Positive thinking by itself almost never works — according to this Zen Master. Here’s what to do instead!

Positive thinking by itself almost never works — according to this Zen Master. Here’s what to do instead!

- in MOTIVATION, SELF IMPROVEMENT
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positive thinking

Has somebody ever told you to “think positive” and all the problems will just go away? Or maybe that all you have to do is to visualize your goals with positive intent? To have positive thinking?

This is actually a philosophy well-known for centuries, thanks to some books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “Think and Grow Rich”.

However, does positive thinking really help us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives? Well, not really.

According to the spiritual guru Osho, positive thinking, in fact, may just be one of the biggest “bs philosophies”.

But, why positive thinking cannot help us?

Osho’s opinion about the “positive thinking” movement, is that it is more harmful than good. But, why? Because we are denying the reality and we are also dishonest to ourselves.

According to Osho, the philosophy of “positive thinking” means being untruthful and dishonest to ourselves. It also means seeing a certain thing and still denying its existence. It means deceiving ourselves and those around us.

He also said that “positive thinking” is the only bs philosophy which America has contributed to human thought. Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, as well as Christian Priest and Vincent Peale are people who filled the American mind with this idea of positive philosophy, which is completely absurd.

The book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, written by Carnegie, was sold in numbers just next to the Christian Bible. There is no other book which had the ability to reach such popularity level.

In fact, the Bible should not be a competitor. It is more or less given free, forced on people. But the book written by Dale Carnegie is actually a book which people have been purchasing, and it was never given free to anyone. This book has created a certain kind of ideology giving birth of many other books.

The entire school of positive philosophy was started by Carnegie, expressing the positive thinking.

No one should see the negative part, or maybe the darker side. But, just if no one sees it, will it disappear? It means that the person is just befooling himself/herself. Reality cannot be changed. The night will always be there and. A person can think that it is daytime for 24 hours … But just by thinking, it is not going to be light for those 24 hours a day.

According to Carnegie, the negative is actually as much part of life as the positive. They are balancing each other.

Dale Carnegie also used this opportunity to throw shade at another enormously popular book, “Think and Grow Rich”, saying that what he remembers about Napoleon Hill is that he was a poor man. This is enough proof to disprove his entire philosophy — Hill became rich just by selling his book.

It was not the positive thinking which was making Hill rich. But all those fools around the world that were purchasing the book.

According to Carnegie, Hill used to stand in bookstores in order to persuade people to purchase his book. Henry Ford came with his latest model car and went to the bookstore looking for something light for reading. That was the moment, Carnegie says when Hill decided not to miss the opportunity. He went forward with his book, saying to Henry that there was a great book which has just been published and that he will be happy reading it. Hill also said that it wasn’t only a book, but a method of success as well.

In that moment, Henry asked Hill if he was the writer of the book, so Hill answered proudly, confirming that he is the one.

Without touching the book, Henry asked Hill just one question: if he has come in his own car or on the bus. Being confused about what Henry meant with this question, Hill said that he came with the bus.

Henry Ford told him to look outside. He showed him his private car and told him who he actually is. Henry told Hill that he is a man who is befooling others. A man without a car who wrote a book with a name “Think and Grow Rich”. He told Hill that he has grown rich without thinking, so he doesn’t want to bother with that. “YOU should think and grow rich, and when YOU grow rich, YOU can come to me. That would be the proof and not the book you wrote”.

Compared to Ford, Hill was always a poor man and he was bound to remain a poor man for a lifetime. But, the logic that Ford had was completely clear. Carnegie said that he is one of those people who does not believe in any philosophy of positive thinking.

The half-truth is dangerous.

According to Osho, when a person focuses to think positive all the time, he/she simply denies the reality of his/her life. It will eventually come around and bite him/her.

Osho says that he is against positive philosophy, but he is also against negative one. He is against both of them, as both choose only half the fact. Both try to ignore the other half.

A half-truth is far from dangerous than a whole lie, as the whole lie will be discovered sooner or later. A lie is a lie of course. It is just like a palace that is made of cards. Just a little breeze and the palace will disappear.

But, the half-truth is more dangerous than a whole lie. A person may never discover it. One may think that it is the whole truth actually. So, the real problem here is not the whole lie, but the half-truth which is pretending to be the whole truth. And that is exactly what those people are doing.

The negative ideas of our mind should be released, but not repressed.

Another thing that Osho says is that it is harmful to repress negative emotions. According to him, the negative ideas of our minds should be released and not repressed by some positive ideas. Every person needs to create a consciousness which will be neither positive nor negative, just a pure consciousness, in which that particular person will live the most natural and blissful life.

According to Osho, when you think that you don’t like a person, or you don’t like many things … Or you don’t like yourself or you don’t like the situation in which you are … All this garbage is collected in the unconscious, but on the surface, there is actually a hypocrite born who says that he loves everybody. And that love is the key to blissfulness. But, what you actually do not see in that person’s life is blissfulness. He is holding the whole of hell within himself.

That person can also deceive other people around him. If he goes on deceiving long enough, he can deceive himself as well. But, that won’t change anything. It is just wasting his life, which is actually immensely valuable, as no one can get it back.

According to Osho, the “positive thinking” philosophy is only to the hypocrisy — to give it the right name. When a person is feeling like crying, it teaches him to sing. If the person tries he can manage that, but those repressed tears will come out for sure at some point, in another situation. There is also a limitation to repression, so when you remember the moment when you were singing, you will realize that the song was completely meaningless. You were not feeling it and it was not born out of your own heart.

Inspired by: Ideapod

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2 Comments

  1. Hm… I see here another case when the western mind has misunderstood the eastern philosophy.
    Although the power of positive thinking has been proven even by the quantum physics today, when scientists realized that our intentions, thoughts are able to alter the physical world.
    (Dr Masaru Emoto’s Water Experiments)

    “No one should see the negative part, or maybe the darker side. But, just if no one sees it, will it disappear?”
    Nope, it won’t. But not focusing our intention on it, we won’t make it grow. We won’t give it our energy.
    We ACKNOWLEDGE dark side (or the problem) but don’t give it our attention. Instead, we focus on a solution.
    (and a possessive outcome). This is possessive thinking.

    We don’t repressed negative emotions in us. Again, we acknowledge them, step a side and look at them/us from the distance.
    Without focusing on them, without feeding them, we only understand them.
    They will vanish like a morning mist in a first sunlight.
    That’s possessive thinking.

    1. You should write a book

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