Don’t Be Consistent

Have you heard anything like that – “Don’t be consistent”? When you hear it for the first time or read it for the first time, you will think that there has been some mistake, maybe a proof mistake or something. Because your so-called saints have been telling you just the opposite: “Don’t be inconsistent”, they say. “Be consistent.”
It is here that Atisha is superb. He says:


Why? What is consistency? Consistency means living according to the past. With what will you be consistent? If you want to be consistent you can have only one reference, and that is the past. To be consistent means to live according to the past, and to live according to the past is not to live at all. To live according to the past is to be dead. Then your life will be just a repetition.

To be consistent means that you have already decided that now there is no more to life, that you have already come to a full stop; you don’t allow life to have anything new to give you, you have closed your doors. The sun will rise, but you will not allow its rays to enter your room. And the flowers will bloom, but you will remain unaware of their fragrance. Moons will come and go, but you will remain stagnant. You have stopped being a river.

A river cannot be a consistent phenomenon. Only a pond can be consistent, because it is non-flowing.

The consistent man is a logical man, his life is one-dimensional… And the logical man is the poorest man in the world, because life consists not only of logic, but of love, too. And love is illogical. Only a very small part of life is logical, the superficial part. The deeper you go, the more and more you move into the illogical, or to be more accurate, the supralogical.

Atisha is giving you something tremendously valuable. Live all the moods of life, they are your own and they all have something to contribute to your growth. Howsoever comfortable and cozy it looks, don’t become confined to a small space. Be an adventurer. Search and seek all the facets of life, all the aspects of life.

Live, and allow all that is possible. Sing, dance, cry, weep, laugh, love, meditate, relate, be alone. Be in the marketplace, and sometimes be in the mountains.

The consistent man is a very poor man. Of course the society respects the consistent man, because the consistent man is predictable. You know what buttons to push and how he will act. He is a machine; he is not truly a man. The society respects the consistent man; the society calls consistency “character”… A real man cannot afford character, because character can be afforded only at the cost of life.

The saint has character, hence he is respected. The sage has no character, hence it is very difficult to recognize him. Socrates is a sage, Lao Tzu is a sage – but they are very difficult to recognize, almost impossible, because they don’t leave any trace behind them. They don’t fit into any mold, they are pure freedom. They are like birds flying in the sky, they don’t leave any footprints.

It is only for a very few sensitive souls to find a sage as a Master, because the mediocre follow the saint. Only very very intelligent people attune themselves to a sage, because the sage has no character and he cannot fulfill any of your expectations. He is bound to offend you, he is bound to disappoint you, he is bound to shake you and shatter you in many many ways.

Slowly, slowly, he will make you as free as he himself is.

From The Book of Wisdom : Discourses on Atisha`s Seven Points of Mind Training, by Osho