The Book of Understanding

Seven Thoughts About Identity and Meaning in Life

Seven Thoughts About Identity and Meaning in Life

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Introduction:  Going from, “Who is Osho” to, “Who Am I?

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The Book of Understanding was the first book I read by Osho.  I was sitting on an airplane several thousand feet above ground with no internet connection when I first opened the cover.  It was unusual for me because I don’t normally read in any kind of moving environment (I get pretty intense motion sickness) and because I normally take notes online as I read.

Feeling peculiarly drawn to this book (and despite being in a moving aircraft), I figured I would use my phone’s notepad app to take notes and would start the book anyway.  It worked out great.  That is, until I got to page 2.

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“Man creates what he is, man creates himself. The meaning has to be created. You have to sing your meaning, you have to dance your meaning, you have to paint your meaning, you have to live it. Through living, it will arise; through dancing, it will start penetrating your being. Through singing, it will come to you. It is not like a rock just lying there to be found, it has to bloom in your being.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding

Buddha: On Getting Insulted

Buddha Insult Story

Buddha was passing through a village and the people came and they insulted him.  They used all the four-letter words that they knew.  Buddha stood there, listened silently, very attentively, and then said, ‘Thank you for coming to me, but I am in a hurry.  I have to reach the next village, people will be waiting for me there.  I cannot devote more time to you today, but tomorrow coming back I will have more time.  You can gather again, and tomorrow if something is left that you wanted to say and have not been able to, you can say it.  But today, please excuse me.’

Those people could not believe their ears: this man has remained utterly unaffected, undistracted.  One of them asked, ‘Have you not heard us?  We have been abusing you like anything, and you have not even answered!’ Continue reading

“People wonder why there seems to be no meaning in life. Meaning does not exist a priori. There is no meaning existing in life; one has to create it. Only if you create it will you discover it. It has to be invented first. It is not lying there like a rock, it has to be created like a song. It is not a thing, it is significance that you bring through your consciousness.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding

“A man of understanding, a man who understands himself and others, always feels compassion. Even if somebody is an enemy you have compassion toward him because a man of understanding can understand the viewpoint of the other also. He knows why the other feels as he feels, he knows why the other is angry, because he knows his own self, and in knowing that, he has known all others.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding

Abraham Lincoln: On Being the Son of a Shoemaker

Abraham Lincoln: On Being a Shoemaker's Son

When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker.  And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president.  They were aristocrats, who thought it was their birthright to be in the highest government post.  A shoemaker’s son?  On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up.  He was a very rich aristocrat.  He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.”  And the whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

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“The mediocre mind has no capacity for understanding. It is stuck somewhere near thirteen years in its mental age, or even below it. The person may be forty, fifty, seventy years old – that does not matter, that is the physical age. He has been growing old, but he has not been growing up. You should note the distinction. Growing old, every animal does. Growing up, only a few human beings manage.” ~ Osho, The Book of Understanding


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