The circle can be broken
I HEAR YOU OFTEN SAY THAT THE POLITICIANS AND THE PRIESTS ARE EXPLOITING AND CHEATING PEOPLE, AS IF THEY ARE A DIFFERENT RACE FROM OUTER SPACE, FORCED UPON US.
MY UNDERSTANDING IS, RATHER, THAT THESE POLITICIANS AND PRIESTS JUST COME OUT FROM AMONGST US, SO WE ARE TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR DOINGS, AND COMPLAINING ABOUT THEM SEEMS LIKE COMPLAINING ABOUT OURSELVES. IS NOT A POLITICIAN AND A PRIEST HIDDEN IN EVERY ONE OF US? WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
The politicians and the priests are certainly not coming from outer space; they are growing amongst us. We also have the same lust for power, the same ambition to be holier than others. They are the most successful people as far as these ambitions and desires are concerned.
Certainly we are responsible, but it is a vicious circle; we are not the only ones who are responsible. The successful politicians and priests go on conditioning the new generations for the same ambitions; they make the society, they cultivate its mind and conditioning.
They are also responsible -- and they are more responsible than the common people, because the common people are victims of all kinds of programs that are being imposed upon them.
The child comes into the world without any ambition, without any lust for power, without any idea that he is higher, holier, superior. Certainly he cannot be responsible. Those who bring him up -- the parents, the society, the educational system, the politicians, the priests -- the same gang goes on spoiling every child. Of course in his own turn, he will spoil...
but it is a vicious circle. From where to break it?
I insist on condemning the priests and the politicians, because that is the place from where it can be broken. Condemning the small children coming into the world is not going to help. Condemning the common masses is also not going to help, because they have been already conditioned -- they are being exploited. They are suffering, they are miserable. But nothing wakes them up -- they are fast asleep. The only point where our condemnations should be concentrated is on those who have the power, because they have the power to contaminate the future generations. If they can be stopped we can have a new man.
I know that everybody is responsible. Whatever happens, in some way or other, everybody has his own part in it. But to me what is important is whom to hit, so that for the new generation of children the vicious circle can be avoided. Humanity has been revolving in it for centuries. That's why I don't condemn the common masses, I don't condemn you. I condemn those who are now in a position that if they just relax a little bit as far as their vested interests are concerned, and look at the miserable mass of humanity, a transformation is possible -- the circle can be broken.
I purposely choose the politicians and the priests. There are many other things to be remembered. The priest knows perfectly well that there is no God. In this world the priest is the only person who knows there is no God, but his whole profession depends on this non-existential God. He cannot say the truth because all his vested interests will be lost -- not only his, but for generations to come he will be spoiling the whole game. He knows the rituals are just hocus-pocus, that the mantras carry no power, that his theology is just a cover-up. Nobody else knows it better; he has studied the scriptures and he knows there is no evidence of God anywhere. He interprets the scriptures in such a way that they help his profession. He goes on making commentaries on the ancient scriptures, adding more and more things that are helpful for his profession.
As times change he has to make new additions. For example, Manu, a five thousand year old thinker, priest, the father of priesthood, in his manusmriti -- the memoirs of Manu which Hindus follow word by word -- he created the caste system, one of the ugliest things in existence.
Because of it one fourth of Hindus have suffered a long slavery, exploitation and humiliation. They have been turned almost into subhuman beings -- they are called achhoot, untouchables. They have fallen so much that you cannot touch them; otherwise you have to take a bath immediately. Even their shadow touching you is enough to make you impure. Manu reduced one-fourth of the Hindus to eternal slavery it seems.
He managed the highest position in the society for the priesthood, but he was really cunning and clever: he has given all the superiority to brahmins, but he has not given them riches, nor material, temporal power. He has divided the castes so there is no conflict. Temporal power he has given to the second highest caste: the warriors, kshatriyas. They are going to be the kings, they are going to be the generals, the soldiers, the fighters, and they will be the second highest class. And money he has given to the third: the businessmen, the vaishyas. To the fourth he has given nothing -- except slavery.
You can see the cunningness... he divides. He does not give money to brahmins, or temporal power, because then three-fourths of the society will be against them, and it will not be possible to control. And if they have also spiritual power, material power, money, then there will be resentment, anger, violence -- there will be riots. So to brahmins he gives the holy power -- they are the highest, the holiest -- but he does not give anything temporal to them.
