Prem Pankaja, it is the destiny of the genius to be misunderstood. If a genius is not misunderstood, he is not a genius at all. If the common masses can understand, that means the person is speaking at the same level where ordinary intelligence is.
Friedrich Nietzsche is misunderstood, and out of this misunderstanding there has been tremendous disaster. But perhaps it was unavoidable. To understand a man like Nietzsche you have to have at least the same standard of consciousness, if not higher.
Adolf Hitler is so retarded that it is impossible to think that he can understand the meaning of Nietzsche; but he became the prophet of Nietzsche's philosophy. And according to his retarded mind he interpreted -- not only interpreted, but acted according to those interpretations -- and the second world war was the result.
When Nietzsche is talking about "will to power," it has nothing to do with will to dominate. But that is the meaning the Nazis had given to it.
"The will to power" is diametrically opposite to the will to dominate. The will to dominate comes out of an inferiority complex. One wants to dominate others, just to prove to himself that he is not inferior -- he is superior. But he needs to prove it. Without any proof he knows he is inferior; he has to cover it up by many, many proofs.
The really superior man needs no proof, he simply is superior. Does a roseflower argue about its beauty? Does the full moon bother about proving its gloriousness? The superior man simply knows it, there is no need for any proof; hence he has no will to dominate.
He certainly has a "will to power," but then you have to make a very fine distinction. His will to power means: he wants to grow to his fullest expression.
It has nothing to do with anybody else, its whole concern is the individual himself. He wants to blossom, to bring all the flowers that are hidden in his potential, to rise as high as possible in the sky. It is not even comparative, it is not trying to rise higher than others -- it is simply trying to rise to its fullest potential.
"Will to power" is absolutely individual. It wants to dance to the highest in the sky, it wants to have a dialogue with the stars, but it is not concerned with proving anybody inferior. It is not competitive, it is not comparative.
Adolf Hitler and his followers, the Nazis have done so much harm to the world because they prevented the world from understanding Friedrich Nietzsche and his true meaning.
And it was not only one thing; about every other concept too, they have the same kind of misunderstanding.
It is such a sad fate, one which has never befallen any great mystic or any great poet before Nietzsche. The crucifixion of Jesus or poisoning of Socrates are not as bad a fate, as that which has befallen Friedrich Nietzsche -- to be misunderstood on such a grand scale that Adolf Hitler managed to kill more than eight million people in the name of Friedrich Nietzsche and his philosophy. It will take a little time.... When Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and the second world war are forgotten, Nietzsche will come back to his true light. He is coming back.
Just the other day, sannyasins from Japan informed me that my books are selling in their language at the highest rate and next to them are Friedrich Nietzsche's -- his books are also selling. And just a few days earlier the same information came from Korea. Perhaps people may be finding something similar in them.
But Friedrich Nietzsche has to be interpreted again, so that all the nonsense that has been put, by the Nazis, over his beautiful philosophy can be thrown away. He has to be purified, he needs a baptism.
Little Sammy tells his grandfather about the great scientist, Albert Einstein, and his theory of relativity.
"Ah yes," says the grandfather, "and what does the theory have to say?"
"Our teacher says that only a few people in the whole world can understand it," the boy explains, "but then she told us what it means. Relativity is like this: if a man sits for an hour with a pretty girl, it feels like a minute; but if he sits on a hot stove for a minute, it feels like an hour -- and that's the theory of relativity."
Grandpa is silent and slowly shakes his head, "Sammy," he says softly, "from this your Einstein makes a living?"
People understand according to their own level of consciousness.
It was just a coincidence that Nietzsche fell into the hands of the Nazis. They needed a philosophy for war, and Nietzsche appreciates the beauty of the warrior. They wanted some idea for which to fight, and Nietzsche gave them a good excuse -- for the superman.
Of course, they immediately got hold of the idea of superman. The Nordic German Aryans were going to be Nietzsche's new race of man, the superman. They wanted to dominate the world, and Nietzsche was very helpful, because he was saying that man's deepest longing is "will to power." They changed it into will to dominate.
Now they had the whole philosophy: the Nordic German Aryans are the superior race because they are going to give birth to the superman. They have the will to power and they will dominate the whole world. That is their destiny -- to dominate the inferior human beings. Obviously, the arithmetic is simple: the superior should dominate the inferior.
These beautiful concepts... Nietzsche could not ever have imagined they, would become so dangerous and such a nightmare to the whole of humanity. But you cannot avoid being misunderstood, you cannot do anything about it.
A drunk who smelt of whiskey, cigars, and a cheap perfume, staggered up the steps into the bus, reeled down the aisle, then plopped himself down on a seat next to a Catholic priest.
