This beautiful earth
DOES THE CEREMONY OF OATH IN THE COURTS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE ANY SIGNIFICANCE?
It is sheer nonsense. It is carrying out an ancient superstition. It is ugly to see that even in the twentieth century's courts we have not been able to get rid of it. In the past people believed in God; they feared hell, they were greedy for heaven. Naturally, it was easy to manipulate them with the ceremony of the oath. If a Christian has to take the oath, putting his hand on THE HOLY BIBLE, he cannot speak any lie - just out of fear, because God is the witness, and this is God's book. And to touch it and take the oath, that "I am going to tell the truth, and only the truth," had a certain meaning in those dark ages, because the man was so afraid that if he lied he would fall into hell.
Now it is not a question of the court; it is a question of his religious conditioning. His conditioning has been challenged; the court is exploiting the conditioning. And if he speaks the truth, then there is bound to be a reward - perhaps after death, but God will know that he has been true to his word.
But today, in a scientific age, when people are no longer burdened with past superstitions, the ceremony of the oath is simply stupid. Who cares about hell and heaven? Who is worried about God? The whole conditioning has disappeared. Now putting your hand on the BIBLE means nothing, you can still lie - of course with less embarrassment, because you have taken the oath.
The oath used to serve the truth in the past because of your superstition. Now it serves the lie:
because of your oath, your lie is accepted as truth. It is absolutely irrelevant - and particularly for a man of evolved consciousness. It is against his being to take the oath, because it simply means that without an oath you are not capable of saying the truth. And if a man is capable of lying, what prevents him? - he can lie even if he takes the oath. And the book on which he is taking the oath is full of lies, utter lies!
And it is not only THE HOLY BIBLE; all religious books are third-rate fictions - not even first-rate.
There is no holy book in the world; there are only well-written books and not-so-well-written books.
And your so-called holy scriptures belong to the second category. As literature they have no value.
A man should be accepted on his own authority, on his own individuality. He should be respected - that he will speak truth.
And now there are scientific devices - this old rotten device is of no use. There are lie detectors.
Where you are standing in the court, a lie detector can be just underneath the platform you are standing on: it can immediately show whether you are lying or whether you are saying the truth. It is so easy, because whenever you lie your heartbeat changes: when you know the truth and you go against your own knowledge - you are saying something you know is not true - your heart is no longer rhythmic. When you are saying the truth, the heart has a rhythm; it can be picked up.
Just underneath the witness platform there can be a light - which the witness will not see, but the magistrate can see - which can signal when the person is lying and when the person is saying the truth. It is so easy. There can be a graph like a cardiogram. Whenever you lie, your cardiogram will go berserk. And when you are saying the truth there will be a harmony in the cardiogram. It can be in front of the magistrate: he can go on seeing the cardiogram - when you are lying and when you are saying the truth. When he feels you are lying, he can inquire more. He can question from different dimensions until you speak the truth, until the cardiogram says, "Okay, go ahead."
When we have devices which can detect lies, this device of the oath is simply out of date, simply meaningless. A man who can commit a murder, do you think he will bother much about your holy book? And he has committed murder already: he knows he is going to hell, what more can you do? If he lies, he will go to hell - the same hell which he was going to already. What more tortures can you give him? At least by lying he can protect himself while he is alive from the tortures of the prison.
And who knows about after death? And God is compassionate, God is kind, God is love: just a little murder.... If one murder sends a person to hell, what will happen to Adolf Hitler? - ten million murders! Even God cannot find enough punishment for the man; hell will not be enough.
You have committed a small theft - just a little bit of lying can save you from unnecessary harassment, punishment. And as far as after death is concerned, nobody has come back; nobody is an eye-witness that bad people go to hell and good people go to heaven. Nobody knows what kind of logic functions after death. Perhaps good people are sent to hell, because "you have enjoyed goodness enough. Now have some taste of hell too." And bad people have suffered their whole life with anxiety and anguish; they need a little rest, a little holiday, a long weekend. Send them to heaven! This seems to be logical.
And nobody knows whether you are going to survive after death. There have been great philosophers - in India, a whole school of philosophers called Charvakas - who believe that with the death of the body everything dies. So it does not matter what you do - just do it skillfully so that you are not caught. And don't be worried about what happens after death; after death you will not be there. Death means the end of you.
