A seeker tells Osho that while he feels inferior and lonely because of his handicapped [sic] body and wheelchair, he suddenly became aware that as long as he can feel this pain, he is very alive.

Growth through suffering


He adds:

In these moments there is absolute joy inside me, so much gratitude for each and every thing.

Is it really possible to grow even through suffering?

I understand your situation and the problem, but you are facing your situation with great courage. I am happy with you. You are suffering because of a crippled body, but you are not the body. Nor are you crippled; your consciousness is as free as anybody else’s. Of course your path is going to be a little difficult. Your body is going to create continuous suffering for you. But perhaps, if you are alert enough – and I can see you are – you can change suffering itself into a blessing in disguise.

It is one of the most significant things to understand. Why have all religions insisted that their saints and sages should be very austere, ascetic, almost torturing themselves? They were not crippled like you, but they made themselves crippled in many ways.

There was one Christian saint in Alexandria, twelve hundred years ago, on an old pillar some thirty feet high. He remained sitting on that pillar; it was part of a ruin of a beautiful temple. He never moved from that pillar until he was dead; he never came down. You can understand his suffering. It was self-created. He had to sleep on that pillar, sitting; very dangerous, any moment he could fall. People used to bring food and he used to pull the food up with a rope. And he was defecating from the top of the pillar, pissing from the top of the pillar. He had no shelter in sun, in rain, in cold, but he became very famous. And this is not a singular case. Millions of saints of different religions have created a situation of suffering for themselves. They are using suffering as a means to awareness.

I am not in support of it, but as far as you are concerned, you are not creating the suffering. The suffering is there. You can use it to remain alert.

And you are rightly observing that the pain keeps you feeling that you are still alive. I have seen you laughing. You cannot dance, but I have seen every effort in your whole being that you want to dance. The body is preventing it; the body is not in the right position.

You cannot do anything about it, but you can use this natural suffering for creating a more clear awareness, more consciousness. And then suddenly you will feel even grateful to the suffering.

I am not saying that people have to create suffering; that is stupid. I am saying that if you find yourself in suffering, use that suffering for your inner growth. That is intelligence. And [in you] I see immense intelligence and a consciousness that wants to celebrate.

Even if your body is not cooperating with you, don’t be worried. The body is going to die one day – everybody’s body dies – but you are going to be eternally here. It is your consciousness that really matters.

It is perfectly good: you can grow even through suffering. One can grow from any place where one finds oneself; growth is possible from infinite sources.

Just go on enjoying even the pain because it keeps you alert to your being alive. Most of the people whose bodies are not crippled like your body, may be in the last account losers, not winners. They are so comfortable with their body that they remain identified with the body.

You cannot identify with your body; it is too painful. You have to separate yourself from the body and this very separation will bring you witnessing, watching, alertness.

There may be many problems for you, but you can change every problem into a device; you have to.

The other day I had another question from you that I did not answer. I felt your pain myself. You were saying that you would also like to love someone. I can understand – a natural instinct, and the instinct does not know that your body is crippled. And people have become so body-oriented that they don’t look inside the body to a beautiful human being. They just look at the body.

Naturally, no woman will feel attracted towards you; it hurts. It hurts me too, that’s why I did not answer the question. I was waiting for you to ask some other question. Then I would talk about your first question too.

Take that too as part of your whole suffering. You are alone. Don’t feel lonely. Just feel a deep aloneness and let that aloneness grow with your consciousness of suffering and pain. Accept it that perhaps nobody is going to love you, but you can love yourself.

You can love the trees; they are not so fussy. You can love the stars in the night. They will not object that ‘You don’t have the right body.’ You can love the whole universe. And perhaps in my place there may be some woman compassionate enough, meditative enough, who may be able to see your consciousness and will not bother about your body.

Anyway, women don’t care much about the bodies of men. They are very conscious about their own bodies, but no woman is interested in the body of the man. In fact, when the man is making love to them, they close their eyes. They don’t want to see all the gymnastics that the poor fellow is doing on top of them. They are praying to God, ‘Finish it soon!’ because a man making love does not have the same face, it becomes distorted. He is perspiring, huffing and puffing; love seems to be such an arduous thing, like going uphill. He himself knows it is stupid, but still the man wants the light to be on. He is interested in the woman’s body.

It is possible – perhaps it is possible only in my place – that some compassionate woman may give you some experience of love. One has to transcend it. But I can understand your difficulty. You have not experienced it, so transcendence becomes absolutely impossible. But as far as you are concerned, don’t hanker for it. Perhaps nature and existence do not want you to be in the same foolish game as all other human beings.

But biology is biology. It asks some woman to complete the man; otherwise both are incomplete.

So you just wait in your wheelchair. And I know there are women of tremendous compassion who may come and take your wheelchair and you with it. Then don’t make a fuss, because you don’t have much choice. You can keep your eyes closed. Just a woman is enough; don’t be romantic. Leave that for other fools.

(Osho: Sat-Chit-Ananda)

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