[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 WITH DIETER LUDWIG, QUICK MAGAZINE, GERMANY
Q: I HAVE TO CATCH A PLANE NOW, SO IF YOU COULD PLEASE BE AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE.
WHO WAS HUMILIATED BY YOUR TREATMENT IN AMERICA, YOU OR THE AMERICAN AUTHORITIES. AND WHEN YOU WERE QUOTED AS SAYING, "AMERICANS ARE SUB-HUMAN," TO WHAT WERE YOU REFERRING?"
A: The humble man can never be humiliated, so there is no question of my being humiliated. It was the American government who humiliated itself.
Q: THERE IS AN IDEA THAT ENLIGHTENMENT PROTECTS A PERSON FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD. IS THIS TRUE?
A: It is not true. Existence is impartial, is impartial. It makes no difference between the enlightened and the unenlightened. Ramakrishna Paramhansa died of cancer; Maharishi Raman died of cancer; Gautam Buddha died of food poisoning; Mahavira died of diarrhoea; Jesus Christ died on the cross, existence did not come to help him.
Existence is absolutely impartial. And it is good that it is impartial. Otherwise existence will also be divided in classes. There will be a hierarchy, that existence protects few people, does not protect few people; that will be ugly, this is perfectly beautiful that existence remains the same for the smallest blade of grass to the biggest star in the world.
Q: WHY IS THE WORLD SO CONCERNED WITH THE ROLLS ROYCES AND THE WATCHES THAT YOU USE?
A: Because the world is so poor, because this is what they all want and cannot.
They are not concerned about my enlightenment, they are not concerned about my peace, about my silence, about my blissfulness. Those are not their needs.
They need a Rolls Royce, they need a diamond watch, and in their need, they become so confused that they cannot see that I don't have a Rolls Royce. Those ninety-three Rolls Royces belong to the commune. I have not taken one with me.
I had never gone even to see those ninety-three Rolls Royces. Just, whenever I needed, the commune gave me for one hour or two hours, the car was brought to me. I never owned them.
And the diamond watches they are so much concerned is simply foolish. They don't know the distinction between diamond and stone. This is a stone watch, not a diamond watch. And this is made by my own people.
(Tape side B)
Q: YOU DON'T HAVE DIAMOND WATCHES?
A: I don't use. So many have been presented to me, or have been given to the commune. I use only watches that my people have made. If this is made with diamonds as Piaget makes it, it is quarter million dollars. It is made with simple stones, just cut in such a beautiful way that they can defeat any diamond. It has no value at all.
I use only my people's things. Everything from my shoe up to my head.
Everything is made by my people. Hundreds of watches have been presented to me. They have all been given to the commune. I don't possess them. I have not brought a single one. Just only one watch that I have brought with me is this, which has no value in money.
But people are stupid.
Q: YOU ONCE HAVE HAD CALLED YOUR SANNYASINS IN GERMANY THE MOST INDUSTRIOUS AND THE MOST FAITHFUL OF YOUR SANNYASINS. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF MESSAGE FOR YOUR SANNYASINS IN GERMANY, ANY KIND OF DIRECTION?
A: I have certainly called the German sannyasins most industrious, most intelligent, most trustworthy. People of such qualities don't need directions from outside. They will find their way, they will find their direction. I trust them so much.
This is my message.
Q: DO YOU FEEL ANY KIND OF RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS YOUR SANNYASINS WHO HAVE LIVED IN YOUR COMMUNE; INVESTED MONEY, SOMETIMES THEIR INHERITANCE, AND THEIR WORKING POWERS INTO THE PROJECTS OF THE COMMUNE.
DO YOU FIND ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR GUIDANCE OR OTHERWISE FOR THOSE NOW ARE CONFUSED AND DON'T QUITE KNOW WHERE THEY STAND (INAUDIBLE)
A: Responsibility according to me is something individual. I can be responsible only to my acts, my thoughts. I cannot be responsible for your acts or your thoughts.
But the whole history has been dominated with the idea that you are responsible to somebody else. A Christian is responsible to Jesus Christ is responsible to the Christian. That creates a certain kind of bondage, not freedom. Jesus himself helps, by saying that "If you have faith in me, then I will save you. If you don't have faith in me, you will fall into eternal hell." Now he is taking the responsibility of other people, and he cannot save himself on the cross. This is sheer cheating, this is sheer befooling people.
