An Appraisal of Laziness/Lokesh

Laziness is an interesting topic …. 

Osho pandered to people’s propensity to be lazy. He claimed that he himself was lazy, a claim I can’t take seriously, considering what he achieved in his lifetime. He would probably have written it off as things just happening around him.
I have come to find that laziness is something I do not wish to cultivate in my life. I think inner development requires effort. I think people are fooling themselves that they will attain enlightenment if the bottom of their plastic bucket falls out, or by watching a fat frog going plop in a duck pond you suddenly get it. Yes, spring comes and the grass grows by itself, but the weeds grow even faster, something I can’t help noticing when it comes to maintaining my land. Growing a lawn is something difficult to do in a hot climate, and it is a waste of water resources. But the weeds, come rain or shine, grow like they always do.
I read something Shantam wrote the other day. Some sentimental shite about growing a beard when he gets old, and enlightenment happening in his life, or having disciples, or something hoky like that. Certainly not something worth keeping in mind other than to remind oneself not to fall in such a simplistic trap. Enlightenment is your birthright. Yeah, right. How come so few realize it? Because they are too lazy to claim it? They were never born and will never die and were therefore unable to visit the birthright office? People talk about awakening, when they are not even aware they are talking in their sleep. If you think you will become enlightened, more conscious, more aware Tommy Cooper style, just like that, by just continuing to sleepwalk your way through life, you are fucked. That was something Osho helped create in lazy people’s minds, the idea that you are perfect as you are, which is true on a certain level and completely false on another. Osho was strongly influenced by Mr G, a man who spent decades inspiring people to make an extreme effort to wake up, because that is what is required for such a difficult task.

Another problem I see with Osho’s words, he said too many. If you follow his words you can go whatever way you want. Weeee! Look at the circus clowns going in…ehm…circles? Perhaps that was the ulterior motive behind why he spoke so much, to make people realize the intrinsic emptiness of words, their lack of real worth in life and see that words only exist because of the space that holds them in order for them to live. That’s another thing about lazy people, they are usually very uninspiring to hang out with overlong. As a sannyasin perhaps you can take some pride in your laziness, but in the long run the only reward that comes of that laziness is a sensation of being stuck in the mud of human existence. Yeah, the lotus grows out of the same mud. But tell me, last time you looked at your face in a mirror, did it look like an exotic flower?


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48 Responses to An Appraisal of Laziness/Lokesh

  1. sannyasnews says:

    Bertrand Russell wrote a short essay in 1932, ‘In Defence of Idleness’ (linked below).
    He, like Lokesh might indicate, had something in common with Osho, in that neither actually ever stopped working, judged by their output!

    • frank says:

      The problem in our modern world for many is not idleness versus hard work, laziness versus industry, but more of the work-obsession/end-gaining/achievement mind eclipsing the sense of play.

      Have you noticed how people these days tend to boast about how busy they are? To be rushed off your feet 24/7 gives status, apparently.

      Certainly, work gives a sense of purpose, but play makes you relaxed in purposelessness. The workaholic runs scared from a sense of being purposeless and that leaves a gap in the ‘soul’ that demands to be filled.

      If you can`t play then you get depressed, need medication – Prozac, self-medication, more and more action, loads of crap entertainment, soaps, porn etc. etc.

      Although play is acknowledged in some ways that it wasn`t in the more sombre eras of yesteryear, the evolutionary psychology idea that play is simply preparation for young animals and humans to practise for the real business of working hard later in life has robbed play of much of its innocence and undermines the innate value that comes with the purposelessness of it.

      Like the oldest self-help book in the world said:
      “Gracious one, play. The universe is an empty shell wherein your mind frolics infinitely.”


  2. Lokesh says:

    Help! I’ve been hijacked. I wrote the above as a comment, not as the topic for a thread. Now the dastardly dudes at SN have put it up as a headline. Please change by to died line 11, paragraph two.

    I actually thought to erase the comment when I arose this morning. It contains too many statements that I could not really stand up for in the SN high court. Then again, I feel some of what I say is true. I really do find that, in regards to increased awareness in one’s life, effort is needed. If you just can’t be bothered looking at where you are inside, if you can’t be arsed working on what you really know should be done, if you think the nonsense that you take yourself to be is perfect as it is, because that’s how God made you, then why get involved with a guru in the first place?

  3. shantam prem says:

    Osho was never lazy, Sagittarians are never lazy, they are full with God/godly/cosmic energy in action.

