Floating a Lotus Flower at the Erawan Museum in Bangkok, Thailand

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Saying No


It is good for the kings and for the generals that armies should be loyal to the point that they function like machines, not like men.  It is comfortable for the parents that their children are loyal because a child who is a rebel is a problem.  The parents may be wrong, and the child may be right, but he has to be obedient to the parents; that is part of the training that has existed up to now.
 
I teach you the new human being in whom loyalty has no place but who instead has intelligence, inquiry, a capacity to say no.  To me, unless you are capable of saying no, your yes is meaningless.  Your yes is just recorded on a gramophone record; you cannot do anything, you have to say yes because the no simply does not arise in you.

Hence, no gives you a sense of freedom; not only that, it also gives you a sense of intelligence.  To say yes needs no intelligence.  When you say yes, nobody asks you why.  When you have already said yes, who bothers to ask you why?  There is no need of any reasoning or argument, you have already said yes.  When you say no, why is bound to be asked.  It sharpens your intelligence; it gives you a definition, a style, freedom.  - Osho

When I first discovered some of Osho's books (circa 2001) and I read this passage, I thought, "What a grand concept!"  And then I consciously started doing this more and more - Saying No in  a nice, courteous, yet clear way.  I came from a family where people often just said 'yes' to everything.  It was done to the point where you could see unhappiness on people's faces.  Things were often done due to obligation, social pressure, fear of other people's reactions, at the expense of more essential things, etc., rather than just for the pure joy of it.  And when I started Saying No, it enhanced my life, put the power back in my hands and strengthened my relationships with people who really matter.  And then when I participated for the right reasons, I was "all in."  One of the discoveries I made, which led to another realization as to why folks go along with the herd, is that often Saying No is followed with a Why Not?  That's where the intelligence comes in.  And we all have intelligence!  How are you going to answer the Why Not? 

On down the road, I will add some specific examples where Saying No worked for me.

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