The Following are quotes taken from Osho's book on Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other. This book had a profound influence on my view of romantic relationships in particular, and I do believe it allowed me to see myself and my partner with new eyes and better intention.
It's a fairly jam packed book, so I've separated the quotes by chapter and subtitle;
START WHERE YOU ARE
The search does not allow you to be here and now because the search always leads you somewhere else. The search is a projection, the search is a desire, an idea that somewhere else is needed - that it exists, but it exists somewhere else, not here where you are. It certainly exists but not in this moment of time - not now, but somewhere else. It exists then, there, never here now. It goes on nagging you, it goes on pulling you, pushing you. It goes on throwing you into more and more madness; it drives you crazy. And it is never fulfilled.
[W]hen things are not clear, you simply go on searching, pulled by some inner urge, pushed by some inner urgency. One thing you do know: you need to search. This is an inner need. But you don't know what you are seeking. And unless you know what you are seeking, how can you find it?
The first thing for the real seeker - for the seeker who has become alert, aware - is to define the search, to formulate a clear-cut concept of what it is, to bring it out of dreaming consciousness, to encounter it in deep alertness, to look at it directly; to face it. Immediately a transformation starts happening. If you start defining your search, you will start losing interest in the search. The more defined it becomes, the less it is there. Once it is clearly known what it is, suddenly it disappears. It exists only when you are not attentive.
People live their whole lives believing in what others say, dependent on others. That's why people are afraid of others' opinions. If they think they are bad, you become bad. If they condemn you, you start condemning yourself.
When you are moving towards self-knowledge, before it happens you will have to drop all ideas about the self. There will be a gap; there will be a kind of nothingness. You will become a non-entity. You will be utterly lost because all that you know is no longer relevant, and that which is relevant you don't know yet. Christian mystics call this "the dark night of the soul." It has to be passed, and once you have passed it, there is a dawn.The sun rises, and one comes to know oneself for the first time. The first ray of the sun, and all is fulfilled. The first songs of the birds in the morning, and all is attained.
Whatsoever is your real face, show it at whatever the cost.
Please remember: be truthful to yourself. You are not needed to reform anybody else in the world. If you can grow yourself, that is enough. Don't be a reformer, and don't try to teach others, and don't try to change others. if you change, that is enough of a message.
Remember: be true to your inner voice. It may lead you into danger; then go into danger, but remain true to your inner voice.
The guide exists within you, you carry the blueprint.
The true man has no ideals. He lives moment to moment; he always lives how he feels in the moment. He is utterly respectful towards his feelings, his emotions, his moods.
Once you are incapable of loving yourself, you will never be able to love anybody. This is an absolute truth, there are no exceptions to it. You can love others only if you are able to love yourself.
[S]elf-love can become narcissistic if it never moves beyond itself, it can become a kind of selfishness if it becomes confined to oneself. Otherwise, self-love is the beginning of all other loves. A person who loves himself sooner or later starts overflowing with love. A person who trusts himself cannot distrust anybody, even those who are going to deceive him.
A man who can trust will sooner or later know the logic of trust. And then one day he is bound to try to trust the unknown.
Without you this universe will lose some poetry, some beauty: A song will be missed, a note will be missed, there will be a gap-
Love is the goal, life is the journey.
THE NEED FOR PRIVACY
If your whole book is open, you will be just the day with no night, just the summer with no winter. Where will you rest, and where will you center yourself, and where will you take refuge? Where will you move when the world is too much? Where will you go to pray and mediate? No, half and half is perfect. Let half of your book be open - open to everybody, available to everybody - and let the other half of your book be so secret that only rare guests are allowed there.
Only rarely is somebody allowed to move within the temple. That is how it should be. If the crowd is coming in and out, then the temple is no longer a temple. It may be a waiting room at the airport, but it cannot be a temple. Only rarely, very rarely, do you allow somebody to enter your self. That is what love is.
[Once you have gone inside. Once you know yourself] [y]ou will relate, but you will not depend; you will love, but your love will not be need. You will love, but you will not possess; you will love, but you will not be jealous. And when love is without jealousy, without possessiveness, it can be divine.
RELATING, NOT RELATIONSHIP
When I am talking about love, I am talking about this love: a love that is not a relationship but a state of being.
One should be capable of being alone, utterly alone, and yet tremendously blissful. Then you can love. Then your love is no longer a need but a sharing, no longer a necessity.