He gives the temporal power to the warriors. It is satisfying, because they are going to be the kings; brahmins cannot be the kings. And who cares about spiritual power? So let them have spiritual power; it is almost like having nothing, just a nominal quality of being superior, so the warriors are not angry about it. On the contrary, they are happy that one-fourth of the society will never be in conflict with them -- they are already higher, they have nothing more to gain. And the warriors are the most powerful people.
To the third he gives money and all other worldly things. These are the people who cannot fight, who are not warriors -- but they can earn money, they can produce wealth.
You will be surprised to know that in India all the kings, before India became a slave country, were indebted to the rich people. From where are they going to get money? -- just by borrowing. They can pay when they invade some other country; otherwise they have to borrow from the business people. And the business people are happy; they have all the material things, money... Not only that, kings are borrowing from them, brahmins have to depend on them for everything -- so let them believe that they are higher... but basically the business people hold the power, they have the money.
And against these three classes the poor fourth has no power to fight. They are deprived of all education, deprived even of living in the city; they have to live outside the town.
They cannot take water from the city well -- they have to make their own wells or carry water from the river. They are completely cut off from the society. They have just to come and serve, and do all the ugliest things that nobody else wants to do. And three powerful sections are there to go on repressing them; they have money, they have power, they have spiritual heights -- they are the representatives of God.
For five thousand years they have maintained this -- and they have made the fourth, the slaves, believe that you are born slaves because of your evil acts in the past life -- this is the punishment. The brahmin is enjoying his position because of good acts in his past life. And there is no mobility; one cannot move from one caste to another caste.
Since Manu, the priests in India have remained the most anti-revolutionary element -- naturally, because they will lose their superiority. Kings come to touch their feet, the superrich come to touch their feet -- their ego is fulfilled. And the same is the story around the world -- everywhere the priesthood has maintained its superiority. It is not so clear-cut as in India, but a subtle division is there. The priest is everywhere superior, the warrior is everywhere number two, and the rich man is everywhere number three. The fourth, the slave, the servant, is everywhere the same.
These priests go on preaching to every child a certain kind of mind that keeps the society running -- or stuck. The politicians are in a deep conspiracy with the priests. The politicians are full of lust for power, and if they want power, they want blessings from the priests, because the priests have a spiritual hold over humanity. And if a politician goes and touches the feet of a priest, the followers of the priest are going to vote for the politician. There is a conspiracy: the politician goes on praising the priest, his religion, his ideology, and the priests go on blessing the politician and his ideology. And between these two powerful groups the whole society is crushed, sucked.
I know everybody is responsible, but not everybody is powerful enough to break the circle; hence I am hitting constantly on the priests and the politicians. And now they have become afraid of me -- perhaps they have never been afraid of a single man before. All over the world they don't want me to enter into their countries. The priests are behind the politicians who are making rules and laws that I should be prohibited.
The commune in America was destroyed by the politicians, but behind the politicians were the fundamentalist Christians, the most orthodox group of Christian priests. Ronald Reagan himself is a fundamentalist Christian. And to be a fundamentalist Christian means to be absolutely orthodox. He believes that every single word in THE BIBLE is holy, is from God's own mouth. They were in conspiracy together to destroy the commune.
Just the other day I received the news that now they are making a memorial in The Dalles; bishops and politicians and all kinds of leading, prominent citizens are contributing money -- a big memorial, a memorial that they have become victorious, that they have thrown away the evil forces who had created the commune. They have thrown me out, destroyed my work, and they are not satisfied with that; they want to create a memorial so that the future generations will know.
And both the priests and the politicians are very vulnerable; they have no ground beneath their feet. Just a good hit is needed and they will be finished. And once they are finished, society will have a taste of freedom.
We can bring up children in a more human way, unconditioned, intelligent, looking at the whole earth as one -- not Christians, not Hindus, not Mohammedans, not Indians, not Chinese, not Americans. Nations and religions are creations of the priests and the politicians. Once they are finished, religions and nations are also finished.
And a world free of religions, free of nations, will be a human world -- without wars, without unnecessarily fighting for things which nobody has seen....
It is so stupid that for thousands of years people have been killing each other in the name of God. None of them has seen, none of them has any proof, none of them has any evidence. And they don't even feel embarrassed, because nobody has, looking directly into their eyes, asked the question.... And they are going on crusades, jihads, religious wars, destroying all those who do not believe in their dogma, because their dogma is divine and every other dogma is the devil's creation.
They are trying to serve humanity by killing people. Their intention is to free those people from the clutches of the devil. But the strangest thing is that every religion thinks that the other religion is created by the devil. So the fight continues. Politicians are fighting war after war -- for what? I don't see the point. The earth has no lines; then why make these maps and draw lines?
