A Deeper Look Into The Mechanics of the Mind – Part I

By Osho in Beliefs on June 4th, 2007 / No Comments

Your emotions, your sentiments, your thoughts – the whole paraphernalia of the mind – are manipulated by the outside. Scientifically, it has become more clear now, but even without scientific investigation the mystics have been saying exactly the same thing for thousands of years – that all these things your mind is filled with are not yours; you are beyond them. You get identified with them, and that’s the only problem.

For example, somebody insults you and you become angry. You think you are becoming angry, but scientifically speaking the other person’s insult is only functioning as a remote control. The person who has insulted you is managing your behavior. Your anger is in his hands; you are behaving like a puppet.

Now scientists are able to put electrodes in the brain at certain centers, and it is almost unbelievable. The mystics have been talking about it for thousands of years, but only recently has science discovered that there are hundreds of centers in the brain controlling all your behavior. An electrode can be put at a particular center – for example, the center for anger. Nobody insults you, nobody humiliates you, nobody says anything to you; you are sitting silently, happily, and somebody pushes a button on a remote control and you become angry! It is a very strange feeling because you cannot see the reason anywhere, why you are becoming angry. Perhaps you will rationalize it somehow. You see a man passing by in the hallway and you remember that he insulted you – you will find some rationalization just to console yourself that you are not going mad. Sitting silently . . . and suddenly feeling so angry without any provocation?

And the same remote controller can work to make you happy. Sitting in your chair you start giggling, and you look all around – if somebody is watching you he will think you are going crazy! Nobody has said anything, nothing has happened, nobody has slipped on a banana peel, so why are you giggling? You will rationalize it, you will try to find some rational grounds for giggling.

And the strangest thing is that the next time the same button is pushed and you giggle, you will again come up with the same rationale, the same consolation, the same explanation – not even the rationalization is yours! It is almost like a gramophone record.

When I was reading about the scientific investigations into these centers, I was reminded of my student days. I was a competitor in an inter-university debate; all the universities of the country were participating. The Sanskrit University of Varanasi was also participating, but naturally the students from Sanskrit University were feeling a little inferior compared with competitors from other universities. They knew ancient scriptures, they knew Sanskrit poetry, drama, but they were not familiar with the contemporary world of art, literature, philosophy, or logic. And the inferiority complex works in very strange ways. . . .

After I had spoken, the next person was the representative from Sanskrit University. And just to impress the audience and to hide his inferiority complex, he started his speech with a quotation from Bertrand Russell–he had memorized it, and Sanskrit students are more capable of memorizing things than anybody else. But his stage fright was such . . . he knew nothing about Bertrand Russell, he knew nothing about what he was quoting. It would have been better to have quoted something from Sanskrit, because he would have been more at ease.

In the middle he stopped–just in the middle of a sentence. And I was sitting by his side, because I had just finished. There was silence, and he was perspiring, and just to help him, I said, “Start again”–because what else to do? He was simply stuck. I said, “If you cannot go ahead, start again; perhaps it may come back to you.”

So he started again: “Brothers and sisters . . .” and at exactly the same point he got stuck again. Now it became a joke. The whole hall was shouting, “Again!” and he was in such a difficult situation. Neither could he go ahead nor could he keep standing there silent; it would look too idiotic. So he had to start again. But he would start at the very beginning, “Brothers and
sisters . . .”

For the whole fifteen minutes we heard only that portion – beginning with “Brothers and sisters . . .” and going up to the point where he got stuck, again and again. When his time was finished he came and sat next to me. He said, “You destroyed my whole thing!”

I said, “I was trying to help you.”

He said, “This is help?”

I said, “You were going to be in difficulty anyway. This way at least everybody enjoyed it – except you, that I can understand. But you should rejoice that you made so many people happy! And why did you choose that quotation? When I was saying to you, ‘Start again’ there was no need to start over from the very beginning – you could have dropped that quotation, there was no need.”

But I came to know through reading the scientific research that the speech center is exactly like a gramophone record, but with one thing very strange and special. The moment the needle is taken away from the record you can put the needle back at the spot where you took it from, and go on from there. But in the speech center, when the needle is taken away and put back again, the center instantly goes back to the very beginning.

If this happens, can you say you are the master of what you are saying? Are you the master of what you are feeling? Certainly there are no electrodes implanted in you, but biologically exactly the same work is going on.

You see a certain type of woman, and immediately your mind reacts: “How beautiful!” This is nothing but the remote control. That woman functioned like a remote control attached to an electrode, and your speech center simply went into its recorded speech: “How beautiful!”

The mind is a mechanism. It is not you. It records things from outside, and then reacts to outside situations according to those recordings. That’s the only difference between a Hindu and a Mohammedan and a Christian and a Jew – they just have different gramophone records. But inside, it is one humanity. When you play a gramophone record . . . it may be in Hebrew, it may be in Sanskrit, it may be in Persian, it may be in Arabic, but it is the same machine that plays the record. To the machine it does not matter whether it plays Hebrew or Sanskrit.

All your religions, all your political ideas, all your cultural attitudes are nothing but recordings. And in certain situations, certain recordings are provoked.

Excerpted from Emotional Wellness by Osho Copyright 2007 by Osho. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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