IN THE OLDEN DAYS IT WAS CALLED MELANCHOLIA; TODAY IT IS CALLED DEPRESSION, AND IT COUNTS AS ONE OF THE MAJOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPED COUNTRIES. IT IS DESCRIBED AS A SENSE OF DESPAIR OR HOPELESSNESS, A LACK OF SELF-ESTEEM WITH NO ENTHUSIASM OR INTEREST IN THE SURROUNDINGS. IN ADDITION, THERE ARE PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF POOR APPETITE, SLEEPLESSNESS AND A LOSS OF SEXUAL ENERGY. ELECTROSHOCK TREATMENT HAS LARGELY BEEN ABANDONED TODAY, AND DRUGS OR TALK THERAPY SEEM EQUALLY EFFECTIVE - OR INEFFECTIVE. EXPLANATIONS FOR DEPRESSION HAVE VARIED FROM THE CHEMICAL TO THE PSYCHOLOGICAL.
OSHO, WHAT IS THIS DEPRESSION? IS IT A REACTION TO A DEPRESSING WORLD, A KIND OF HIBERNATION DURING "THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT"? IS DEPRESSION JUST A REACTION TO REPRESSION - OR OPPRESSION - OR IS IT JUST A FORM OF SELF-REPRESSION?
Man has always lived with hope, a future, a paradise somewhere far away. He has never lived in the present... his golden age is still to come. It kept him enthusiastic because greater things were going to happen; all his longings were going to be fulfilled. There was great joy in anticipation.
He suffered in the present; he was miserable in the present. But all that was completely forgotten in the dreams that were going to be fulfilled tomorrow. Tomorrow has always been life-giving.
But the situation has changed. The old situation was not good because the tomorrow - the fulfillment of his dreams - never became true. He died hoping. Even in his death he was hoping for a future life - but he never actually experienced any rejoicing, any meaning. But it was tolerable. It was only a question of today: it will pass, and tomorrow is bound to come.
The religious prophets, messiahs, saviors were promising him all pleasures - which are condemned here - in paradise. The political leaders, the social ideologists, the utopians were promising him the same thing - not in paradise but here on earth, somewhere far away in the future when the society goes through a total revolution and there is no poverty, no classes, no government and man is absolutely free and has everything that he needs.
Both are basically fulfilling the same psychological need. To those who were materialistic, the ideological, political, sociological utopians were appealing; to those who were not so materialistic, the religious leaders appealed. But the object of appeal was exactly the same: all that you can imagine, can dream of, can long for, will be absolutely fulfilled. With those dreams, the present miseries seemed to be very small.
There was enthusiasm in the world; people were not depressed. Depression is a contemporary phenomenon and it has come into being because now there is no tomorrow.
All political ideologies have failed. There is no possibility that man will ever be equal, no possibility that there will be a time when there will be no government, no possibility that all your dreams will be fulfilled.
This has come as a great shock. Simultaneously man has become more mature. He may go to the church, to the mosque, to the synagogue, to the temple - but they are only social conformities, because he does not want, in such a dark and depressed state, to be left alone; he wants to be with the crowd. But basically he knows there is no paradise; he knows that no savior is going to come.
Hindus have waited five thousand years for Krishna. He promised not only that he would come once, he promised that whenever there would be misery, suffering, whenever vice would be on top of virtue, whenever nice and simple and innocent people would be exploited by the cunning and the hypocritical, he would come. sambhavami yugai yugai: "I will make myself a reality in every age to come." But for five thousand years no sign has been seen of him.
Jesus has promised he will come, and when asked when, he said, "Very soon." I can stretch "very soon," but not for two thousand years; that is too much.
The idea that our misery, our pain, our anguish will be taken away is no more appealing. The idea that there is a God who cares for us seems to be simply a joke. Looking at the world, it doesn't seem as if there is anybody who cares.
In fact, in England there are almost thirty thousand people who are devil worshippers - just in England, a small part of the world. And their ideology is worth looking at in reference to your question. They say that the devil is not against God, the devil is God's son. God has abandoned the world, and now the only hope is to persuade the devil to take care as God is not taking care. And thirty thousand people are worshipping the devil as a son of God... and the reason is they feel that God has abandoned the world - he no more cares about it. Naturally, the only way is to appeal to his son; if somehow he can be persuaded by rituals, by prayer, by worship, perhaps the misery, the darkness, the sickness can be removed.
This is a desperate effort.
The reality is that man has always lived in poverty. Poverty has one thing beautiful about it: it never destroys your hope, it never goes against your dreams, it always brings enthusiasm for tomorrow.
