Maturity: The Responsibilty of Being Oneself (Osho Insight Series)

Overview

In a culture infatuated with youth and determined to avoid old age at all costs, this book dares to raise a question that has been all but forgotten in the age of Viagra and cosmetic surgery. What benefits might lie in accepting the aging process as natural, rather than trying to hold on to youth and its pleasures all the way to the grave?

Osho takes us back to the roots of what it means to grow up rather than just to grow old. Both in our relationships with others, and in the ...

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Maturity: The Responsibilty of Being Oneself (Osho Insight Series)

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Overview

In a culture infatuated with youth and determined to avoid old age at all costs, this book dares to raise a question that has been all but forgotten in the age of Viagra and cosmetic surgery. What benefits might lie in accepting the aging process as natural, rather than trying to hold on to youth and its pleasures all the way to the grave?

Osho takes us back to the roots of what it means to grow up rather than just to grow old. Both in our relationships with others, and in the fulfillment of our own individual destinies, he reminds us of the pleasures that only true maturity can bring. He outlines the ten major growth cycles in human life, from the self-centered universe of the preschooler to the flowering of wisdom and compassion in old age.

Osho's sly sense of humor runs like a red thread through the book, along with a profound compassion and understanding of how easy it is to be distracted from the deeper meaning and purpose of our lives-which is, ultimately, to flower into our own individual uniqueness and maturity with an attitude of celebration and joy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This wise and witty book is the baby boomers' bible! It offers hot tips on maturity as the path to wisdom, the art of transcending problems rather than having to solve them, and the secret of transforming a midlife crisis into a creative explosion." —Margot Anand, author of The Art of Sexual Ecstasy and The Art of Everyday Ecstasy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312205614
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/1999
  • Series: Osho Insights for a New Way of Living Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 579,177
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Osho is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1970s he captured the attention of young people from the West who wanted to experience meditation and transformation. More than 20 years after his death, the influence of his teachings continues to grow, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.

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Read an Excerpt

Maturity

DEFINITIONS

FROM IGNORANCE TO INNOCENCE

Maturity means the same as innocence, only with one difference: it is innocence reclaimed, it is innocence recaptured. Every child is born innocent, but every society corrupts him. Every society, up to now, has been a corruptive influence on every child. All cultures have depended on exploiting the innocence of the child, on exploiting the child, on making him a slave, on conditioning him for their own purposes, for their own ends—political, social, ideological. Their whole effort has been how to recruit the child as a slave for some purpose. Those purposes are decided by the vested interests. The priests and the politicians have been in a deep conspiracy, they have been working together.

The moment the child starts becoming part of your society he starts losing something immensely valuable; he starts losing contact with God. He becomes more and more hung up in the head, he forgets all about the heart—and the heart is the bridge that leads to being. Without the heart you cannot reach your own being—it is impossible. From the head there is no way directly to being; you have to go via the heart, and all societies are destructive to the heart. They are against love, they are against feelings; they condemn feelingsas sentimentality. They condemned all lovers down the ages for the simple reason that love is not of the head, it is of the heart. A man who is capable of love is sooner or later going to discover his being—and once a person discovers his being he is free from all structures, from all patterns. He is free from all bondage. He is pure freedom.

Every child is born innocent, but every child is made knowledgeable by the society. Hence schools, colleges, universities exist; their function is to destroy you, to corrupt you.

From the head there is no way directly to being, you have to go via the heart—and all societies are destructive to the heart.

Maturity means gaining your lost innocence again, reclaiming your paradise, becoming a child again. Of course it has a difference—the ordinary child is bound to be corrupted, but when you reclaim your childhood you become incorruptible. Nobody can corrupt you, you become intelligent enough—now you know what the society has done to you and you are alert and aware, you will not allow it to happen again.

Maturity is a rebirth, a spiritual birth. You are born anew, you are a child again. With fresh eyes you start looking at existence. With love in the heart you approach life. With silence and innocence you penetrate your own innermost core. You are no longer just the head. Now you use the head, but it is your servant. First you become the heart, and then you transcend even the heart.

Going beyond thoughts and feelings and becoming a pure isness is maturity. Maturity is the ultimate flowering of meditation.

