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Body Mind Balancing
Using Your Mind to Heal Your Body
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2003 Osho International Foundation, Switzerland
All rights reserved.
The Intelligence of the Body
Western medical science has viewed man as a separate unit — apart from nature. That is one of the gravest errors that has been committed. Man is part of nature; his health is nothing but being at ease with nature.
Western medicine takes a mechanical view of man, so wherever mechanics can be successful, it is successful. But man is not a machine; man is an organic unity, and man needs not just treatment of the part that is sick. The sick part is only a symptom that the whole organism is going through difficulties. The sick part is only visible because it is the weakest.
You treat the sick part, and you seem successful ... but then somewhere else the disease appears. You have only prevented the disease from expressing itself through the sick part; you have made it stronger. But you do not understand that man is a whole: either he is sick or he is healthy, there is no in-between. Man should be viewed as a whole organism.
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It is fundamental to understand that the body is always ready to listen to you — but you have never talked with it, you have never communicated with it at all. You have been in it, you have used it, but you have never thanked it. It serves you, and serves you as intelligently as possible.
Nature knows that it is more intelligent than you are, because all the important things in the body have not been left to you, they have been given to the body. For example, breathing, or the heartbeat, or the blood circulating, or the digestion of the food — they have not been left up to you; otherwise you would have been in a mess long before. If breathing had been left to you, you would have died. There would be no possibility of your continuing to live because you can forget to breathe at any moment. If you fight with someone, you could forget to breathe. When you sleep at night, you could forget to make your heart beat. How would you remember? And do you know how much work your digestive system is doing? You go on swallowing things and you think you are doing a great job, that swallowing can be done by anybody.
In World War II it happened that one man got a bullet through his throat. He didn't die, but he could not eat or drink from the throat, the whole passage had to be closed. And the doctors made a small passage by the side of his stomach, with a pipe coming out, and he had to put the food in the pipe, but there was no joy. Even when he was putting in ice cream ... he was very angry.
He said, "This is ... I don't taste anything."
Then one doctor suggested, "Do it this way. First you taste the food, then insert into the pipe." And that he did for forty years. He would first chew and enjoy and then put it in the pipe. The pipe is just as good, because in your body too it is just a pipe and nothing else, it is just hidden behind skin. This unfortunate man's was just open. And it was better than yours because it could be cleaned and everything.
The whole digestive system is doing miracles. Scientists say that if each of us had to do everything that the small digestive system is doing we would need a big factory to turn food into blood, to sort out all elements, and to send those elements that are needed to certain places. A few elements are needed in the brain, and they have to be sent through the bloodstream to the brain. Others are needed elsewhere — to the eyes, to the ears, to the bones, or to the skin — and the body does it all perfectly for seventy, eighty, ninety years — but you don't see its wisdom.
THE WISDOM OF THE BODY
You have heard about alchemists who tried to transform base metals into gold. Your body does far better — it transforms all kinds of crap that you go on throwing inside into blood, into bone. And not only into blood and bone: it also turns that crap into nourishment for your brain. Out of your ice cream and Coca-Cola, it makes your brain, a brain that can create a Rutherford, an Albert Einstein, a Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Lao Tzu. Just see the miracle!
A brain is such a small thing, enclosed in a small skull.... A single brain can contain all the libraries of the world. Its capacity is almost infinite. It is the greatest memory system. If you want to make a computer of the same capacity you will need miles of space to make that computer function. And although science has developed so far, it has not been able to transform ice cream into blood. Scientists have been trying, but they cannot find the clue needed to transform ice cream into blood; make a brain out of ice cream! Perhaps it may never happen. Or even if it does, it will happen through the brain; it will be again a miracle of the brain.
TALK TO THE BODY
Once you start communicating with your body, things become very easy. The body need not be forced, it can be persuaded. One need not fight with the body — that's ugly, violent, aggressive, and any sort of conflict is going to create more and more tension. So you need not be in any conflict — let comfort be the rule. And the body is such a beautiful gift from God that to fight with it is to deny God Himself. It is a shrine ... we are enshrined in it; it is a temple. We exist in it and we have to take every care of it — it is our responsibility.
It will look a little absurd in the beginning because we have never been taught to talk to our own body — but miracles can happen through it. They are already happening without our knowing it. When I speak to you, my hand follows in a gesture. I am talking to you — it is my mind that is communicating something to you. My body is following it. The body is en rapport with the mind.