One is hopeful, believing that things will be better: this dark period is already passing; soon there will be light.
But that situation has changed. In the developed countries... and remember, the problem of depression is not in undeveloped countries - in the poor countries, people are still hopeful - it is only in the developed countries, where they have everything that they had always longed for. Now paradise will not do anymore; nor can a classless society help anymore. No utopia is going to be better. They have achieved the goal - and this achievement of the goal is the cause of depression.
Now there is no hope: tomorrow is dark, and the day after tomorrow will be even darker.
And all these things that they have dreamed of were very beautiful. They had never looked at the implications of them. Now that they have got them, they have got them with the implications. A man is poor, but he has an appetite. A man is rich, but he has no appetite. And it is better to be poor and have an appetite than to be rich and have no appetite. What are you going to do with all your gold, all your silver, all your dollars? You cannot eat them.
You have everything, but the appetite has disappeared for which you have been struggling all along.
You succeeded - and I have said again and again that nothing fails like success. You have reached a place that you wanted to reach, but you were not aware of the by-products. You have millions of dollars, but you cannot sleep.
When Alexander was in India he met a naked saint in the desert.
He declared: "I am Alexander the Great!"
The saint said, "You cannot be."
He said, "What nonsense! I am saying it myself, and you can see my armies all over the place."
He said, "I see your armies, but one who calls himself 'The Great' has not yet reached to greatness, because greatness makes people humble, as it is such a failure, an utter failure."
Alexander was a disciple of Aristotle and he was trained by him in fine logic. He could not listen to all this mystic garbage. He said, "I don't believe all these things. I have conquered the whole world."
The naked man said, "If in this desert you are thirsty, and I offer you a glass of water, how much would you be able to give me for it? - and for miles there is no water."
Alexander said, "I would give you half of my kingdom."
The saint said, "No, I will not sell it for half of the kingdom. Either you can have the kingdom or you can have the glass of water. And you are thirsty and you are dying and there are no possibilities of finding water anywhere - what will you do?"
He said, "Then naturally, I will give you the whole kingdom."
The saint laughed; he said, "So that is the price of your whole kingdom - just a glass of water! And you think you have conquered the whole world? From today start saying you have conquered a whole glass of water."
When man reaches to the cherished goals, then he becomes aware that there are many things around them. For example, for your whole life you try to earn money, thinking that one day when you have it, you will live a relaxed life. But you have been tense your whole life - tension has become your discipline - and at the end of life, when you have achieved all the money you wanted, you cannot relax. The whole life disciplined in tension and anguish and worry won't let you relax.
So you are not a winner, you are a loser. You lose your appetite, you destroy your health, you destroy your sensibility, your sensitiveness. You destroy your aesthetic sense - because there is no time for all these things which do not produce dollars.
You are running after dollars - who has time to look at the roses? and who has time to look at the birds on the wing? and who has time to look at the beauty of human beings?
You postpone all these things so that one day, when you have everything, you will relax and enjoy.
But by the time you have everything, you have become a certain kind of disciplined person - who is blind to roses, who is blind to beauty, who cannot enjoy music, who cannot understand dance, who cannot understand poetry, who can only understand dollars. But those dollars give no satisfaction.
This is the cause of depression. That's why it is only in the developed countries and only in the richer class of the developed countries - in the developed countries, there are poor people also, but they don't suffer from depression - and now you cannot give a man any more hope to remove his depression because he has all, more than you can promise.
His condition is really pitiable. He never thought of implications, he never thought of by-products, he never thought of what he would lose by gaining money. He never thought that he would lose everything that could make him happy just because he has always pushed all those things aside.
He had no time and the competition was tough and he had to be tough. At the end he finds his heart is dead, his life is meaningless. He doesn't see that there is any possibility in the future of any change, because "What more is there...?"
I used to stay in Sagar in a very rich man's house. The old man was very beautiful. He was the greatest bidi manufacturer in the whole of India. He had everything that you can imagine, but he was absolutely unable to enjoy anything.
Enjoyment is something that has to be nourished. It is a certain discipline, a certain art - how to enjoy - and it takes time to get in contact with the great things in life.
But the man who is running after money bypasses everything that is a door to the divine, and he ends up at the end of the road and there is nothing ahead of him except death.
His whole life he was miserable. He tolerated it, ignored it in the hope that things were going to change. Now he cannot ignore it and cannot tolerate it because tomorrow there is only death and nothing else. And the whole life's accumulated misery that he has ignored, the suffering that he has ignored, explodes in his being.
The richest man, in a way, is the poorest man in the world.
To be rich and not to be poor is a great art.
