[NOTE: This is a typed tape transcript and has not been edited or published, as of August 1992. It is for reference use only. The interviewer's remarks have been omitted where not relevant to Osho's words]
INTERVIEW BY SWAMI DHARMA BODHI, DIE NEUE ZEITUNG, GERMANY
BODHI: SOMEHOW I FEEL THAT THIS RATHER INTELLECTUAL MAGAZINE WHICH I REPRESENT NEEDS SOME FUN. YOU ARE THE ONLY AND FIRST MASTER WITH A CHANCE TO WORK ON A PLANETARY SCALE, USING MODERN COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS. DO YOU LIKE SCANDALS AS A MEANS OF PUBLICITY?
Q: THIS IS THE FIRST COMMUNITY WITH A LOT OF FUN AND ENJOYMENT, ALBEIT EVEN FASCIST FUN. IS FUN A BETTER DEVICE FOR TRANSFORMATION THAN SERIOUSNESS?
A: Seriousness is sickness, it is not a device. It leads to death, not to eternal life.
Life is playfulness, fun, because the whole existence is a tremendous circus. It is all fun -- all the colors of the flowers, so many beautiful animals, birds, clouds, and for no purpose; they don't serve any purpose. There is no goal to life. Life is a play unto itself. It is sheer abundance of energy, overflowing energy -- existence goes on expanding.
No God has created it, because whenever something is created there is purpose.
Whenever something is created there is a motive, and when somebody creates it, the created can never be anything other than a machine. Existence has no use as such, it remains eternal, an eternal play of energies in millions of forms.
Fun is the most sacred word, far more sacred than prayer. It is the only word that can give you a sense of playfulness, can make you again a child. You can start running after butterflies, searching for seashells on the beach, colored stones.
In my own childhood, my tailor had much trouble with me. He was the best tailor in the town, but he said, "You are the worst customer" because I asked him to make as many pockets as possible. He said, "But people will laugh at me."
I said, "I am not going to tell anybody that you are my tailor. Make as many pockets as possible, because I have to collect so many things, so many shells, so many stones, so many flowers." My mother had great trouble every night to unload my pockets, and she will say again and again, "Have you ever thought what is the purpose of all this?" And I always answered, I remember, that, "As far as purpose is concerned, what is the purpose of your giving birth to me?
What is the purpose of getting married? What is the purpose of the whole day working from four o'clock early in the morning till twelve in the night? What is the purpose? So don't ask the question about purpose. You enjoy what you are doing, I enjoy what I am doing. That is your play, this is my play. I love these stones, that's enough. More than that is not needed."
Life has intrinsic value, there is no goal outside it. Hence my whole effort is to change everything into playfulness. To me that is real spirituality.
Q: WHAT TO GIVE CHILDREN NOWADAYS, SO THAT THEY CAN BE AS PLAYFUL AS YOU HAVE BEEN?
A: It all depends on them. Nobody was allowing me, I took the liberty and the responsibility, and the consequences. I was punished, but I took the punishment as part of the play; I enjoyed so much that the punishment did not mean anything. And when my family started understanding me a little more, they stopped punishing me; they said, "It is useless." When my teachers started understanding me, they said, "It is difficult to punish you," because they will say, "Sit down and stand up for ten times," and I will ask, "Can I do it thirty times?"
And the teacher will say, "Are you crazy? I am punishing you for being late! It is not a reward, and you are asking thirty times!" I said, "I don't care about your punishment; I can change it into a reward, you cannot stop me. In fact, this morning I have not done any exercise. Just be compassionate, let me do it thirty times."
They will tell me, "Go round the school one dozen times." I will say, "That's great.
I love to run, to jog, for miles. So a dozen times is insulting." They said, "What?" I said, "Yes, it is insulting. Tell me, `Go round the school the whole day.' I love the field, I love the trees, I love the sun, I love the wind. And I hate your dismal class and your face and your blackboard."
Finally they stopped punishing me, because it was useless. If somebody takes punishment as playfulness, reward, what can you do with that man? Everybody has to understand that. But life will not allow you -- by life I mean the society around you. The people who are purposive, utilitarian, always ask, "For what?