You go on mechanically, robotlike, repeating the old pattern, knowing perfectly well you have done this before. And you know what has always been the outcome, and deep down you are also alert that it is going to happen the same way again - because there is no difference. You are preparing for the same conclusion, the same collapse.
Relationship is a thing: you cling to it. Relating is a flow, a movement, a process.
The strange arithmetic of love: the more you give, the more you have... Once you have known that, if you want to have more love and more joy, you give and share, then you simply share. And whosoever allows you to share your joy with him or with her, you feel grateful to him or her. But it is not a relationship; it is a river-like flow.
The river passes by the side of the tree, saying hello, nourishing the tree, giving water to the tree...and it moves on, dances on. It does not cling to the tree. And the tree does not say, "where are you going? We are married! And before you can leave me you need a divorce - at least a separation! Where are you going? And if you were going to leave me, why did you dance so beautifully around me? Why did you nourish me in the first place?" No, the tree showers its flowers onto the river in deep gratefulness, and the river moves on. The wind comes and dances around the tree and moves on. And the tree gives its fragrance to the wind. This is relating.
[P]eople cannot live without lies.
Risk everything for the truth, and never risk truth for anything else.
A day comes when one simply starts delighting in the storm, one simply starts dancing in the storm. Then the storm is not the enemy - that, too, is an opportunity, a wild opportunity, to be.
FOUR PITFALLS: THE HABIT OF REACTION
A reaction is out of the past; a response is out of the present. you react out of the past old patterns.
To be responsive is to be totally alive in this moment, here now.
Every moment you die, and every moment you are born.
FOUR PITFALLS: STUCK ON SECURITY
No relationship can be secure. It is not the nature of relationships to be secure, and if any relationship is secure, it will lose all attraction.
Life is uncertain. No one can make it certain. There is no way to make it certain. And it is good that nobody can make it certain; otherwise, it would be dead. Life is fragile, delicate, always moving into the unknown; that's its beauty. One needs to be courageous, adventurous. One needs to be a gambler to move with life. So be a gambler. Live this moment, and live it totally. When the next moment comes, you will see. You will be there to tackle it - as you have been able to tackle the past, you will be able to tackle the future also - and you will be more capable because you will be more experienced.
[L]ove the person and forget about the future. Just drop the whole nonsense of thinking about it. If you can love, love. If you cannot love forget this one, find somebody else. But don't waste time.
[B]ecome happier. Use the time that you have - and there is no need to think about the future; the present is enough.
Life is possible only in insecurity. This is something very fundamental to be understood: Life in its very essence is insecurity.
The whole of humanity is sick for the simple reason that we have not allowed life's insecurity to be our 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 lives in accumulating security bonds. Our virtues, austerities, are nothing but an effort to be secure even after death.
FOUR PITFALLS: SHADOW BOXING
You have some ideal to achieve. That ideal is always in the future - it has to be; no ideal can be in the present. And the future is nowhere; it is not yet born. But because of the ideal, you live in the future - which is nothing but a dream. Because of the ideal, you cannot live here and now. Because of the ideal, you condemn yourself.
Your anger, your sex, your greed - all are shadows. But remember they are shadows. They are in a sense, and still they are not, that is the meaning of a shadow. It is non-substantial. A shadow is just an absence. You stand, the sun's rays fall on you, and because of you, a few rays cannot pass. The the figure is created, the figure of the shadow. It is just an absence. You obstruct the sun; that is why a shadow is created.
Why do people enjoy to see pictures of naked woman? Are woman themselves not enough? They are, they are more than enough! So what is the need? The picture is always more sexual than a real woman. A real woman has a body and a shadow, and her footsteps will be there, and sound will be created. A photograph is a dream; it is absolutely mental, cerebral, and it has no shadow. A real woman will perspire, and there will be a smell of the body; a picture is never angry. A real woman will be angry; a picture is never angry. A real woman will age, will become old; a picture always remains young and fresh. A picture is just mental. Those who suppress sex in the body become mentally sexual. Then their mind moves in sexuality, and then there is disease.
If you suppress hunger in the body, it goes into the mind. The problem has not been thrown out, it has been pushed in. Suppress anything and it goes to the roots.
Listen to the mind for the outside world; don't listen to the mind for the inside - simple put it aside. And there is no need to fight with it because if you fight with it, it may influence you. You simply put it aside. That's what faith is.