Jesus says, "Unless you are born again you will not enter into the kingdom of God." He is right, you have to be born again.

Once Jesus was standing in a marketplace and somebody asked, "Who is worthy of entering into your kingdom of God?" He looked around. There was a rabbi, and the rabbi must have moved forward a little, thinking that he would be chosen—but he was not chosen. There was the most virtuous man of the town—the moralist, the puritan. He moved forward a little, hoping that he would be chosen, but he was not chosen. Jesus looked around—he saw a small child, who was not expecting to be chosen, who had not moved, not even an inch. There was no idea, there was no question that he would be chosen. He was just enjoying the whole scene—the crowd and Jesus and people talking, and he was listening. Jesus called the child, he took the child up in his arms, and he said to the crowd, "Those who are like this small child, they are the only ones worthy of entering into the kingdom of God."

Maturity means gaining your lost innocence again, reclaiming your paradise, becoming a child again. Of course it has a difference—the ordinary child is bound to be corrupted, but when you reclaim your childhood. you become incorruptible.

But remember, he said, "Those who are like this smallchild ... ." He didn't say, "Those who are small children." There is a great difference between the two. He did not say, "This child will enter into the kingdom of God," because every child is bound to be corrupted, he has to go astray. Every Adam and every Eve is bound to be expelled from the garden of Eden, they have to go astray. That is the only way to regain real childhood: first you have to lose it. It is very strange, but that's how life is. It is very paradoxical, but life is a paradox. To know the real beauty of your childhood, first you have to lose it; otherwise you will never know it.

Every Adam and every Eve is bound to be expelled from the garden of Eden, they have to go astray. That is the only way to regain real childhood: first you have to lose it.

The fish never knows where the ocean is—unless you pull the fish out of the ocean and throw it on the sand in the burning sun; then she knows where the ocean is. Now she longs for the ocean, she makes every effort to go back to the ocean, she jumps into the ocean. It is the same fish and yet not the same fish. It is the same ocean yet not the same ocean, because the fish has learned a new lesson. Now she is aware, now she knows, "This is the ocean and this is my life. Without it I am no more—I am part of it."

Every child has to lose his innocence and regain it. Losing is only half of the process—many have lost it, but very few have regained it. That is unfortunate, very unfortunate. Everybody loses it, but only once in a while does a Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Krishna,a Jesus regain it. Jesus is nobody else but Adam coming back home. Magdalene is nobody else but Eve coming back home. They have come out of the sea and they have seen the misery and they have seen the stupidity. They have seen that it is not blissful to be out of the ocean.

The moment you become aware that to be a part of any society, any religion, any culture is to remain miserable, is to remain a prisoner—that very day you start dropping your chains. Maturity is coming, you are gaining your innocence again.

MATURITY AND AGING

There is a great difference between maturity and aging, a vast difference, and people always remain confused about it. People think that to age is to become mature—but aging belongs to the body. Everybody is aging, everybody will become old, but not necessarily mature. Maturity is an inner growth.

Aging is nothing that you do, aging is something that happens physically. Every child born, when time passes, becomes old. Maturity is something that you bring to your life—it comes out of awareness. When a person ages with full awareness, he becomes mature. Aging plus awareness, experiencing plus awareness, is maturity.

You can experience a thing in two ways. You can simply experience it as if you are hypnotized, unaware, not attentive to what is happening; the thing happened but you were not there. It didn't happen in your presence, you were absent. You just passed by, it never struck any note in you. It never left any mark on you, younever learned anything from it. It may have become part of your memory, because in a way you were present, but it never became your wisdom. You never grew through it. Then you are aging.

But if you bring the quality of awareness to an experience the same experience becomes maturity.

Aging is nothing that you do, aging is something that happens physically. Every child born, when time passes becomes old. Maturity is something that you bring to your life-it comes out of awareness.

There are two ways to live: one, to live in a deep sleep—then you age, every moment you become old, every moment you go on dying, that's all. Your whole life consists of a long, slow death. But if you bring awareness to your experiences—whatsoever you do, whatsoever happens to you, you are alert, watchful, mindful, you are savoring the experience from all the corners, you are trying to understand the meaning of it, you are trying to penetrate the very depth of it, what has happened to you, you are trying to live it intensely and totally—then it is not just a surface phenomenon. Deep down within you something is changing with it. You are becoming more alert. If this is a mistake, this experience, you will never commit it again.

