WHY AM I SO AFRAID OF BOREDOM? WHAT AM I TRYING TO ESCAPE REALLY ? …OSHO
I NEVER FEARED ANYTHING AND NEVER CHOSE TO ESCAPE IN MY LIFE. THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT SCARED ME AND GAVE ME AN UNBEARABLE FEELING TO ESCAPE — BOREDOM. WHY AM I SO AFRAID OF BOREDOM? WHAT AM I TRYING TO ESCAPE REALLY?
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, because man is the only animal who feels boredom. Buffaloes don't feel it, although they look very much bored. Donkeys don't feel it, although they too look very much bored.
Except man, nobody feels boredom; and even as far as man is concerned, all men don't feel boredom. It needs intelligence to feel boredom, so very few, the most intelligent people in the world, feel boredom. Buddha felt it, Mahavira felt it. The rarest people feel boredom because it needs tremendous intelligence to experience it. So in a way it is not a curse, it is a blessing.
It is out of boredom that the inquiry for the meaning of life arises. Those who have felt bored simply show that whatsoever ordinary meanings life has, are no longer fulfilling for them. There are people who are perfectly happy with money, accumulating more and more money, and they seem to be immensely interested in it, perfectly happy with their search for more. These are not really developed human beings: they are the most mediocre human being, the lowest kind. Their intelligence has not yet become a flowering; it is still in the seed, only a potential.
You can see it. The people who are greedy may be clever and cunning — they have to be — but you will never see any intelligence in them. You will not see the sharpness, you will not see any creativity in them. You will not see any fragrance in their lives; they will stink. The greedy person stinks.
And so is the case with the power-hungry, the politician, who is always running after more and more powerful positions, far higher status, who wants to become the president or the prime minister, whose whole life is devoted to the single purpose of dominating people.
These people are dull people. Their life is that of the ugliest form. They don't have any sense of beauty, poetry, music.
They don't have any sense for aesthetics Their whole interest is in bigger chairs, as if by sitting on bigger chairs they will become bigger, as if by becoming a president of a country they will have attained some spiritual integrity, as if by dominating millions of people they will become masters of their own being. They are empty people, hollow; their inner life is utterly dark. But you will never see them bored. They are always on the go, always interested in stupid efforts of gaining power, prestige, money. But they are contented; if they are succeeding you will see them very joyous.
It is the most intelligent people who feel boredom, who cannot see any meaning in money. Of course, there is certain utility in money, but no meaning. Who cannot see any meaning, any significance, in power politics, in ego trips, who can see the utter futility of it all — now for people of such intelligence the greatest problem in life will be boredom.
The first thing, I would like to tell you is: feel blessed. This is a symptom of a higher intelligence. Out of this boredom the person starts moving inwards; finding everything futile on the outside he turns in — because there is nowhere else to go. His intelligence is so clear, so transparent that he can see that he can have all the money of the world, still he will be the same person.
He can have all the power of the world, still he would not have become a new being through it, he will not be reborn. He can have all the knowledge that is available, but still he will remain the same stupid person inside; his knowledge will be just parrotlike. He will repeat beautiful cliches without exactly knowing their meaning, because their meaning can be known only through experience of one's own. He can talk like Jesus, he can sermonize on the kingdom of God that is within, but he has no glimpse of it. He has learned only mere words.
The intelligent person becomes aware very soon that "All this is an exercise is sheer futility. Nothing on the outside can ever give me an inner fulfillment, an inner sense of significance." And unless that is experienced, boredom will remain and will become heavier every day.
Now there are two possibilities. One is the western possibility. If you look only through reason then you will never find any meaning in life; then boredom will become more and more acute, chronic. It will pervade your whole existence, it will permeate each moment of your life. It will not allow you to live at all. It will become such a burden that suicide will seem to be the only possible way out.
That's what Fyodor Dostoevsky says: that "If I can meet God, the only thing I am going to say to him is, 'Why you created me? For what? And without even asking me! Is this right?' And the only thing I want to see God for is to give him the ticket back. I don't want to be a part in this futile, meaningless existence."
Marcel says, "The only real metaphysical problem is the problem of suicide. Why man should go on living? For what?" If you look only through the head, only through the reason… that's what the western approach has been up to now. It is head-oriented, it is rational, it is Aristotelian, it is logical. It has given great technology and science, but it cannot provide meaning for your life. Life has become more and more boring; people are utterly bored. They go on living because they are cowards, because they cannot gather courage enough to destroy themselves, so somehow they go on pulling, dragging. West has come to a cul-de-sac; the road ends. Now there is no more possibility for western approach to grow.
But the East has a totally different alternative. When the mind fails, when the reason fails, it does not mean that life has failed. It simply means that whatsoever reason could do it has done; now you have to look for deeper realms of your being — and there are deeper realms. Deeper than your mind is your heart. Deeper than logic is love. Deeper than science is art. Deeper than mathematics is music.
The East drops the mind, not life, and starts moving into the heart, into the world of feelings. And then suddenly great meaning arises, the boredom starts disappearing. And remember, the heart is not your innermost core either; it is only a midway rest. Moving from the mind to the being, the heart is exactly in between. When you have reached to the heart then you will become aware that there is a still deeper layer. But the heart will fill your life with joy, with great thrill, with excitement.
The boredom will be gone, and with the boredom gone you will become aware of a deeper realm, the deepest: the dimension of your being, your innermost core. That innermost core fulfills you totally, absolutely. Reaching it is the goal of sannyas. Reaching it is the purpose of meditation.
move from the head to the heart. But the heart has to be used only as a stepping-stone. The head gives you science, the heart gives you art; and the being, which is beyond the both, gives you religion. Religion is bliss, ecstasy, and we are searching for it.
The feeling of boredom simply shows that you are ready to go for the inner journey; if you don't go you will feel stuck. Now the head cannot fulfill your longing. The heart will give you something, a glimpse, a window will open. You will know something of the sky through the window, something of the stars, something of the moon and the sun and the wind and the rain and the flowers, but only through the window. You have to come out of the window too, under the sky, because when you look from the window everything is framed — and the frame is false. If you look from the window towards the starry sky, it feels as if the sky is framed, as if the sky has a limitation, a boundary.
When you reach to your innermost core, all the boundaries disappear… you have entered the unlimited, the unbounded, the infinite. That infinite is called God.
Boredom is a blessing. It is a goading for the search. It is a goading towards God, towards Tao. The western approach has failed; it has come to a point that now there is no more to go. The West is stuck, but the eastern approach has not failed and it is never going to fail. But the West can also move towards the East only when its approach fails. Now the time has come that the West can understand the East and the meeting can happen.
I am not against reason.
Whatsoever reason can give it has to be used as a means, but one thing is certain: don't ask for things which it cannot give to you. It cannot give meaning, it cannot give significance, it cannot give dignity, it cannot give you your ultimate flowering. That is possible only through meditation, through discovering your innermost self, your ultimate, eternal being which is never born and never dies.
Use boredom as a jumping-stone towards the ultimate and then you will feel grateful, even grateful to the experience of boredom — which is painful, full of anguish. But the wise man can transform even misery into bliss, and the fool goes on destroying all opportunities for bliss and goes on creating misery out of the energy which could have created a paradise within you. The paradise is already there just you have to take a one hundred-eighty-degree turn.