My attitude is totally different. Responsibility has nothing to do with anybody else. It is not a duty. If sannyasins have done anything, it was their responsibility.
They had chosen to do it, and they had enjoyed doing it. That was their reward. I have never guaranteed anybody that, "If you do this, then you will enter into paradise." I have never guaranteed anybody that, "If you do this, then the project is going to succeed." I have only said to my people, that "Whatever you do, do if you love to do it, if you enjoy to do it. And your enjoyment is your reward. There is no other reward beyond that. Whether the project fails or succeeds does not matter." So I never feel responsible for anybody, and I don't make anybody else feel responsible for me.
There are people who have given their whole inheritance. I have also given my whole life. Who is responsible? They are not responsible because I have given my whole life to them, and their money is not more valuable than my life. With my life I can find thousands of people like them. With their money they cannot find another me.
But I don't think that they are responsible for it. It was my joy. I loved it each moment of it, and I will continue to give my life to my people, to the very last breath, without making anybody feel guilty that he is responsible.
Same I expect from them. I had never asked anybody to give anything to the commune. If they had given their whole fortune, it was their decision, and they enjoyed the decision. Nobody was forcing, nobody was persuading. They loved it, and they were rewarded. So there is no question of responsibility.
I don't feel responsible for anybody. Neither anybody needs to feel responsible for me. Everybody is responsible for himself. This gives you freedom, and this makes you authentically individual. And my whole purpose is to make you absolutely individual, that each act you can say "It is mine, and whatever result it leads to is also mine."
My own experience is that even if you fail in life, but go on living according to your own clarity, your own insight, your own individuality, not directed by others, even if you fail, you will have a tremendous contentment. And a person who may succeed, but has been goaded by others to do this, to do that, to become this, with all his success will feel himself a non-entity. He has never been able to assert his own individuality, he has never been allowed his potential to grow. He has been carrying other people's projects. His whole life has been borrowed, it was not his own.
And this is my basic teaching, that your life should be authentically your own. So whatever you do, remember, you are responsible for it. Never dump your responsibility on somebody else. That is an ugly act.
Only this way we can allow people to grow into their real, natural potentiality.
So I am not responsible for anybody. I am only responsible for myself, and I am perfectly happy. And those who have understood me, whatever they have done, will feel absolutely happy for it.
Q: YOU SAID YOU ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER COMMUNE. YOU SAID YOU WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR ADVICE (INAUDIBLE) ANY KIND OF IDEA WHERE IT IS (INAUDIBLE) A: I have lived moment to moment, day to day. To ask for more is not good.
Existence does not allow for more. It gives you one moment at a time, not even two moments together. And it keeps the next moment unpredictable.
So all those who plan for the future, are always frustrated. These are the people who have created the proverb that "Man proposes and God disposes." There is no God to dispose, but you propose. And you will feel that you have been disposed, so there must be somebody who is disposing you. In fact, in your proposition itself is the seed of being disposed.
I don't have any plan for future. I am here right now, available. Wherever I will be, I will be available to my people for advice. As far as communes are concerned, my experience with two communes has been that sooner or later, my commune is going to clash with the government, because I can make people so happy so loving, so rejoicing, and I can create just by their labor and their intelligence and their joy something which everybody wants in the whole world.
But the governments, the politicians go on promising, but the goods are never delivered.
Q: WHAT WENT WRONG WITH SHEELA AND THE OTHER WHO (INAUDIBLE)?
A: Nothing went wrong; just simple human nature. I was for three and half years silent, in isolation. She had all the powers, and power corrupts. And when you have absolute power, then it corrupts absolutely. It is just man. She behaved just like a human being.
Having three hundred million dollars in her hands, it is very human to steal fifty million dollars and keep them somewhere in Switzerland for future. That's how human being thinks, for future. Now she may live her whole life in imprisonment, and those fifty million dollars will rot in some bank in Switzerland. That's how you propose and God disposes.
So it was just, the whole power was in her hands, and as I started speaking, I knew this was going to happen, she was, she was continuously telling me not to speak because it will be against my health. I told her that even if I live five years less, there is nothing to lose because whatever I have to achieve I have achieved.
But I have to speak because my philosophy of life is incomplete. I have to complete it.
