Transcendental Freedom (By Osho)

Freedom from creates the politician, the reformer, the social servant, the communist, the socialist, the fascist. Freedom for creates the artist, the painter, the poet, the dancer, the musician. And just freedom for its own sake creates the sannyasin, the spiritual person, the truly religious.

The real freedom is the third kind, the transcendental freedom. It is neither from nor for; it is simply freedom. It is just freedom. That is moksha: just freedom. Neither against anybody — it is not a reaction; nor to create some future — there is no goal. One simply enjoys being oneself, for its own sake; it is an end unto itself.

“Freedom has to be understood. It is a very delicate matter, a very subtle matter, one of the most profound, because freedom is equivalent to God.

That’s why Mahavira refused the existence of God, because he accepted the existence of freedom, and that was enough. He called ultimate freedom moksha. Moksha means absolute freedom, ultimate freedom; then there is no need for God. Freedom is another name for God.

Three things have to be understood. First, there is a kind of freedom that you are acquainted with: that is freedom from. A child wants to be free of the parents. The slave wants to be free from the master, from the boss. This is freedom from; it is a reaction, it is the ego asserting itself. And I am not saying there is anything wrong in it; you just have to watch the different colors of freedom.

When you are seeking freedom from, sooner or later you will fall into another trap — because it is a reaction and not an understanding. That’s what happened in all the revolutions in the past. In 1917 the poor masses of Russia revolted against the Czar, wanted to be free from Czardom. And they became free just to become slaves again, because they had no positive idea of freedom. Their idea of freedom was negative. Their whole interest was how to be free from the Czar. They forgot, they completely forgot, that just to be free from the Czar was not going to help; some other Czar would be waiting.

The moment you are free from the old Czar, the new Czar will jump upon you — and the new will be more powerful, and the new will create a far more dangerous slavery, because the new will know that you can revolt. You have revolted against the old: he will have to make a better, stronger structure of slavery so that you cannot revolt anymore. He will be more cautious, obviously.

Now it is possible, scientifically it is possible, to fix electrodes in your head. You will never be aware of them, because deep inside your skull there is no sensitivity. So if something is put there you will never know about it, you will not feel its presence. But it can go on reporting what you are thinking to the headquarters, what kind of thoughts are moving in you; it can give signals. And there is every possibility that it is going to be practiced on people in communist countries.

So when you are seeking freedom from…. For example, if you are searching for freedom from the society, the established society, then you will fall into the trap of some alternative society. You will become a hippie or a yippie or something, and there you will again be in the same trap. If the established society wants you not to wear long hair, then in the hippie community you will be asked to wear long hair. If you do not have long hair you will look odd. People will laugh at you, they will think that you are a square. They will think that you are stupid, that you are not a rebel. So if you are trying to escape from one slavery, you are bound to fall into another, because your inner mechanism is already conditioned to being a slave. You can change masters, that’s all.

The Christian can become a Hindu, the Hindu can become a Mohammedan, the Mohammedan can become a Jew — it doesn’t matter. You only change masters, you remain the same. First you Were dependent on the Hindu priest, now you are dependent on the Christian minister. First you were dependent on the Koran, now you depend on the Geeta, but dependence continues. This is not true freedom.

Freedom from is not true freedom.

Then there is another kind of freedom: freedom for — the second kind of freedom, which is far better than the first. The first is negative. The second is positive: one wants to be free to do something. For example, you want to be free of your family because you are in love with music. You are not really against the family. You are for music, and the family creates a hindrance, so you escape from the family. You are not against the family, against the parents, but they want you to become an engineer and you want to become a musician.

And it is good to be a musician even if you have to suffer for it. It is better to be a musician if you really want to be a musician, if you have a passion for it, than to be a successful engineer, rich, comfortable, safe. You can be safe, rich, comfortable, secure, but you will be dead if you do something which you never wanted to do. If you want to become a musician or a dancer or a poet and that is your passion, then go for it. You may be a beggar, you may never become known, you may never be rich — because the society does not need much poetry.

The society does not need much music, it needs more weapons to kill. It does not need poetry because poetry cannot be of much use in War. It needs atom bombs, hydrogen bombs. It needs soldiers, not sannyasins. It is a society based on hate, it is a society which is rooted in violence. It is a society which is greedy and lives through greed, ambition, lust — lust for power.