FOUR PITFALLS: FALSE VALUES
Love is wild; its whole beauty is in its wildness. It comes like a breeze with great fragrance, fills your heart, and suddenly where there was a desert there is a garden full of flowers. But you don't know from where it comes, and you don't know that there is no way to bring it. It comes on it's own and remains as long as existence wills it. And just as it had come one day, as a stranger, as a guest, suddenly one day it is gone. There is no way to cling to it, no way to hold it.
Love cannot be trusted - and the strangest phenomenon is that love is the greatest trust but it cannot be trusted. In the moment it is total, but the next moment remains open. It may grow within you; it may evaporate from you.
Unless you are capable of saying no, your yes is meaningless.
[A]sked or ordered, love and trust both become false. When they arise on their own, they have immense intrinsic value. They do not make you a slave, they make you a master of yourself because it is your love, it is your trust. You are following your own heart. You are not following somebody else.
To live your life according to your own heart, following its beat, going into the unknown just like an eagle flying across the sun in utter freedom, knowing no limits...it is not ordered. It is its own joy. It is the exercise of one's own spirituality.
If you accept yourself, that is the very beginning of accepting all. If you reject yourself, you are basically rejecting existence. If you accept yourself, you have accepted existence; then there is nothing else to do but to enjoy, to celebrate.
Anxiety is the tense state between that which you are and that which you should be. People are bound to remain anxious if there is a "should" in life. If there is an ideal that has to be fulfilled, how can you be at ease? How can you be at home? It is impossible to live anything totally because the mind is hankering for the future.
When you stop improving yourself, life improves you. In that relaxation, in that acceptance, life starts caressing you, life starts flowing through you, And when you don't have a complaint, you bloom, you flower.
And the whole existence starts pouring its energy into you when you are open. Then the trees are greener than they look now, then the sun is sunnier than it looks now; then everything becomes psychedelic, becomes colorful. Otherwise everything is drab and dull and gray.
Let this be your color: acceptance. Let this be your characteristic: acceptance. Utter acceptance. And then you will be surprised: Life is always ready to shower it's gifts on you. Life is not a miser, existence always gives abundantly - but we cannot receive it because we don't feel that we are worthy to receive it. That's why people cling to miseries - that suit their programming. People go on punishing themselves in a thousand and one subtle ways. Why? Because that fits with the program. If you are not as you should be, you have to punish yourself, you have to create misery for yourself.
LET YOURSELF BE VULNERABLE
When man is born he is tender and weak; at death, he is hard and stiff. When things and plants are alive, they are soft and supple; when they are dead, they are brittle and dry. Therefore hardness and stiffness are companions of death, and softness and gentleness are the companions of life.
There is no god beyond life; life is god. I you deny life, you deny god; if you sacrifice life, you sacrifice god.
To be religious is not to be separate from the flow. To be irreligious is to have your own mind in an effort to win, to conquer, to reach somewhere.
You are trying to impose a pattern on life, something of your own. You are trying to drag life to follow you and you are just a tiny part, infinitesimal, so small, and you are trying to drag the whole universe with you. Of course you are bound to be defeated.
Fear creates hardness. Fear creates the idea of security, fear creates the idea of protecting yourself. And nothing kills like fear because in the very idea of fear you are separated from the earth, uprooted.
Future gives you hope, past gives you nourishment, and just between the two is eternity, the very life, which you are missing. Between the past and the future you are dying, not living.
That which you prepare for happens.
God is not a very philosophical concept; it is this world looked at through the eyes of a child. The same world - these flowers, these trees, this sky, and you - the same world suddenly takes on a new quality of being divine when you look at it through the eyes of a child. Only a pure, soft, tender heart is needed. God is not missing, you are missing. God is not absent, you are absent.
Learn. Life is teaching through many ways. Life is indicating the path how one should be.
You are cluttered with unsolved puzzles, and by and by you are completely neurotic. Not a single point of life solved, and thousands of puzzles hanging around you. They take their toll. They kill you. Never carry things from the past - the past is gone. Every moment get rid of it, solved or not solved. Now nothing can be done about it. Drop it - and don't carry parts because those parts won't allow you to solve new problems that live in this moment.
Anger in itself is not bad. To carry it, to accumulate it, is dangerous. Flashes of anger are beautiful - in fact, necessary.
To be useful is dangerous because if you are useful, then somebody is going to use you, you will be exploited. If you are strong, then you will be forced into the army.