A mature person never commits the same mistake again. But a person who is just old goes on committing the same mistakes again and again. He lives in a circle; he never learns anything. You will be angry today, you were angry yesterday and the day before yesterday,and tomorrow you are going to be angry and the day after tomorrow also. Again and again you get angry, again and again you repent, again and again you make a deep decision that you are not going to do it again. But that decision makes no change—whenever you are disturbed the rage takes over, you are possessed; the same mistake is committed. You are aging.

If you live an experience of anger totally, never again will you be angry. One experience will be enough to teach that it is foolish, that it is absurd, that it is simply stupid—not that it is a sin, it is simply stupid. You are harming yourself and harming others, for nothing. The thing is not worth it. Then you are getting mature. Tomorrow the situation will be repeated but anger will not be repeated. And a man who is gaining in maturity has not decided that he will not be angry again, no—that is the sign of a man who is not getting mature. A man of maturity never decides for the future; the maturity itself takes care. You live today—that very living will decide how the tomorrow is going to be; it will come out of it.

A mature person never commits the same mistake again. But a person who is just old goes on committing the same mistakes again and again. He lives in a circle, he never learns anything.

If the anger was painful, poisonous, you suffered hell through it, what is the point of deciding or taking a vow and going to the temple and declaring, "Now I take a vow that I will never be angry again"? All this is childish, there is no point! If you have knownthat anger is poisonous, it is finished! That way is closed, that door no longer exists for you. The situation will be repeated tomorrow but you will not be possessed by the situation. You have learned something—that understanding will be there. You may even laugh, you may even enjoy the whole thing of how people get so foolish. Your understanding is growing through every experience.

You can live life as if you are in hypnosis—that's how ninety-nine percent of people live—or you can live with intensity, awareness. If you live with awareness, you mature; otherwise you simply become old. And to become old is not to become wise. If you have been a fool when you were young and now you have become old, you will be just an old fool, that's all. Just becoming old, you cannot become wise. You may be even more foolish because you may have clung to mechanical habits, robotlike.

A man of maturity never decides for the future, the maturity itself takes care. You live today—that very living will decide how the tomorrow is going to be, it will come out of it.

Life can be lived in two ways. If you live unconsciously you simply die; if you live consciously you attain more and more life. Death will come—but it never comes to a mature man, it comes only to a man who has been aging and getting old. A mature person never dies, because he will learn even through death. Even death is going to be an experience to be intensely lived, and watched, allowed.

A mature man never dies. In fact, on the rock of maturity death struggles and shatters itself, commits suicide. Death dies, but nevera mature man. That is the message of all the awakened ones, that you are deathless. They have known it, they have lived their death. They have watched and they have found that it can surround you but you remain aloof, you remain far away. Death happens near you but it never happens to you.

Deathless is your being, blissful is your being, divine is your being, but those experiences you cannot cram into the mind and the memory. You have to pass through life and attain them. Much suffering is there, much pain is there. And because of pain and suffering people like to live stupidly—it has to be understood why so many people insist that they should live in hypnosis, why Buddhas and Christs go on telling people to be awake, and nobody listens. There must be some deep involvement in the hypnosis, there must be some deep investment. What is the investment?

To become old is not to become wise. If you have been a fool when you were young and now you have become old, you will be just an old fool, that's all.

The mechanism has to be understood; otherwise you will listen to me and you will never become aware. You will listen and you will make it a part of your knowledge, that "Yes, this man says be aware and it is good to be aware, and those who attain to awareness become mature ... ." But you yourself will not attain to it, it will remain just knowledge. You may communicate your knowledge to others, but nobody is helped that way.

Why? Have you ever asked this question? Why don't you attain to awareness? If it leads to the infinite bliss, to the attainment ofsatchitananda, to absolute truth—then why not be aware? Why do you insist on being sleepy? There is some investment, and this is the investment: if you become aware, there is suffering. If you become aware, you become aware of pain, and the pain is so much that you would like to take a tranquilizer and be asleep.

