WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PATIENCE, POSTPONEMENT, AND SHEER STUPIDITY ?…OSHO
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PATIENCE, POSTPONEMENT, AND SHEER STUPIDITY?
YES, the question is significant because people can get confused about these three.
Patience is very alert, patience is very active, patience is very expectant. If you are waiting for somebody — a friend is to call — you may be sitting just by the door, but you are very attentive, alert. Any noise on the road, any car passing by, and immediately you start looking: maybe the friend has come? The wind on your doors, and suddenly you are alert: maybe he has knocked…. Dead leaves in the garden moving hither and thither, and you come out of your home; maybe he has come….
Patience is as active as that. It is a waiting. It is not dull, it is very radiant. It is not unconscious; it is not like a stupor. It is like a flame burning bright. One waits. One can wait infinitely, but one waits, expectant, active, alert, watchful.
Just the opposite is sheer stupidity. You can just be dull, idiotic, stupid, in a stupor, and you can think that you are waiting, you are patient. And you can enjoy that others who are working hard to reach somewhere are impatient people; you are very patient. But remember, patience needs work.
Patience is not inactivity. A patient person works patiently. He does not demand, he does not demand too much, he does not demand in a hurry, he does not demand for instant SATORI or SAMADHI. He knows it is arduous, the path is hard. He knows it is difficult; a thousand and one are the pitfalls.
To be lost is easy, to achieve is difficult. It is almost impossible to achieve, and he knows it — but that is the attraction, that is the challenge, God is impossible, but that's the beauty of it, that's the challenge. The challenge has to be accepted. He works hard at it and yet remains patient, knowing well his limitations, knowing well the very impossibility of the desire.
It is an impossible passion: to know God, to be God. It is unbelievable that it happens. That's why people go on denying that Buddha ever existed — that Jesus is a myth, that Krishna is just the imagination of the poets. Why do so many people insist that Buddha is just a myth, that Jesus and Krishna never existed? Why? They are simply saying that the whole thing seems to be impossible; it cannot happen.
In a way they are right: it cannot happen; but still it happens. It happens very rarely. It happens so rarely that you can say that it does not happen at all. Once in a while, thousands of years pass, then somebody becomes enlightened — ALMOST as if it never happens.
Knowing this, one waits; but one does not wait in inactivity, because then the waiting will be futile. The waiting has to be just like the farmer waiting. He sows the seeds; they will come in season. It cannot be hurried. There is no point in going again and again to the field, digging and seeing whether the seeds have sprouted yet or not, because that will be very destructive. That will not allow the seeds to sprout at all.
That impatience will destroy the seeds. He waits, he waters — nothing is seen for months. Nothing comes above the earth, but he waits with deep patience, goes on working, caring about the field, praying and expectant that they are coming, that they are on the way. And one day, they are there.
Sheer stupidity is hiding your inactivity, your inertia, your lethargy, in beautiful terms. A lethargic person can say, "I'm not in a hurry, I'm waiting," and he will not do anything. Then you are waiting in vain; it is not going to happen. Yes, the seeds will sprout in season, but the seeds have to be sown; otherwise they will not sprout.
So watch inside you. These distinctions are not distinctions of one man, these distinctions exist in each man. These are not categories, that somebody is 'sheer stupid' and somebody is 'very patient'. No, these moods exist together in everybody. There is a stupid moment in your life, there is a patient moment in your life, and postponement is just in the middle of these two. Postponement is very cunning.
Patience is alert, stupidity is inactive, unconscious. Patience is conscious, postponement is subconscious. Postponement has a double-bind in it: you want to do something and yet you are not ready to do anything for it. It is a very cunning state of affairs. You want to meditate, but you say, "Tomorrow." If you really want, then today is the right time, because tomorrow never comes.
If you really want, then meditate right now, because there is no point in postponing it. How can you be certain that tomorrow will ever come? It may never come. And if it is really important to you and your desire is intense for it, then you will not waste a single moment in postponing it.
You will postpone everything else, but you will meditate. You postpone only that which is not significant to you, or, you are playing with yourself, being cunning with yourself. One part of your mind says, "Yes, it is important." Another part of mind says, "Yes, it is important, I know; that's why tomorrow we will start." You are satisfied.
God is always postponed, love is always postponed, meditation is always postponed. Anger, greed, hatred, never; the devil, never. When the devil invites you, you are IMMEDIATELY ready. Immediately, instantly you stand up. You say, "I'm coming!"
When somebody insults you, you don't say that "Tomorrow I will be angry"; but for love you always go on postponing. For prayer you say, "Yes, it has to be done." This is a very cunning state.
You don't want to recognize the fact that you don't desire prayer, you don't desire love, you don't desire meditation. You don't want to recognize the fact that you don't have any passion for God, so you postpone in this way. You manage well — you go on doing that which you really desire, and you go on postponing that which you don't desire at all, but you are not courageous enough to recognize the fact. At least be honest. Postponement is dishonest, very dishonest. Watch inside yourself, at what you have been postponing, and you will find that all that is beautiful you have been postponing.
It is a double-bind; you are divided, or you are playing very devilry with yourself.
The mind is very cunning. Everybody's mind is the mind of the Jew.'Jew' is not a race; it is the innermost core of all minds. And when you are playing cunning games with others, by and by you learn the trick of playing with yourself. This is the greatest problem that every human being has to face. You have been cunning with others; that pays in the world. By and by, you have learned the trick so deeply that you forget that now you are playing the cunningness with yourself. The mind is very worldly, very Jewish. It knows no other business than business.
The mind is always thinking in terms of business. Even when it is love, it is business. Even when it is prayer, it is business. Even when it is God, it is business. And once you have become too accustomed to the business world, you start playing games with yourself. Be alert. Postponement is one of the most dangerous games that a man can play with himself. If you want, do it. If you don't want, be honest; who is forcing you? Just be honest. Don't do it, but know well that you are not going to do it because you don't want to do it. Why be deceptive? This sincerity will help.
As I see, no man can live without love if he is sincere. But many millions of people live without love because they go on postponing. One day they die, their lives completely dry and desert-like.
As I see it, no man can live without God — but millions live because they have created a false God, a substitute God, a God which is always postponed. It is easy now; you can live without God because you have a false feeling that God is there, you believe in Him, and one day you are going to devote your whole life to Him.
That 'one day' will never come. If you want that one day to come, it has already arrived — it is today. This moment is that moment of transformation.