Reasons why telling someone to ‘think positive’ is bad advice.

Being positive is kind’ve like the new drug of the New Age movement I’ve noticed. It seems to be a sin to ever not radiate constant positivity like a constant hose spurting out in some sick geyser.

Controversial guru and spiritual guru, Osho believed it is terrible advice to be dishing out because we are being overly harsh on ourselves and denying our own reality. Osho said;

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The philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful; it means being dishonest. It means seeing a certain thing and yet denying what you have seen; it means deceiving yourself and others.

Positive thinking is the only bullshit philosophy that America has contributed to human thought – nothing else. Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, and the Christian priest, Vincent Peale – all these people have filled the whole American mind with this absolutely absurd idea of a positive philosophy.

And it appeals particularly to mediocre minds.

 

Don’t see the negative part, don’t see the darker side. But by your not seeing it, do you think it disappears? You are just befooling yourself. You cannot change reality. The night will still be there; you can think that it is daytime for twenty-four hours, but by your thinking it, it is not going to be light twenty-four hours a day.

The negative is as much part of life as the positive. They balance each other.

I am in favor of taking the whole truth, and that’s what I would like you to do too: take the whole truth, because the negative is as essential as the positive.

You cannot create electricity with only the positive pole; you will need the negative pole too. Only with both the negative and the positive pole can you create electricity. Is the negative absolutely negative? It is complementary, so it is not against the positive.

The technique of positive thinking is not a technique that transforms you. It is simply repressing the negative aspects of your personality. It is a method of choice. It cannot help awareness; it goes against awareness. Awareness is always choiceless.

Positive thinking simply means forcing the negative into the unconscious and conditioning the conscious mind with positive thoughts. But the trouble is that the unconscious is far more powerful, nine times more powerful, than the conscious mind. So once a thing becomes unconscious, it becomes nine times more powerful than it was before. It may not show in the old fashion, but it will find new ways of expression.

So positive thinking is a very poor method, without any deep understanding, and it goes on giving you wrong ideas about yourself.

 

Positive thinking is simply the philosophy of hypocrisy – to give it the right name. When you are feeling like crying, it teaches you to sing. You can manage if you try, but those repressed tears will come out at some point, in some situation. There is a limitation to repression. And the song that you were singing was absolutely meaningless; you were not feeling it, it was not born out of your heart.

It was just because the philosophy says to always choose the positive.

I am absolutely against positive thinking. You will be surprised that if you don’t choose, if you remain in a choiceless awareness, your life will start expressing something which is beyond both positive and negative, which is higher than both. So you are not going to be a loser. It is not going to be negative, it is not going to be positive, it is going to be existential.

 
What do you think of positive psychology and the advice to “just think positive?”

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