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Product Details

  • Series: Insights for a New Way of Living
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st Ed., Nov 1999 edition (October 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312205171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312205171
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Osho is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1970s he captured the attention of young people from the West who wanted to experience meditation and transformation. More than 20 years after his death, the influence of his teachings continues to grow, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Courage
WHAT IS COURAGE?

 

 

In the beginning there is not much difference between the coward and the courageous person. The only difference is, the coward listens to his fears and follows them, and the courageous person puts them aside and goes ahead. The courageous person goes into the unknown in spite of all the fears.

Courage means going into the unknown in spite of all the fears. Courage does not mean fearlessness. Fearlessness happens if you go on being courageous and more courageous. That is the ultimate experience of courage—fearlessness: That is the fragrance when the courage has become absolute. But in the beginning there is not much difference between the coward and the courageous person. The only difference is that the coward listens to his fears and follows them, and the courageous person puts them aside and goes ahead. The courageous person goes into the unknown in spite of all the fears. He knows the fears, the fears are there.
When you go into the uncharted sea, like Columbus did, there is fear, immense fear, because one never knows what is going to happen. You are leaving the shore of safety. You were perfectly okay, in a way; only one thing was missing—adventure. Going into the unknown gives you a thrill. The heart starts pulsating again; again you are alive, fully alive. Every fiber of your being is alive because you have accepted the challenge of the unknown.
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 the 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 a 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, 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.
THE TAO OF COURAGE
Life does not listen to your logic; it goes on its own way, undisturbed. You have to listen to life; life will not listen to your logic, it does not bother about your logic.
When you move into life, what do you see? A great storm comes, and big trees fall. They should survive, according to Charles Darwin, because they are the fittest, strongest, most powerful. Look at an ancient tree, three hundred feet high, three thousand years old. The very presence of the tree creates strength, gives a feeling of strength and power. Millions of roots have spread inside the earth, gone deep, and the tree is standing with power. Of course the tree fights—it doesn’t want to yield, to surrender—but after the storm, it has fallen, it is dead, it is no longer alive, and all that strength has gone. The storm was too much—the storm is always too much, because the storm comes from the whole, and a tree is just an individual.
Then there are small plants and ordinary grass—when the storm comes the grass yields, and the storm cannot do any harm to it. At the most it can give it a good cleansing, that’s all; all the dirt that has gathered on it is washed away. The storm gives it a good bath, and when the storm has gone, the small plants and the grasses are again dancing high. The grass has almost no roots, it can be pulled out by a small child, but the storm was defeated. What happened?
The grass followed the way of Tao, the way of Lao Tzu, and the big tree followed Charles Darwin. The big tree was very logical: it tried to resist, it tried to show its strength. If you try to show your strength, you will be defeated. All Hitlers, all Napoleons, all Alexanders are big trees, strong trees. They will all be defeated. Lao Tzus are just like small plants: nobody can defeat them because they are always ready to yield. How can you defeat a person who yields, who says, “I am already defeated,” who says, “Sir, you enjoy your victory, there is no need to create any trouble. I’m defeated.” Even an Alexander will feel futile before a Lao Tzu, he cannot do anything. It happened; it happened exactly like that … .
A sannyasin, a mystic by the name of Dandamis, existed in the days of Alexander, in the days when Alexander was in India. Friends had told Alexander when he was leaving for India that when he came back he should bring a sannyasin, because that rare flower flowered only in India. They said, “We would like to see the phenomenon of sannyas, what it is, what exactly a sannyasin is.”
