Osho on Authenticity

I posted this article as a bulletin on myspace and received a lot of good feedback from it, so I wanted to share it with my readers. I usually like to post my own original content in my blog, however I will make exceptions from time to time when I find something worthwhile. :-)
to be authentic means to be true to oneself. it is a very, very dangerous phenomenon; only rare people can do that. but whenever people do it, they achieve. they achieve such beauty, such grace, such contentment that you cannot imagine....

never wear a mask. if you are angry, be angry. it is risky, but don't smile because that is being untrue. you have been taught that when you are angry, smile, but then your smile becomes false, a mask--just an exercise of the lips and nothing else. the heart full of anger, poison, and the lips are smiling; you become a false phenomenon.

then the other thing also happens: when you want to smile, you cannot smile. your whole mechanism is topsy-turvy because when you wanted to be angry you weren't; when you wanted to hate you didn't. now you want to love; suddenly you find that the mechanism doesn't function. now you want to smile; you have to force it. really, your heart is full of smile, and you want to laugh out loud, but you cannot laugh. something chokes in the heart, something chokes in the throat. the smile doesn't come, or even if it comes, it is a very pale and dead smile. it doesn't make you happy, you don't bubble up with it. it is not a radiance around you.

when you want to be angry, be angry. nothing is wrong in being angry. if you want to laugh, laugh. nothing is wrong in laughing loudly. by and by you will see that your whole system is functioning. when it functions, really, it has a hum around it. just like a car hums when everything is going well--the driver who loves the car knows that everything is functioning well. there is an organic unity; the mechanism is functioning well....

if you suppress anything, there is some corresponding part in the body to the emotion. if you don't want to cry, your eyes will lose their luster because tears are needed; they are a very alive phenomenon. when once in a while you weep and cry--really you go into it, you become it, and tears start flowing from your eyes--your eyes are cleansed, your eyes become fresh again, young and virgin.

that's why women have more beautiful eyes--because they can still cry. men have lost the beauty of their eyes because they have a wrong notion that men should not cry. if a small boy cries, even the parents say, "what are you doing? are you being a sissy?" what nonsense! because god has given you--man and woman--the same tear glands. simple mathematics. why do the tear glands exist in men in the same proportion as they exist in women? eyes need weeping and crying. and it is really beautiful if you can cry and weep wholeheartedly.

remember, if you cannot cry and weep wholeheartedly, you cannot laugh, either, because that is the other polarity. people who can laugh can also cry; people who cannot laugh cannot cry. and you may have observed it sometimes in children: if they laugh loudly and long, they start crying--because both things are joined. in the villages i have heard mothers saying to their children, "don't laugh too much; otherwise you will start crying." really true because the phenomena are not different, just the same energy moves to opposite poles....

when you are angry, you don't show your anger--you are afraid it may destroy your image because people think you are so compassionate, and people say that you are never angry. they appreciate it, and it is so gratifying to the ego. now, being angry will destroy your beautiful image, so rather than destroying the image, you repress the anger. it is boiling within, but on the surface you remain compassionate, kind, polite, sweet. now the division is being practiced. people are practicing it though their whole lives; then the division becomes absolutely settled. even when you are sitting alone and there is nobody, and there is no need to pretend, you go on pretending; it has become second nature. people are not true even in their bathrooms; even when they are utterly alone, they are untrue. now it is not a question of being true or untrue; it has just become their habit. for the whole of their lives they have practiced, and as you practice more and more, the distance between the two parts of you becomes bigger and bigger.

when it becomes unbridgeable, we call it schizophrenia. when you cannot contact your own other part, you almost become two persons instead of one; then it is sever mental illness. but everybody is divided, so the difference between the schizophrenic and the normal is only of degree. it is not very basic, not of quality but only of quantity.....

truth means authenticity, truth means sincerity. truth is not a logical thing. it is a psychological state of being true--not true according to some ideal, because if there is some ideal you will become false. if you think that to be like a buddha is to be true, then you will never be true because you are not a buddha, and you will impose the buddha on you. you can sit like the buddha, you can almost become a marble statue, but deep down you will still be the same. the buddha will be just a posture. and if you have an ideal, you cannot be true to the moment because the ideal is always there and you have to imitate the ideal.

the true man has no ideals. he lives moment to moment: he always lives as he feels in the moment. he is utterly respectful towards his feelings, his emotions, his moods. and this is what i want people to be: authentic, true, sincere, respectful toward their own soul.

always listen to your own feelings, there is no need to look around. and by looking at people, you cannot see exactly what is happening to them because their face is not their reality, just as your face is not your reality. their outside appearance is not their inner, just as your outside appearance is not your inner.

that is the whole hypocrisy of society--not to show your inner, your center, your real face. hide it. show it only to someone who is very intimate and who will understand. but who is intimate? even lovers don't show their faces to each other....each becomes like an island, closed.

don't look at others, look at yourself. and let what is inside of you come out, whatsoever the risk. there is no greater risk in life than suppression. if you suppress, you will lose all zest for life, all enthusiasm. you will lose all life if you go on suppressing. it is toxic; it poisins the being.

listen to the heart, and whatsoever is there, bring it out. soon you will become efficient in bringing it out, and you will enjoy it. and once you know how to be true, it is so beautiful that you will never settle for being false. we go on deciding to be false because we have never tasted the real. from the very beginning of childhood the real was suppressed. before a child becomes aware of what is real, he has been taught to suppress it. in unconscious ways, mechanical ways, he goes on suppressing without knowing what he is doing.

be true to yourself--there is no other responsibility. one has to be responsible toward one's being. you are answerable to your own being, and god is not going to ask you why you were not somebody else....

this is the whole problem, how to be oneself. and if you can solve this, then every other problem becomes nonproblematic. then life is a beautiful mystery to be lived--not a problem to be solved but just to be lived and enjoyed.

*excerpted from osho's "intimacy: trusting oneself and the other"