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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Psychology of the Esoteric
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Chapter 11: Right Questioning

In America there is a modern thinker and psychologist, B. F. Skinner. He also says that man is as predictable as anything. The main difficulty is not that man is unpredictable, it is that we have not yet devised implements to know his whole past. So the moment we know his past we can predict - everything is predictable. And he is right in a way. All the persons he has been working with in his labs are such. No buddha has come to his lab to be experimented upon, so he is right. He has been experimenting on hundreds and hundreds of people and he sees that they are all mechanical devices; nothing is there which can be called freedom.

But he is wrong because the study is limited, and even if only one person is free, it makes no difference - the whole theory falls down. It makes no difference if even only one person in the whole history of man is free and unpredictable, man is free and unpredictable.

But the whole thing will depend on the emphasis: whether you emphasize your body or you emphasize your consciousness. Where do you belong? Where are you belonging? - in the body or in the consciousness? Are you just an outward flow of life? - then everything is determined. Are you something inside also? But don’t give any preformulated answer to it. Don’t say, “Yes, I am a soul inside.” Don’t say it. If you feel that “there is nothing inside me,” then be honest, because honesty is going to be the first step toward the inner freedom of consciousness.

So say, “I have no inside,” if you feel that there is no inside. And really, if you go in, you will feel that everything is just part of the outside: your body has come from without, your thoughts have come from without, your self is being given to you by others. That’s why you are so fearful of other’s opinion - because they can withdraw your self completely. They may say, “You are a good man.” But if you don’t behave according to them they can withdraw their opinion and you will be poorer, and your “good” self will be nowhere.

That’s why everyone is in fear, constant fear of others, because they are the contributors of your self. They can withdraw; at least they can withdraw their contribution. Your self is a contribution from others, your body is a contribution from others, your thoughts are a contribution from others, so where is the inside? You are just layers and layers of outside accumulation. If you are identifying with this personality, then everything is determined.

So unless one becomes aware of everything that comes from the outside and goes on continuously not identifying with it, a moment comes where you don’t find anything to reject. When you don’t find anything to reject, you have come into a vacuum. This vacuum is the passage between the outside and the inside; this is the door. But we fear the vacuum. We are afraid of being empty so we cling to the outside accumulation.

So one has to be courageous enough to non-identify, and then to remain in the vacuum where there is no outside. When the outside falls completely you will be in a vacuum. If you are not courageous enough to be in the vacuum, you will again go out and cling to something, and be filled with it. So this moment is meditation, this “vacuum moment.” If you are courageous enough, and if you can remain in this vacuum, soon your whole being will turn inside automatically, because when there is nothing to be attached to from the outside, your being turns inward. Then you know for the first time that you are something which transcends all that you have been thinking yourself to be.

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