Life can be looked at in two ways. You can look at it as utilitarian: One thing has to be used for something else - then life becomes a means, and some end has to be fulfilled. Or life can be taken as enjoyment, not as utility - then this moment is all, there is no goal, no purpose.
[People] can give only what they have. So people are giving misery, suffering, anguish, anxiety to everybody else who comes into contact with them.
Life should be a dance. And everybody's life can be a dance. It should be music - and then you can share. I don't have to say it because this is one of the fundamental laws of existence: The more you share your bliss, the more it grows.
A MEDITATION TECHNIQUE
[N]othing can be known about the other, it is impossible. At the most there can be an inference, but nothing certain can be known about others. How can you know that others have pains like you, that others have anxieties like you? Others are there, but we cannot penetrate them, we can only just touch their surface. Their inner being remains unknown. We remain closed in ourselves.
Whosoever comes near you, simply dissolve into him and feel that you are not two lives but one life, flowing.
They are missing so much unnecessarily. Life gives in such abundance and they are missing it. They are missing because they are closed: They don't allow life to enter them. And life can enter you only if you enter life through many, many ways, through many paths, through multi dimensions. Be in empathy for at least one hour every day.
ON THE WAY TO INTIMACY
Attractive people are frightening for many reasons. First, the more attractive a person is to you, the more there is the possibility of falling into her or his bondage - that is the fear. You will be possessed, you will be reduced to a slave by the charm, the magnetism, the magic.
Nothing wants to become dependent. Freedom is the ultimate value. Even love is not higher than freedom. Freedom is the ultimate value; next to it is love. And there is a constant conflict between love and freedom.
Those who love freedom become afraid of love.
Attraction/fear are two aspects of the same phenomenon. You are always attracted to the same person with whom you feel a great fear.
If it is really love, then it never thinks of the future. Then there is no problem of the future. Tomorrow does not exist for real love; time does not exist for real love.
Real love shares; it is not to exploit the other, it is not to possess the other. When you want to possess the other, then the problem arises: the other may possess you. And if the other is more powerful, more magnetic, naturally you will be a slave.
Love is not against freedom; love is a stepping-stone towards freedom.
Sometimes it happens that you fit with somebody - suddenly, everything falls in harmony, it is not a question of beauty or ugliness, it is a question of harmony, a rhythm.
When you fall in love with some person, the person looks beautiful. It is love that brings the idea of beauty in, not vice versa.
If you really want to find your beloved, you will have to go through many love affairs. That is the only way to learn. Drop your fear...
If you are afraid of darkness, go into darkness. If you are afraid of love, go into love. If you are afraid of being alone, then go to the Himalayas and be alone. That is the only way to drop it. And sometimes if you can deliberately do something, it brings great awareness.
If you start relating, you will find that every person has something beautiful in her or him.
And the only way to contact the beauty of a person is to become intimate, to drop all fear, to drop all defenses. And you will be surprised: God is expressed in different forms - God is beauty.
Freedom is the goal of life. Without freedom, life has no meaning at all. By freedom is not meant any political, social, or economic freedom. By freedom it is meant freedom from time, freedom from mind, freedom from desire.
The present can be found only when mind has ceased utterly - when the past no longer overpowers you and the future no longer possesses you, when you are disconnected from the memories and the imaginations.
The art of putting the mind aside is the whole secret of religiousness because as you put the mind aside, your being explodes into a thousand and one colors. You become a rainbow, a lotus, a one-thousand-petaled lotus, Suddenly you open up, and then the whole beauty of existence - which is infinite - is yours. Then all the stars in the sky are within you, Then even the sky is not your limit; you no longer have limits,
The conditioning is to go on hiding the ugly and go on pretending about the beautiful. That creates a schizophrenic situation: You go on showing yourself, what you are not; and you go on repressing yourself, what you are.
To avoid rejection, it is better to reject love. That's why people don't accept love.
[T]he search is not really for the answer, the search is not really so that questions can be answered. No, the search is only about how to drop the questions, how to see life and existence with a non questioning mind.
You find yourself everywhere. You will find yourself in a rock if you look deep, deep enough. Then the looker, the observer, becomes the observed, the seer becomes the seen, the knower becomes the known. If you look deep enough in a rock, in a tree, or in a man or in a woman, if you go on looking deeply, that look is a circle. It starts from you, then passes through the other and comes back to you.