[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 ENZO BIAGI, AKA SARJANO, ITALIAN TV
Q: THE FIRST QUESTION IS, WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING? (INAUDIBLE) A: I do not have any teaching at all. I am not a teacher in the sense that I don't give any philosophy of life, any discipline to live, and programs to follow. I have a certain approach to life which I share with my friends, my approach begins with de-programming. That is a key word as far as I am concerned.
Initiation into my friendship means initiation into de-programming. Everybody is programmed by birth -- either as Christian, or Hindu, or Jew or Mohammedan.
The child is born innocent, but he is burdened very soon with hundreds concepts, and he lives with those concepts his whole life. This is living a borrowed life; it is not authentic, it is not sincere, because it is not yours.
You have not discovered any of those things that you are trying to live. So my first thing is to help you get rid of all your conditions. Those who come to me, if they are Christians, will no more be Christians; if they are Hindus will no more be Hindus; if they are Mohammedans will no more be Mohammedans. I simply give them back their innocence, their humanity, their purity, their individuality.
So my basic work is destroying their conditionings. And it is a very simple work, because none of their conditioning is based on logic, intelligence. It is all superstitious. They have been provided with certain logical structures, but those logical structures are all phony. They are not authentic. For example, all the religions are based on the greatest lie in the world -- God. No religion has been able to prove logically, scientifically, has not been able to give any evidence, and yet they go on burdening every child that comes on the earth with the idea of God. It is very simple to take away the idea; just I have to show to the person that your idea is enforced upon you. It is not your intelligence that has accepted it; it is your innocence which has been corrupted by your parents, by your teachers, by your priests, and all logic that they have given to you is phony.
For example, all the religions say that the God is needed, otherwise who will create existence. Existence is there, and there must be a creator. Without a creator, how can there be creation? But they stop there. An intelligent person will go a little more further, he will ask, "If this is the case, then who created God?"
God is there, and he has no creator. Then where your logic has gone? Existence needed a creator, and the creator himself needs no creator. This is not logic, this is just fallacious exploitation of human innocence; a child cannot argue. He simply accepts it.
I am reminded of a beautiful anecdote. A professor of philosophy in the University of Paris was a little eccentric, which is not rare. The professors of philosophy are rarely not eccentric. And he was the head of the department and he used to make statements which were absurd, and one day he went a little too far. He began his lecture with the statement that, "I am the greatest man in the whole world."
This was too much. One student stood up, he said, "You are a great philosopher, a great logician, hence we ask you to prove this statement. Give us the logical background." The professor was absolutely ready, willingly, happily. He spread the map of the world on the board, and he asked the students, "What country do you think is the greatest in the world?"
Obviously they all said, "France." And the professor laughed. The students could not understand why he is laughing.
And then he asked, "What do you think about the greatest, the most sacred place, the city, in France?"
And they all said, "Paris. The most beautiful."
And he laughed again. The students were feeling a little uncomfortable. Perhaps he is leading into some unknown logical conclusion. But still they were not aware where he is leading. And then he asked, "What is the greatest thing, the greatest place in the greatest city of the greatest land in the world?"
And they all said, "Of course, the university. The temple of wisdom."
The students said, "Of course the greatest place in Paris is the University."
And the professor laughed again, and asked,"Which department is the greatest in the university?"
Now the students were caught. They knew that he has managed a phony argument. Looks like logic. But it is not logic. They had to say, "Of course it is the philosophy department."
And the professor had a hearty laugh and he said, "Now do you understand why I said 'I am the greatest man in the world'? I am the head of the department of philosophy."
All arguments about God, about heaven, about hell, are just like that. My work is to destroy the phony structure of logic and simply your rocks start disappearing, your mythologies start disappearing, leaving you a pure space. And from that pure space arises your individuality. You are no more part of the crowd.
