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Chapter 1: Know How to Live

And the ways of life are very zigzag. The ways of life are not like the tracks of a railway train. No, it does not run on tracks. And that’s the beauty of it, the glory of it, the poetry of it, the music of it - that it is always a surprise.

If you are seeking for security, certainty, your eyes will become closed and you will be less and less surprised, and you will lose the capacity to wonder. Once you lose the capacity to wonder, you have lost religion. Religion is the opening of your wondering heart. Religion is a receptivity for the mysterious that surrounds us.

Don’t seek security; don’t seek advice on how to live your life. People come to me and they say, “Osho, tell us how we should live our life.” You are not interested in knowing what life is, you are more interested in making a fixed pattern. You are more interested in killing life than in living it. You want a discipline to be imposed on you.

There are, of course, priests and politicians all over the world who are ready, just sitting waiting for you. Come to them and they are ready to impose their disciplines on you. They enjoy the power that comes through imposing their own ideas upon others.

I’m not here for that. I am here to help you to become free. And when I say that I am here to help you to become free, I am included. I am to help you to become free of me also. My sannyas is a very paradoxical thing. You surrender to me in order to become free. I accept you and initiate you into sannyas to help you to become absolutely free of every dogma, of every scripture, of every philosophy - and I am included in it. Sannyas is as paradoxical as life itself is - it should be. Then it is alive.

So the first thing is: don’t ask anybody how you should live your life. Life is so precious - live it! I am not saying that you will not make mistakes, you will. Remember only one thing - don’t make the same mistake again and again. That’s enough. If you can find a new mistake every day, make it. But don’t repeat mistakes, that is foolish. A man who can find new mistakes to make will be growing continuously - that is the only way to learn, that is the only way to come to your own inner light.

I have heard:

One night the poet, Awhadi of Kerman, a very great Muslim poet, was sitting on his porch bent over a vessel. Shams e-Tabrizi, a great Sufi mystic, happened to pass by.

Shams e-Tabrizi looked at the poet, at what he was doing. He asked the poet, “What are you doing?”

The poet said, “Contemplating the moon in a bowl of water.”

Shams e-Tabrizi started laughing, with an uproarious laughter, a mad laughter. The poet started feeling uncomfortable; a crowd gathered. And the poet said, “What is the matter? Why are you laughing so much? Why are you ridiculing me?”