Osho on Happiness
Question: How can I be Happy ? and Why am I still not happy?
Osho: Because you still are, and Whenever you are thinking about it, it is not there, it is very shy. Whenever you look around, it disappears; whenever you start thinking Am I happy or not? you are not. A happy man never thinks about happiness he is so happy, how can he think about happiness? Only an unhappy man thinks about happiness, and by thinking, he becomes more unhappy.
A big dog saw a little dog chasing its tail, and asked “Why are you chasing your tail so?” Said the puppy: I have mastered philosophy, I have solved the problems of the universe which no dog before me has rightly solved: I have learned that the best thing for a dog is happiness, and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore I am chasing it, and when I catch it I shall have it.
Said the old dog: My son, I too have paid attention to the problems of the universe in my weak way, and have formed some opinions. I too have judged that happiness is a fine thing for a dog, and that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that when I go about my business, it comes after me. I need not chase it.
Listen to this old dog’s idea. You must have seen that whenever a dog is happy, he waves his tail, so naturally dogs think that happiness must be in the tail. Then they start chasing, but you cannot chase your own tail. You jump, the tail jumps; you jump more, the tail jumps more you will get crazy. That’s what is happening.
The question is from Arup. Listen to the old dog. You go about your business and it comes after you. One thing has to be learned nothing is more valuable than that and that is to be absorbed into whatsoever you are doing. Don’t think about whether it is a very great thing or not. If you are cleaning the floor, get totally absorbed into it. If you are cooking, get absorbed into it. Washing your clothes, get absorbed into it.
Whenever you are dissolved in your act, ego disappears. Then there is no space for the ego to exist. In that very moment when ego is not, there is happiness. So let me say it in this way: Ego is misery, no ego is happiness. And ego remains only when you are split, ego is not whenever you are harmonious. Dancing, you become the dance ego disappears; singing, you become the song ego disappears; sitting silently doing nothing, you become that non-doing and ego disappears.
Act or no act, remember one thing: get absorbed into it, whatsoever it is. You have gone for a morning walk, get totally absorbed into it. Forget all about yourself, forget all about happiness; forget all about health, the oxygen in the air and all calculations; forget all that you have read about the beautiful experience of the morning walk forget everything.
Just walk, and one day you will find that suddenly you are totally there, and it has been there; happiness has visited you. You will lose contact again and again because the moment you will start thinking about it, that it is there, it is gone. You come in, it goes out; you go out, it comes in; you cannot be with it together. Both Arup and happiness cannot be together in the room that’s impossible.
Start losing yourself. You must be too much after it, you must be continuously thinking about it, you must be planning how to attain to it then it is never going to happen. If you are too much after happiness, all that happens is hell. If you forget about it, it is a very natural phenomenon. The self-consciousness does not allow it, it makes you very narrow. When the self disappears, when self-consciousness disappears, you are vast like the sky. Suddenly it pours into you.
So the art of being happy is the art of forgetfulness. And when I am saying this, remember: now don’t start planning about it how to forget, how not to think about happiness otherwise you are again in the same trap. It is not a question of ”how”, you simply do it. And it is not a question of tomorrow, you do it right now, this very moment.
Listen to me, Arup. This very moment you listen totally. Don’t think about what I am saying, don’t try to figure it out, don’t plan. Just listen. Just be here with me, this moment, and happiness is there. Silent, listening, attentive, with no self ” how can you miss happiness?” Nobody has ever heard that anybody can miss happiness when one is silent, attentive, self-forgetful, absorbed.
If you cannot be absorbed into my word, into my presence, it will be difficult for you to be absorbed anywhere else. Listening to me, just listen, and let it be this very moment.
An old rabbi used to say to his people, Repent the day before you die. But they said to him Rabbi, we know not the day of our death. Then he answered repent today, repent now.
Don’t postpone because one never knows. Tomorrow you may not be here, the next moment you may not be here, so this is the only moment you have. NOW IS the only time you have and HERE is the only place you have. I am not telling you to prepare, to get ready. That’s the whole message of Tao too: YOU ARE READY AS YOU ARE. YOU start enjoying this moment and happiness will follow you. It always follows you, because it is in the tail. When you go about doing your business, the tail comes.
Source: Osho Book Tao: The Pathless Path