That's my basic work -- to make you an individual, not just a cog in the wheel, not just a part of the crowd. To give you an integrity and to give you a freedom of the soul, that you are no more bound into any slavery called Christianity, or Hinduism, or Judaism; for the first time you are just yourself. And now it is your search for truth, your inquiry into truth. And remember, all the answers that have been given by others to you, can never be a salvation to you. Only your own answer found by your own hands, by your own search, can deliver you from ignorance, from misery, from anguish.
I don't have a teaching. I have only a device.
I am not a teacher, I am a master.
Teachers have teachings, the masters have a certain device and methodology to transform people.
Q: WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IN JAIL IN AMERICA, AND FORCED TO LEAVE?
A: Why Socrates was poisoned? Why Jesus was crucified? Why many attempts were made on the life of Buddha? They have not done much to me. They have simply arrested me without any arrest warrant, without showing any cause, why they are arresting me, without allowing me my birthright to call my attorneys.
They did not answer me; their only answer was twelve loaded guns around me.
But I enjoyed the whole experience. They were far more kind to me than people were to Socrates. They did not poison me. They were far more kind to me than people were to Jesus; they did not crucify me. They simply harassed me for twelve days, from one jail to another jail. And it does not matter at all to me. In fact, it was a great experience. I always wanted to visit hell, but hell does not exist. America provided me the opportunity to visit it. And after twelve days, because there was no case against me, I had not done any harm to anybody; I had not committed any crime against anybody; my only crime was that I had created a commune of five thousand people, who were so happy and so rejoicing that their joy and their blissfulness became a jealousy in the neighbors, to the politicians, and particularly to the Christians.
Christians have been coming to the East converting millions of people to Christianity. This was for the first time somebody there who had taken thousands of Christians out of their fold, and they were absolutely helpless. And the people that they have converted in the East are not educated, are not cultured, are not of the higher strata of society. The people that Christians have converted in the East are beggars, aboriginals, primitives, orphans, people dying on the streets. They have not been able to convert a single intellectual, a single intelligent person in the whole East.
Naturally they were very much offended, because I was not converting beggars, I was not converting orphans, I had converted their best minds; I had converted only the intelligentsia. And I was not converting the intelligentsia into another religion either, which is easier to take one toy from you and give you a new toy.
Everybody is happy with something new. The old was rotten, getting dirty, was almost dilapidated, has been used for many centuries by many people, and it is beautiful to get a fresh, new toy. I was not converting those people into another religion. I was simply deprogramming them and they had no answers.
So it was the Christianity behind the politicians who pressed them that I should be thrown out of America. It was simply a question of the poverty of Christian theologians. Otherwise they should have come up front. I was ready to argue about everything.
Q: STOP. WE ARE CHANGING THE REEL.
A: Are you a Christian?
My being sent out of America is simply an indication of the poverty of Christian theologians. If they had guts they would have invited me to have an open encounter. But they knew that they don't have any logic to support them. So they tried a criminal way to throw me out of the country. But that is not going to stop me. Wherever I am, I will be doing the same. They cannot throw me out of this planet.
So it is simply the defeat of Christianity and defeat of the great powers and the great nation, United States of America, that they could not manage a single individual who was standing against them, not by any armed force, but by simply proposing a new way of looking at things. They wanted to remain blind, and this is my whole life's experience; that I am selling candles in the city of the blind.
It is not their fault that they get angry with me. It is my own fault, but I am helpless to commit it, and I am going to commit it again and again, until my last breath.
Q: HOW HAVE YOU AND YOUR COMMUNITY MANAGED TO BECOME SO RICH?
A: It did not manage to become rich. Only the rich are attracted to me; because only the intelligent are attracted to me. You have to understand a certain hierarchy of values. You never ask, "Why a poor man is not attracted to the paintings of Picasso?" You never ask, "Why a poor hungry beggar is not interested in the music of Mozart." But you continuously ask why only rich people, cultured people, intelligent people, educated people are attracted towards me.
