Security’s Gilded Cage

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Security is a gilded cage

Everywhere you turn “security” is being offered as an antidote to the challenges we face today. Is this an illusion?

“Security is the greatest illusion there is. Life is insecure. Love is insecure. To be is to be in insecurity. To be is to be in constant danger. Only the dead are secure because they cannot die anymore; nothing can ever happen to them now.

“The more alive you are, the more insecure you are. Hence many people have decided not to be alive because a kind of deadness gives security, protection, armour. Many people have decided not to look into reality because reality is insecure. I cannot do anything about it, you cannot do anything – it is how it is. Reality is insecure; one never knows what is going to happen in the next moment.

“I may be here, I may not be here; you may be here, you may not be here. The next breath may come in, may not come in.”

(Osho – An intelligent person does no believe)

But every aspect of life is directed towards security. For example, society is based on marriage.

“The person who loves you may simply forget all about you tomorrow. That’s how life is. We have created illusions to hide ourselves behind, so we need not see the insecurity of life. Marriage is an illusion; love is a reality. Love is insecure. Nobody knows whether it is going to be there tomorrow or not. It is like a breeze: when it comes it comes, when it is gone it is gone. You cannot manipulate it, you cannot control it, you cannot predict it.

“The mind is very much afraid: if tomorrow your woman leaves you, what are you going to do? How will you ever be able to live without her? You have become so dependent on her, you cannot conceive of yourself without her, so you make some arrangements: you close the doors, close the windows, lock everything, so she cannot escape. That’s what marriage is: making legal locks so you cannot easily escape…. But when you close all the doors and all the windows, the woman is no longer the same as she was when she was under the sky, under the stars; she is no longer the same.”

(Osho – An intelligent person does not believe)

So, is security incompatible with freedom?

“The bird on the wing is a totally different phenomenon from the bird in the cage. The bird in the cage is no longer the same bird because it no longer has the same sky, the same freedom…. Without freedom there is no life. But there is one good thing about the cage: it has security….

“Marriage is a cage, love is the open sky. We have destroyed love and created an illusion, marriage. It is ugly.”

(Osho – An intelligent person does not believe)

What is at the root of this fear of insecurity?

“What is the basic fear? The basic fear is the fear of death. All other fears are just reflections of the basic fear. All other fears can be reduced to one fear: the fear of death, the fear that, ‘One day I may have to disappear, one day I may have to die. I am, and the day is coming when I will not be’ – that frightens, that is the fear.”

(Osho – Negation of knowledge)

So, there is nothing we can do to alleviate that fear?

“To avoid that fear we start moving in such a way so that we can live as long as possible. And we try to secure our lives – we start compromising, we start becoming more and more secure, safe, because of the fear. We become paralysed, because the more secure you are, the more safe you are, the less alive you will be.

“Because of the fear of death we strive for security, for a bank balance, for insurance, for marriage, for a settled life, for a home; we become part of a country, we join a political party, we join a religious church – we become Hindus, Christians, Mohammedans. These are all ways to find security. These are all ways to find some place to belong to – a country, a church.”

(Osho – An intelligent person does not believe)

So, when we demand security from society, it seems we are really making ourselves into slaves?

“Because of this fear, politicians and priests go on exploiting you. If you are not in any fear, no politician, no priest can exploit you. It is only out of fear that he can exploit because he can provide – at least he can promise – that this will make you secure: ‘This will be your security. I can guarantee.’ The goods may never be delivered – that’s another thing – but the promise…. And the promise keeps people exploited, oppressed. The promise keeps people in bondage.”

(Osho – Negation of knowledge)

So, we cannot escape from this trap until we accept that insecurity is inevitable?

“This is something very fundamental to be understood: life in its very essence is insecurity. While you are protecting yourself, you are destroying your very life. Protection is death, because only those who are dead in their graves are absolutely protected. Nobody can harm them, nothing can go wrong for them. There is no longer any death for them – all that has happened. Now nothing more is going to happen.