In Greece there was Epicurus, a very great logician, who said there is no life beyond death; and he had a great school and hundreds of followers. And today, for the first time, half of the world - more than half of the world - is communist. Karl Marx, the founder of communism, does not believe in any God, any hell, any heaven. He says, "Consciousness is just a by-product. When the body disintegrates the by-product disappears."
There has never been such a large number of people believing that death is the end. That's why it was easy for Joseph Stalin to kill millions of people without a prick of conscience, because after death nothing survives.
In this world, continuing a very ancient superstition in the courts - in the high courts, in the Supreme Courts of the world - just shows that even our judges are not contemporaries.
Use scientific methods to find the truth, and respect the individual. And reward the truth - that is something to be remembered. On the one hand you ask the person to be true, not to lie. And on the other hand, if he is true he is punished, and if he lies he is rewarded. What do you think - people are so dumb?
If a person says the truth, then reward him! And you will see people are saying the truth without any trouble, because truth is rewarded. Nobody will be saying lies, because lies are punished. Who wants punishment?
In my childhood, I made a contract with my father. When he said to me, "Always say the truth," I said, "There has to be a contract about it."
He said, "What contract?"
I said, "Whenever I say a truth, I have to be rewarded. Then you need not be worried - I will always be saying the truth. And whenever you find I am lying, I have to be punished."
He said, "This is a strange contract. That means you can do all kinds of mischief and you can say the truth. You do the mischief and you get rewarded!"
I said, "It is up to you. Mischief I will continue; the question is whether you want me to be truthful or not. You can think it over. Otherwise, I am going to lie, because nobody wants to be punished.
And you will have to find out the truth - which is very difficult, because whatever mischief I do, I take all precautions. Then it is your work, you find it out - but I am not going to admit it." And he knew perfectly well that whatever I used to do was such that it was almost impossible to catch me red-handed.
For example, one of my relatives, one of my father's brothers-in-law, often used to come and stay for months. He was immensely interested in eating. He was too fat and ugly - and I would help him eat too much. Now, nobody could say that I was committing any mischief; I was simply serving a guest.
Then he would fall sick and he would tell my father, "This is your son! I thought when he was bringing more sweets and more things, 'Why is he so interested in me?' I know now."
I said to my father, "Do you think serving a guest is not right? And if he was feeling that he is going to be sick, he should not have eaten. The fault is not mine. If you want to punish anybody, punish your brother-in-law."
Finally, he made the contract with me. It was very difficult for him, because then I started admitting everything that I had done - and after admitting it, I asked for reward. He would say, "This is a strange contract that I have fallen into. I have made many contracts in my life, but this is a strange contract. That you took away one of my neighbor's...."
In India, in the summertime, people sleep outside the house; it is too hot. This man was such a deep sleeper and he snored so much that almost nobody else on the street could sleep. Everybody was against him, but what to do?
I said, "You don't be worried. You just help me. I will manage."
They said, "What do we have to do?"
I said, "You come with me."
I took three people; we took his bed, carried his bed.... Just in front of his house there was a water well, a very small one: I put his bed on the well. Those people said, "What are you doing? If he wakes up and finds himself where he is, he may fall into the well!"
I said, "Don't be worried. The well is not that deep. I have been jumping in the well."
They said, "My God! And we have been drinking the water!"
I said, "That is my usual practice. Every morning, early, the first thing I do is to jump in the well. It is not deep; the man will not be killed, and he knows swimming."
And that's what happened. When he woke up, he could not believe it. Where was his house? Where had he come to? And just getting out of the bed, he fell into the well. He screamed, he shouted, he gathered the whole neighborhood. He was taken out of the well, and he said, "Who has done this?"
People said, "Nobody knows who has done this, but you should sleep a little more alert."
"This is too much! How can I sleep a little more alert?"
They said, "Then you should stop snoring. If you snore, this is going to happen again and again."
My father immediately caught hold of me. He said, "What is the matter?"
I explained to him the whole thing: "That man has been a nuisance - and not for one day, for years he has not allowed the neighbors to sleep. He needed it! And if he snores, I am going to put him on the well again. And yes, I have done it. Now, my reward."