Religion is the ultimate luxury. And of course those who can afford it will be attracted towards it. It is not for the poor. The poor does not need religion. In the name of religion the poor has been given only opium, consolation. In the name of religion, something pseudo, something false, has been provided to the poor.
The true religion is not possible for the hungry man, for the man who is dying with sickness, disease, old age. He cannot be interested in the flights of consciousness. He wants something to eat; he wants some shelter to live; he wants some clothes. It is too cold, and he is naked, and you are talking about meditation, you are talking about consciousness? You are talking how to attain to the ultimate peaks of your being? It is simply absurd.
So it is not that my people have managed to be rich. In fact whoever comes to me is already rich. That's why he comes to me. Religion starts only when you are bored with your richness, when you have everything that money can provide and still you find you are empty. You have everything that you can possess. And still you find that something is missing which money cannot give to you, and you have to find some other way.
When money comes to the end of its capacities it gives you everything; and soon you start getting fed up and bored. That is the point where either you commit suicide, or you start a search that can bring you to a man like me. So I simply attract the rich. And I don't provide any opium; so my way of life is not for the poor.
Q: HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN YOUR CHARISMATIC EFFECT ON PEOPLE?
A: It's very simple; because I am not a politician. The politician speaks whatever the people want to hear.
I speak whatever is my experience. I don't care whether you like it or you don't like it.
When I am speaking, I am speaking with my whole heart, irrespective of your reaction. My simplicity, my honesty. I am not in any way trying to influence you.
There is no desire to convert you. All that I am doing is, I am enjoying to share my experience. You will find in the world people who are all interested in you to convert. You will not find people who are not interested in converting you, who are simply interested in sharing their heart and their soul with you.
So I don't know what charisma is, because I have never come across any charismatic personality in the whole world.
I am not interested in influencing anybody. I am tremendously happy simply to share my vision with you. Perhaps my sincerity, my truth, my authority behind it, becomes a charismatic influence on you; and when I say my authority, I do not mean that I am an authoritative man. There is a vast difference which has to be remembered.
A authoritative man has always a borrowed authority. When people say, "Listen to me, because my word is God's word," this is the voice of the authoritative man. He is using God's name to enforce his authority. When the Pope speaks, he is speaking in the name of Jesus Christ. He is authoritative.
I am not authoritative, because I am not speaking in anybody's name. No God to support me, no holy Bible to support me. It is simply my own experience. That gives tremendous authority to me. Perhaps all these qualities together -- the authority behind my word, my own experience, no desire to influence you, my sincerity to expose the truth, and my obligation to you, that you listen to me. You are not obliged by me. I am obliged by you, that you gave me a chance to unburden my heart; it is something like a raincloud when it is full of rainwater. It want to shower somewhere.
It is just like when a rose opens its petals it wants the breeze to come and take its flavor, its fragrance, to far away places. I am obliged to you.
Perhaps that's what is impresses you as charismatic. Otherwise I am a very simple man. I don't do miracles, I don't make wine out of water because I am not a criminal. That is a crime; to create drugs out of water. I don't pretend to be the only begotten son of God. I don't say that you have to believe in me; on the contrary I say that I provoke you to think, to doubt, to be sceptical. Because I know that if you doubt, if you inquire, you are bound to find truth, that I have found.
(Tape side B) It is only the people who are afraid of their truth that force you to believe, that say "Have faith." Because they are afraid if you inquire you may not find anything what they are saying. Their insistence on faith simply proves that they themselves don't know. Otherwise, why be afraid of doubt and inquiry?
My invitation is to inquire; because I know whatever I am saying is there within you, just as it is within me.
Q: IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT IN YOUR COMMUNES THERE IS LIMITLESS SEXUAL ACTIVITY. IS THAT TRUE, AND WHAT IS SEX, AND WHAT IS LOVE?
A: In the first place, there can never be limitless sexual activity. Biology prevents it. It is not within your hands. How many times you can make love in one night?
And you will know that it cannot be limitless. There is a limit. And it comes very soon.
