To find yourself you must find your original face.
Just be what you are and don't care a bit about the world. Then you will feel a tremendous relaxation and a deep peace within your heart. This is what Zen people call your "original face" -- relaxed, without tensions, without pretensions, without hypocrisies, without the so-called disciplines of how you should behave.
And remember, the original face is a beautiful poetic expression, but it does not mean that you will have a different face. This same face will lose all its tensions, this same face will be relaxed, this same face will be nonjudgmental, this same face will not think of others as inferior. This same face under these new values will be your original face.
There is an ancient proverb: Many a hero is a man who did not have the courage to be a coward. If you are a coward what is wrong with it? You are a coward -- it is perfectly good. Cowards are also needed, otherwise from where will you get heroes? They are an absolute necessity to give the background to create heroes.
To Find Yourself, Just Be Yourself, Whatever It Is.
The problem is that never before has anybody told you just to be yourself. Everybody is poking his nose in, saying that you should be this way, you should be that way -- even in ordinary matters.
In my school... I was just a small boy, but I hated to be told how I have to be. Teachers started bribing me -- "If you behave rightly, you can become a genius."
I said, "To hell with the genius -- I simply want to be myself." I used to sit with my legs on the table, and every teacher was offended. They would say, "What kind of behavior is this?"
I said, "The table is not saying anything to me. It is something between me and the table, so why are you looking so angry? I am not putting my legs on your head! You should relax just as I am relaxing. And this way I feel better able to understand what nonsense you are teaching."
Just on one side of the room was a beautiful window, and outside were trees and birds and cuckoos. Mostly I was looking out of the window, and the teacher would come and say, "Why do you come to school at all?"
I said, "Because in my house there is no window like this, which opens up to the whole sky. And around my house there are no cuckoos, no birds. The house is in the city, surrounded by other houses, so crowded that birds don't come there, cuckoos don't feel that these are the people to be blessed by their songs.
"Forget the idea that I come here to listen to you! I am paying my fee, you are simply a servant and you should remember that. If I fail I will not come to complain to you; if I fail I will not feel sad. But if for the whole year I have to pretend that I am listening to you, while I am listening to the cuckoos outside, that will be the beginning of a hypocritical life. And I don't want to be a hypocrite."
To Be Yourself, Ignore People Who Want You to Be Something Else
On every matter, the teachers, the professors, wanted you to do it in a certain way. In my school in those days, and perhaps even today, using a cap was necessary. I have nothing against caps; since I have left the university I have started wearing caps but I never wore one until I left the university. The first teacher who was worried about me said, "You are disturbing the discipline of the school. Where is your cap?"
I said, "Bring the school code of behavior. Is there any mention that every boy should wear a cap? And if there is not, you are imposing something against the school code."
He took me to the principal of the school and I told the principal, "I am absolutely ready, just show me where it is written that a cap is compulsory. If it is compulsory I may even leave the school, but first let me see where it is written."
There was no written code and I said, "Can you give me any other reasonable arguments for using the cap? Will it increase my intelligence? Will it increase my life? Will it give me better health, more understanding?" I said, "As far as I know, Bengal is the only province in India where caps are not used, and that is the most intelligent part of the country. Punjab is just the opposite. There, for a cap, people use turbans -- such big turbans, as if their intelligence is escaping so they are trying to keep hold of it. And that is the most unintelligent part of the country."
The principal said, "There seems to be some sense in what you are saying, but it is a school discipline. If you stop wearing a cap, then others will stop."
I said, "Then what is the fear? Just drop the whole convention."
Nobody wants to allow you to be yourself on matters which are absolutely insignificant.
I used to have long hair in my childhood. And I used to come in and out of my father's shop, because the shop and the home were connected. The home was behind the shop and it was absolutely necessary to pass through the shop. People would ask, "Whose girl is this?" -- because my hair was so long, they could not imagine that a boy would have such long hair.
My father felt very ashamed and embarrassed to say, "He is a boy."
"But," they said, "then why all this hair?"