My father said, "I want to withdraw from the contract. You may kill somebody - and still you will want a reward!"
I said, "I can kill somebody even without asking for a reward. But the reward will make you aware of the truth. You are so much interested in truth - for truth you have to pay."
Truth is not repaid in the world - it is punished. If a man in the courts says absolutely what he has done, is the court going to release him with honor because he has been truthful? If the court is not going to release him with honor, then the court is forcing the man to lie - and everybody has the right to protect himself. Then your oaths don't mean anything.
It is so simple to make the whole world full of truth. Just reward truth, and lies will disappear.
Your oaths and your courts and your punishments have not destroyed criminals; on the contrary, criminals go on increasing. And you must be blind that you don't see that your jails, your courts create criminals. They don't destroy crime. Your jails are universities for criminology where amateur criminals learn from master criminals and come out of the jail after two, three years, more mature.
All your laws and all your courts have created only one idea in the mind of criminals: that to commit a crime is not unlawful, but to be caught is unlawful. So the only thing is not to be caught. You have to be more intelligent and more skillful, more sophisticated.
This whole system of jurisprudence has failed. We need a totally new kind of jurisprudence where truth is rewarded; certainly, if the man has done something wrong he should be rewarded for telling the truth. And he should be sent not to the jail, but to a psychiatric, psychoanalytical caretaker, to a university where he can learn that what he has done was wrong, and that a society which rewarded truth.... He will feel embarrassed to do anything that goes against human life, human culture.
And anybody who is committing a crime... it simply means he is psychologically sick; he needs treatment, not punishment. Truth should be rewarded, and the person should be given to people who can treat him. And this is not condemnation. The individual is respected; just some sickness is there in his psychology for which he receives treatment. And within a few years, all crimes can evaporate from the earth.
But with the crimes evaporating, what will happen to the judges, to the advocates, to so many people who have vested interests; to the jails and the jailers? Millions of people are engaged in this stupid business. The criminals are providing employment for millions of people. If crime disappears, this employment also disappears. That's why the judges are going to continue the old way; it is their bread and butter, it is their respectability.
Jailers are going to do the same thing they have been doing for centuries - creating more and more criminals, stronger and stronger criminals, because those are the people who are giving them employment. Without them, they will be nowhere. We have to see this whole situation.
I am reminded of a story by Kahlil Gibran. A few friends go to a pub and drink too much, enjoy, sing and dance and fight, and do everything that drunkards are bound to do. The pub owner is very happy because business has never been so good.
When they were leaving, he asked the man who paid the bill, "When will you be coming again?"
The man said, "Just pray to God... if my business goes well, we will be coming every day."
The pub owner said, "We will pray every day for your business. But what is your business?"
He said, "It is better if you don't ask."
But the pub owner said, "That makes me even more curious. I am going to pray for your business, my wife will pray, because if you come every day we are going to become rich very soon."
He said, "I am a gravedigger. If people go on dying every day in big numbers, I will be coming every day with all my friends. That is my business."
The gravedigger, naturally, wants somebody to die. The doctor, naturally, wants somebody to be sick. Things have to be changed: this is not a sane structure of the society.
In China, Confucius made a very significant change. Every person had to pay the doctor if he remained healthy. If he becomes sick, he stops payment; then the doctor has to pay for his medicine, and has to take care of him. Now that seems to be a sane arrangement. Every person pays the doctor for remaining healthy. Now the doctor cannot pray that people should be sick; he will pray that people should be healthy. He cannot afford for people to be sick. He cannot afford epidemics; he will go bankrupt.
But in our society, the situation is just the opposite. The more epidemics there are, the more the doctor's bank balance becomes bigger and bigger. If everybody is healthy, then the doctor becomes poorer and poorer. If everybody remains healthy, then the doctor will be the only person who will be sick!
A sane society will arrange things in such a way that the profession - any profession - does not go against the society. The judge should be paid because there has been no criminal case. The police should be paid and rewarded because there is nothing for them to do. The doctors should be respected and paid because nobody is sick. Right now we are doing something which is very suicidal.
Truth should be respected - rewarded, not punished - and there is no need for any oath.
WHY IS HUMANITY SO WILLING TO WALK THE PATH TOWARDS GLOBAL SUICIDE?