It is absolutely absurd that in my community there is limitless sexual activity. In fact, there are so many activities going on that nobody has time for sexual activity. And I am not for repression; that does not mean that I am telling you to be licentious. When I say, "Don't repress" I simply mean, "Listen to the body. It has a wisdom of its own." When you are eating, can you eat limitlessly? You know perfectly well that your body gives you clear cut indications when to stop.
And if you listen to the body, you will be healthier.
There are two kinds of extremists: one who will fast, will not listen to the body that 'I am hungry', and the other will go on eating when the body is crying that 'I am overloaded. Stop.' In America I came to know there are thirty million people who are dying because they have no food, no clothes, no shelter. And thirty million exact number, thirty million other people who are dying because they are eating too much. Now we must be living in an insane world. Just a simple thing has to be decided. Sixty million people are dying for a simple misunderstanding.
Thirty million starving and thirty million overeating. Sixty million people can be saved within a minute.
Just what you do with your food, what you do with your thirst? You don't go on drinking. You know when your thirst is gone. You stop. Then why sex has become a problem?
In my commune, sex is a natural thing as everything else. Neither too much nor the other extreme. Just the middle way, the golden middle(*).
And you asking me about "What is sex, and what is love?"
Sex is something biological. All animals are sexual beings. Only man has the privilege to have something higher than sex. Not just the meeting of the bodies but the meeting of two souls. That's what love is.
Love can contain sex. Sex cannot contain love.
Sex is a small thing. Love is vast and tremendous. It can be without sex too; it is not necessary that a love relationship should have sex. In fact, my experience, is the more you go higher than sex, and you start enjoying a spiritual communion with a friend, with a woman, with a man; from that state of communion sex seems to be so far away, so much in the hands of blind biology, love seems such a freedom, and such a growth that it goes on growing; that you may not like even to get down to the dark valleys of sexuality.
But I am not preventing. I am simply saying that as love grows deeper, sex becomes shallower. When love reaches to its optimum, sex disappears.
It seems so childish; just think of yourself, just putting yourself a little far away, and looking yourself making love. And you will be surprised -- is it you doing all these gymnastics -- stupid, idiotic.
The real transformation of sexual energy is love. But it happens only if you allow sex a natural acceptance. It does not happen to the monks of all the religions.
They are the loveless people. They cannot love, because they have not even gone into sex. They have avoided the basic energy which can be transformed into love, so they may talk about love but their talk is just bullshit. They don't understand anything about love and they cannot understand. You have to go step by step; and your body is your first step.
You cannot ignore it; it is so basic, so much rooted in existence. Ignoring it is simply committing suicide. Ignoring it means perversion. So all the monks of all the religions, all the nuns of all the religions are perverted as far as sex is concerned. They will have to find some way. They will become homosexuals, they will become lesbians. And that is an ugly state.
And religions have forced people to become homosexuals, lesbians, making love to animals; and we still go on respecting celibacy. It should be declared a crime.
Nobody can be celibate, because that is against nature.
You have to learn acceptance of nature, and through that acceptance is transcendence. By being in a sexual relationship, perhaps the relationship and the intimacy will create something new, which is love. And as love grows, sex starts sinking, because it is the same energy that is changing, it is moving into a higher form. When love comes to its maturity, sex disappears. That is true celibacy. But you have not done anything for it. It has come to you as a gift from nature.
When celibacy comes as a gift from existence, it is tremendously beautiful; but when you impose it upon yourself you create homosexuality, and then you will create one day AIDS. Just the other day somebody was saying to me that Mother Theresa is opening a hospice in New York for AIDS patients. And the person told me, "She is doing great service to humanity."
I said, "This is nonsense. These people are the people who created AIDS. So if they are opening hospitals, nursing homes, it is simply repentance. It is not service. The whole vatican should be converted into a hospice for all the AIDS patients; because these are the people who have created it. And it is not service; it is simply repentance."
