Osho points out that illness and health are two sides of the same coin. Passing through illness can yield unexpected insights.
A healthy person is bound to fall ill sometimes. But you have different conceptions; you think a healthy person should never be ill. That is absolutely foolish; it is not possible. Only a dead person is never ill. A healthy person has to be ill sometimes. Through illness he attains to health again, and then the health is fresh. Passing through illness, passing through the opposite, it again becomes new. Have you ever watched? After a long fever, when you are getting well you have freshness, a virginity; the whole body seems to be rejuvenated.
If you remain healthy for seventy years continuously, your health will be like an illness, a death, because it was never rejuvenated, never made fresh. The opposite always gives freshness. It will be stale if you are never ill; your health will become like a burden. Sometimes falling ill is beautiful. I am not saying to remain in bed forever. That too would be bad… always ill is bad. Anything that becomes a permanent thing is bad. Anything that moves and flows into the other is good; it is alive.
Who will say that illness is good? [Someone who is purely logical] says health is good; illness is bad. One has to avoid illness, and if you can avoid it completely, that will be the best thing. That’s what science is doing all over the world – trying to remove illness completely. But I say to you, the more science tries to avoid illness, the more new diseases arise.
There are many new diseases that were never there in the world before. Because you close one door to illness, another has to be opened immediately by nature – because without illness no health is possible; you are doing a foolish thing. You close one door; now no more malaria, no more plague – two doors have to be opened somewhere else. And if you are mad about closing doors – and science is closing all the doors – then more dangerous diseases will arise, because if you close a million doors of illnesses, then nature has to open a very, very great door so that it balances the millions of doors. Then cancer comes in….
You cure diseases and you create incurable diseases. Cancer is a new phenomenon; it was never before in the world – and it is incurable. Why is it incurable? – because nature is defending its law. You go on curing every disease so something incurable has to be created, otherwise man will be dead. Without illness nobody will be healthy. And this is going to happen. It seems some day cancer will be cured, then nature will immediately create something more incurable. And remember: in this fight science cannot win and should not win. Nature should always be the winner.
Nature is wiser than all your scientists put together. Nature cures itself. In fact, nature cures.
One has to give time; patience is needed. The English word for an ill person, ‘patient,’ is beautiful. It means patience is needed; one has to wait. In fact, the function of the doctor is to help the patient to be patient. By giving medicine he is consoled. He thinks: ‘Now something is being done and soon I will be cured.’ He is helped in waiting. The doctor cannot do anything else. That’s why so many ‘pathies’ work – homeopathy, allopathy, ayurveda – thousands of pathies work; even naturopathy works. Naturopathy means not doing anything, or doing something that is actually nothing.
Consolation is needed – the work is done by nature itself.
(Osho: The Hidden Harmony)