The reason is clear. People have become clear that their life has no meaning, that except misery, nothing happens; except anxiety, anguish, life has nothing to offer.
Individuals have always committed suicide. And you will be surprised: the people who have committed suicide have always been a little more intelligent than the normal people. Psychologists commit suicide twice as much as any other profession. Painters, poets, philosophers either go mad or commit suicide. Idiots have never been known to commit suicide, nor do they go mad.
Just two or three days ago I was looking at a news tape. Somebody is talking to the attorney general of Oregon, Frohnmayer, about me, saying that I have said that Frohnmayer is trying to protect the criminals so that he can destroy the commune. And if he cannot protect the criminals, then the second step will be to kill them. Then he is free to put in jail anybody from the commune, someone who is absolutely innocent, for any crime.
His comment was, "This is lunacy."
And I laughed, because perhaps he does not know the meaning of the word "lunacy." It comes from the word "lunar," the moon. In the beginning, the word "lunatic" was used for poets - moongazers - who would stand for hours looking at the moon. This kind of situation was called lunacy, and slowly slowly it became equivalent to madness.
I would like Frohnmayer to know that he is fortunate he can never become a lunatic. Idiots cannot do that; they never go mad. To go mad, first you need to have some intelligence. Have you seen a buffalo going mad? And as far as I am concerned, my very name, Rajneesh, means lunatic. It means "the moongazer." And certainly I would rather belong to the category of the mad than to the category of the idiots.
The idiots have never committed suicide because they cannot even think about meaning, significance, purpose. They don't think at all; they simply live, they vegetate. The higher the intelligence, the more dangerous, because it makes you aware that the life that you are living is just hollow, utterly empty. There is nothing to hold onto. You know tomorrow will be a repetition of today, so what is the point of continuing?
Individuals have committed suicide because only individuals have come to a certain stage of intelligence, of understanding whether life has any meaning or not. Now, for the first time, millions of people around the earth have reached to that maturity where they feel life is meaningless. That's why humanity is moving towards a global suicide. There seems to be no reason to continue - for what?
You have lived your life, and you have found nothing. Now your children will live and they will find nothing: generation after generation, only emptiness in your hands - no fulfillment, no contentment.
But to me, this gives man a tremendous opportunity. Only very highly intelligent people have committed suicide or have become mad, because they could not live with this insane world. They could not adapt themselves to all kinds of insanities that are going around. They felt themselves fallen apart - that was their madness. But only the same kind of people have also become enlightened.
So these are the three possibilities for intelligence. Either the intelligent person goes mad because he cannot figure out what is happening, why it is happening, why he is supposed to do this or that.
Or, seeing the situation, that it is driving him mad, he commits suicide, he puts an end to life. This has been mostly the case in the West.
In the East the same kind of people have tried something else - not madness, but meditation.
The West is poor in that way. It does not know the richness of meditation. It does not know that meditation can transform your whole vision of life; it can give you tremendous meaningfulness, beauty, benediction. Then life is something sacred, you cannot destroy it.
You must look at it, that in the East the rate of suicide is very low compared to the West, the rate of people going mad is very low compared to the West. And one thing more: in the East, the people who go mad are really not very intelligent people. They are psychologically sick. It is not their intelligence that has led them to madness, it is something missing in their minds. Perhaps their food is not right, it is not enough to help their mind become mature. Their vegetarianism is lacking certain proteins which are absolutely needed for intelligence to grow.
So the madness in the West and in the East is totally different. The madness in the East is something psychological: they are missing certain things, their growth is retarded, their minds cannot grow the way they would have grown.
That's why in my commune I have allowed vegetarian eggs. All the vegetarians of the world should allow vegetarian eggs, because they supply the necessary proteins for intelligence; otherwise, just vegetarian food is not enough. They will be against me, because just the word "egg" is enough for them to be against me. But these eggs are simply pure vegetable, because they don't have the male sperm. They are not going to give birth to anything. They are not alive, so you are not killing anybody. For all vegetarians of the world, unfertilized eggs should become an essential part of the menu.
The people who commit suicide in the East are also different than the people who commit suicide in the West. In the East people commit suicide because of hunger, because of starvation, because they cannot manage to live - and life becomes such a torture. So there is a qualitative difference.