This sleepiness in life works as a protection against pain. But this is the trouble—if you are asleep against pain, you are asleep against pleasure also. Think of it as if there are two faucets: on one is written "pain" and on the other is written "pleasure." You would like to close the faucet on which pain is written, and you would like to open the faucet on which pleasure is written. But this is the game—if you close the pain faucet the pleasure faucet immediately closes, because behind both there is only one faucet, on which "awareness" is written. Either both remain open or both remain closed, because both are two faces of the same phenomenon, two aspects.

A mature person never dies, because he will learn even through death. Even death is going to be an experience to be intensely lived, and watched, allowed.

And this is the whole contradiction of mind: mind wants to be more and more happy—happiness is possible if you are aware. And then mind wants to be less and less in pain—but less and less pain is possible only if you are unaware. Now you are in a dilemma. If you want no pain, immediately pleasure disappears from your life, happiness disappears. If you want happiness you open the faucet—immediately there is pain also flowing. If you are aware, you have to be aware of both. Life ispain and pleasure. Life is happiness and unhappiness. Life is day and night, life is life and death. You have to be aware of both.

So remember it. If you are afraid of pain you will remain in hypnosis; you will age, become old, and die. You missed an opportunity. If you want to be aware then you have to be aware of both pain and pleasure; they are not separate phenomena. And a man who becomes aware becomes very happy but also becomes capable of deep unhappiness, of which you are not capable.

It happened, a Zen Master died and his chief disciple—who was a famous man on his own, even more famous than the Master; in fact the Master had become famous because of the disciple—started crying; sitting on the steps of the temple he started crying with tears flowing down. Thousands of people had gathered; they could not believe it, because you never see any awakened man crying and weeping with tears rolling down his face. They said, "We cannot believe it—what is happening? You are crying, and you yourself have been saying to us that the innermost being never dies, that death does not exist. We have heard you say millions of times that death does not exist—so why are you crying? Your Master is still alive in his being."

Life is happiness and unhappiness. Life is day and night, life is life and death. You have to be aware of both.

The disciple opened his eyes and he said, "Don't disturb me. Let me cry and weep. I'm not crying for the Master and his being, I am crying for his body. His body was also beautiful. Never again will that body exist."

And then somebody tried to persuade him that this would create a bad name for him: "So many people have gathered, and they will think that you are not enlightened."

The disciple said, "Let them think whatsoever they want to think. Since the day I became enlightened I have become infinitely blissful, but I have also become infinitely sensitive to pain and suffering."

This seems to be as it should be. If you hit Buddha, Buddha will suffer more than you will if somebody hits you—because he has become infinitely sensitive. His sensitivity is very delicate, he is just like a lotus petal. Your stone will hit him very deeply, it will give him deep suffering. Of course he will be aware of it, of course he will be aloof from it. Of course he will be transcendental to it, he will be knowing that it is happening and he will not be a part of it, he will be a cloudlike phenomenon surrounding it—but it is happening.

You cannot be so sensitive to pain, you are so fast asleep. You move like a drunkard—the drunkard falls on the street, hits his head in the gutter, nothing happens. If he were aware there would have been pain.

Buddha suffers infinitely and Buddha enjoys infinitely. Always remember, whenever you reach to a high peak, a deep valley is being created simultaneously. If you want to reach to the heavens, your roots will have to go to the very hell. Because you are afraid of pain you cannot become aware—and then you cannot learn anything.

It is just as if you are so afraid of enemies that you have closed the doors of your house. Now even the friend cannot enter, even the lover is left out. The lover goes on knocking on the door butyou are afraid, maybe it is the enemy. So you are closed—that's how I see you all, closed, afraid of the enemy, and the friend cannot enter. You have turned the friend into an enemy—now nobody can enter, you are so afraid.

Open the door. When the fresh air enters the house there is every possibility of dangers also entering. When the friend comes, the enemy comes also because day and night enter together, pain and pleasure enter together, life and death enter together. Don't be afraid of pain, otherwise you will live in anesthesia. The surgeon gives an anesthetic before he operates on you because there is going to be much pain, you will not be able to tolerate it. Your consciousness has to be dimmed, darkened, then he can cut your whole body and you will not suffer.

