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Learn the key ideas of the book by Osho


The search for awareness as a way of life

Most people live life in a sort of a sleep state that many spiritual teachers refer to as the unconscious, and this is said to then cause us to suffer. To enjoy every single moment we must become conscious, and although this process can be long and arduous, it is within everyone's reach. To become more conscious, you have to learn to be vigilant and observe everything with the utmost attention. This will enable you to stay in the present moment, and being present is the key to living a calm and peaceful life. These are among the teachings that Osho passes on in his book Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance, a book that promises to illuminate our entire existence.

Read in 13 min.
Listen in 16 min.

Most people live their lives unconsciously

Osho said that most of us sleepwalk our way through life. We are never fully aware of our surroundings, we are never really present in what we are doing, and nor do we even know why we say or do many of the things we say and do! Our mind is always bombarded with a never-ending stream of thoughts, and they flow so quickly that they leave us unaware of what is really happening, and who we really are. Basically, it is as though we are living in a sort of dream state, and we do so our entire lives.

Our lives are mechanical, automated and lacking in awareness. While we sleepwalk through life, all we do is express our conditioning, habits and impulses, but not our true essence. So this is what Osho means by functioning in sleep: acting out of habit or impulse, but without any awareness of what is really happening. When we function in sleep, we are not really there: we are somewhere else, lost in our thoughts about the past or future, anywhere but where we are. We are absent and distracted.

Yes, we have become very efficient at doing most of the things we do, but this is part of the problem: we have become so efficient that we no longer need to be aware of what we are effectively doing to get it done. We have become like robots, meaning that we are unable to fully enjoy our experiences and feel satisfied and at peace. Acting automatically is like moving while we are anaesthetised, a state which is unable to allow us any enjoyment and is the basis for our lack of attention, because it distracts us from something else. If, while we are doing something, we are thinking about something else, it means that we are not present, and this, according to Osho, is the root of all evil.


The key ideas of "Awareness"

Most people live their lives unconsciously
Awareness means being completely immersed in the present moment with all five senses, and no distractions
In life, suffering can sometimes seem inevitable. If we want to end our suffering, we have two choices, one of which is destructive, and the other ideal: we can continue to be numb, or we can wake up
The state of mindfulness can keep us in the present moment, where there is no suffering, only enjoyment. To become truly mindful, we need to learn to observe very closely
Focussing on observation is the answer to solving any type of problem
Being mindful is very difficult, but not impossible. The best thing to do is to keep trying, without rushing, stressing or feeling guilty for getting distracted
The only real change is a change of consciousness within us, because there is nothing outside of ourselves that can help
Take-home message
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