When you want to raise the hand, you have to do nothing — you simply raise it. Just the idea that you want to raise it and the body follows; it is a miracle. In fact, biology or physiology has not yet been able to explain how it happens. Because an idea is an idea; you want to raise your hand — this is an idea. How does this idea become transformed into a physical message to the hand? And it does not take any length of time at all — just a split second; sometimes without any time gap.
For example, I am talking to you and my hand will go on collaborating; there is no time gap. It is as if the body is running parallel to the mind. It is very sensitive — you should learn how to talk to your body, and then many things can be done.
LISTEN TO THE BODY
Follow the body. Never in any way try to dominate the body. The body is your foundation. Once you have started understanding your body, 99 percent of your miseries will simply disappear.
But you don't listen — up to now. The body says, "Stop! Don't eat!" You go on eating; you listen to the mind. The mind says, "It is very tasty, delicious. A little more." You don't listen to the body. The body is feeling nauseous, the stomach is saying, "Stop! Enough is enough! I am tired!" but the mind says, "Look at the taste ... a little bit more." You go on listening to the mind. If you listen to the body, 99 percent of your problems will simply disappear, and the remaining one percent will be just accidents, not really problems.
But from very early childhood we have been distracted from the body, we have been taken away from the body. The child is crying because he is hungry and the mother is looking at the clock because the doctor says that only after three hours is the child to be given milk. She is not looking at the child. The child is the real clock to look at, but she goes on looking at the clock. She listens to the doctor, but the child is crying and is asking for food, and the child needs food right now. If he is not given food right now you have distracted him from the body. Instead of giving him food you give him a pacifier. Now you are cheating and deceiving. You are giving something false, plastic, and you are trying to distract and destroy the child's sensitivity to his body. The wisdom of the body is not allowed to have its say; the mind enters in instead. The child is pacified by the pacifier and he falls asleep. Now the clock says three hours are over and you have to give the milk to the child. But now the child is fast asleep, and his body is sleeping; you wake him up, because the doctor says the milk has to be given now. You again destroy his rhythm. Slowly, slowly you disturb his whole being. The moment comes when he has lost all track of his body. He does not know what his body wants — he does not know whether his body wants to eat or not; whether the body wants to make love or not. Everything is manipulated by something from the outside. He looks at a Playboy magazine and feels like making love. Now this is stupid; this is the mind sending signals. The love cannot be very great; it will be just a sneeze, nothing else, an unburdening. It is not love at all. How can love happen through the mind? Mind knows nothing of love. It becomes a duty. You have a wife, you have a husband, you have to make love — it becomes a duty. Dutifully, religiously, every night, you make love. Now the spontaneity is not there. And then you are worried because you start feeling it is not fulfilling you. Then you start looking for some other woman. You start thinking logically, "Maybe this woman is not the right woman for me. Maybe she is not my soulmate. Maybe she is not made for me. I am not made for her, because she's not turning me on."
The woman is not the problem, the man is not the problem: you are not in the body, she is not in the body. If people were in their bodies, nobody would miss that beauty called orgasm. If people were in their bodies, they would know God's first glimpses through their orgasmic experiences.
Listen to your body, follow the body. Mind is foolish; body is wise. And if you have gone deep into the body, in those very depths you will find your soul. The soul is hidden in the depths of the body.
THE BODY IS A MIRACLE
It is tremendously beautiful, and tremendously complex. There is nothing so complex, so subtle as the body. You don't know anything about it. You have only looked at it in the mirror. You have never looked at it from the within; otherwise it is a universe in itself. That's what the mystics have always been saying: that the body is a miniature universe. If you see it from the inside, it is so vast — millions and millions of cells, and each cell alive with its own life, and each cell functioning in such an intelligent manner that it seems almost incredible, impossible, unbelievable.
You eat food, and the body transforms it into blood, bones, marrow. You eat food, and the body transforms it into consciousness, thought. A miracle is happening every moment. And each cell functions so systematically, in such an orderly way, with such an inner discipline, that it seems almost impossible — millions of cells. Seventy million cells are there in your single body — seventy million souls. Each cell has its own soul. And how well they function! They function with such coherence, in such rhythm and harmony. And the same cells become the eyes and the same cells become the skin and the same cells become your liver and your heart and your marrow and your mind and your brain. The same cells specialize — then they become specialized cells — but they are the same cells. And how well they move, and how subtly and silently they work.