He was so engaged in war and struggle and fight that he almost forgot about it, but when he was going back, just on the boundary of India, he suddenly remembered. He was leaving the last village, so he asked his soldiers to go into the village and inquire if there was a sannyasin around there somewhere. By accident Dandamis was there in the village, by the riverside, and the people said, “You have come at the right time. There are many sannyasins, but a real sannyasin is always rare, and he is here now. You can have darshan, you can go and visit him.”
Alexander laughed. He said, “I’m not here to have darshan, my soldiers will go and fetch him. I will take him back to the capital of my country.”
The villagers said, “It won’t be so easy … .”
Alexander could not believe it—what difficulty could there be? He had conquered emperors, great kings, so with a beggar, a sannyasin, what difficulty could there be? His soldiers went to see this Dandamis, who was standing naked on the bank of the river. They said, “Alexander the Great invites you to accompany him to his country. All comforts, whatsoever you need, will be provided. You will be a royal guest.”
The naked fakir laughed and said, “You go and tell your master that a man who calls himself great cannot be great. And nobody can take me anywhere—a sannyasin moves like a cloud, in total freedom. I am not enslaved to anybody.”
They said, “You must have heard about Alexander, he is a dangerous man. If you say no to him, he won’t listen, he will simply cut your head off!”
Alexander had to go, because the soldiers said, “He is a rare man, luminous, there is something of the unknown around him. He is naked, but you don’t feel in his presence that he is naked—later on you remember. He is so powerful that in his presence you simply forget the whole world. He is magnetic, and a great silence surrounds him and the whole area feels as if it is delighting in the man. He is worth seeing, but there seems to be trouble ahead for him, the poor man, because he says that nobody can take him anywhere, that he is nobody’s slave.”
Alexander went to see him with a naked sword in his hand. Dandamis laughed and said, “Put down your sword, it is useless here. Put it back in the sheath; it is useless here because you can cut only my body, and that I left long ago. Your sword cannot cut me, so put it back; don’t be childish.”
And it is said that this was the first time Alexander followed somebody else’s order; just because of the very presence of the man, he couldn’t remember who he was. He put his sword back in the sheath and said, “I have never come across such a beautiful man.” And when he was back in his camp he said, “It is difficult to kill a man who is ready to die, it is meaningless to kill him. You can kill a person who fights, then there is some meaning in killing; but you can’t kill a man who is ready and who is saying, ‘This is my head, you can cut it off.’”
And Dandamis actually said, “This is my head, you can cut it off. When the head falls, you will see it falling on the sand and I will also see it falling on the sand, because I am not my body. I am a witness.”
Alexander had to report to his friends, “There were sannyasins that I could have brought, but they were not sannyasins. Then I came across a man who was really something rare—and you have heard rightly, this flower is rare, but nobody can force him because he is not afraid of death. When a person is not afraid of death, how can you force him to do anything?”
It is your fear that makes you a slave—it is your fear. When you are fearless you are no longer a slave; in fact, it is your fear that forces you to make others slaves before they can try to make a slave out of you.
A man who is fearless is neither afraid of anybody nor makes anybody afraid of him. Fear totally disappears.
THE WAY OF THE HEART
The word courage is very interesting. It comes from a Latin root cor, which means “heart.” So to be courageous means to live with the heart. And weaklings, only weaklings, live with the head; afraid, they create a security of logic around themselves. Fearful, they close every window and door—with theology, concepts, words, theories—and inside those closed doors and windows, they hide.
The way of the heart is the way of courage. It is to live in insecurity; it is to live in love, and trust; it is to move in the unknown. It is leaving the past and allowing the future to be. Courage is to move on dangerous paths. Life is dangerous, and only cowards can avoid the danger—but then, they are already dead. A person who is alive, really alive, vita...

