Chapter 34: Out of The Mind - Below or Beyond
Your question is: “Osho, your outstretched hands ever-patiently wait beside my open cage door, beckoning, but time and time again, I return to my cage shouting, “Freedom, freedom!” Having a taste here and there of the vastness of the unknown, why do I return to my lesser home? Your beckoning eyes, your inviting hands pull so strongly at my heart; and yet I resist.”
Naturally, a great question mark arises in your heart - why? Why do you choose slavery when freedom is available? Why do you choose the cage when the doors are open, and the whole sky is yours?
The answer is not very far to find. The cage has security. It protects you from rain, from sun, from strong wind, from your enemies. It protects you from the vastness in which one can be lost. It gives you a shelter, it is your cozy home, and you don’t have any responsibility of worrying about your food, of worrying about the rainy season, of worrying about whether tomorrow you will be able to find nourishment or not.
Freedom brings tremendous responsibilities.
Slavery is a bargain: you give your freedom and somebody else starts being responsible for your life, for your protection, for your food, for your shelter, for everything that you need. All that you lose is your freedom, all that you lose are your wings, all that you lose is the starry sky. But that was your soul.
In a cage safe and secure, you are dead; you have chosen a life of no risk, no danger. That’s why you go on returning to your cage, although your deepest soul is restless in slavery; it would like to risk all and to have the freedom to go to the very end of the sky. It longs to fly across the sun to faraway stars. That’s why my hands become significant to you, my words become a beckoning. But you decide, finally, to be a hypocrite; that’s what almost everybody in the whole world has decided.
You start singing songs of freedom in the cage. Although the doors are open and the sky is available, you settle for a life of hypocrisy - to have all the coziness and the insurance and the security of the cage, and have all the joys of freedom in your song, in your poetry, in your painting, in your music. That’s why you go on shouting, “Freedom, freedom!” You are simply deceiving yourself.
The new man will not be a hypocrite.
The old man was basically taught to be a hypocrite. The greater the hypocrite he was, the more honored, the more rewarded, the more respectable. He had settled with society: “You respect me and I will be a slave, I will be at your disposal. You just go on giving Nobel prizes to me.”
But you are not to be part of that old hypocrite world. I want you to come out of all security, all coziness, all shelter. Make the whole sky your home, be a wanderer, a pilgrim, know all the mysteries and all the secrets of life. And let not your life be a serious and miserable phenomenon. Let it be a joyous laughter, a playfulness.
To me, authentic religiousness means a childlike innocence, playfulness, and a wholehearted capacity for laughter.