“Do you want the security of a graveyard? Unknowingly that’s what everybody is trying to do. Different are their ways, but the goal is the same. By money, by power, by prestige, by social conformity, by belonging to a herd – religious, political – by being part of a family, a nation, what are you seeking? Just an unknown fear surrounds you, and you start creating as many barriers as possible between you and the fear. But those same barriers are going to prevent you from living.”

(Osho – Discontinuity)

It seems you are pointing towards a freedom that would mean a totally different way of living?

“The whole humanity is sick for the simple reason that we have not allowed life’s insecurity to be our very religion. Our gods are our security, our virtues are our security, our knowledge is our security, our relationships are our securities. We are wasting our whole life in accumulating security bonds….

“But meanwhile a tremendously beautiful life is slipping out of your hands. The trees are so beautiful because they don’t know the fear of insecurity. The wild animals have such grandeur because they don’t know that there is death, there is insecurity.”

(Osho – Discontinuity)

“Insecurity has tremendous beauty; you have not tasted of it. You have become too much accustomed to the dirty pool of water, stagnant, stinking. You have forgotten the beauty of a river, constantly flowing from the known to the unknown, from the limited to the unlimited. I have to revive your memory of it. It is a remembering, because one day you knew it.”

(Osho – An intelligent person does not believe)

So, when did we forget this love of the unknown, this love of freedom?

“Every child is born alive, full of joy, great energy, great love for life, great curiosity, infinite wonder, awe for small things. Every child is born an adventurer, an explorer. And every child is born with great courage to go into the unknown. We cripple him. We stop him. We prevent him. We start cultivating – and whatever we call cultivation is nothing but destroying all the possibilities, allowing only small holes for him to live in, taking his whole sky away and giving him a very small corner in the world.

“He was born as all men, all women, all animals, all trees, all rivers, all mountains are. And what do we do with the child? We take all that he has brought away from him; we make him a doctor, an engineer, a businessman, a soldier, a politician – we confine him. He was born as all, as infinity; all the alternatives were open. We close all the alternatives and leave only one alternative open. We have killed him! We allow only a minute part of him to live.”

(Osho – Playfulness and overflowing energies)

“Once, you knew what it meant to be insecure. All that I need to do is remind you, to provoke that remembrance in you. And once you have tasted it again you will drop all your illusions and start moving into the unknown, with all its insecurity.

“And you will not feel frightened, you will feel thrilled. You will not feel that insecurity is something wrong, but the root of all adventure. Insecurity is not something that is against you, it is the very possibility of your existence. It sharpens your intelligence, it keeps you alive, alert. It keeps you always mystified, it keeps you in a state of constant surprise.

“Insecurity is beautiful. And the day that you know that insecurity is beautiful, you will know the wisdom of insecurity.”

(Osho – An intelligent person does not believe)

How can we reclaim this joy of the unknown, and rediscover what it is to be alive?

“To accept the challenge of the unknown in spite of all fears is courage. The fears are there, but if you go on accepting the challenge again and again, slowly, slowly those fears disappear. The experience of joy that the unknown brings, the great ecstasy that starts happening with the unknown, makes you strong enough, gives you a certain integrity, makes your intelligence sharp. For the first time you start feeling that life is not just boredom but an adventure. Then slowly, slowly fears disappear; then you are always seeking and searching for some adventure.

“But basically courage is risking the known for the unknown, the familiar for the unfamiliar, or the comfortable for the uncomfortable arduous pilgrimage to some unknown destination. One never knows whether one will be able to make it or not. It is gambling, but only the gamblers know what life is.”

(Osho – You are the question)

“You have to be courageous, alert, and capable of using the opportunity that may be cut any moment. Make it a point that it is good that reality, which to others is hidden, to us is no longer hidden; it is clear and open. Face it! And the only way to face it is to live moment to moment as totally and intensively as possible.

“You cannot afford to be sleepy and unconscious, just dragging on. You have to become alert. You have to become a flame so that whatsoever happens the next moment does not matter.”

(Osho – Each moment is insecure)

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