    As collective too, Jain people are having the most industrious blood in whole of India. I can say, what Swiss are in the world, Jains are in India, top class entrepreneurs and money managers.

    On the path of spiritual search too, the way Jain monks work arduously is unparalleled, once it dawns on them they don´t want to be stuck in the mud of human existence, they drop the luxury of the life then and there and go for unending march till liberation from life/death wheel dawns.

    Compared to Jain monks, what Swamis do?
    We ask too much remuneration for too little a work!

  4. satchit says:

    “Enlightenment is your birthright. Yeah, right. How come so few realise it? Because they are too lazy to claim it?”

    Sometimes they pretend to be not enlightened, fools like you.
    Claiming has only meaning if one wants to play the Master’s Game.
    Ask Osho, he says out of hundred enlightened ones, only one will be a Master.

    • Lokesh says:

      Dear Satchit, wonderful to see that you are recovering from the lobotomy, to the extent that you now find yourself able to form words, and even whole sentences. Bravo!

      Of course, you are still having to put up with those horrid hallucinations. I assure you that with time and the right meds. it will pass.

      So here’s wishing you and all the staff at the Krippen locked psychiatric unit a very happy new year and of course, lower electricity bills now that you no longer require daily electro-shock therapy.

      Osho says, be a bright light unto yourself but you took it too far and the high voltage melted your brain. Never mind, all sacrifices are valid on the road to no mind. All hail the Bodhisattva spirit that you are so much a disembodiment of.

      • dominic says:

        A naughty but nice evisceration, Loki! Do you do hang, drawing and quartering as well? ;)

        But is Satchit in fact saying that we are all just pretending to NOT be enlightened, in his perfectly (as God wills it) rude and arrogant way? How stylish, how perfectly post-modern!

        • satchit says:

          “But is Satchit in fact saying that we are all just pretending to NOT be enlightened, in his perfectly (as God wills it) rude and arrogant way?”

          Dom, you’ ve got it.

          Old Loki missed my friendly message. Instead, he does G-work in the G-coal-mine, searching for the G-spot. What to say? Different paths.

          Reminds me of the Osho story when one zen-guy said enlightenment is as difficult as climbing up the highest mountain and his wife said enlightenment is as easy as touching the own nose.

          And certainly the latter looks a bit lazy from the view of the mountain climber.

          • dominic says:

            So many possibilities for misunderstandings in this medium, since text does not convey tone, energy or body language. I sometimes wonder if it’s worth it? At least on fakebook there’s emojis, likes and all that jazz, but still….

            • satchit says:

              Certainly it’s a kind of keyhole communication.

              If it’s worthwhile? It’s useless as sannyas or other esoteric trips. But some like the

  5. Kavita says:

    Lokesh, I think effort is needed till a certain point, later it’s effortless, it’s not that the same amount of effort is needed throughout. In my experience, we take too much unnecessary credit for most of the things which is/are accomplished.

  6. Lokesh says:

    Kavita, how would you describe that certain point?
    Could you give a couple of examples of what might be accomplished and to what end?

    • Kavita says:

      When I decided to build a house in the village I had to make a lot of effort from planning the structure of the house to full construction of it. Once the house was built, many friends & relatives said to me that I have taken a lot of effort, which I think was not only my effort but also the effort of the workers/labourers.

  7. dominic says:

    There is absolutely no excuse for laziness, but if you find one let me know!

    I was going to read Lokesh’s ‘appraisal’ and respond, but I couldn’t be assed. Can’t someone else just do it for me? Enlightenment may pay off in the future, Lokesh, but laziness pays off now!

    Seriously though, Lokesh is haranguing some imagined audience here (perhaps himself?). Will the donkey get the carrot if he just keeps working at it? ‘Laziness’ is such a loaded word with a lot of ‘sinful’ associations. When I love what I’m doing, it doesn’t feel like work, time flies by. When I have to force myself, it’s a struggle, not always a bad thing.

    People have been meditating their asses off forever and what is there to show for it?Sometimes, their ‘spiritual’ efforting is compensation for and escape from low self-worth. So-called ‘spirituality’ and religions are good at manipulating this. Practitioners don’t really enjoy it but have a ‘bad’ ego that needs taming. So you have to be smart. Perhaps you’re in a ‘lazy’ space and the wisest course is to accept it.

