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Chapter 6: Discipline and Control

The first question:

Osho, You said that those who want to attain need discipline and effort at first. Is that not a thing of the ego, and will it not become more strengthened? I have always been hard on myself and missed much of the joys of life. Please explain the difference between discipline and control.

There is a vast difference. Not only a difference, but discipline and control are polar opposites.

Control is from the ego, discipline is from the non-ego; control is manipulating yourself, discipline is to understand yourself; discipline is a natural phenomenon, control is unnatural; control is a sort of suppression, discipline is spontaneous. Discipline needs only understanding - you understand and you act according to your understanding. Discipline has no ideal to follow, discipline has no dogma to follow, discipline is not perfectionist - discipline leads you by and by towards a wholeness.

Control is perfectionist, it has an ideal to be achieved; you have an idea in the mind about how you should be. Control has many shoulds and many should-nots; discipline has none. Discipline is a natural understanding, a flowering.

The very word discipline comes from a root that means “to learn”; it comes from the same root as the word disciple. A disciple is one who is ready to learn - and discipline is that capacity of openness that helps you to learn.

Discipline has nothing to do with control. In fact, a disciplined mind is never a mind that thinks in terms of control, there is no need for it. A disciplined mind needs no control, a disciplined mind is absolutely free.

An undisciplined mind needs control, because an undisciplined mind feels that without control there is danger. An undisciplined mind cannot trust itself, hence the control. For example: If you don’t control yourself you may kill somebody - in anger, in rage you can be a murderer. You need control, because you are afraid of yourself.

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