Personality Types – Toxic or Nourishing

OshoQuestion: I feel I have a legacy of laziness and escapism. Either I don’t feel energy, or if I do, I find it difficult to just completely let go. I feel a control.

Osho: I feel it is somewhere and has become part of your bio-computer. The mind functions as a computer, and we go on feeding it attitudes. They go on accumulating there and by and by they become deeply ingrained. Personalities can be divided into two categories. One, psychologists call the T-personality, toxic, and the other they call the N-personality, nourishing.

A toxic personality is always looking at things in a negative way. The whole world view of the toxic personality is depressing, sad. The toxic personality hides in beautiful faces. A perfectionist is a toxic personality. You cannot say that something is wrong in a perfectionist, but the whole idea of being a perfectionist is to find errors, mistakes, loopholes. It is a trick. You cannot find any fault with a man who looks for perfection, but in fact that is not his goal; perfection is a device. He wants to look at loopholes, mistakes, errors, anything that is missing, and this is the best way – to keep a goal of perfection so that he can compare them with the ideal and always condemn.

This toxic personality always thinks of that which is not and never looks at that which is, so discontent becomes natural. A toxic personality poisons his own being; not only that – he drips poison.


It can be a heritage. If you have lived with people in your childhood who had a negative attitude towards life…. It may be hiding in glowing terms, beautiful language, ideals, heaven, God, religion, the soul; they can use beautiful words, but they are simply trying…and they talk about the other world just to condemn this one. They are not concerned with the other world. They have no interests in saints, but just to prove that others are sinners, they will talk about saints.

It is a very morbid attitude. They will say, ‘Become like Jesus.’ They are not interested in Jesus at all. If Jesus were there they would be the last person to go to him, but just to condemn you, this is their device. You cannot become Jesus, so you become a victim. They always condemn you. They create values, moralities, puritan attitudes. They are the moralists, the moralisers; they are the great poisoners of the world.

And they are everywhere. These people tend to become teachers, educationalists, professors, vice-chancellors, saints, bishops, popes; they tend to become these things because then they can condemn. They are even ready to sacrifice everything if they are just allowed the joy of condemning others. They are everywhere, hiding in many ways. And they are always doing things for your good, for your own good, so you are defenceless against them. Their heritage is real, big. They have dominated the whole history.

These people immediately become dominators. Their very ideology helps them to dominate because they can become condemnators. And they talk in rational terms. Rationalism is also part of the T-personality. They are very argumentative…very difficult to defeat them in argumentation. They are never reasonable, but they are always rational.

One must know the distinction between a reasonable man and a rational man. A reasonable man is never only rational, because a reasonable man knows by experience that life has both – the rational and the irrational; that life has both – reason and feeling, the mind and the heart.

A reasonable man is reasonable. A rational man is never reasonable. He forces logic on life – and logic can be perfect; life can never be. He always looks to the ideal, and he tries to force life to follow the ideal. He never looks into life and the reality of life. His ideals are against life.


The second personality, the N personality, the nourishing personality, is totally different. It has no ideals, really. It just looks into life and the reality decides its ideal. It is very reasonable. It is never perfectionistic; it is wholistic but never a perfectionist. And it always looks on the good side of things. The N personality is always hopeful, radiant, adventurous, trusting, not condemnatory. These are the people who become poets, painters, musicians.

If an N-type person becomes a saint, then there is a real saint. If a T-type person becomes a saint, there is a false saint, a pseudo-saint. If an N-type person becomes a father, then there is a real father. If an N-type person becomes a mother, there is real mothering. A T-type is a pseudo father and a pseudo mother. That is just a trick to exploit the child, to torture, to dominate, possess and to crush the child, to feel powerful by crushing the child. The T-type is in the majority, so you may be right that you are carrying a heritage everybody is. But once you become aware, there is not much of a problem. You can travel from T to N very easily.

A few things to remember. If you feel lazy, don’t call it laziness. Listen to your nature; maybe that’s what fits you. That’s what I call a reasonable man. What can you do? If laziness comes to you, then that’s what you have to do. Who are you to decide against it? And how can you win against it? Even in your fight you will be lazy. Who is going to win? You will be constantly defeated, and then you will feel unnecessarily miserable.

Be realistic. Listen to your own being. Everybody has his own pace. A few people are very active, rushing; nothing is wrong in it. If they feel good in it, it is good for them.

And don’t create any ideals that you have to do this. Don’t have any ‘shoulds’. The ‘should’ creates a sort of neurosis. Then one is obsessed. The ‘should’ is always there, standing and condemning you, and you cannot enjoy anything. Enjoy! Kill the ‘should’ completely and be herenow. Whatsoever you can do, do; whatsoever you cannot do, accept. That is the way you are, and you are here to be yourself, nobody else. By and by you will see that your T is turning into N. You will become nourishing and you will enjoy more, you will love more, and you will become more meditative.

In fact, for a lazy person to become meditative is easier than for an active person. That’s why the whole East became lazy – they meditated too much. Meditation is a sort of passivity. An active person feels very restless. Just to sit silent is the most difficult thing. Not to do anything is the most difficult thing to do for an active person.

Just enjoy and move as fits your being – no shoulds, no ideals, otherwise they will poison you. Look at life with deep hope. It is really beautiful. Just look at it, and don’t wait for perfection. Don’t think in terms of your enjoying things only when they are perfect; then you will never enjoy.

If a T-type person encounters God, he will immediately find some faults in him. That’s why God is hiding…because of T-type people. He reveals himself to the N-type, never to T-types. He reveals only to those who can take nourishment from him – not only that, but to those who can nourish him.

So just relax, enjoy, accept, and the problems will disappear.

Osho, The Passion For the Impossible

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