    Then again, practice makes perfect. As the joke goes, about someone asking for directions in New York: “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” Reply: “Practise, practise, practise!” Truth is, most people won’t get to Carnegie Hall or are likely to get ‘enlightened’ (if you believe in that). Best to take one’s eyes off the prize and enjoy what one is doing. The dopamine reward in your brain should be enough if you’re doing it right.

    Underneath ‘laziness’ may lie a bunch of other issues…tiredness, depression, emptiness, poor diet & exercise, drugs. Maybe ‘inner development’ requires embracing one’s ‘laziness’, finding out what’s going on, rather than trying to overcome it. Willpower will get through you through for a while, but most new year’s resolutions tend to collapse. It could be seasonal. It’s winter now, and I feel more lazy, with these short days, more like reading, writing, looking at screens and eating chocolates!

    Well that’s my excuse, what’s your excuse, you lazy bar steward?

    • Lokesh says:

      My wife often gets on at me about my laziness. Currently not, because I’m writing a novel. It does require a little effort on my part, but for the most it’s doing what I usually do…enjoying myself.

  8. Levina says:

    Interesting topic, Lokesh I can relate to it.

    As I see it, I would love to be lazy. No trying to be more aware anymore, no more meditations in order to get ‘there’ or get better, no more wondering who am I?, no more satsangs or reading that last interesting spiritual book, no more doubts whether I’m good enough, no more doubts whether I’m enlightened or not, no more belief in any thoughts, also the spiritual ones, no more belief that I am separate, no more reflection. At last, the ultimate laziness in nothingness, where doing happens without goal, just as an expression of Itself, Amen.

    • Lokesh says:

      Levina, good post. I integrate Mr G’s ‘Work’ into my life and my perceptions are thus strongly influenced by the long process involved. I listened to Osho rattle on about the sleeping humanity for years. At the time I was not able to comprehend what that actually meant, and perhaps indulged myself in the idea that I was beyond all that.

      Things changed and I became aware that I was fast asleep, an automaton operating under a mechanical set of programmes implanted in my being since the day I was told that I was born, by people who were themselves fast asleep.

      Mr G’s Work is most certainly not for everyone, but I am certain it is for me. Through practising the Work I find it easier to cope with life’s circumstances, make sense of it all, and see where I stand in the greater scheme of things. One will never wake up unless the realisation that you are a bio-robot grips you and forces you to do something about it.

      • frank says:

        “I became aware that I was fast asleep, an automaton operating under a mechanical set of programmes implanted in my being since the day I was told that I was born, by people who were themselves fast asleep.”

        Sounds like a line from ‘Gurdjieff and the Daleks’, the new ‘Doctor Who Am I’ series!

  9. samarpan says:

    “Through practising the Work I find it easier to cope with life’s circumstances, make sense of it all, and see where I stand in the greater scheme of things.” (Lokesh)

    Interesting. You have made sense of it all? And you know where you stand?

    My take is that it makes no sense. Life has no intrinsic meaning or purpose.

    Knowing where I stand is impossible, being on a planet orbiting at 460 metres per second… in a solar system – Earth and all – whirling around the centre of our galaxy at some 220 kilometres per second. Being too dizzy to do anything resembling work, laziness is a good option.

    • Parmartha says:

      Liked your post, Samarpan.
      I also think that life does not make sense – and in a state of being that is okay !

      • frank says:

        Samarpan : “Being too dizzy to do anything resembling work, laziness is a good option.”
        Sounds like a good line for making meaning out of old age and retirement!

      • Lokesh says:

        It can be viewed as ironic that one makes sense of life by viewing it as something that makes no sense. I have already said enough on this post and feel I having nothing to prove in regards what I say.

        When it boils down to it I find that what other people think is really not my business. People think what they think due to the interaction of the three gunas. Those thoughts are as myriad as grains of sand on a beach and for the most part mechanical. We believe we do when we don’t.

        If someone can’t make sense of their life that is also none of my business. Whatever gets you through the night. That’s what I mean by knowing where I stand.

    • satyadeva says:

      “Knowing where I stand is impossible, being on a planet orbiting at 460 metres per second… in a solar system – Earth and all – whirling around the centre of our galaxy at some 220 kilometres per second. Being too dizzy to do anything resembling work, laziness is a good option.”

      All that may be interesting, fascinating, frightening and so on, but how relevant is it to our actual living experience? Isn’t it an instance of the speculating mind taking us out of our body and losing touch with our living reality inside?