To be poor and to be rich is the other side of the art.
There are poor people whom you will find immensely rich. They don't have anything, but they are rich. Their richness is not in things but in their being, in their multidimensional experiences.
And there are rich people who have everything but are absolutely poor and hollow and empty. Deep inside there is just a graveyard.
It is not a depression of the society because then it would affect the poor too; it is simply natural law, and man now will have to learn it. Up to now there was no need, because nobody had reached to a point where he had everything, while inside there was complete darkness and ignorance.
The first thing in life is to find meaning in the present moment.
The basic flavor of your being should be of love, of rejoicing, of celebration. Then you can do anything; dollars will not destroy it. But you put everything aside and simply run after dollars thinking that dollars can purchase everything. And then one day you find they cannot purchase anything - and you have devoted your whole life to dollars.
This is the cause of depression.
And particularly in the West, the depression is going to be very deep. In the East, there have been rich people, but there was a certain dimension available. When the road to richness came to an end, they did not remain stuck there; they moved into a new direction. That new direction was in the air, available for centuries.
In the East the poor have been in a very good condition, and the rich have been in a tremendously good condition. The poor have learned contentment so they do not bother about running after ambition. And the rich have understood that one day you have to renounce it all and go in search of truth, in search of meaning.
In the West, at the end, the road simply ends. You can go back, but going back will not help your depression. You need a new direction.
Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, or Parshvanath - these people were at the peak of richness, and then they saw that it is almost a burden. Something else has to be found before death takes you over - and they were courageous enough to renounce all.
Their renunciation has been misunderstood. They renounced it all because they did not want to bother a single second more for money, for power - because they have seen the top, and there is nothing there. They went to the very highest rung of the ladder and found that it leads nowhere; it is just a ladder leading nowhere.
While you are somewhere in the middle, or lower than the middle, you have a hope because there are other rungs higher than you. There comes a point when you are on the highest rung and there is only suicide or madness - or hypocrisy: you go on smiling till death finishes you, but deep down you know that you have wasted your life.
In the East depression has never been a problem. The poor learned to enjoy whatsoever little they had, and the rich learned that having the whole world at your feet means nothing - you have to go in a search for meaning, not for money.
And they had precedents: for thousands of years people have gone in search of truth and have found it. There is no need to be in despair, in depression - you just have to move into an unknown dimension. They have never explored it - but as they start exploring the new dimension, it means a journey inwards, a journey to their own self. All that they have lost starts returning.
The West needs very urgently a great movement of meditation; otherwise, this depression is going to kill people. And these people will be the talented ones - because they achieved power, they achieved money, they achieved whatsoever they wanted... the highest degrees in education. These are the talented people - and they are all feeling despair.
This is going to be dangerous because the most talented people are no more enthusiastic about life, and the untalented are enthusiastic about life but they don't even have the talents to get power, money, education, respectability. They don't have the talents, so they are suffering, feeling handicapped. They are turning into terrorists, they are turning towards unnecessary violence just out of revenge - because they cannot do anything else. But they can destroy.
And the rich are almost ready to hang themselves from any tree because there is no reason for them to live. Their hearts have stopped beating long before. They are just corpses - well decorated, well honored, but utterly empty and futile.
The West is really in a far worse condition than the East - although to those who don't understand, it seems that the West is in a better condition than the East because the East is poor. But poverty is not as big of a problem as is the failure of richness; then a man is really poor. An ordinary poor man at least has dreams, hopes, but the rich man has nothing.
What is needed is a great meditation movement reaching to every person.
And in the West these people who are depressed are going to psychoanalysts, therapists and all kinds of charlatans who are themselves depressed, more depressed than their patients - naturally, because the whole day they are hearing about depression, despair, meaninglessness. And seeing so many talented people in such a bad state, they themselves start losing their spirit. They cannot help; they themselves need help.
The function of my school is going to be to prepare people with meditative energy and send them into the world just as examples for those who are depressed. If they can see that there are people who are not depressed - but on the contrary, who are immensely joyous - perhaps a hope may be born into them. Now they can have everything and there is no need to worry.
They can meditate.
I don't teach renunciation of your wealth or of anything. Let everything be as it is. Just add one thing more to your life. Up to now you have been adding only things to your life. Now add something to your being - and that will do the music, that will do the miracle, that will do the magic, that will create a new thrill, a new youth, a new freshness.
It is not unsolvable. The problem is big, but the solution is very simple.
SOMETIMES PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT THEY SEE IN MY FACE THAT OF A VERY OLD, HARD WITCH. AND I HAVE FELT INSIDE ME A DEEPLY BURIED, REVENGEFUL, COLD RAGE AGAINST ALL MEN WHO HAVE EVER FORCED, RAPED, KILLED OR HURT WOMEN.