The drunk took a long look at his offended seat partner and said, "Hey father, I have got a question for you. What causes arthritis?"
The priest's reply was cold and curt, "Amoral living," he said, "too much liquor, smoking and consorting with loose women."
"Well, I'll be damned!" said the drunk.
They rode in silence for a moment. The priest began to feel guilty, that he had reacted so strongly to a man who obviously needed Christian compassion. He turned to the drunk and said, "I am sorry, my son. I did not mean to be harsh. How long have you suffered from this terrible affliction of arthritis?"
"My affliction?" the drunk said, "I don't have arthritis. I was just reading in the paper that the pope had it."
Now, what can you do? Once you have said something, then it all depends on the other person, what he is going to make of it.
But Nietzsche is so immensely important that he has to be cleaned of all the garbage that the Nazis have put on his ideas. And the strangest thing is that not only the Nazis but other philosophers around the world have also misunderstood him. Perhaps he was such a great genius that your so-called great men also were not able to understand him.
He was bringing so many new insights into the world of thinking, that even just a single insight would have made him one of the great philosophers of the world -- and he has dozens of insights which are absolutely original, which man has never thought about. If rightly understood, Nietzsche certainly could create the atmosphere and the right soil for the superman to be born. He can help humanity to be transformed.
I have tremendous respect for the man, and also a great sadness that he was misunderstood -- not only misunderstood, but forced into a madhouse. The doctors declared that he was mad. His insights were so far away from the ordinary mind that the ordinary mind felt very happy in declaring him mad: "If he is not mad, then we are too ordinary." He has to be mad, he has to be forced into a madhouse.
My own feeling is, he was never mad. He was just too much ahead of his time, and he was too sincere and too truthful. He said exactly what he experienced without bothering about politicians, priests and other pygmies. But these pygmies are so many and this man was so alone, that they would not hear that he was not mad. And the proof that he was not mad is his last book, which he wrote in the madhouse.
But I am the first man who is saying that he was not mad. It seems that this whole world is so cunning, so politically minded, that people say only things that bring reputation to them, which bring applause from the crowd. Even your great thinkers are not very great.
The book that he wrote in the madhouse is his greatest work, and is an absolute proof because a mad man could not write it. His last book is THE WILL TO POWER. He did not see it printed, because who is going to print a madman's book? He knocked on many publishers' doors, but was refused -- and now everybody agrees that that is his greatest work. After his death, his sister sold the house and other things to publish the book, because that was his last desire, but he did not see it in print.
Was he mad? or are we living in a mad world? If a madman can write a book like, THE WILL TO POWER, then it is better to be mad than to be sane like Ronald Reagan, who is piling up nuclear weapons -- there are thousands of people employed in creating nuclear weapons twenty-four hours a day. You call this man sane, and you call Friedrich Nietzsche mad?
An old Indian was sitting in a bar, when a long-haired, bearded, dirty hippy stormed into the bar and ordered a drink. The hippy's raunchy insults drove everyone else out of the bar, but the old Indian sat calmly watching. Finally the old hippy turned to him and said, "Hey, red man, why the hell are you staring at me? Are you crazy, or something?"
"No," the Indian replied, "twenty years ago I was arrested for making love to a buffalo. I thought you might be my son."
Dhyan Agni, the question that you are asking is exactly the same as the question that Pankaja asked. You also have the same misunderstanding, although it is not related to Friedrich Nietzsche.
You are basically asking, "How can I use my power without losing my love? How can I use my power and still stay with an open heart? To me, love and power seem to be contradictory."
That's your misunderstanding.
Love and power are not contradictory.
Love is the greatest power in the world.
But you have to understand again: by power I don't mean power over others. Power over others is not love; power over others is pure hate, it is poison, it is destructive.
But to me, and to anyone who knows, love itself is power -- and the greatest power, because there is nothing more creative than love. There is nothing more fulfilling than love, there is nothing more nourishing than love. When you are in love, all fears disappear, and when you become love yourself, even death becomes irrelevant.
Jesus is not very far away from the truth when he says, "God is love." Certainly God is power, the greatest power. I want to improve upon Jesus: I don't say God is love, I say love is God. To me God is only a symbol and love is a reality.
God is only a myth -- love is the experience of millions of people.
God is only a word, but love can become a dance in your heart.
Your misunderstanding is that you think power means power over others. And it is not only your misunderstanding, Dhyan Agni, it is the misunderstanding of millions of people. And because of this misunderstanding they destroy the whole beauty of love.
Instead of creating a paradise out of it, they create a hell for each other, because everybody is trying to dominate everybody else in the name of love -- but deep down is the desire to dominate.