      We don’t have to rely on the truths of science and maths for such intimidation, we can use anything ‘out there’ to make us and our little lives look tiny and therefore utterly insignificant and meaningless.

      However, I thought the whole raison d’etre of spirituality is that the fundamental Truth is to be found in our Being, the rest being, in a way, just ‘propaganda’! If so, then I suggest ‘laziness’ is not necessarily at all “a good option” but a flawed choice arising from a basic misperception, created by an education and a society that hasn’t a clue about what’s real and what’s not.

      • Lokesh says:

        SD, good post. Synchronicity.

      • samarpan says:

        Osho’s Eighth Commandment: “Do not swim—float.”

        • satyadeva says:

          Meaning what exactly in this context, Samarpan?

          If you take on board all that science and maths as touchstones of your essential reality then I suggest you’re in a spot of bother, no matter how you try to cover it up (from yourself) by using cliched catchphrases like ‘floating’.

  10. Parmartha says:

    In our western protestant cultures, there certainly has been no room for idleness. Capitalism itself has been thought by some to have arisen through the march of the Calvinist consciousness.

    So a reminder about the playfulness and joy that idleness can bring is of great value to those who were born into such cultures.

    I remember when I worked with children that the relaxed child with no hindrance of someone telling him or her about the time was the one who followed some passing curiosity into a moment of pure joy.

  11. shantam prem says:

    “Sleeping Humanity, Bio Robots”…
    It is almost teenagers cursing their parents, how ignorant you are! Interesting thing is the same very teenagers live the same kind of life once they themselves are parents!

    Lokesh´s post of yesterday at 7.17 pm is interesting. He seems to be holding tightly concepts of last century, his cherished mental possessions!

    Just remembered one wonderful feeling where master is heard saying something like, “In the eternity of time, even ants are on the way to enlightenment.”

    This feeling everything and everyone is in the process, is part of the game, is not only soothing but closer to the essence.

    Still I will trust Lokesh more than Jayesh!

    • satyadeva says:

      “This feeling everything and everyone is in the process, is part of the game, is not only soothing but closer to the essence.”

      It may be true, but it can be used as a wonderful excuse as well and I suspect it just happens to suit your lazy mentality, Shantam.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam says, “Lokesh seems to be holding tightly concepts of last century, his cherished mental possessions!”

      Whether what he says is true is beside the point. Just because a concept originated centuries ago does not mean it holds no relevance today. Perennial teachings have always existed.

      It is ironic that Shantam brings up such a point, because his approach is very much rooted in ancient traditions from the East. He also believes himself to worship Osho, a man who constantly referred to teachings and teachers who were not from the last century but rather walked the earth thousands of years ago.

      Fairly typical of Shantam, who believes himself to be spontaneous by firing off the first nonsense that comes into his head, when in reality their exists little of a spontaneous nature in what he says. He is talking in his sleep.

      • shantam prem says:

        This is too much to say about someone, anyone, “he is talking in his sleep.” Such ignorant and automatic sleepy response is a USP of knowledgeable people!

        Because losers can win this game, it becomes very competitive in achiever types to play hard to lose the game. I mean Satyadeva types. Who will hire all kind of coaches to teach them the art of self goals.

        If he asks me, I can give one solid suggestion, better than any one he ever received. Surely I don´t have that very impressive resume!

  12. Kavita says:

    I just love what Bill Gates said: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” I somehow relate to this totally!

    • dominic says:

      That sounds about right, K, a ‘lazy person doing a hard job’ must have produced the Windoze operating system. There’s no other explanation!

  13. Prem says:

    One can be very lazy as far as achievements in the outside world are concerned…and direct all the energy towards the inner awakening. I feel this is what Osho means when he says lazy: lazy as far as unimportant things go.

    A zen monk in a zen monastery is lazy: he does zazen all day. So basically he just sits all day. Outwardly, he appears lazy, but all his energy is focused on meditation.

    To me, when Osho says he is lazy, this is what he means.

    • kusum says:

      Some are lazy doing physical work, some are lazy doing mental work, and some are lazy doing inner work…some are just happy sleeping!

    • dominic says:

      A Zen monastery is basically a ‘concentration’ camp – “Arbeit Macht Frei”- where you get whacked if they catch you slacking!

  14. swamishanti says:

    Well, like Frau Dolano says, she got there through single-pointed and total meditation.

    Some people get distracted by crystals, others by bullshit which was just mind-fucking, but she stuck with her zazen and left all else behind. Except her little cat.