Because of the fear of pain you have forced yourself to live in a dim consciousness, in a dimmed existence, almost not alive—this is the fear. You have to drop that fear, you have to face pain, you have to move through suffering—only then the possibility opens for the friend to enter.

And when you know both, you immediately become the third. When you know both—pain and pleasure, the duality, the day and night—suddenly you have become transcendental.

Maturity is awareness. Aging is just wasting yourself.

 

THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL THING TO BE REMEMBERED is that life is dialectical. It exists through duality, it is a rhythm between opposites. You cannot be happy forever, otherwise happiness will lose all meaning. You cannot be in harmony forever, otherwise you will become unaware of the harmony. Harmony has to be followed by discord again and again, and happiness has to be followedby unhappiness. Every pleasure has its own pain, and every pain has its own pleasure.

Unless one understands this duality of existence, one remains in unnecessary misery.

Accept the total, with all its agonies and all its ecstasies. Don't hanker for the impossible; don't desire that there should be only ecstasy and no agony. Ecstasy cannot exist alone, it needs a contrast. Agony becomes the blackboard, then ecstasy becomes very clear and loud, just as in the darkness of night the stars are so bright. The darker is the night the brighter are the stars. In the day they don't disappear, they simply become invisible; you cannot see them because there is no contrast.

Accept the total, with all its agonies and all its ecstasies. Don't hanker for the impossible., don't desire that there should be only ecstasy and no agony.

Think of a life without death; it will be unendurable pain, an unendurable existence. It will be impossible to live without death—death defines life, gives it a kind of intensity. Because life is fleeting, each moment becomes precious. If life is eternal, then who cares? One can wait for tomorrow forever—then who will live now and here? Because tomorrow there is death, it forces you to live now and here. You have to plunge into the present moment, you have to go to its ultimate depth because who knows? The next moment may come, may not come.

Seeing this rhythm one is at ease, at ease with both. Whenunhappiness comes one welcomes it, when happiness comes one welcomes it, knowing that they are partners in the same game. This is something that has to be continuously remembered. If it becomes a fundamental remembrance in you, your life will have a totally new flavor—the flavor of freedom, the flavor of unclingingness, the flavor of nonattachment. Whatsoever comes you remain still, silent, accepting.

And the person who is capable of being still, silent, accepting of pain, frustration, and misery, transforms the very quality of misery itself. To him, misery also becomes a treasure; to him, even pain gives a sharpness. To him, even darkness has its own beauty, depth, infinity. To him, even death is not the end but only a beginning of something unknown.

MATURITY OF SPIRIT

The qualities of a mature person are very strange. First, he is not a person. He is no longer a self—he has a presence, but he is not a person.

Second, he is more like a child, simple and innocent. That's why I said the qualities of a mature person are very strange, because maturity gives a sense as if he has experienced, as if he is aged, old—physically he may be old, but spiritually he is an innocent child. His maturity is not just experience gained through life—then he would not be like a child, then he would not be a presence—he would be an experienced person, knowledgeable but not mature.

Maturity has nothing to do with your life experiences. It has something to do with your inward journey, your experiences of the inner.

The more a man goes deeper into himself the more mature he is. When he has reached the very center of his being he is perfectly mature. But at that moment the person disappears, only presence remains. The self disappears, only silence remains. Knowledge disappears, only innocence remains.

The person who is capable of being still, silent, accepting of pain, frustration, and misery, transforms the very quality of misery itself. To him, misery also becomes a treasure, to him, even pain gives a sharpness. To him, even darkness has its own beauty, depth, infinity.

To me, maturity is another name for realization: you have come to the fulfillment of your potential, it has become actual. The seed has come on a long journey and has blossomed.

Maturity has a fragrance. It gives a tremendous beauty to the individual. It gives intelligence, the sharpest possible intelligence. It makes him nothing but love. His action is love, his inaction is love; his life is love, his death is love. He is just a flower of love.

