I listened to discourse #8, Vol #3 from the series titled The Discipline of Transcendence during my walk today. This is a Q&A discourse and the very first question had Osho explaining this beautiful concept of Felix Culpa – which means, a happy fault. Learnt something new with Osho, as always !
For the full transcript of the discourse – The Forbidden Path.
Felix Culpa and the Parable of the Tree of Knowledge
“……That’s the whole meaning of the Christian parable of Adam being expelled from God’s paradise. He HAD to be expelled. It is not that Adam is responsible for his expulsions – it is a certain basic rule of life.
God told Adam that “The tree of knowledge is the forbidden tree, you are not supposed to eat from it.” Only one commandment was given to him, that he was not to eat from the tree of knowledge. But this functioned as a provocation.
If God really wanted him not to eat from the tree of knowledge, the better course would have been that Adam was never told about it. Paradise is infinite…millions and millions of trees. Even by now, Adam would not have been able to discover it – one tree of knowledge. But the moment God said: “Don’t touch that tree, don’t go near it, don’t eat it,” that tree became the most important tree.
Adam must have started dreaming about it. A temptation – going into the forest, into the garden, again and again the tree would call him. He must have gone close to it, looked, waited, brooded; many times he must have been just close to it, at the very brink of committing the sin, of disobeying, of being rebellious.
There is a fundamental law to it. Adam has to be expelled. Unless Adam is expelled, Adam will never become a Christ. He has to go astray to come home.
Very contradictory! But unless you move into sin, you don’t know what sainthood is.
Every child is a saint, but that sainthood is very cheap. You have not earned it; it is just a natural gift – and who bothers about a natural gift? You have to lose it.
When you lose it you become aware of what you have lost. When you lose it then you start suffering, then you feel a great hunger for it. When you lose it, then by contrast it becomes clear what it was.
If you want to see the beautiful dawn, you have to wander into the dark night.
Only after the dark night is the morning beautiful. If you really want to be rich, you have to become poor. Only after poverty do you start feeling the beauty of riches.
The contradiction is only apparent – they are complementary.
Christians have a theory; they call it FELIX CULPA – a happy fault. Adam’s sin has been known to Christian theology as FELIX CULPA – a happy fault – since it brings about the need of Christ the Redeemer. If there had been no disobedience on the part of Adam then there would have been no Christ.
Adam is human consciousness going away from God. Christ is the same human consciousness returning back home. Adam and Christ are not two persons.
Adam is the going away, Christ is the coming back. It is the same energy.”
This is why Osho is the Master of Masters ! A simple parable and he draws out such a different meaning from it … just unthinkable. Only a true Master can do that.
So take the forbidden path and make it a Felix culpa in your spiritual quest.
1 thought on “Osho on Felix Culpa”
In the Garden of Eden myth, Eve ate of the apple first, then tempted Adam. The serpent tempted her before that.
I agree with the general idea that setting any boundaries tempts those who are curious
or daring enough to cross them. I also believe this story is an allegory to exemplify the struggle between our concepts of good and evil.
Judeo-Christian tradition has used this story ever since to demonize women, and by extension, the procreative act. But it also perpetuates the notion that women are unclean or evil, however necessary they may be for incubating and bearing children.
I know very little about Hinduism, but it seems to accept sexuality between men and women without shame or judgment. In this regard I believe it has a more balanced approach.
Even today, it’s hard for me, and maybe for anyone, to recognize any woman as a true spiritual leader. Could Osho have had such a broad appeal had he been a she?