Man is afraid of freedom, and freedom is the only thing which makes you a man. So we are suicidal — destroying our freedom. And with that destruction we are destroying our whole possibility of being. Then having is good because having means accumulating dead things. You can go on accumulating; there is no end to it. And the more you accumulate, the more secure you are. When I say, “Now man has to move consciously,” I mean this, that you have to be aware of your freedom and also aware of your fear of freedom.
How to use this freedom? Religion is nothing but an effort toward conscious evolution, an effort how to use this freedom. Your volitional efforts are now significant. Whatsoever you are doing non-voluntarily is just part of the past. Your future depends on your volitional acts. A very simple act done with awareness, with volition, gives you a certain growth — even an ordinary act.
You go on a fast, but not because you have no food. You have food; you can eat it. You have hunger; you can eat. You go on a fast: it is a volitional act — a conscious act. No animal can perform this. An animal will go on a fast sometimes when there is no hunger. An animal will have to fast when there is no food. But only man can fast when there is hunger and food both. This is a volitional act. You use your freedom. The hunger cannot goad you. The hunger cannot push you and the food cannot pull you.
If there is no food, it is not a fast. If there is no hunger, it is naturopathy; it is not a fast. Hunger is there, food is there, and you are on a fast. This fasting is a volitional act, a conscious act. This will give you much awareness. You will feel a subtle freedom: freedom from food, freedom from hunger — really, deep down, freedom from the body, and still more deep down, freedom from nature. And your freedom grows and your consciousness grows. As your consciousness grows, your freedom grows. They are interrelated. Be more free and you will be more conscious; be more conscious and you will be more free: they are interdependent.
But we can deceive ourselves. A son, a daughter, can say, “I will rebel against my father so that I may be more free.” Hippies are doing that. But rebellion is not freedom because it is just natural. At a particular age, to rebel against parents is not freedom: it is just natural! A child who is just coming out of the womb of his mother cannot say, “I am leaving the womb.” It is natural.
When someone is sexually mature, it is a second birth. Now he must fight his parents, because only if he fights with his parents will he move further away from them. And unless he moves further away from them he cannot create a new family nucleus. So every child will go against his parents: this is natural. And if a child is not going against, it is a growth — because then he is fighting nature.
For example, you get married. Your mother and your wife are coming into conflict, which is natural — natural, I say, because for the mother it is a great shock. You have moved to another woman. Up to now you were wholly and solely your mother’s. And it makes no difference that she is your mother: deep down no one is a mother and no one is a wife. Deep down every female is a woman. Suddenly you have moved to another woman, and the woman in your mother will suffer, will become jealous. Fight and conflict are natural. But if your mother can still love you it is a growth. If your mother can love you more than she ever loved you now that you have moved to a new woman, it is a growth, it is a conscious growth. She is going above natural instincts.
When you are a child you love your parents. That is natural — just a bargain. You are helpless, and they are doing everything for you. You love them and you give them respect. When your parents have become old and they cannot do anything for you, if you still respect and love them, it is a growth. Any time natural instinct is transcended, you grow. You have made a volitional decision, so your being will grow and you will acquire an essence.
The old Indian culture tried in every way to make life such that everything becomes a growth. It is natural for a small child to respect his father, but it is unnatural to respect him when the father has become old, dying, unable to do anything for the child and is just a burden to him. Then it is unnatural! No animal can do that; the natural bond has broken. Only man can do that, and if it is done you grow. It is volitional. You grow with any volitional act, simple or complex.
Source – Osho Book “The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol2″