The West has definitions of maturity that are very childish. The West means by maturity that you are no longer innocent, that you have ripened through life experiences, that you cannot be cheated easily, that you cannot be exploited,that you have within you something like a solid rock, a protection, a security. This definition is very ordinary, very worldly. Yes, in the world you will find mature people of this type. But the way I see maturity is totally different, diametrically opposite to this definition. The maturity I am talking about will not make you a rock; it will make you so vulnerable, so soft, so simple.

I remember ... A thief entered a mystic's hut. It was a full-moon night, and by mistake he had entered; otherwise, what can you find in a mystic's house? The thief was looking and was amazed that there was nothing—and then suddenly he saw a man who was coming with a candle in his hand. The man said, "What are you looking for in the dark? Why did you not wake me up? I was just sleeping near the front door, and I could have showed you the whole house." And he looked so simple and so innocent, as if he could not conceive that anybody could be a thief.

Maturity has nothing to do with your life experiences. It has something to do with your inward journey, your experiences of the inner. The more a man goes deeper into man goes deeper into himself the more mature he is.

In the face of such simplicity and innocence the thief said, "Perhaps you do not know that I am a thief."

The mystic said, "That doesn't matter, everybody has to be someone. The point is that I have been in the house for thirty years and I have not found anything, so let us search together! And ifwe can find something we can be partners. I have not found anything in this house—it is just empty." The thief was a little afraid—the man seems to be strange! Either he is mad or ... who knows what kind of man he is? He wanted to escape, and besides he had brought things from two other houses that he had left outside the house.

The mystic had only one blanket—that was all that he had—and it was a cold night, so he told that thief, "Don't leave in this way, don't insult me this way; otherwise I will never be able to forgive myself, that a poor man came to my house in the middle of the night and had to go empty-handed. Just take this blanket. And it will be good—outside it is so cold. I am inside the house; it is warmer here."

He covered the thief with his blanket. The thief was just losing his mind! He said, "What are you doing? I am a thief!"

The mystic said, "That does not matter. In this world everybody has to be somebody, has to do something. You may be stealing, that doesn't matter—a profession is a profession. Just do it well, with all my blessings. Do it perfectly, don't be caught; otherwise you will be in trouble."

The thief said, "You are strange. You are naked, and you don't have anything ... ."

The mystic said, "Don't be worried, because I am coming with you! Only the blanket was keeping me in this house; otherwise in this house there is nothing—and the blanket I have given to you. I am coming with you—we will live together! And you seem to have many things; it is a good partnership. I have given my all to you, you can give me a little bit—that will be right."

The thief could not believe it. He just wanted to escape fromthat place and from that man. He said, "No, I cannot take you with me. I have my wife, I have my children. And my neighbors, what will they say if I bring a naked man to my house ...? "

The mystic said, "That's right. I will not put you in any embarrassing situation. So you can go, I will remain in this house." And as the thief was going, the mystic shouted, "Hey! Come back!" The thief had never heard such a strong voice; it went just like a knife. He had to come back. The mystic said, "Learn some ways of courtesy. I have given you the blanket and you have not even thanked me. So first, thank me—it will help you a long way. Second, going out ... you opened the door when you came in—close the door! Can't you see the night is so cold, and can't you see that I have given you the blanket and I am naked? Your being a thief is okay, but as far as manners are concerned, I am a difficult man. I cannot tolerate this kind of behavior. Say thank you!"

The thief had to say, "Thank you, sir," and he closed the door and escaped. He could not believe what had happened! He could not sleep the whole night. Again and again he remembered ... he had never heard such a strong voice, such power. And the man had nothing!

He inquired the next day and he found out that this man was a great Master. He had not done well—it was absolutely ugly to go to that poor man, he had nothing. But he was a great Master.

The thief said, "That I can understand myself—he is a very strange kind of man. In my whole life I have been coming in contact with different kinds of people, from the poorest to the richest, but never ... even remembering him, a shivering goes through my body. When he called me back I could not run away. I was absolutelyfree, I could have taken the things and run away but I could not. There was something in his voice that pulled me back."

After a few months the thief was caught, and in the court the magistrate asked him, "Can you name a person who knows you in this vicinity?"

He said, "Yes, one person knows me," and he named the Master.

The magistrate said, "That's enough—call the Master. His testimony is worth that of ten thousand people. What he says about you will be enough to give judgment."