What is the goal? What is the motive?" And if you cannot answer, then you are mad.
Just doing anything for its own sake... Only a few artists have been courageous enough to say that art is for art's sake, but nobody listened to them. They were saying something of eternal value. It is not only art which is for art's sake: love is also for love's sake, friendship is also for friendship's sake. In life everything has its own intrinsic value, no ulterior motive. That changes you completely. You are no longer running for some goal; you are already there. Each moment you are at home. There is nowhere to go, nothing to be achieved, no ambition to be fulfilled.
Each moment is a fulfillment unto itself.
And I call this kind of life authentic, real, spiritual. The moment motive enters in, you are a businessman. You have lost track of the mysterious; you have fallen into the mundane, into the marketplace, where everything can be purchased and sold. But there is a space within you where nothing can be purchased, nothing can be sold, yet tremendous experiences are waiting for you -- invaluable, with no price tag on them.
When I say fun is the most sacred word in human language, all this is implied in it.
Q: BUT ISN'T THERE IN THIS PLACE INSIDE OF EVERYBODY, AND THE FUN -- ISN'T THERE THIS HEAP OF UNCONSCIOUS FEAR? I FEEL WHEN YOU WERE A BOY, YOU WERE SO AWAKE, OR SO AWARE, THAT IT'S DIFFICULT FOR THE CHILDREN NOW WHO, I FEEL EVEN IN THIS COMMUNE, ARE STILL FULL OF FEAR, OF VIOLENCE, OF DIFFICULTIES.
HOW CAN WE GET RID OF THIS FEAR AND HAVE FUN, AND ENJOY OURSELVES MORE?
A: Fear is not natural, it has been created. It has been imposed on you by the parents, the priests, the teachers. Everybody you have come in contact with has been imposing fear on you, because fear is the antithesis of freedom. The more fear you have in you, the less is the possibility of freedom. The more fear is there, the less is the possibility of rebellion.
The society, the church, the state, all want everybody to be in a state of constant fear: fear of the known, fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of hell, fear of missing heaven, fear of not making your name in the world, fear of just being a nobody. Everybody around you from the very birth is creating fear. No child is born with fear. Every child is born with freedom, doubt, rebellion, individuality, innocence -- all great qualities. But he is helpless, dependent.
But when you are grown up, you can see -- you can try to peel the onion layer by layer -- how fears have been created in you, how gullible you have been, how people have exploited your innocence. The priest had no knowledge of God, yet he deceived you and pretended that he knows God. He had no idea of heaven and hell, yet he forced you to be afraid of hell, to be ambitious for heaven. He created greed, he created fear. He himself was a victim of other people. Now you can look back: your father was not aware what he was teaching, what he was telling to you.
Everybody has been pretending to their children. All are hypocrites. But the problem is that when you are grown up, you have your children, you have your younger brothers, sisters, and now you are afraid that if you don't play the game of being a hypocrite yourself, what will happen to these children? ... Because that is the only game you know, and you don't have the guts to say, "I know nothing."
The first thing, to drop fear, is to accept the fact, "I know nothing."
Just yesterday I received a letter from the president of the Atheist's Association of America -- she seems to be an old woman. She is very much impressed with my declaration that there is no God, that religion is dead, that man is mature enough and needs no religion, no God. So she has written in great praise: "You are the first man who has such courage. I would like to meet you. I want to come and share thoughts with you. I am an atheist, the founder of the atheist movement in America and in other countries, even in India." She is the founder.
I told my secretary to write to the old woman and say that, "You are welcome to come, but you must be made aware of a few things. First I am not an atheist. If there is no God, the theist is as stupid as the atheist. Both are idiots, wasting their time on something which is not there. And the theist can be forgiven; at least he believes that God is there. You believe there is no God, and your whole life you have devoted to preaching that there is no God. What have you gained out of it?
If there is no God -- finished! Why should you be an atheist?"