Love in itself is unconditional. It knows only giving, sharing; it does not know any desire for getting something in return. It does not ask for any response. Its joy and its reward is in sharing. And its power is in its sharing. It is so powerful that it can go on sharing with millions of people, and still the heart remains overflowing with love -- it is inexhaustible.
That is its power.
You are asking, "How can I use my power without losing my love?" If you want to dominate, then certainly you will have to lose your love. But if you want to love, you can love as powerfully as you want.
There is no contradiction between power and love. If there is a contradiction between power and love, then love will become powerless, it will become impotent, uncreative, weak; power will become dangerous, destructive -- it will start to enjoy torturing people.
Love and power separate are the misery of the world. Love and power together, as one energy, can become a great transformation. Life can become a blissfulness. And it is only a question of dropping a misunderstanding.
It is just as if you were thinking two plus two is equal to five, and then somebody points out to you that you are calculating wrongly: two plus two is not five, two plus two is four.
Do you think many austerities will be needed to change your misconception? Will you have to stand on your head for hours to change your idea that two and two are four, or five? Or you will have to go on a fast unto death to change your misconception? Or you will have to renounce the world and all its pleasures because your calculation is wrong and you have to purify your soul first; otherwise how can you calculate rightly?
These are simple calculations, and a man of understanding can change them within a second. It is just a question of seeing where you have gone astray. Bring yourself back.
"I had the strangest dream last night," a man was telling his psychiatrist. "I saw my mother, but when she turned around to look at me, I noticed she had your face. As you can imagine, I found this very disturbing; and in fact I woke up immediately and could not get back to sleep. I just lay there in bed waiting for the morning to come and then I got up, drank a coke and came right over here for my appointment. I thought you could help me explain the meaning of this strange dream."
The psychiatrist was silent for a few moments before responding, "A coke? You call that breakfast?"
The poor fellow has come to understand the dream, why his mother's face has turned into his psychiatrist's face; but that is not the problem to the psychiatrist. To him the problem is: "A coke? You call that breakfast?"
But just watch people talking, and you will be amazed -- everywhere there is misunderstanding. You are saying something, something else is understood; somebody else is saying something, you understand something else.
The world would be a more silent and peaceful place if people were saying only five percent of what they are saying now -- although that five percent will cover absolutely everything that is essential. And I am not taking a very minimum point, that is the maximum. You can try it: speak only the essential, as if you are giving a telegram, so you have to go on choosing just ten words. And have you watched? Your telegram means more than your long letter, condensed. Be telegraphic and you will be surprised that in the whole day there are very few times when you have to speak.
One retired mathematician used to live in my neighborhood in a city. His whole life he had been a teacher, and it was very difficult for him to suffer retirement. His wife had not been on talking terms with him for years; "Because" she said, "He is such a bore! It is better not to talk with him. He immediately goes into mathematics."
No other neighbor was welcoming to him; one of my neighbors was worried about me because he used to come to me for hours. He was worried that that old fellow must be torturing me. He came to give me a suggestion.
He said, "I give you a suggestion how to get rid of this old man. Whenever you see him coming, just take your umbrella, stand on the door as if you are going somewhere, and he will ask, 'Where are you going?' and you can say that you are going somewhere."
I said, "You don't know that man! If I say I am going somewhere, he will say, `I'm coming along,' and that will be more torturous. It is better here. And it is not a torture, I enjoy it, because I have nothing to say, I simply sit silently. He alone does everything. He talks and he goes on and on, and finally he thanks me and says, `You are such a good conversationalist.' and I say, `I am nothing compared to you, but I am learning just a little bit from you.'" People don't want you to speak, they want you to listen. And if you learn a simple art of listening to people, so much misunderstanding in the world will be avoided.
The very elderly couple were listening to a religious revival on the radio. The preacher ended his stirring speech by saying, "God wants to heal you all. Just stand up, put one hand on the radio, then place the other on the part of the body that is sick."
The old woman tottered to her feet, put one hand on the radio and the other on her arthritic leg. The old man put one hand on the radio and one hand on his genitals.
The old woman snapped at him, "Fred! This preacher said God would heal the sick, not raise the dead!"
But you cannot avoid being misunderstood.
I don't know who has given you the idea that love and power are contradictory. Change it, because changing it will change you and your whole life.
Love is power, the purest power and the greatest power: Love is God. Nothing can be higher than that. But this power is not a desire to enslave others, this power is not a destructive force.
This power is the very source of creation.
This power is creativity.
And this power will transform you totally into a new being. It has no concern with anybody. Its whole concern is to bring your seeds to their ultimate flowering.
The Golden Future