The magistrate asked the Master, "Do you know this man?"

He said, "Know him? We are partners! He is my friend, he even visited me one night in the middle of the night. It was so cold that I gave him my blanket. He is using it, you can see. That blanket is famous all over the country; everybody knows it is mine."

The magistrate said, "He is your friend? And does he steal?"

The Master said, "Never! He can never steal. He is such a gentleman that when I gave him the blanket he said to me, 'Thank you, sir.' When he went out of the house, he silently closed the door. He is a very polite, nice fellow."

The magistrate said, "If you say so, then all the testimonies of the witnesses who have said that he is a thief are canceled. He is freed." The mystic went out and the thief followed him.

The mystic said, "What are you doing? Why are you coming with me?"

He said, "Now I can never leave you. You have called me your friend, you have called me your partner. Nobody has ever given me any respect. You are the first person who has said thatI am a gentleman, a nice person. I am going to sit at your feet and learn how to be like you. From where have you got this maturity, this power, this strength, this seeing of things in a totally different way?"

The mystic said, "Do you know that night how bad I felt? You had gone—it was so cold without a blanket that sleep was not possible. I was just sitting by the window watching the full moon, and I wrote a poem: 'If I were rich enough I would have given this perfect moon to that poor fellow, who had come in the dark to search for something in a poor man's house. I would have given the moon if I had been rich enough, but I am poor myself.' I will show you the poem, come with me.

"I wept that night, that thieves should learn a few things. At least they should inform a day or two ahead when they come to a man like me so we can arrange something, so they don't have to go empty-handed. And it is good that you remembered me in the court; otherwise those fellows are dangerous, they might have mistreated you. I offered that very night to come with you and be partners with you, but you refused. Now you want to come with me! There is no problem, you can come; whatever I have I will share with you. But it is not material, it is something invisible."

The thief said, "That I can feel—it is something invisible. But you have saved my life, and now my life is yours. Make whatever you want to make of it, I have been simply wasting it. Seeing you, looking in your eyes, one thing is certain—that you can transform me. I have fallen in love from that very night."

Maturity to me is a spiritual phenomenon.

 

MATURITY OF SPIRIT IS TOUCHING YOUR INNER SKY. Once you settle down in your inner sky, you have found a home, and a great maturity arises in your actions, in your behavior. Then whatever you do has grace in it. Then whatever you do is a poem in itself. You live poetry, your walking becomes dancing, your silence becomes music.

By maturity is meant that you have come home. You are no longer a child who has to grow—you have grown up. You have touched the height of your potential.

By maturity is meant that you have come home. You are no longer a child who has to grow—you have grown up. You have touched the height of your potential. For the first time in a strange sense you are not—and you are. You are not in your old ideas, imaginations, in your old comprehension of yourself; all that has gone down the drain. Now something new arises in you, absolutely new and virgin, which transforms your whole life into joy. You have become a stranger to the miserable world, you don't create misery for yourself or for anybody else. You live your life in total freedom, without any consideration for what others will say.

The people who are always considering others and their opinions are immature. They are dependent on the opinions of others. They can't do anything authentically, honestly they can't say whatthey want to say—they say what others want to hear. Your politicians say the things you want to hear. They give you the promises you want. They know perfectly well that they cannot fulfill these promises; neither is there any intent to fulfill them. But if they say exactly, truthfully, what the situation is, and make it clear to you that many of the things you are asking for are impossible, that they cannot be done, they will be thrown out of power. You will not choose a politician who is honest.

It is a very strange world. It is almost an insane asylum. If, in this insane asylum, you become alert and aware of your inner being, you are blessed.

The people who are always considering others and their opinions are immature. They can't do anything authentically, honestly, they can't say what they want to say—they say what others want to hear.

MATURITY: THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING ONESELF. Copyright © 1999 by Osho International Foundation. All rights reserved. For information address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    A Voice in the Wilderness

    With all the books and magazine articles and ads targeting the baby-boomer audience with the subtle message that aging gracefully is only for wimps, this celebration of 'growing up' rings as sweet and clear as a voice in the wilderness. I felt affirmed, supported, and delighted reading its pages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2006

    Not what I expected...

    Thought provoking & infuriating!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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