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Let Go and Fall Apart
by Swami Prem Niren

(Niren was Osho's attorney through all the Ranch period and still works as a lawyer in Califonia. Here he talks of a lawyer's worse fear, the fear of falling apart!. )

I didn’t ask Osho a lot of questions. I sometimes met with him personally to report on His work, but it felt inappropriate to ask Him personal questions at those times.

One question that I did submit stands out in my memory. A couple of years into Pune Two there must have been a shortage of questions, because the “question people” in Lao Tzu House were encouraging people to submit questions. I wrote a question, but when it was quoted by Osho it was quite different from the one I had asked. I wondered if others had this same experience? I liked the changes because the question He answered was a deeper, better question than the one I had asked, and it took me deeper into myself.

(As it happened) Osho didn’t answer the question until after I had left Pune. I was not aware that he had until months later, when an old friend sent me the tape. It seemed to me perfect timing, to get it while I was trying to reestablish myself in the world, and it impressed on me the timeless nature of His teachings.

In his reply to my question Osho had said:

"Your fear is, Niren, that if you come in deeper communion with me, you will fall apart. Naturally, nobody wants to fall apart. And a great fear arises. […] And I guarantee: you will fall apart! So what is the fear? Do it once – once and for all! Then there will be no fear. Fall apart and let us see what falls apart. Not your legs, not your hands, nor your eyes... Nothing that is really yours is going to fall apart, only your false notions about you. Your personality, your ego, your knowledgeability, these are the things that are going to fall apart. But they are not worth holding. […] And the authentic reality need not be supported by you. It is there, it is not going to fall apart. Only the false can disappear, only your shadow – not you. (Sat Chit Anand, Chapter 16)

When I first heard the answer, it hit me hard. I saw that I was trying to keep it together, to not fall apart. For a number of years after His death, I was totally involved in trying to reestablish myself in the world, and trying to have a deep relationship with a woman. Although I did continue my meditation practice, I was pretty much lost in “trying” to keep it together in the world.

In recent years, this answer has come back to me more and more often, and I treat it as a meditation: just let go, fall apart, and see what remains. I turned 60 recently, and that event moved me to look hard at my life, and to ask myself: “What do you have to lose? What can you hold on to, anyway?”

Currently I have been reading a lot of old Osho and Eckhart Tolle books. I see that to choose presence, not mind, is to choose that ongoing “falling apart.” For me, endeavoring to remember and choose presence, and letting go and allowing whatever is, has brought me to a deepening relaxation. And it has brought me more deeply into gratitude and silence — and to Osho.

This article first appeared in Viha Connection