The Psychology of Freedom
Freedom Has Two Sides
Q: Meditation has given me the sense of freedom of not belonging to any particular place, country or even nationality. It’s really great. I’ve felt able to move about without much fear and to be committed without feeling imprisoned. Why then, after nine years, do I feel a bitter sadness mixed with this sense of freedom?
“Freedom has two sides and if you have only one side of it, a single side, you will feel freedom mixed with sadness. So you have to understand the whole psychology of freedom.
“The first side is freedom from: from nationality, from a certain church, from a certain race, from a certain political ideology. This is the first part of freedom, the foundation of freedom. It is always from something. Once you have attained this freedom, you will feel very light and very good and very happy. And for the first time you will start rejoicing in your own individuality, because your individuality was covered with all those things that you have become free of.
“But this is only one half and then there will come sadness, because the other half is missing. Freedom from is fulfilled, but freedom for what? Freedom in itself has no meaning, unless it is freedom for something, something creative — freedom to sculpt, freedom to dance, freedom to create music, poetry, painting.
“Unless your freedom turns into a creative realization, you will feel sad. Because you will see that you are free: your chains are broken, you no longer have any handcuffs, you no longer have any chains, you don’t have any prison, you are standing under the starry night, completely free, but where to go?
“Then comes a sudden sadness. What path to choose? Up to now there was no question of going anywhere — you were imprisoned. Your whole consciousness was concentrated on how to get free, your only anxiety was how to get free. Now that you are free, a new kind of problem has to be encountered. What to do now that you are free?
“Just freedom in itself does not mean anything, unless you choose a creative path. Either you go deeper into meditation for self-realization — that’s what I was talking about: unless you become like Premda, pregnant — or if you have a certain kind of talent that has not been allowed to develop because of your fetters — you could not compose music because your hands were in chains, you could not dance because your feet were in chains. If you have a talent to be a dancer, then be a dancer. Then your freedom is complete, then the circle is complete.
“Freedom from and freedom for — this is not something new that you are facing. It is being faced by every person who struggles first for freedom and then suddenly finds, ‘Now that I am free, what am I going to do?’ Up to now, he was so occupied, so engaged, so very busy. Even in his dreams he was thinking only of freedom. And he has never thought about what he is going to do when he will get freedom.
“What has happened is beautiful. But something more is needed.
‘You have to become a creator. You have to find some creativity that fulfills your freedom, otherwise the freedom is empty. You need either to create something or to discover something. Either bring your potential to actuality or go inwards to find yourself, but do something with your freedom.
“Freedom is only an opportunity for you. It is not in itself the goal. It simply gives you the whole opportunity to do whatever you want to do. Now you are free and you are feeling sad, because you have not used this opportunity yet. Meditation will do, music will do, sculpture will do, dancing will do, love will do. But do something with your freedom. Just don’t sit with your freedom, otherwise you will become sad.”
To continue reading and see all available formats of this talk:
Osho, Sat Chit Anand — Truth Consciousness Bliss, Talk #14 — Freedom from Chains, Freedom for Creativity