If you become a good ladder climber your parents will be happy — although the ladder leads nowhere. One day suddenly when you have become the president of the country, on the last rung of the ladder, then you see the point: that you have come to the highest and now it looks as if your whole life has been a wastage — because the ladder leads nowhere. You are just in the sky, hanging. You have not arrived anywhere.

But now to say this is not right… because at least the people who have not arrived believe that you have reached. To say, “I have not reached,” will need great guts.

That’s what Buddha did when he renounced his kingdom. He said, “There is nothing.” That’s what Mahavira did when he renounced his kingdom, what Ibrahim did when he renounced his kingdom; he said, “There is nothing. ” But these people are really courageous people. Otherwise it looks so stupid; when everybody thinks you have reached, why say it? Why not let the illusion continue? And what is the point in saying that you have been after something which was absolutely absurd, ridiculous, that your whole life has been foolish? Why Say it, why confess it? Just keep quiet. Go on holding on to the top, remain there till you die, but never tell the secret to anybody because that will prove that your whole life has been just a life of utter mediocrity, unintelligence.

If you want to be a musician or a poet, be a musician, be a poet. And this is a second kind of freedom: you will be at least happy that you are doing your own thing, not somebody else’s thing.

And this is my experience: that to be doing one’s own thing is the greatest joy in the world — whatsoever that thing is appreciated by the society or not, valued by the society or not, whether it can be sold in the marketplace as a commodity or not. If it is the thing that you passionately desire, intensely desire, then do it; and whatsoever the cost, sacrifice yourself for it.

This is the second kind of freedom: freedom for. This is a positive approach, better than the first. The first type of person becomes a politician. The second type of person becomes a poet, a painter, an artist. The first freedom is negative, the second freedom is positive — but remember, they are aspects of the same thing.

Even the first type of freedom at least pretends that there is some goal. Even the politician says, “We are fighting to be free — from this kind of society, this kind of structure, this kind of politics. We are fighting to be free from this society just to create another society. We are fighting for some goal, some value, some utopia, some ideology.” Even he has to pretend that, because the negative cannot exist alone; at least the positive has to be talked about. So communism talks about a classless society, utopia, where everything will be beautiful, where paradise will have descended on the earth. It will take infinity, but that goal has to be given. Otherwise people will not fight for a negative freedom.

So the negative implies the positive; and vice versa, the positive implies the negative. When you want to become a painter and your parents are not agreeing and your society thinks it is foolish, you have to fight with them. So freedom for will have something to do with freedom from; they both are together.

The real freedom is the third kind, the transcendental freedom. What is that? It is neither from nor for; it is simply freedom. It is just freedom. That is moksha: just freedom. Neither against anybody — it is not a reaction; nor to create some future — there is no goal. One simply enjoys being oneself, for its own sake; it is an end unto itself.

Freedom from creates the politician, the reformer, the social servant, the communist, the socialist, the fascist. Freedom for creates the artist, the painter, the poet, the dancer, the musician. And just freedom for its own sake creates the sannyasin, the spiritual person, the truly religious.

Pagal, your question is, “We must be free. Yet where does freedom end and selfishness begin?” The first two are selfish, ego-oriented. The first, freedom from, is very egoistic because it has to fight against. It is violent; it has to be very egoistic. It has to disobey, it has to destroy, it has to conspire against the status quo. It needs great ego. The politician is nothing but pure ego.

The second, freedom for, also has ego, but more delicate, more subtle, not so gross as the politician’s. The musician also has the ego, but more delicate, softer, more gentlemanly. The poet also has the ego, but nice, sweet, not so bitter as the first. They both are ego expressions.

Only in the third, pure freedom — neither against nor for — is there no ego and is there no selfishness, because the third freedom happens only when the ego has evaporated. If the ego is still there, the freedom may be either the first or the second. The third requires as basic the phenomenon of the disappearance of the ego :FANA. One has to understand the ego to attain the third freedom.

Watch the ways of the ego. Go on watching. There is no need to fight for, no need to fight against; there is only just one need: to watch and be aware of how the ego functions, its mechanism. And slowly, slowly out of that awareness, one day the ego is found no more. Because the ego can exist only in unawareness. When awareness comes and the light comes, the ego disappears like darkness. And then there is freedom. That freedom knows no ego.

And that freedom is love, and that freedom is God. That freedom is nirvana, that freedom is truth. In that freedom you exist in God, God exists in you. Then nothing wrong can ever happen through you. Then your life is virtue. Then your very breathing is meditation. Then you walk and it is poetry. Then you sit silently and it is dance. Then you are a blessing to the world. You are blessed.”

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