More About the Author

Osho, known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, continues to inspire millions of people worldwide in their search to define a new approach to individual spirituality that is self-directed and responsive to the everyday challenges of contemporary life. The Sunday Times of London named him one of the '1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century,' and novelist Tom Robbins called him 'the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ.' For more information about Osho and his work, please visit osho.com.


Osho's teachings defy categorization, covering everything from the individual quest for meaning to the most urgent social and political issues facing individuals and society today.

His unique "Osho Active Meditations" are designed to first release the accumulated stresses of body and mind, so that it is easier to experience the thought-free and relaxed state of meditation. (Meditation -The First and Last Freedom, by Osho)

About his own work Osho has said that he is helping to create the conditions for the birth of a new kind of human being. He has often characterized this new human being as "Zorba the Buddha" -- capable both of enjoying the earthy pleasures of a Zorba the Greek and the silent serenity of a Gautam Buddha.

Running like a thread through all aspects of Osho's work is a vision that encompasses both the timeless wisdom of the East and the highest potential of Western science and technology.

Osho has been described by the Sunday Times in London as one of the "1000 Makers of the 20th Century" and by American author Tom Robbins as "the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ."

Biographical:
Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, ST. MARTIN'S Press, New York, available in multiple languages.


Websites for more information:
http://www.OSHO.com
http://OSHO.com/resort
http://OSHO.com/magazine
http://OSHO.com/shop
http://www.youtube.com/OSHO
http://www.oshobytes.blogspot.com
http://www.Twitter.com/OSHOtimes
http://www.facebook.com/pages/OSHO.International

Customer Reviews

Until I read this book, I didn't really believe much in this saying.
Mr. Aditya B. Surti
Among Osho's books that I have read, I consider it the best, because it gives a new insight on how to overcome fear and live life with courage.
Sandro Pasini
After reading this book, it totally changed my whole perception on life and myself.
BGS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wow, what gem! This book is about the courage to love and to be yourself. Very inspiring, poetic and simply written. The Truth jumped out at me in every word. Definately a book for the serious seeker, for those desiring to know the truth about self and love. Clears up a lot of misconceptions on the subject matter in firm but gentle manner, enticing you to stretch your breadth of vision. A comfort to those of us who have always felt 'different' and uncomfortable about those differences while still being unable to conform. Says that self discovery and living in love are not for that faint at heart but the truly courageous and gives us a glimpse of what life will be like once courage becomes unneccessary.
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130 of 139 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is "not for that faint at heart but the truly courageous." If you are content with conformity you need not stop here. As a Companion book I would recommend the book An Encounte with A Prophet another book not for the faint at heart but for the truly courageous.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Aditya B. Surti on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
'Books can changes lives'. Until I read this book, I didn't really believe much in this saying. The moment I finished this book, I was a totally different person. This book introduced me for the first time to my real self; as to what I really am, and what I really should be. Since then, 'Courage' has become my dictionary of life.

'Courage' could be a refuge of any depressed, frustrated, and lost individual and it has the ability to bring the individual out from the abyss of any downfall in life. Even if you are not frustrated or depressed, and/or are an individual without problems or difficulties, 'Courage' shall elevate you to heights that you never had imagined. 'Courage' shall give you an incredible insight into the workings of your own mind and shall provide you with tremendous courage to live a life of freedom and fearlessness.

Osho gets into your mind through this book and literally brings you out from the hypocrisy that surrounds you all the time. For the first time you shall realize that you are constantly living in a world of manipulations, double-standards, and falsity. I would sincerely recommend this 'masterpiece' to any person who has been seeking the 'Truth'.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Roland on February 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Osho's way of writing and the words he uses are breath taking as well as chilling. This book left me excited and ready to pursue a new found life of complete awareness, however it left me in more fear than I have experienced before. He calls on us to question our very existence and our belief in a supreme being namely God. I wasn't ready to read this book at the stage that I did, someday I will pick it up again however. Osho states that this book will leave you asking more questions and that he doesn't provide any ideals on how to live one's life. If this is what you are searching for I suggest you search for a different book. Osho's books however give us a different viewpoint on life and the way in which we should approach it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By DjC on September 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Osho's words encourage us while at the same time lightening our burdens with humor. It's ok to be uncertain, he tells us; life is uncertain. It's ok to be insecure; nothing in life is secure. All is subject to change, and if we can be better at accepting reality, at being one with whatever happens, by being observers of life rather than constantly trying to control things, then life's ups and downs lose their hold on us and we achieve a joyful inner state. Here are some of his points to help us get to that state:

1) Courage means pushing ahead despite the fear you're feeling;

2) Listen to life, don't expect life to listen to you or your logic, and that means knowing when to yield in the face life's storms;

3) Go with your heart and gamble on the unknown rather than using your head to always play it safe;

4) Be open to spontaneity and the vulnerability that might come with it rather than operating through ready-made conclusions, especially when you have not even explored the possibilities.

5) You may have great doubts, but if you can forge ahead despite these doubts you must also have great trust. You have to learn to go with your experience of life rather than your analysis of it (i.e., with the eyes of your heart rather than with the legs of your intellect), and that's how your trust begins to overcome the doubts.
Read more ›
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By T. Chow on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of self-help books. I had read that Osho is a contraversial figure, often accused of being a preachy spiritual quack. This may be true. He does ramble on and interject his teachings with stories (and even jokes!) that don't really support his points. He does seem to like to listen to himself talk.

In ancient Greece, he would be accused of sophistry, corrupting the innocent youth and threatening societal order. Osho reminds me of Socrates in his times. His critics think he was a self-serving quack who confounds the naive with tautological inspirational truisms that challenge the political and religious authorities. No doubt they both were eccentric, perhaps egotistical, men who saw something unique which resonated with a lot of discontented souls. They both taught individuals to think for themselves and inspired people to live different lives against the grain of the crowd. Socrates was a dangerous man. So is Osho.

I am not putting Osho on a pedestal with Socrates. Reading socrates woke me up in high school. Since then for fifteen years, no one has given me such a needed slap in the face as Osho has. His words are sharp, and his claims are outrageous. But I just couldn't help but see the truth.

This is not a "how to" self-help book. It's not an instructional manual. It's a much needed slap in the face.
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