Have you looked into the word "atheist"? It contains "theist"; it is only a reaction.
Just think, if all theisms disappear, what will happen to atheists? They will have to die. They will lose all the excitement of denying God, because nobody is proposing the exists. I am not an atheist. The theist knows not, but believes. The atheist also knows not, but believes.
Have you really searched every nook and corner of existence and found that there is no God? Forget about every nook and corner of existence -- have you searched within yourself? Your atheism is just an ideology, a negative belief. I am not an atheist, so you have to come here knowing perfectly well that I will not support you. Thirdly, I teach the state of no-mind, so there is no question of exchanging thoughts. If you are willing to exchange silence, I am ready."
People are very strange: they move from one extreme into another extreme. If they drop fear of one thing, they will immediately catch hold of fear of something else. But they will not drop fear as such, for the simple reason that to drop fear as such means giving yourself total freedom. And total freedom is risky, it is dangerous; one does not know where it will lead. And freedom brings with it responsibility: only you are responsible, whatever you do. The man who fears God has a certain consolation that whatever happens, happens through the will of God; he is not responsible.
In India they say, "Even a leaf of a tree moves only if God wants to move it." So even the murderer is not really responsible, he is simply doing what God wants to do. That's the whole teaching in the Gita of Krishna, and the Gita is worshipped by Hindus and even by non-Hindus, and one cannot believe... even people like Mahatma Gandhi, who pretend to be non-violent, call the Gita their mother. Gandhi used to say that Hindus and Mohammedans are one. I was not more than seventeen when I wrote him a letter and asked him, "If Hindus and Mohammedans are one, if the Gita is your mother, what about the holy Koran ?
Is the holy Koran your father?" He was so angry -- his son was my friend and he told me that he simply threw the letter out the window. Ramdas, his son, told him, "What he is asking is relevant. If you can call the Gita your mother, if you cannot call the Koran your father you can call it, step-father, uncle -- but some relationship has to be there: otherwise how are Hindus and Mohammedans one?" I never received any letter. Ramdas informed me, "You will never receive any answer."
I wrote Gandhi another letter: "On the one hand you say you are non-violent, and on the other hand you worship the Gita, which teaches simply violence and nothing else." The whole book is a teaching for violence. Krishna, to his disciple, Arjuna, is teaching, "You go to the war, fight, because that's what is the will of God, because without His will nothing happens. So if this big war is happening, it cannot happen without His will." Krishna tries in every way to persuade Arjuna. Arjuna argues, but he is not a great logician; otherwise, it was so simple.
If I was in his place, I would have simply got out of the chariot and walked towards the forest, and told him, "This is what God wills. What can I do? I am simply following His will. Nobody can do anything against His will, so if I am going to the forest to meditate and not to fight, it is His responsibility." There was no need for any argument. And the whole Gita is just an argument: Arjuna trying to argue or non-violence and Krishna imposing violence because God wants it. His sole argument is, "You should surrender to God's will and do whatever He wants." Arjuna must have been stupid. I would have accepted in the very beginning -- there would have been no need for the Gita -- that "You are right, I surrender. And now I will do only that which God wants." And I would have walked into the forest.
I was amazed that Gandhi was reading this Gita every morning, chanting, explaining to his disciples the meaning of it -- and it is nothing but an argument of a very stupid kind. Then Adolf Hitler is not wrong: if God wants him to kill ten million people, what can the poor man do?
Q: BUT IF YOU HAVE LOVE FOR YOUR MASTER, DON'T YOU THEN DO WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO DO, ESPECIALLY IN HIS PRESENCE?
A: If you love your Master, you will certainly let him do what he wants to do.
But if he is a Master he will not make you do anything that goes against your freedom, that goes against your growth. And if he does anything like that, that simply proves that he is a hypocrite, not a Master.
Krishna is a hypocrite, not a Master, because what he is trying to do is just against the freedom of Arjuna, against the freedom of the whole existence. And he is telling him that some god far away in the sky decides everything, and he is pretending to be a mediator. On what authority? On what grounds? It was the same kind of thing as Jesus Christ was doing. He has no proof; nobody has any proof that he has been sent by God. At least these people should bring a certificate signed by God -- but not even a certificate is there. And what he is telling the disciple to do is absolutely against the disciple's heart, his feeling, his intuition, his intelligence.