One of my teachers was a very intelligent man. One day he brought a few pieces of cardboard; he had cut the whole world map into small pieces, put them on the desk and asked, "Can anybody come and arrange them in the right order?" Many tried and failed.
Just one boy, seeing that everybody was failing and they were not making the world map by putting the pieces together, he looked at one piece on the reverse side. Then he turned all the pieces over and he found the picture of a man. He arranged the picture of the man, which was very easy, and that was the key. On one side the man was arranged, and on the other side, the world map was arranged.
Perhaps the same is true about the real world... if we can arrange man, the world will be arranged. If we can make man silent, peaceful, loving, nations will disappear, wars will disappear, all dirty politics will disappear. And remember, all politics is dirty; there is no other kind.
But we have to hit on those who have the power. Hitting the poor common man will not help, because he has no power, he is a victim. Even if we can change him, it won't be a great change. But if we can abolish the conspiracy between religion and politics, priests and the politicians, it will be really a great change, a revolution -- the only revolution that is needed and that has not happened yet.
WHEN YOU SPOKE OF GREED, I WAS TOTALLY HORRIFIED. I HAVE FINALLY REACHED A POINT WHERE I AM WILLING TO SEE HOW BIG A PART IT PLAYS IN MY LIFE, AND THE MISERY IT BRINGS WITH IT. COULD YOU PLEASE SHED MORE LIGHT ON WHAT THIS THING CALLED GREED IS, WHERE IT COMES FROM? -- AND PERHAPS OFFER SOME TOOLS TO HELP ME?
Just to understand the nature of greed is enough. You need not do anything else to get rid of it; the very understanding will clarify the whole mess.
Man is full if he is in tune with the universe; if he is not in tune with the universe then he is empty, utterly empty. And out of that emptiness comes greed. Greed is to fill it: by money, by houses, by furniture, by friends, by lovers -- by anything, because one cannot live as emptiness. It is horrifying, it is a ghost life. If you are empty and there is nothing inside you, it is impossible to live.
To have the feeling that you have much inside you, there are only two ways: either you get in tune with the universe... Then you are filled with the whole, with all the flowers and with all the stars. They are within you just as they are without you. That is real fulfillment. But if you don't do that, and millions of people are not doing that, then the easiest way is to fill it with any junk.
I used to live with a man. He was a rich man and he had a beautiful house. And somehow he became interested in my ideas; he listened to a few of my lectures, and he invited me, saying, "Why live far away, out of the city? I have a beautiful house in the city and it is so big; you can have half of the house. And I am not going to charge you, I simply want your presence to be there in my house."
I was living outside, in the mountains, but it was difficult to come from there to the university. From his house the university was very close. His house had a beautiful garden and was in the best locality of the city, so I accepted his invitation.
But when I went into his house I could not believe it; he had so much junk collected that there was no place to live. The house was big, but his collection was bigger -- and a collection which was absolutely stupid. Anything that he could find in the market he would purchase. I asked him, "What are you going to do with all these things?"
And he said, "One never knows, some day one may need it."
"But," I said, "where is one going to live in this house?" So much furniture of all ages...
because the Europeans had left the country so they had to sell all their things. He could not have enough; he managed to purchase anything, things which he did not need. A car was standing in the porch which always remained standing because it was too old, broken. And I asked him, "Why don't you throw it away? At least to clean up the place..."
And he said, "It looks good in the porch."
All the tires were punctured -- it was of no use. Whenever you had to move it from here and there, you had to push it, pull it back. And it was there, rotting. He said, "I got it at a very reasonable price. It belonged to an old woman who used to be a nurse here and who has gone back to England."
But I said, "If you were interested in purchasing a car then at least you should have purchased a car which moves."
He said, "I am not interested in movement. My bicycle is perfectly good." And his bicycle was also a marvel. You would know that he was coming from one mile away, the bicycle made so much noise; it had no mudguards, no chain cover -- it must have been the oldest bicycle made. It had no horn.
He said, "There is no need for a horn. It makes so much noise that at least for one mile ahead people are already giving way. And it is a good thing, because it cannot be stolen."
I said, "That is strange. Why can't it be stolen?"
He said, "Nobody else can ride on it. It has been stolen twice, and the thief was caught immediately -- because it makes so much noise, and everybody knows that it is my bicycle, so people caught the thief and asked him, `Where are you taking the bicycle?'
