Book Recommendation : The Empty Boat: Encounters with Nothingness by Osho

The Empty Boat: Encounters with Nothingness (OSHO Classics)

Talks on the Stories of Chuang Tzu. OSHO revitalises the 300-year-old Taoist message of self-realization through the stories of the Chinese mystic, Chuang Tzu. He speaks about the state of egolessness, “the empty boat”; spontaneity, dreams and wholeness; living life choicelessly and meeting death with the same equanimity.

“Socrates would ask penetrating questions, analyzing everything, and everybody in Athens became angry. This man was trying to prove that everybody is a fool. They killed him. Had he met Chuang Tzu – and at that time Chuang Tzu was alive in China, they were contemporaries – then Chuang Tzu would have told him the secret: “Don’t try to prove that anybody is foolish because fools don’t like this. Don’t try to prove to a madman that he is mad, because no madman likes it. He will get angry, arrogant, aggressive. He will kill you if you prove too much. If you come to the point where it can be proved, he will take revenge.” Chuang Tzu would have said, “It is better to be foolish yourself, then people enjoy you, and then by a very subtle methodology you can help them change. Then they are not against you.”

– Osho, The Empty Boat

“……. Osho informs us that it is our essence that matters. Who we are at core is what matters, not what we do. When doing comes out of being, there is no conflict. There is no need to seek reward because the reward is in the action itself. Instead of moving toward goals and planning out our lives in such a way that can lead to “success,” Osho says that the real joy of living comes through being spontaneous, and through having no expectations. “All that is great, all that is beautiful, all that is true and real,” he says, “is always spontaneous. You cannot plan it…. Do the trees plan how to grow, how to mature, how to come to flower? They simply grow without even being conscious of the growth” (80-81).

To be an empty boat means to be free of ego, free of the need to prove oneself, free of the need to be somebody, free of the fear of being nobody, free of the need to win, free of the fear of losing. It means being free to put everything you are into what you do without any attachment to results.

What I like about Osho is that he is uncompromising. He doesn’t let you feel good about yourself. He gives you no choice but to look within yourself and to be honest about what you see. Reading this book, you’ll realize that all problems in the external world are rooted in the internal world of each one of us, and that we cannot effectively address any injustices in society without being introspective. “A seeker of truth,” he says, “carries no theories with him. He is always open, vulnerable. He can listen” (144).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.