No, I will say he should reject such a Master. He is not a Master. A Master is to give you freedom, not to enslave you. A Master is to help you to become Master yourself. A Master has to give you insight, understanding, but he is not going to impose it authoritatively.
Krishna has no argument in his favor. This is argument, you think? -- that God wills that the war should happen, so you have to fight. This is not an argument, this is a very fascist attitude. I could have conceived Adolf Hitler praising the Gita, I cannot conceive Mahatma Gandhi praising the Gita. That's why I see some similarity between both of them.
Q: IS NOT THE FREEDOM YOU GIVE US SOMETIMES RATHER PAINFUL FOR US?
A: It can be -- not sometimes, almost always. Freedom is painful. Slavery is very simple, there is no complexity. You have just to follow orders; you need not worry about the consequences, you need not worry whether it is right or wrong.
But with freedom comes a tremendous turmoil. You have to decide each moment what to do, what not to do; each moment you are walking a razor's edge. But only this fire of constant awareness, of keeping to the right, crystallizes your being. Soon freedom is no longer pain; it is tremendous release, relaxation. And then you can compare and see that slavery was pain. Somebody was sitting on your shoulders, he was goading you and you had become accustomed to it. Now a great burden is removed. Nobody is goading you; for the first time you can breathe on your own.
Freedom is tremendous bliss, but between slavery and freedom there is a little gap which is painful. It is just like any surgery -- it is surgery; slavery is a cancer - - and whenever you go through surgery it is painful. But soon you will recover, you will be healthier than you have ever been before. The function of the Master is exactly the function of the surgeon, but his surgery is very subtle, very invisible, so only the disciple knows. No instruments are to be used, but the Master creates situations which are painful, which shake your very foundations.
If you survive, you are free. If you don't survive, you don't lose anything; you will be a slave again.
Q: I SEE IN MYSELF AND EVEN IN THIS COMMUNE SO MUCH UNCONSCIOUS FEAR OF CHANGE. IS YOUR APPROACH NOT UTOPIAN?
WILL THERE EVER WILL BE ANYBODY WILLING TO FORM ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT WITH ALL ITS IMPLICATIONS?
A: Anywhere, at any time, with any Master, there is a utopia, because the whole effort is to transform man. You are accustomed to a certain way of life, and that way of life creates your bondage. Coming close to a Master certainly creates fear.
If you don't see fear around a Master that means there is no Master. The fear simply shows that people know that being here they have to change -- and change is painful.
It is exactly like a child in the womb of the mother. The child has lived for nine months in the womb comfortably. He will never find such comfort again -- no worry, no tension, no question of employment, no wife to nag, no children to harass, no neighbors whom you have to love, no boring friends. He is completely relaxed for nine months. Then suddenly one day he is being thrown out from his world, which was so comfortable. It seems to the child almost a death. And it is natural that it looks like a death. His world is being destroyed. His beautiful home where everything was supplied without demand is being shattered. He is being thrown out into the unknown. It is painful. The child resists to come out, that's what gives pain to the mother. The child is not willing to come out -- why should he have to leave his home? And he knows nothing about where he is going. In absolute darkness to an unknown, why should he go? He makes every effort to cling -- that's why it becomes such a pain to the mother. But there is no way to convince the child, "You are not dying, in fact, you are entering into life.
Up to now you were only getting prepared. Now begins your real life, and you are entering into a vast, beautiful universe." Yes, later on he will understand it, but by that time he has forgotten how it was in the womb.
The same is the situation with a Master. It is a new birth. Your whole way of life you have created cozy -- comfortable in every way -- and the Master is throwing you out into the unknown again. It is painful; there is fear. It is only through the love of the Master that you may gather courage, and you may take a jump.