"I can leave it anywhere. I go to see a movie -- I don't put it on a bicycle stand, because then you have to pay money. I put it anywhere, and it is always there -- when I come back it is always there. Everybody knows that it is a trouble. And even if you can get it to your home you cannot ride on it in the city -- you will be caught. So it is better not to bother with it."
He said, "It is a rare specimen."
I said, "The way you describe it, it looks like it."
And he had all kinds of things in his house... broken radios, because he could get them cheap. He was a Jaina and he had a broken statue of Jesus Christ on the cross.
I said, "What have you purchased it for?"
He said, "The woman gave it to me free when I purchased the car -- she offered it to me as a present. I don't believe in Jesus Christ or anything, but I could not refuse a piece of art."
I said to him, "Half of the house from today you take to the other half -- my part has to be empty."
And he was very happy to take everything. Already his house was so full you could not walk -- you could not find your way. He took everything. He had so many kinds of furniture that he had piled up on the sofa; it was not used, because you cannot sit on a sofa that is touching the roof. And I asked, "Why?"
"He said, "you don't understand -- the price! And someday I may get married" -- he was not married -- "and I may have children and they may need all these things. You don't be worried, everything will be of some use sometime."
Even on the road, if he could find anything lying there which had been thrown by somebody, he would pick it up. One day he was walking with me from the garden to the house and he found a bicycle handle, and he picked it up. But I said, "What will you do with a bicycle handle?"
He said, "You don't understand. I will show you." I went with him. In his bathroom he had almost a bicycle -- just a few things were missing. And he said, "All these things I have picked up from the road. And I go on joining them and putting them together. Now a few things are missing. The chain is not there, the seat is not there, but I will get them.
Somebody is going to throw them away someday. Life is long, and what is the harm? It looks perfectly good in the bathroom."
Greed simply means you are feeling a deep emptiness and you want to fill it with anything possible -- it doesn't matter what it is. And once you understand it, then you have nothing to do with greed. You have something to do with your coming into communion with the whole, so the inner emptiness disappears. And with it, all greed disappears. That does not mean that you start living naked; that simply means you do not live just to collect things. Whenever you need something you can have it.
But there are mad people all over the world, and they are collecting... Somebody is collecting money although he never uses it. That is strange. In the commune, we had made a sticker for cars: "Moses earns, Jesus saves, Osho spends."
A thing has to be a utility; if it is not a utility then there is no need for it.
But this thing can take any direction: people are eating; they are not feeling hungry and still they go on swallowing. They know that this is going to create suffering, they will be sick, but they cannot prevent themselves. This eating is also a filling-up process.
So there can be many directions and many ways to fill emptiness, although it is never full -- it remains empty, and you remain miserable because it is never enough. More is needed, and the more and the demand for more is unending.
I don't take greed as a desire -- it is some existential sickness. You are not in tune with the whole, and only that tuning with the whole can make you healthy. That tuning with the whole can make you holy.
It is strange that the word health, and the word holy both come from `wholeness'. When you are feeling one with wholeness all greed disappears. Otherwise... what have religions been doing? They have misunderstood greed as a desire, so they try to repress it: "Don't be greedy." Then one moves to the other extreme, to renounce. One collects -- the greedy person; and the person who wants to get rid of greed starts renouncing. There too there is no end.
Mahavira could never recognize Gautam Buddha as enlightened for the simple reason that he still carries three sets of clothes -- just three sets of clothes, which are absolutely necessary. One you are using, one has to be washed, and one for emergency reasons...
someday the clothes may not come from being washed or they are not dry, or it is raining the whole day. So three seems to be very essential -- one emergency...
Mahavira is absolutely against greed. Now, that has taken to an extreme form -- he is naked. Buddha carries a begging bowl. Mahavira cannot accept it because even a begging bowl is a possession, and an enlightened man, according to him, should not possess anything. A begging bowl... it is made of coconut. You cut the coconut in the middle...
and there are special coconuts which are very big. You cut from the middle, you take all of the fruit out, and then two bowls are left, hard shells. That is the cheapest thing, because they are thrown away; you cannot eat them. To have a begging bowl and to call it being possessive is not right.
But when you take greed as a desire and you become stubborn, going against it, then everything is a possession. Mahavira lived naked, and instead of a begging bowl he used to make a bowl of his two hands. Now it was a very difficult thing: his two hands are full of the food and he has to eat just like the animals, because he cannot use his hands -- so he has to use his mouth directly to take the food from the hands.