Q: DO YOU FEEL IT IS COMPLETED?
A: No. I am completing it.
Q: SOME LEVEL YOU STILL FEEL (INAUDIBLE) A: I am completing it every moment. Every moment I am talking to anybody, to you or to anybody, I am completing it. I am filling the gaps.
Q: DO YOU SEE ANY MAJOR GAPS, ANY PARTICULAR TYPE OF SUBJECT, ANY PARTICULAR TYPE OF AREA YOU WOULD LIKE TO ILLUMINATE MORE (INAUDIBLE) A: No, nobody will be able to find any gap as it is. But it is not a question of gap, it is a question of making it more circular, more deeper, and my people are now ready to listen on a deeper level, not just the intellectual.
The day I started speaking, the whole commune went dancing on the streets, they were so joyous. But Sheela was sad. And I could understand her sadness because now her power was gone. Now I was available directly. She was a mediator. It is just like, if suddenly God comes, the pope will be the only one who will be the utterly lost, perhaps may commit suicide. What purpose he is doing. She has become a high priestess. Now she was nobody, st an ordinary sannyasin as everybody else. That hurt her very much. And from that day she started going more to Europe, more to Australia, to other communes, for any small excuse that there is much need. But the only thing was that there she was still the representative. I was absent.
Last time she came she wrote me a letter, not that she had come to say goodbye to me; she had not even that courtesy to say goodbye to me. In the note she had not even written it, she had simply said that "Now I come here t I don't feel excited as I used to feel before. I still feel excited in Europe, in Australia, in Singapore, in Japan."
I told her, that you had come to me, through the messenger who had brought the note, not for excitement; you had come to me for ecstasy. From where this excitement has entered in your mind. Excitement is a very lower thing.
Everybody is after excitement.
A sannyasin is one who is not after excitement, but after ecstasy; something that remains with you forever. So if you are for excitement, certainly you will not find here. And, if you think it is Europe that is giving it to you, you are wrong.
I can come to Europe, I can come to Japan, and it will disappear from everywhere. And the next day, without saying anything, she disappeared with her clique of people. I don't think there is something special in it. It is just human weakness, and I never condemned human weakness.
Q: THE PRESS IN GENERAL IN GERMANY IS VERY CONCERNED WITH SHEELA BECAUSE SHE IS IN JAIL THERE AND IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE EXTRADITED TO THE UNITED STATES. (INAUDIBLE) AUTHORITIES IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE SAID THAT THEY WILL CALL YOU AS A WITNESS. HOW WILL YOU REACT?
A: I will see, because the federal court has told me not to enter America for five years. So for five years I cannot enter America.
Q: IF THEY SEND LEGAL PERSONNEL OVER HERE TO TAKE STATEMENTS, A: Yes, I am available, I am available, there is no problem.
Q: ARE YOU IN ANY KIND OF COMMUNICATION WITH SHEELA HERSELF?
Q: NOT DIRECTLY, NOR INDIRECTLY?
Q: DID YOU BRING ANYTHING FROM AMERICA?
A: Nothing, just my dress, that's all.
Q: YOU ATTACKED THE POPE ESPECIALLY ON THE SUBJECT OF BIRTH CONTROL. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN ANY KIND OF COMMUNICATION?
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED ANY KIND OF DIRECT CONVERSATION?
A: No; just I have been publicly challenging him for a discussion and I am ready to come to Vatican if he is not ready to come to here. But he seems to have no guts. He is coming to India, and I am trying that he should be given a red reception. My people should give him a good reception, because he is a criminal, and he should be treated as a criminal.
And in this country, wherever he will speak against birth control, I am going to oppose him. This is not going to be easy. I have told the Indian government also that please make it a condition that he should not speak against birth control in a country which is already dying with population. By the end of this century, the country will be the largest populated country in the whole world. It would have passed China for the first time; it will have one billion people, and almost half of the people will be starving. So make it a condition that he does not say anything.
He can talk about religious matters, spirituality, there is no need to talk about birth control.
But that's all he is doing all over the world, talking against birth control, against abortion. His only purpose is to have as many poor people in the world as possible, because only poor people can be converted to Catholicism. No rich person can be converted to Catholicism. In the whole of India I have traveled. I have not found a single rich man who has been converted to Christianity. Just the beggars, the orphans, the aboriginals; and they are not converting to Christianity, they don't know anything about Christianity; they don't know anything about religion. Their whole thing is that somebody is giving them food, clothes, and that's enough.