But the intelligent people in the East have always turned towards meditation. Whenever they have felt that life has no meaning, they have tried to find the meaning within themselves; that's the way of meditation. They have tried to find out the very source of life, love, and they have found it. Anybody who looks inwards is bound to find it. It is not far away, it is just within you. You are carrying it all the time!
The Western intelligentsia is looking for meaning outside, and there is no meaning outside. They are looking for blissfulness outside. Remember, the beauty is in the eyes of the onlooker; it is not there outside. And the same is true about meaningfulness, blissfulness, benediction. It is within your vision, it is within you. When you have it, you can project it over the whole existence. But first you have to find it within yourself.
If Jean-Paul Sartre, Marcel, Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, people like these, had been born in the East, they would all have become enlightened beings. But, in the West, they all became tremendously burdened with anguish, anxiety. They found that it is all accidental and meaningless, that there is no purpose in life, and joy is just a dream, just a hope; it does not exist in reality.
The West needs meditation. The East needs medicine; it is sick in the body. The West is sick in the soul. Once we understand the problem clearly.... Now it is not the East which is a danger to the world; at the most they can starve and die as they are dying in Ethiopia. But it is not a danger to the world. In fact, in a way the starving East is helping the world by dying. It is reducing the population of the world. It is making everybody richer, without your knowing. One thousand Ethiopians dying every day - you may not see that somehow they are helping your comforts, but they are, because if the population of the world is reduced, people can live more comfortably, more easily, more joyously.
The problem is not coming from the East; the problem is coming from the West. The problem is the Western intelligentsia is fed up with life, so there is no real resistance from the intelligentsia against nuclear weapons, against a third world war. In fact, it seems deep down the Western mind is somehow hoping that it happens soon, because life is meaningless.
Rather than taking the risk of committing suicide yourself, if politicians can manage to destroy the whole world, that will be far easier. You will not be in the dilemma of to be or not to be. You will not have to think whether to destroy yourself or not, to wonder if perhaps tomorrow things may be different.
It is an individual responsibility to commit suicide, but a global war, a nuclear war - all your personal responsibility disappears. It is not your doing, it is just happening.
Why is the Western intelligentsia not really fighting against nuclear weapons? Why are the scientists - who are part of the intelligentsia - still serving governments? The simplest way will be that all the scientists who are creating nuclear weapons should resign. They should say, "Enough is enough.
We cannot create these weapons which are going to destroy life on the earth." And the poets, the philosophers, the painters - they don't seem to protest. They have just become spectators. There is a reason behind it. Western humanity has been turned by and by into spectators - about everything.
You don't play football, but twenty-two persons who are professionals, this is their business, to play football. And millions of people are just spectators, and they are so excited... jumping in their seats, screaming, shouting. If they are not in the stadium, then they are sitting in their homes before the television screen and they are doing the same gestures there. Somebody else is playing; you are just a spectator.
The average American is looking at the television five to six hours a day: six hours of just being a spectator, not a participant. Then there are movies where you are spectators, and there are boxing matches where you are spectators. It seems you have lost contact with life. You simply see others living; your life is just to watch. Somebody is in a competition for a world championship in chess, and you are watching. Can't you play chess yourself? Can't you play football yourself?
It is not far away, it is already happening... you will not be making love to your wife, to your girlfriend - somebody else will be doing it and you will be watching, jumping: "Aha! Great! Go on!"
You have left the whole of life for others to live on your behalf, and then you ask where the meaning has gone, why you don't feel alive, why there is not some significance in your life. Spectators cannot have significance - only participants, totally involved, intensely involved in every action.
So perhaps the Western intelligentsia is just in the situation of spectators, watching when it is announced on the television that the third world war has begun. Listening to the radio, reading the newspaper.... But are you going to do something or not? It is doing that keeps your juices running. If you are simply watching, your own juices dry up. You become just a skeleton.
I am surprised that the West has a great, educated, intelligent majority in the world, but they do nothing, they don't take any action. AIDS is spreading - you are simply watching. The Soviet Union and America are both piling up nuclear weapons, preparing your funeral pyre - and you are just watching.
You have to be taken out of this hypnotic state of being a mere spectator. There are not many people who are making nuclear weapons. There are only twenty scientists in America who know - just twenty scientists. Can't they simply say, "No, we are not going to be servants of death!"