Immense love is needed from the side of the Master because that is the only thing that can dispel fear. Love is almost like light, and fear is just like darkness. If the Master really loves you -- and there is no other possibility; an authentic Master is nothing but love. His love is the guarantee that your fear sooner or later will be destroyed, that you will gather courage, that you will take a jump. And once you have taken the jump and attained a new, luminous experience of life, you will be grateful for the Master, grateful for his love -- because without his love it would have been impossible for you to get rid of the fear.
And once you have experienced something that was just so close -- but you were not opening your eyes, you were so afraid; once you take one step out of your fear, anxiety, anguish, then the whole journey becomes easy. Now you know on your own experience that on each step you are becoming new, that on each step you are gaining strength, insight, vision: that things are the same but you are not the same, that the same flowers have a totally different beauty, the same flowers have a new fragrance. The same sunset takes you into an ecstasy which you had never imagined before.
You have seen the sunset many times, you have even told your friends, "How beautiful!" Now you know those words were phony, you have simply learned those words -- because you have not experienced beauty, you were simply repeating words which are part of etiquette, part of social formality. Otherwise you had no contact with the beauty. Now you see what beauty is, and now it is so difficult to say, "How beautiful" because words fall short. The beauty is so vast, so immense, and the words are so tiny. You cannot put the sky in the small capsules of your words. Now you will be standing there dazed.
That reminds me. Just today I was looking at a news. Somebody is telling to the attorney general about my statement, that "Either the attorney general wants to protect the criminals and give them immunity, and if that is not possible, then there is every possibility those criminals will disappear, they will be killed." The attorney general was not shocked. I was watching his face. Even hearing this, that I am telling that I infer from all the delayings that he can kill the chief criminals and then destroy the whole commune, because then he can put all the crimes on innocent people, he simply said that it is lunacy. I don't think he understands the word. But, I remembered it in this context.
Lunacy comes from lunar. Lunar means the moon. The people who are moongazers were called in the beginning lunatics, and the disease of gazing in the moon was called lunacy. In fact, my name, Rajneesh, means lunatic. I can gaze at the moon for hours, as if time stops. So hearing the attorney general using the word lunacy, I said, "At least this idiot for the first time has said something right."
I can look at a flower for hours. Not even the word beauty arises in my mind, because that will be a disturbance. That will disturb what is transpiring between me and the flower, between me and the moon, between me and you. If a word comes in, it will be a disturbance. When you know beauty, you forget even the word beauty. When you know love, you cannot say so easily as people say, "I love you." You know that what love is is so much, how it can be contained into these small words, which have been used for millions of times by millions of people? You have also used them when you had no idea of love. You just wanted to go bed with a woman, and you had used "I love you." Now, to say "I love you" will be sacrilegious, because now there is no idea of going to the bed. It is something so totally different.
Once you start going beyond your fear, your paranoia that the society has created around you, the whole sky is yours. Then even farthest stars are not far away. Your wings are small, but they are capable to reach to the farthest stars.
Seeing the Master is an encouragement. Loving the Master makes your encouragement more and more strong. I have chosen the symbol for the seekers who have gathered around me of two birds. One is the Master, the other is the disciple. Both are the same kind of bird. Both have the same wings. Just seeing the Master fly, immediately the disciple gets the idea, "I have also got the same wings which I have not been using." He tries. Maybe once or twice he may fall.
Maybe once and twice he may get discouraged. But even if he starts fluttering, that gives him the first glimpse that what is today just fluttering, tomorrow can become flying. It needs just a little discipline, a little more training, a little more time. And to come to this point, you are already beyond fear. So you will find here people who are afraid, you will find people here who are not afraid, who have passed that stage of fear. You will find people on all steps of the whole journey. And that's the beauty of a commune, that it gives you the whole panorama and you can see somebody is one feet ahead of you, you can be there.
Then you see somebody else is one feet ahead of you, why you cannot be there?
And these people on different steps of growth help immensely without helping anybody, just their presence creates the atmosphere of encouragement.
A commune is a mystery school where people learn how to give rebirth to themselves. Okay? Good!