With humor and sensitivity, Osho brings traditional Sufi stories into the 21st Century, revealing their hidden dimensions and adding his own. He distinguishes between need and desire, expertise and existential experience, and talks on the nature of the ego, the importance of trust and the stages of growth in one’s evolution.
Chapter 10: Just a Small Coin
"You have to encounter yourself.
Self-encounter is a suffering in the beginning, painful, deeply painful; it hurts, and hurts like hell. But only through suffering bliss is achieved; there is no other way. One who has passed through all sufferings becomes capable of the ultimate ecstasy - what Abraham Maslow and the humanistic psychologists call the "Aha!" experience.
When you have passed through a suffering it is like a long journey. Journey-tired you come, you cannot even move, and suddenly you see the goal - and your whole being feels: Aha! - an ecstasy, and all suffering disappears. And you are in a totally different dimension.
Self-encounter is the deepest suffering in the world; that’s why you are avoiding it. Socrates goes on saying: Know thyself - but nobody listens, because to know thyself means to know thyself as suffering. Of course, bliss follows, but that is not in the beginning, that is in the end. The beginning is painful. It is like a birth. Birth is painful.
If a child becomes afraid in the womb of the mother, afraid to pass through the birth passage - it is very narrow, it is painful, suffocating, it is a trauma, it leaves a wound forever - if the child becomes afraid, then there will be no birth, and there will be no life. Then the child will die in the womb. If the bird in the egg becomes afraid to leave the protecting shell…. He is closed in, completely closed in, and protected from everything, and he has whatsoever he needs inside. If a seed becomes afraid to sprout…because as a seed there is no suffering, there is no death because there is no life. As a seed there is no danger; the seed can remain for millions of years.
In Mohenjo Daro seeds have been found that are ten thousand years old. They are still alive, they can sprout. In a cave in China seeds have been found which are one million years old. They are still alive. Put them in the soil, water them, care - and they will sprout. One million years a seed has remained inside!
And you are the same seed. Wherever you are, in the cave of China or in the cave of New York, it makes no difference: you have been a seed for millions of lives. You have been afraid to take the jump and become a plant. It is a great jump. It is a risk. The shell is torn asunder, the protection lost; the security disappears.
The tender plant comes out, so delicate, so tender, and such a difficult world! - where all sorts of hazards exist. Animals are there, and children are there - and nobody knows what will happen. And the plant is so tender, so soft, so feminine, and the seed was so masculine, so protective, so hard, so strong. And life is soft, death is hard. Life is tender…. For death there exists no hazard, because a dead person cannot die again. For life - millions of hazards. Hazards and hazards - it is an adventure into the unknown.
Watch a seed sprouting, breaking the hard shell, then the hard crust of the earth, then rising into the world - the unknown, unmapped, uncharted future. Nobody knows what is going to happen and all sorts of danger all around. If the plant becomes afraid and remains in the seed, then it will never taste what life is.
Don’t be afraid. Come out of your ignorance, come out of your protective shell, come out of the ego. Ego is just like the egg: a shell which protects. Come out of your character, come out of your conscience. Take the challenge! Adventure into the unknown."