I had no personal contact with him; I had few letters from Mother Teresa.
Q: YOU HAVE RECEIVED LETTERS FROM MOTHER TERESA?
A: Letters from Mother Teresa, because I had condemned her. One American went to Mother Teresa's place; he wanted to adopt a child. The clerk said that, "There are seven hundred children; you can choose. But before you choose, you have to fill this form."
He filled the form, the clerk looked at the form and he said, "You wait here, I will be coming soon." And he came out and he said, "I am sorry, I was wrong, there are no children."
The man could not believe, seven hundred children suddenly disappeared? And the reason was, he was a protestant. In the form he had to fill, so he had filled protestant; and they give children only to Catholics. He wrote a letter in Times of India about this whole incident, and I condemned Mother Teresa in a public speech. She wrote a letter to me that, it is not that we are against any religion, but when a child is brought up in a certain religion, it is better for his psychological growth that he should be given to a family where the same religion is followed.
I wrote to her that all your children come from either Hindus or Mohammedans; if you are really sincere, you should return these children to Hindu homes, to Mohammedan homes. Just because they have been with you for two years or three years, they don't become Catholics. And don't try to be clever and cunning.
Just be straight-forward, that all this service of poverty and poor is nothing but a political strategy; the politics of numbers.
She was so angry in the second letter that she said that I don't want to continue correspondence with you; but I will ask God in every of my prayers to forgive you.
I wrote her a third letter that this is absolutely illegal. I don't believe in any God, and particularly who are you to pray for me? This is interfering even into my spiritual life, and what sin I have committed that you should pray for me to be forgiven? You are committing all kinds of sins; just pray for yourself.
And that was the end of correspondence.
But I would love to talk to this pollack pope. I don't think he has much intelligence. Polacks don't have. But still I would love. You can give the challenge through your paper; I am ready. To discuss on every point - spiritual or material, biblical or anything. And I am ready that, if he can defeat me, I will become his disciple, a Catholic. But if I defeat him, he has to become a sannyasin.
Q: WHAT ABOUT AIDS, IMPLICATIONS OF AIDS FOR HUMANITY, SOCIETY, STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY AND THE SEXUAL LIFE OF THE PEOPLE?
A: It is going to change many things. First, every country should make celibacy a crime, because it is celibacy that has produced homosexuality, and it is homosexuality that has brought the AIDS. We should go to the roots.
I call AIDS a religious disease; it is no ordinary disease. All the religions have been teaching celibacy, which is unnatural, which is against biology. And when you force celibacy and the monks are put into a different place and nuns are put into a different place and they cannot even meet; then certainly you are creating an opportunity for homosexuality. There is no other way.
Even the pope before this pope was a homosexual. Animals in the wild are never homosexual, but in zoos if there are not females available, they become homosexual. So monasteries are just like zoos, where they turn men and women into homosexuality. And this goes on spreading, because AIDS can spread without sexual contact - even by kissing, the saliva is a carrier of the virus, so for the future we will have to think that kissing cannot be supported anymore. We will have to learn something from eskimos. They rub their noses. That is more hygienic.
And in the latest developments with the AIDS, that seems to be the only way.
The Indian ancient book of sexology, Sutras of Vatsayana, have another alternative. They say rubbing each others ear lobes. That is even more hygienic, because with the nose sometimes you may have cold, t with ear lobes you never have any cold.
Any liquid coming out of the body is dangerous, even tears can carry the virus.
And it is such a dangerous situation, that in Texas they made a law and declared homosexuality a crime. The amazing thing was that one million homosexuals protested against it, in Texas. If this is the situation in Texas, what will be the situation in California. Perhaps everybody will have to protest. And to make one million people criminals, st by an act passed by the parliament does not change them from homosexuality. They will go underground, they will simply say they are not homosexuals. And that is more dangerous.
What we had done in our commune has to be done all over the world. In our commune we had five thousand people. They all went through the tests, two persons only were found to have AIDS. We made for those two persons the most beautiful houses on the most scenic spot. I told to the commune that, "Be respectful to those people because they are victims. Don't have any condemnation towards them." That is what is going to happen all over the world; they will be condemned. And if you condemn them, then they will hide. Then they won't go to the test, or they will bribe the doctors.
