I really didn’t even know what such emotions felt like, in a conscious way; I didn’t even allow myself to admit that these emotions were there. I am trying to put together the pieces in this puzzle. Am I on the track?
It will create more anger in you — and anger or violence create, from the other side, the same, and with a vengeance. And then you will feel like being more into it, because you have been told to express.
Yes, I have told you to express — but I don’t mean publicly.
If you are feeling angry, go to your room, close off the room, beat the pillow, stand before a mirror, shout at your own image, say things that you have never said to anybody and always wanted to say. But it has to be a private phenomenon, otherwise there is no end. Things go on moving in a circle, and we want to end them.
So the moment you feel any negative emotion about anybody, that other person is not the question. The question is that you have a certain energy of anger. Now, that energy has to be diffused into the universe. You are not to repress it within yourself.
So whenever I say, “Express,” I always mean privately, in your aloneness. It is a meditation, it is not a fight. If you are feeling sad, sit in your room and feel as much sad as you can — it can’t harm. Be really sad and see how long it stays. Nothing stays forever; soon it will be passing away. If you feel like crying, cry — but in your privacy.
These things have nothing to do with others. Everything is your problem; why make it public? And that way, it is not going to be helped but on the contrary, it will be increased.
So every day, before going to sleep, for one hour at night, sit on your bed and do all kinds of crazy things that you wanted to do, that people do when they are angry, violent, destructive. And it does not mean that you have to be destructive to very valuable things; just tearing papers into small bits and throwing them all over — and you know the story. And that will do. Destroy anything, it can be valueless — but everything has to be done in your privacy, so when you come out, you come fresh.
If you want to do something in public, do what I was telling you about those primitives. You can go to the person you were angry with and tell him, “I have been, in private, angry with you. I shouted at you, I abused you, I said ugly things to you; please forgive me. But it was all done in privacy, because it was my problem; it has nothing to do with you. But in a certain way it was directed at you, and you are not aware of it; hence an, apology is needed.”
This has to be done in public. That will help people to help each other. And that person will not be angry; he will say, “There is no need for an apology. You have not done anything to me. And if you are feeling clean, it was a good exercise.”
But in public don’t bring your negativities, your ugliness; otherwise, you are creating bigger problems in trying to solve small problems. Be really very careful. Everything negative has to be in private, in your aloneness. And if you want to make any public statement about it — because somebody may have been in your mind with whom you were hateful, whom you killed while you were tearing the paper — go to him and humbly ask for his forgiveness.
And here you can see my differences from the so-called Western therapies. They don’t have… their relief is temporary. But once and for all understand that every problem is yours, so it has to be solved in your privacy.
Don’t wash your dirty linen in public places. There is no need. Why unnecessarily involve other people? Why unnecessarily create an image of yourself as ugly?
I am reminded of a very strange story. There was a great conference — a world conference of psychologists, psychoanalysts, therapists and all other schools treating man’s mind. One great psychoanalyst was reading a paper, but he could not read it because his attention was continually distracted by a young woman psychoanalyst who was sitting in the front row and an old ugly fellow who was continually playing with her breasts. And she was not bothered at all.
He could not read his paper. He tried to hide that woman and that old man behind the paper, but he would forget which line he was reading and got so messed up that finally he said, “It is impossible.”
The conference could not understand what is impossible and why he is behaving in such a way. He has never been…. He is a very systematic thinker, and today he is talking nonsense. He reads half of one sentence and then another which has no connection with it, and then another page comes in, and now he is saying, “It is all messed up and I cannot…”
And he would not look at the woman who was sitting just in front. Somebody stood up and said, “What is the matter? Why are you making a fool of yourself?”
He said, “I am not making a fool of myself. This young lady is not doing anything, and that old, ugly fellow is playing with her breasts.”
The young lady said, “But that is not your problem. You should read your paper. Even I am not taking it as my problem. It is his problem, so why should I be worried?
“He has a repressed sexuality; perhaps he could not get his mother’s breasts for long enough. And he is still, at this age… he must be eighty. And he is not doing any harm to me. And it is not my problem, so why should I stop him? And it is not your problem; why should you get disturbed? It is simply his problem. He should get psychoanalyzed — and he himself is a great psychoanalyst. In fact, he is my teacher.”
But what the woman said, “What he is doing — it is not my problem,” needs a very integrated personality, a clear-cut vision that even though he is doing something with her, the problem is his.
She continued “Why should I get disturbed? The poor fellow is suffering from his very childhood it seems, and he has never found any chance… and now he is almost half in his grave. If I can give him some satisfaction, there is no harm. It does me no harm at all — but I am puzzled why you could not read your paper. You seem to be standing behind this old fellow. You also have the same problem.”
And it was a fact. That man also had the same problem; otherwise, there was nothing to be worried about. He should read his paper and let the old man do what he is doing, and if the young lady is not preventing him, is not even taking note of him, it is none of his business.
If people can keep to their own problems and not go on spreading them all around…because then they become magnified.
Now what this old man needs is simply a baby’s milk bottle, so in his aloneness at night he can suck lukewarm milk from the bottle and enjoy. And in darkness, whether it is a nipple or just a rubber teat, it makes no difference. All that he needs is a small baby’s milk bottle every night so that he can die peacefully without any problem. But he is throwing it on a poor woman who has nothing to do with it.
And not only that: somebody else who is absolutely out of the whole thing is disturbed, because he also has the same problem.
Just keep your private problems to yourself. No group therapy is of much help, because whatever you do in the group you cannot do in the society. And the group cannot become your whole life; out of the group you will again be in the same trouble.
What I am giving to you is a simple method that you can do yourself very easily. Clean your unconscious and come into the outside world with other people — with a softer face, cleaner eyes, more human acts.
So everything is right, Arpita, just don’t misunderstand me. You have used that word `public’; it is not a question of public, it is your problem. Why bother the public? — they have their own problems. Let them tackle their problems in their privacy. Otherwise, you are on the right track.
Express. Find a way to express as cheaply as possible, as economically as possible — but always in your aloneness so that only you know the ugliness that you have thrown out.
Source: the transmission of the lamp