And the same will be the situation in the Soviet Union. There cannot be more people than that who can create nuclear weapons. If it happens in America, I am certain it will happen in the Soviet Union too. The question is just that somebody has to begin.
And all the poets and all the painters and all the great Nobel Prize-winners, novelists, actors, musicians, dancers - what are they doing? There should be a great protest - that all the nuclear weapons should be drowned in the Pacific. Whoever named it the Pacific must have had great insight into the future. Now let that name become a reality.
But the trouble is, unless you start feeling some meaning in life, some joy arising in you, some fragrance surrounding you, you cannot fight for life. And life needs, for the first time in the history of man, to be fought for.
Meditation will create the necessary atmosphere. It will bring you back to action, back to love, back to meaning. And then, naturally, you will see that it is time something has to be done. This beautiful earth should not die.
This is a unique planet, very small. In this immense universe, which knows no limits, this small earth is unique - unique because birds sing here, flowers blossom here, life has reached a new level:
consciousness. And in a few people consciousness has touched its omega point: enlightenment.
Compared to this earth, the whole universe is dead. It is big, vast, but even a roseflower is far more valuable than the biggest stars. Anybody who wants to destroy this earth wants to destroy something unique that is evolving. And it has taken millennia to come to this state of consciousness.
Even if only a few people have attained to ultimate bliss and ecstasy, that is enough to make this earth the greatest treasure.
It is very small - the sun is sixty thousand times bigger than the earth. And this sun is a very mediocre one; there are very big suns that you see as stars. There are millions of solar systems, but no solar system can claim a Gautam Buddha, a Lao Tzu, a Bodhidharma, a Kabir. This earth has done something immensely great, it has made the whole universe rich. It cannot be destroyed.
War should be stopped - and it is within our hands to do so. Don't be only a spectator. Rather than just remaining in your misery, start finding sources of life and mystery within yourself.
This is the function of this mystery school: to make you acquainted with simple methods so that you can attain to the very center of your being. That is the only possibility for saving the whole world. If only two hundred people are enlightened, then there is no way the world can be destroyed. And two hundred people is not a big number. Just in this commune we can manage two hundred enlightened people!
COULD AMERICA SURVIVE THE DESTRUCTION OF RAJNEESHPURAM? CAN THE WORLD?
No, America cannot survive the destruction of Rajneeshpuram, nor can the world, for the simple reason that we are creating the energy that can stop the destruction that is looming larger and larger and closer and closer on the horizon.
This is the only commune in the whole world where people are not just being spectators, where people are searching for the antidote to nuclear weapons, where people are trying to find out the sources of life so that death loses all meaning.
It will be the most idiotic act on America's part to destroy this commune, because it will mean destroying innocent people who are trying to reach to their own center of being. And that is the only possibility of saving the whole world.
Either meditate, become enlightened - or the whole world is going to become a graveyard...
Christian, of course.
HOW DID "JESUS CHRIST!" BECOME A SWEAR WORD?
Jesus! - that's great.
There is a psychology behind it. Jesus has been claiming himself as the savior of the world, as the only begotten son of God. He is placing himself at the highest point. He is the shepherd and you are the sheep. This egoistic attitude is bound to create its reactions. This is one of the reactions, that the very name of Jesus became a swear word. I don't want to become a swear word. That's why I have been trying to come closer and closer to you.
Now Rajneesh Foundation International is going to be changed into Rajneesh Friends International.
I would really like to sit with you there, amongst you. The only problem is, the chair cannot speak.
But don't blame me for the chair's incapacity. Whenever somebody has done that, tried to position himself above you, some way or other you take revenge. In India, the same has happened with Gautam Buddha. In Hindustani, "Buddha" has become just its opposite: the idiot in Hindustani is called buddhu, and buddhu comes from the same root as "buddha."
But strange - why should buddha become buddhu? The reason is the same. It is said, after the birth - and of course it has to be special kind of birth.... Buddha's mother is standing and Buddha is born - no woman stands when a child is born! And Buddha is born standing; not only that, he walks seven steps and then declares, "I am the most supreme enlightened being. In comparison to me there has never been anyone, and there will never be anyone."
Now, this type of person is bound to create reactions!