THIS FEELS LIKE SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN CARRYING WITHIN FOR LIVES, AND THE REALIZATION OF IT IS VERY PAINFUL. IS THIS SOME UNKNOWN PART OF MYSELF, A MEAN PERSONALITY IN THE CLOSET? IF SO, PLEASE HELP ME UNCOVER AND BEFRIEND THIS OLD WITCH.
The first thing to be clear about is that it was Christianity who condemned the word 'witch'; otherwise, it was one of the most respected words, as respected as 'mystic' - a wise man. It simply meant a wise woman, the parallel to a wise man.
But in the Middle Ages, Christianity came to face a danger. There were thousands of women who were far wiser than the bishops and the cardinals and the pope. They knew the art of transforming people's lives.
Their whole philosophy was based on love and transformation of sexual energy - and a woman can do that more easily than a man. After all, she is a mother and she is always a mother. Even a small baby girl has the quality of motherliness.
The quality of motherliness is not something connected with age, it is part of womanhood. And the transformation needs a very loving atmosphere, a very motherly transfer of energies. To Christianity, it was a competitor. Christianity has nothing to offer in comparison to it - but Christianity was in power.
It was a man's world up to then; and they decided to destroy all witches. But how to destroy them?
It was not a question of killing one woman but thousands of women. So a special court was created for enquiry, to find out who was a witch.
Any woman said by Christians to have had an influence on people and who people respected was caught and tortured - so much so, that she had to confess. They wouldn't stop torturing her until she confessed that she was a witch. And according to the Christian mind, to Christian theology, the meaning of witch was changed: a witch is one who is having a sexual relationship with the devil.
You don't hear any more of any devil having a relationship with any woman. Either the devil has become a Christian monk, a celibate, or... what has happened to the devil? Who was it that was having sexual relationships with thousands of women? And these women were mostly old women.
It doesn't seem to be rational. When young and beautiful women were available, why should the devil go to the old, the very old women?
But to become a witch, it was a long training, a long discipline, a long experience. So by the time a woman was a witch - a wise woman - she was old; she had sacrificed everything to attain that wisdom, that alchemy.
They forced these poor old women into saying that they were having sexual intercourse with the devil. Many of them tried hard... but the torture was too much.
When my back had gone bad, Devaraj and other sannyasins trained in bodywork started traction on me. And I enquired, "What is traction? How was it invented?" They had no idea.
It was invented in the Middle Ages by Christians to torture the witches - to pull their bodies from both ends and to go on pulling to a point where it became unbearable. Many became unconscious; many died on their traction machine. But, by the way, it was found that many old women who were put into traction had had a back problem; when they got out of it, the back problem had disappeared.
So now Christians don't use it, but doctors do. Now it is part of the medical world.
They tortured these women in many ugly ways, just for one thing: they should confess. The women continued to try to say that they had nothing to do with the devil, that there was nothing to confess.
But nobody listened to them; they went on torturing them.
You can make anybody confess anything if you go on torturing him. A point comes when he feels it is better to confess rather than to unnecessarily suffer the same torture every day. And it would have continued for his whole life. Once a woman confessed that she was a witch and was having a sexual relationship with the devil, her torture was stopped and then she was presented before a court - a special court made by the pope - and before the court she was to now confess. And once she confessed before the court, the court was able to punish her - because it is the greatest crime in the eyes of Christianity.
In fact, even if the woman was having a sexual relationship with the devil, it is none of the business of anybody else - and it is not a crime, because she is not harming anybody. And the devil has never complained to any police station, "That woman is dangerous." On what authority was Christianity burning these women?
The only punishment was to be burned alive so that no other woman dared to be a witch again. They destroyed thousands of women and completely removed a very significant part of humanity. And the wisdom that those women contained - their books, their methods, their techniques of transforming man, transforming man's energy....
So the first thing to be understood is: don't think that witch is a bad word. It is more respectable than 'pope' - because I don't think a pope is a man who can be called wise; they are just parrots and nothing else. It is possible that it may be connected with your past life, and the wound has been so deep that still some remembrance in your unconscious goes on reminding you. And that creates the hate for men, because what was done to you was done by men.
So it is a simple association, but that association has to be dropped. It was not done by men, it was done by Christians. And the Christians have done so many crimes, and they go on doing them. It is unbelievable.