Respect them, they are victims, and they have to live now not more than two years; perhaps six months at the most. So give them everything that they always wanted to have, always wanted to do. If they wanted to paint, let them paint; if they wanted to write poetry, let them write poetry. Let them feel as respected, dignified human beings. They can come to the meetings, t they should not come into any physical contact with anybody.
And when the society is giving so much respect, naturally they followed. They never came into physical contact to anybody; they came everyday to the meeting.
And they were grateful, because even their families will not accept them.
That's what has to be done. That in every society, everybody, every village, every town, every city should go through the test; and we should create an atmosphere that it is not a condemnation. These are simply victims.
Unknowingly they have fallen into a pit, and the real criminals are the popes and the shankaracharyas and other religious leaders. So rather than making homosexuality a crime, make the teaching of celibacy a crime.
And homosexuals can be segregated into separate parts of the city. They can be given work, whatever they like to do, some productive work, so they are not a burden on the society. And they should be respected and loved the same as they were loved before by their parents, by their friends, by their children. The disease should not be taken as if the man has committed a grave crime. Otherwise, it is going to spread. And it can destroy almost two thirds of humanity, very easily. It is more dangerous than nuclear weapons, because nuclear weapons are still in our hands to use or not to use, but this - Q: ACTUALLY IN THE HANDS OF THE LEADERS.
A: Yes. But still, the AIDS is not in anybody's hands. And it is moving fast; even children are born with AIDS. So some very drastic method has to be taken, and humanity seems to be almost asleep. Nobody seems to bother. And the reason is, no hospital wants to take the risk of taking AIDS patients; no government wants to declare how many people are suffering from AIDS in the country because that will be a condemnation of the government, that so many homosexuals you have, and so many AIDS people you have.
Even in a single city, L.A., one person is dying every day of AIDS, yet the corporation of L.A. has not come up with the information, how many people are suffering. If one person is dying every day, then thousands must be suffering from it. And thousands more will be potential.
But, everybody wants to keep silent about it, ignore it. It is better to take any enemy face to face rather than to ignore. And scientists are almost unanimous that there seems to be no possibility of finding a cure. So only prevention is the cure.
Q: IT IS A SPECIAL REQUEST FROM (INAUDIBLE) CANCER (INAUDIBLE) IT CONCERNS SUICIDE. IF EVERYBODY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIMSELF, IS SUICIDE UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL? IS IT JUSTIFIABLE?
AND A PARTICULAR QUESTION FROM THE EDITOR: IS IT JUSTIFIABLE FOR THEM?
A: Suicide is part of human freedom. Nobody can force life on anybody else. If somebody wants to retire from life, it is his decision and it should be respected, and there is nothing wrong in it. And as we are trying to control birth, we are preventing new children to be born; we have already taken steps on one end, you will have to think to balance it on the other end too.
If it helps that new babies are not born, then it will certainly help if old people who feel that they have lived, they have loved and they are fulfilled, and they don't want unnecessarily to drag on, if they want to withdraw from life, then there should be no crime in it. In fact, every hospital should have facilities for people to die silently, peacefully, joyously, with the friends around rather than a person going and hanging himself with a tree, or shooting himself. That is ugly and primitive, and very strange world.
If you are caught committing suicide, then they give you the life sentence.
Strange. Then, because you are trying to commit suicide, and you have been caught, now the government will kill you. A good reward for a man who was going to commit suicide.
My feeling is that birth now we are controlling; death should also be controlled.
And, as our medicine and scientific technology grows, man will be living longer and longer. Already in Soviet Russia there are people who have passed one hundred fifty. There are people who have come nearabout one hundred eighty.
Now if people start living one hundred fifty or one hundred eighty, you cannot retire them at sixty. And they are working - at one hundred eighty the person is working in the farm. As death is postponed, old age is also postponed. Then what about the new people who are coming?
It is absolutely necessary that old people should be given the choice, freedom, that if they are willing then they should choose a beautiful death. They can gather all their friends, they can have a celebration before they go into sleep, and the medical science can provide them a deep sleep which turns into death.
I am all for freedom. And death is not an exception.