Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other. Insights for a new way of living (Osho)

“Everybody is afraid of intimacy- it is another thing whether you are aware of it or not… and the fear is that with someone who is a stranger- and it does not matter, you may have lived with the person for thirty years, the strangeness never disappears”. Osho asserts that this feeling is further complicated, because everybody craves intimacy. “Without someone you can trust, wounds cannot heal and instead become cancerous.”

The even trickier part is that everyone is waiting for the other person to drop their shields first, so we end up finding ourselves in relationships that get stuck, because neither person wants to expose themselves, by making the first move. While people think that intimacy starts with the other person opening themselves up, this book suggests otherwise. Osho uses the analogy of having many internal faces, with different ones taking the lead at any given time (similar to the theory of situational identity), while outwardly we’re showing a different face, making us feel like we are not an organic whole. Osho invites the reader to “relax and destroy the split that society has created within you.” Once we relax and embrace nature, and we stop projecting the search outside, we learn that intimacy is really in knowing oneself and trusting what is already inside. “Inside there is no light- and since there is no light and no consciousness inside, of course you go on searching outside, because outside it seems more clear.”

This book is an invitation to dig deeper into ourselves and explore who we really are, in order to create synchronicity between our thoughts and actions, thereby creating an open invitation for others to truly connect with us. When we wear masks, we introduce dysfunction into our internal mechanisms. Then, when we want to smile, it becomes forced, and when we truly want to love, we have forgotten how or what that means. When we fail to embrace the less perfect side of ourselves, those elements that have been forgotten or shamed become stronger, taking control of our actions, forming a life of their own. Osho also suggests that besides knowing and accepting oneself, it is crucial to stay firmly in the present to avoid falseness, because trying to solve the past or anticipate the future creates false feelings that do not reflect the reality of the present.

In short, Osho teaches us that distrust in others is only a mirror, an external projection of not trusting oneself. How can we trust that others will love us and treat us with care, if we have not learned to love and integrate all parts of ourselves? We cannot truly love others until we have embraced our imperfect existence to the point that we no longer connect with others to seek validation, but to remind them that we’re all just figuring it out as we go, and that doing that together is a lot more fun!

What did you learn from this book? Leave your comment below 🙂

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