I simply teach acceptance of your nature; and through acceptance, immense transformations happen. But they come on their own accord. You don't have to force them.
Love has a beauty. Sex is ugly. Sex is something like the roots of a rose bush.
Those roots are going to be ugly. Love is like the roses; although those roots are continuously sending energy to the roses, it is the roots and their energy that is becoming roses, so I will not say to you, "Cut your roots because they are ugly."
Do not cut the roots, help them to be strong, nourish them; and you will have thousands of roses blossoming.
And that will be what I call love.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS?
A: Every child is born happy. Every child is born innocent and beautiful. And then something happens; all those beautiful children get lost; all their innocence is destroyed. All their joy is turned into misery.
Just look at a child, collecting seashells on the beach. And he is more happy than the richest man in the world. What is his secret?
That is my secret too.
The child is in the moment, enjoying the sunshine, the salty air of the beach, the beautiful expanse of the sands. He is here now. He is not thinking of the past; he is not thinking of the future. And whatever he is doing, he is doing totally, intensely; he is so absorbed within it he has forgotten everything.
And that is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don't let past move(*) your mind; don't let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet.
To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non- existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.
All the time you are simply missing, and you are never given by existence two moments together; it gives you only one moment at a time. And that one moment either can be lived, or can be missed. There are two ways to miss it -- let past burden you, let future attract you, and it is gone. You are losing the real for the unreal. And this is the whole misery of humanity.
All that I try to help my friends to understand is, to live in the present. Just now, there is no misery, no suffering, no anguish. Just move away from the present, and you have gone into something unreal; and the unreal is bound to be miserable.
Reality is ecstatic; and to join with reality the only way is not to miss the present moment. And if you know just the taste, once, how it feels to be in the present -- looking at the sunrise or the sunset, just be there, so that you can have a little taste of the present -- and you will be surprised that you have the key all the time with you. The master key, that can open all the doors of the mysteries of life; its ecstasies, its beauties.
You don't need a Jesus Christ to lead you into paradise; you are capable to be in paradise right now. Because paradise is not somewhere above. It is somewhere here.
I am reminded; there was a great atheist and he had written in his sitting room the motto of his whole philosophy -- God is nowhere. So anybody coming to visit him was bound to see it in gold letters on the wall that it was impossible to miss it. And then, naturally, the discussion will start. And then a child was born to the atheist, and the child was growing up. He was learning alphabet and he was learning slowly to make words. And one day he was sitting in the lap of his father, the great atheist, and he started reading the sentence on the wall.
He could read 'God is' but 'nowhere' was too big a word. He could not make it.
So he cut it in two pieces. He read "God is now here." The father was shocked. He had never thought about it, that 'nowhere' can be also read as 'now here.' And it is said that disturbed his whole atheist philosophy. He started thinking of 'now here' and the implications of it. Not that you will find God if you are now here....
Not that you will find god now, here; but you will find something more than god. You will find godliness. That is my word for the ultimate experience of bliss.
Remember these two words, now here; and you know the secret of the ultimate happiness. There has never been any other secret, and there will never be another secret. This is it.
And it is so simple, and so easily possible for every human being. You need not be part of any church, any organization. You need not carry a holy Bible , or the Vedas or the Gita or Koran. All that you have to do is just a little understanding of your own mind, its function, how it functions.
Your mind is never in the present, and time is always in the present; so time and mind never meet. This is the misery -- that you are missing the train every moment; and you will go on missing your whole life.
One great mystic was dying. And his disciples were surrounding him, and they asked him, "What is your last message, master?"
The dying master opened his eyes, and indicated towards the roof of his small hut. One squirrel was running on the roof making noise. All the disciples looked at the roof. For a moment, there was utter silence.
The master said, "This is my whole life's message." Be in the moment. How beautiful it is just to listen to the squirrel on the roof and not to bother about anything else. And he said, "Can I die now?" And he died, with a smile on his lips, with a bliss on his face; but even that last moment his message was just to be here now.
That is my message.