Everybody in the world eats sitting. But Mahavira's idea is that when you eat sitting, you eat more. Now this is going to the opposite extreme. So he was teaching to eat food standing -- standing, with the food in your hands; it is such a strenuous thing. You can take food only one time, so whatever can fit in your two hands at one time is one meal.
You have to eat it standing, and everything has to be taken together, sweet, salty, and they all get mixed. That is Mahavira's idea of making it tasteless, because to enjoy taste is to enjoy the body, is to enjoy matter.
To me, greed is not a desire at all. So you need not do anything about greed. You have to understand the emptiness that you are trying to fill, and ask the question, "Why am I empty? The whole existence is so full, why am I empty? Perhaps I have lost track -- I am no longer moving in the same direction, I am no longer existential. That is the cause of my emptiness."
So be existential.
Let go, and move closer to existence in silence and peace, in meditation.
And one day you will see you are so full -- overfull, overflowing -- of joy, of blissfulness, of benediction. You have so much of it that you can give it to the whole world and yet it will not be exhausted.
That day, for the first time you will not feel any greed -- for money, for food, for things, for anything. You will live naturally, and whatever is needed you will find it. And you will live, not with a constant greed that cannot be fulfilled, a wound that cannot be healed.
MANY TIMES I HAVE HEARD YOU TELL THE ZEN STORY THAT, "IF YOU MEET THE MASTER ON THE WAY, KILL HIM."
OSHO, DOES IT REALLY HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT? IF WE MEET ON THE PATH, CAN WE NOT JUST LAUGH, AND CHAT A LITTLE WHILE, AND THEN IF WE MUST PART, DO SO GRACEFULLY, WITH A NAMASTE AND A SMILE?
The story is not about any actual path, and not about any actual meeting with the master.
The story is about when you are meditating and things are disappearing from the mind -- it is becoming silent. The last to go will be the one you have loved most. That is, the last will be the master. It is in your meditation, when everything else is gone, that still you will be seeing the master. Now, chit-chatting will disturb your meditation, and preparing a cup of coffee will not help.
The saying looks hard, but it is true: Cut the head of the master! It is in your imagination that you are cutting. By chit-chatting or laughing or talking, you will not get rid of the master. You have to be very simple and straight; you need a sword, and cut the head of the master and pass on. Don't look back!
The master is saying this so that you can enter into suneeta-shunyata, into nothingness, into nirvana. The master is making you aware that even he should not be a hindrance to you.
And I will be a hindrance. You have loved me so much that you may be able to drop everything from the mind, but then I will be there -- and you have to drop me too. It is not an actual thing, it is just about your imagination, about the last trick of your mind.
Your mind will bring in the master because the mind knows you cannot throw away the master. You have thrown away everything else, and that is the last resort of the mind to prevent you from going into meditation. And if you are afraid -- if you feel this is being ungrateful, if you feel this is not the right thing to do -- to cut the head of the master, then you are playing into the hands of the mind. It has nothing to do with the master, because there is no master -- it is just your mind projecting.
And don't ask, "From where am I to get a sword?" It has been asked, down the centuries.
Whenever masters have said to their disciples, "If you meet me on the way, cut my head," the disciples have asked, "But from where have I to get a sword?"
I will tell you a Sufi story. Mulla Nasruddin has applied for a job on a ship. He is being interviewed, and the captain and the high officials of the company are asking questions.
The captain asks, "If the waters are in a turmoil, and the wind is blowing very strong and there is a danger of the ship being upturned or swayed into a direction it does not want to go, what are you going to do?"
He said, "Simple, I will throw out an anchor."
The captain said, "That's right. But suppose another storm comes up; what are you going to do?
He said, "Nothing else; I will throw out another anchor."
The captain said, "It is right, but suppose a third storm comes up. What are you going to do?"
He said, "The same! I will throw out an anchor."
And the captain said, "But from where are you getting these anchors?"
And Mulla Nasruddin said, "From where are you getting these storms? From the same place!"
Just as the master is imagination, your sword is also an imagination. If the mind can provide you with one imagination, it is capable of providing you with the other thing -- and perhaps happily, because you are going to kill the master. The mind is very happy when you are against the master -- angry, resentful -- and now he will be bursting with joy that you are going to kill the master. He will present you a beautiful sword immediately -- just ask.
Both are imaginary, the master and the sword. And you have to go beyond imagination.
So this must be the last barrier, and once there is nobody, nothingness opens up -- you are connected with existence, you are connected with your reality.