Just now in the United States, there is a case in the court against the Catholic church, because they cannot have a tax-exempt status if, in any way, they try to participate in politics. And they are participating in politics in every way. They have their lobbyists in the Senate, in the congress; even the president, Ronald Reagan, is a fundamentalist Christian, so they must be influencing him, because that is a fanatic section of Christianity.
The magistrate was convinced by all the evidence that was produced by a small group of liberated people - liberated from the slavery of Christianity - that these people are lobbying and influencing the law, influencing the government, and their tax-exempt status should be taken away.
The magistrate told them that they will be fined one hundred thousand dollars per day, for as long as they don't answer. But this is how the world is: after seven days the magistrate changed his statement - "They will not be fined, they can simply answer."
Now, that is again a proof that a pressure from higher sources is forcing him... that this is too much in a Christian country. That's what Ronald Reagan thinks - that America is a Christian country and should respect Christian values, and this would be a condemnation of the whole Christian church.
So no fine; they can simply answer whether it is true or not. But the thing is out; it cannot remain that way for long. They will have to accept the fact.
Our commune was destroyed by Christians hiding behind the politicians. They have money, they have votes, so any politician is vulnerable to their influence.
And all over the world they are doing ugly things. Ronald Reagan was going to give a large amount of war material to Saudi Arabia, which the congress rejected because it was strange - on one hand you go on giving war material to Israel, and on the other hand you give war material to the Mohammedan countries. On both sides your war material is being used, so you have found a good market. People will be killed, and your old-fashioned war material - which is of no use anymore - you can sell. Otherwise, what is one to do with that war material? Every day new things are happening, and the old becomes out-of-date.
But to sell to both parties is simply so absurd. If you want Israel to be saved, then you should not sell war material to Mohammedan countries. But that is not the question. Who cares about Israel and who cares about the Mohammedan countries? The real care is how many things you can sell.
President Ronald Reagan vetoed it; he's still going to sell.
The United States has a treaty with the European countries, NATO. Ronald Reagan has proposed to produce chemical war material, which is the ugliest. Only five countries out of sixteen have voted against it, but that does not matter because the majority is in favor. And all the great countries - England, France, Germany - are in favor.
When chemicals are used in war, it is more dangerous and more ugly - more inhuman. For example, a bomb will not be dropped here, but chemical gas will be released into the city and whoever breathes that gas will die immediately.
There are gases which will melt only your bones; you will live, but all your bones will be melted. So you will become just a bag without any bones. What kind of life will that man have when all his bones are gone? He cannot walk, he cannot sit; he can only lie down.
And they go on talking about truth, talking about God... and speaking lies.
Doctors from the West have now gone to Kiev and have found that Soviet Russia has given exact information about the disaster in their nuclear plant. Only two persons have died, and America managed to influence the whole world news media to say that two thousand people have died.
There is a limit to exaggeration - two people became two thousand! And now Western experts have gone there and they have confirmed that only two persons have died. Four persons died afterwards, so in all, six persons have died.
And these are religious people trying in every way to deceive the world, to deceive the human mind, to pollute with ugly lies. So don't be against men as such; just being against Christian atrocities is enough.
And don't feel bad that something is wrong in you. It must be a remembrance. You can go through hypnosis so that you can remember better. That will help in both ways: you will not feel bad that you are having such bad, evil ideas, and secondly it will help you to make clear the distinction between men and Christians.
Now all European countries are Christian and they are ready for chemical war. And they will go on reading, "Love your enemies, Love your neighbor," and they will continue praying in their churches...
and they will prepare a chemical death for millions of people. And the initiator is a fundamentalist Christian.
Ronald Reagan has been brought up in a fundamentalist Christian school, and he has not grown up from there. He is still retarded.
You can see the Christian mind: Americans were asked, "If you want your brain to be changed, with whom would you want to change it?" God came last. Nobody cares about God; that's how you can see.
If you directly ask somebody, then he will fight that God is the supreme being. But in an indirect way, they got caught. Ronald Reagan is ahead of God, ahead of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and God - these are just fictions, even to the Christian mind. Otherwise, in the poll God should have come first - he couldn't even have come second - and Jesus Christ should have come second. And there are hundreds of beautiful people in the world; Ronald Reagan cannot have any place.
But for two thousand years Christianity has been killing people in the name of religion, in the name of God, in the name of Christ, in the name of the nation - so it is perfectly right to condemn them.
But not every man is a Christian. To be a Christian is a degradation; it is becoming subhuman.
But it will be good to go through a hypnotic process to find out more clearly. Perhaps you may remember what were the techniques of the witches - how they functioned, how they managed to change people - because unless they were a danger to Christianity, Christianity would not have killed them.
It was a real danger, because Christianity has nothing to offer in comparison.