One day -- it was not his normal nature -- he became so embarrassed and angry that he came and cut my hair with his own hands. Bringing the scissors that he used to cut cloth in his shop, he cut my hair. I didn't say anything to him -- he was surprised. He said, "You don't have anything to say?"
I said, "I will say it in my own way."
"So what do you mean?"
I said, "You will see." And I went to the opium-addict barber who used to have a shop just in front of our house. He was the only man I had a respect for. There were a row of barber shops, but I loved that old man. He was a rare variety, and he loved me; for hours we used to talk to each other. What he was saying was all nonsense! One day he was saying to me, "If all the opium addicts can be organized into a political party, we can take over this country!"
I said, "It is a good idea."
"But," he said, "because we are all opium addicts, I myself forget my own idea."
I said, "You don't be worried. I am here and I will remember. You just tell me what changes you want to have in the country, what kind of political ideology you want, and I will manage it."
But I went to him and I told him, "Just shave my whole head completely." In India the head is shaved completely only when your father dies. For a moment even that opium addict came to his senses. He said, "What has happened? Has your father died?"
I said, "Don't bother about these things. You do what I am saying; it is none of your concern! You just cut my hair completely, shave it completely."
He said, "Done! That is the easiest job. So many times I get into trouble. People say to me, 'Shave the beard', and I forget and I shave their heads. They say, 'What have you done?' And I say, 'At the most I can say to you don't pay for it -- what is the problem?'"
I used to sit in his shop because there was always something ridiculous happening. He would cut half the mustache of somebody and would say, "Wait, I have remembered some urgent work." And the man would say, "But I am caught here in your chair and half the mustache is gone. I cannot go out of the shop!" He would say, "Simply wait there."
And then hours will pass and that man is sitting there..."What kind of idiot is this man?"
At one time I had to help by cutting the half mustache of a man. I said, "Now you are free. Just never come back here again... because that man has not done much harm to you, he just forgets."
So the barber said, "That's right. It is none of my concern. If he has died, he has died."
He shaved my head completely, and I went home. I passed through the shop. My father looked and all his customers looked. They said, "What happened? Whose boy is this? His father has died."
My father said, "He is my boy and I am alive! But I knew he was going to do something. He has answered me well."
Wherever I went people would ask, "What happened? He was perfectly healthy."
I said, "People die at any age. You are worried about him, you are not worried about my hair."
That was the last thing my father ever did to me, because he knew that the answer could be more dangerous! On the contrary, he brought a certain oil that is used for growing hair. It is a very costly oil, wich comes from Bengal out of a certain flower, javakusum. It is very costly, rare, used only by the richest people -- and not by men but by women -- to keep the hair as long as possible. In Bengal I have come across women whose hair touched the earth -- five feet long, six feet long. That oil simply functions powerfully on the hair.
I said, "Now you understand."
He said, "I have understood. You use this oil quickly; in a few months your hair will be back."
I said, "You created the whole mess. What was there to be embarrassed about? You could have said, 'She is my girl.' I don't have any objection about that. But you should not have interfered with me the way you did. It was violent, barbarous. Rather than saying anything to me, you simply started cutting my hair."
To Be Yourself, You Must Forget the Conditioning
Nobody allows anybody to be just himself. And you have learned all those ideas so deeply that it seems they are your ideas. Just relax. Forget all those conditionings, drop them like dry leaves falling from the trees. It is better to be a naked tree without any leaves than to have plastic leaves and plastic foliage and plastic flowers; that is ugly.
The original face simply means that you are not being dominated by any kind of morality, religion, society, parents, teachers, priests, not being dominated by anyone. Just living your life according to your own inner sense -- you have a sensibility -- and you will have the original face.
©1999 Osho International Foundation.
All rights reserved. Published by St. Martin's Press, NY.
Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously
Unlike books that focus on heroic acts of courage in exceptional circumstances, the focus here is on developing the inner courage that enables us to lead authentic and fulfilling lives on a day-to-day basis. This is the courage to change when change is needed, the courage to stand up for our own truth, even against the opinions of others, and the courage to embrace the unknown in spite of our fears. Features meditation techniques designed to help people deal with their fears.
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About The Author
Osho is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. For more information, visit www.osho.com.