Penetrate into it, go deep into the mystery of it. Because there you are rooted. The body is your earth; you are rooted in the body. Your consciousness is like a tree in the body. Your thoughts are like fruits. Your meditations are like flowers. But you are rooted in the body; the body supports it. The body supports everything that you are doing. You love; the body supports you. You hate; the body supports you. You want to kill somebody; the body supports you. You want to protect somebody; the body supports you. In compassion, in love, in anger, in hate — in every way — the body supports you. You are rooted in the body; you are nourished by the body. Even when you start realizing who you are, the body supports you.
The body is your friend; it is not your enemy. Listen to its language, decode its language, and by and by, as you enter into the book of the body and you turn its pages, you will become aware of the whole mystery of life. In condensed form, it is in your body. Magnified a millionfold, it is all over the world.
THE BODY HAS ALL THE MYSTERIES
The body has all the mysteries, all the mysteries that the whole universe has; it is a miniature universe. The difference between the body and the universe is only one of quantity. Just as a single atom has all the secrets of matter, the body has all the secrets of the universe. One need not go to search for any secrets outside, one has just to go inward.
And the body has to be taken care of. One should not be against it, one should not condemn it. If you condemn it, you have already condemned God, because in the deepest recess of the body God resides. God has chosen this house of the body to live in. Respect your body, love your body, care about your body.
The so-called religions have created much antagonism between man and his body. It is true that you are not the body, but that doesn't mean that you have to be against it; the body is your friend. The body can take you to hell, the body can take you to heaven too. It is simply a vehicle. It is neutral: wherever you want to go, it is ready. It is a mechanism of immense complexity, beauty, order. The more one understands one's body, the more one feels awe. Then what to say about the whole universe? Even this small body is so much of a miracle; therefore I call the body the temple of the divine.
And once your attitude toward the body changes it becomes easier to go in, because the body becomes open to you. It allows you to come in; it starts revealing its secrets to you. That's how all the secrets of Yoga were first known. That's how all the secrets of Tao were first known. Yoga didn't arise out of dissecting dead bodies. Modern medical science is based on dead bodies and their dissection. It has something basically wrong with it. It has not yet been able to know the living body. To dissect a dead body is one thing, to know something about it is another thing, but to know something about a living body is totally different. Modern science has no way of knowing about the living body. The only way it knows is to butcher it, to cut it open, but the moment you cut it, it is no longer the same phenomenon. To understand a flower on the stem, on the tree, is one thing; to cut it and dissect it is totally another. It is no longer the same phenomenon; its quality is different.
Albert Einstein the man has some qualities that the corpse will not have, cannot have. A poet dies — the body is there but where is the poetry? A genius dies — the body is there but where is the genius? The body of the idiot and the body of the genius are the same. You will not be able to know by dissecting the body whether it belonged to a genius or an idiot, whether it belonged to a mystic or to someone who was never aware of anything mysterious in life. It will be impossible because you are simply looking into the house, and the being who lived there is no more there. You are simply studying the cage and the bird has gone; and to study the cage is not to study the bird. But still, the body contains the divine in it.
The real way is to go within yourself and watch your own body from there, from the interiormost of your being. Then it is a tremendous joy ... just to see its functioning, its ticking. It is the greatest miracle that has happened in the universe.
Most problems are psychosomatic because the body and the mind are not two separate things. The mind is the inner part of the body, and the body is the outer part of the mind, so anything can start in the body and can enter into the mind, or vice versa: it can start in the mind and enter into the body. There is no division; there is no watertight compartment.
So most problems have two edges to them: they can be tackled through the mind and through the body. And up to now this has been the practice in the world: a few people believe that all problems are of the body — the physiologists, the Pavlovians, the behaviorists ... They treat the body, and of course in 50 percent of the cases they succeed. And they hope that as science grows they will be succeeding more, but they will never succeed beyond 50 percent; it has nothing to do with the growth of science.
Then there are those who think that all problems are of the mind — which is as wrong as the first premise. Christian Scientists and hypnotists and mesmerists; they all think problems are of the mind ... as do psychotherapists. They also succeed in 50 percent of the cases; they, too, think that sooner or later they will succeed more and more. That is nonsense. They cannot succeed beyond 50 percent; that is the limit.
Excerpted from Body Mind Balancing by Osho. Copyright © 2003 Osho International Foundation, Switzerland. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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