“If you choose according to your own inclination, according to your own intuition...[the inner voice] is very strong in children but, slowly slowly, becomes weaker. The voices of the parents and the teachers, the society and the priest, become louder and louder. Now if you want to find out what is your voice, you will have to pass through a crowd of noises.
“Just watch inside: whose voice is this? Sometimes it is your father, sometimes it is your mother, sometimes it is your grandfather, sometimes it is your teacher; and those voices are all different. Just one thing you will not be able to find easily – your own voice. It has been always suppressed. You have been told to listen to your elders, to listen to the priest, to listen to the teachers. You have never been told to listen to your own heart.
“You are carrying a still, small voice of your own, unheard, and in the crowd of voices that have been imposed upon you, it is almost impossible to find it. First you will have to get rid of all those noises, attain a certain quality of silence, peace, serenity. Only then will it come, as a surprise, that you also have your own voice. It was always there like an undercurrent.
“Unless you have found your natural inclination, your life is going to be a long, long tragedy, from the cradle to the grave. The only people who have been blissful in the world are the people who have lived according to their own intuition and have rebelled against any effort by others to impose their ideas. Howsoever valuable those ideas may be, they are useless because they are not yours. The only significant idea is that which arises in you, grows in you, blossoms in you.”
Step 1: Who’s speaking, please?
“Whatever you are doing, thinking, deciding, ask yourself: Is this coming from me or is someone else speaking?
“You will be surprised when you find the real voice. Perhaps it is your mother; you will hear her speak again. Perhaps it is your father; it is not difficult at all to detect. It remains there recorded in you exactly as it was given to you for the first time – the advice, the order, the discipline, or the commandment. You may find many people: the priests, the teachers, the friends, the neighbors and the relatives.
“There is no need to fight. Just knowing that it is not your voice but somebody else’s – whosoever that somebody else is – you know that you are not going to follow it. Whatsoever the consequences – good or bad – now you are deciding to move on your own, you are deciding to be mature. You have remained a child enough. You have remained dependent enough. You have listened to all these voices and followed them enough. And where have they brought you? Into a mess.
Step 2: Thankyou...and Goodbye!
“Once you identify whose voice it is, thank the person, ask to be left alone and say good-bye to it.
“The person who had given that voice to you was not your enemy. His intention was not bad, but it is not a question of his intention. The question is that he imposed something on you that is not coming from your inner source; and anything that comes from outside makes you a psychological slave.
“Once you have told a certain voice clearly, ‘Leave me alone,’ your connection with it, your identity with it, is broken. It was capable of controlling you because you were thinking it was your voice. The whole strategy was the identity. Now you know it is not your thoughts, not your voice; it is something foreign to your nature. Recognizing it is enough. Get rid of the voices that are within you and soon you will be surprised to hear a still, small voice, which you have never heard before...then a sudden recognition that it is your voice.
“It has been there always, but it is a very still, small voice because it was suppressed when you were a very small child, and the voice was very small, just a sprout, and it was covered with all kinds of crap. And now you go on carrying that crap and you have forgotten the plant that is your life, which is still alive, waiting for you to discover it. Discover your voice and then follow it with no fear.
“Whenever it leads, there is the goal of your life, there is your destiny. It is only there that you will find fulfillment, contentment. It is only there that you will blossom – and in that blossoming, knowing happens.”
Osho, From Ignorance to Innocence, Talk #13