There is a story told by the Indian mystic Osho which involves two men imprisoned. “It was a full moon night; both were standing near the window of their dark cell. The full moon was there. One was looking at the moon, it was rainy season and there was much water and mud in front of the window. Dirty, and it was smelling and stinking. One man continued to look at the moon, the other continued to look at the mud. The man who was looking at the mud, of course, was feeling very miserable. And the man who was looking at the moon was aflame, aglow; His face was reflecting the moon, his eyes were full of beauty. He had completely forgotten that he was imprisoned.” Both men are standing at the same window but both men are choosing different things. Both men are seeing and focusing on different external objects that reflect their inner sense of self. Osho also uses another good example; that of the rose bush. Some will focus on the beautiful rose and some will focus on the thorns. However, If we looked at the rose bush fully, we would look at the rose and the thorns. If the rose represents light and the thorns represent darkness, we need to be aware of both to live consciously. Interestingly, the thorns protect the beautiful rose. The darkness is also there to protect us. Physically, if we did not have pain sensors and nerves, we could seriously damage our physical body. Without darkness the light would be too blinding for us. So to be conscious means to be balanced between the light and darkness, to be aware of both, without letting one override the other.
Unconsciously, many of us have a tendency to create or be involved in the very problems and scenarios that we are also trying to solve. This juxtaposition is created for a reason. If we were not fighting against someone or some part of ourselves, we would not be engaged in something. If we had no hope or strife, what would we be striving for? What would we be left with? More often when we eventually work something out that has been troubling us we tend to feel empty. Our ego likes something to get it’s teeth into and often gets away with us. Many of us at some point have struggled with our parents, constantly saying ‘no’ to them. Therefore we have a ‘no’ to fight against and this identity to hold on to. When we leave the family home we may feel empty as saying ‘no’ gave our whole life meaning. Now who do we say ‘no’ to? The tree does not fight against the wind. It does not tense up as the wind starts to gust against it. The trees roots are deep, and naturally it is grounded by it’s roots and sways in the wind naturally.
So if we are aware of both dimensions of our thoughts and our feelings, and practice being conscious of these, we will start to grow deeper and sturdier roots and our blossoming can start to happen. To begin with this can be very difficult as we are conditioned as children by our parents, grandparents, school and society not to have our own voice. Letting go of their voices can feel like death, so many of us may pull back and stick to what we know and are used to. But if we can continue, we start to disappear and we give space for something more divine and true to enter ourselves.
You came into this world utterly unbiased, pure and innocent without any preconditioned notions of who you were. Zen people call it the ‘original face’. ~ Osho