Osho on Democracy and America
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PROUDLY PROCLAIMS ITSELF THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE AND POINTS TO ITS CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. AT THE SAME TIME IT TWISTS AND BREAKS ITS OWN LAWS TO PERSECUTE YOU WHO EMBODY FREEDOM AND TRUTH. IT SEEMS THE POLITICIANS ALWAYS TELL THE BIGGEST LIES IN THE LOUDEST VOICE. THE WORST TYRANTS TALK MOST ABOUT PEACE AND FREEDOM. COULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT.
Prem Niren, there are many questions in your question, many implications of tremendous importance. I would like to go step by step, giving you the total view of the situation that exists in the United States of America. And what I am going to say is not only true about the United States of America; it is more or less true about every nation dominated by the cunning, clever and crooked politicians.
The first thing you say is, “The United States government proudly proclaims itself the land of the free and the home of the brave and points to its constitutional protections of fundamental rights.”
The first thing to be noted about the United States of America is that the land does not belong to the so-called Americans; the land belongs to the natives, the Red Indians. And America is, in fact, one of the most strange places to talk about freedom and democracy. If they really mean what they say, then all Americans are foreigners except the Red Indians — simple hearted, innocent people who have been forced to live in forests, in special reservations. The whole land is theirs, but they don’t rule it.
Those who rule it are from either Britain or France or Italy or Switzerland or Sweden or Belgium or Greece; they all come from European countries. If they are really sincere, they should pack their luggage and go back home.
It is a strange kind of democracy in which the people of the land, the real owners of the land have no participation at all. And the foreigners, the invaders who have killed mercilessly the innocent people of America, are proudly proclaiming freedom, democracy, basic human rights, freedom of expression and all kinds of nonsense. Especially Americans should not use these words at all. It is the greatest slavery that is still in existence.
And there seems to be no possibility that Red Indians will ever again be rulers, owners of their own land, because they are poor, they don’t have modern war technology.
What irritated the Americans most was when I said to them, “You are just as much foreigners as I am here. The only difference is that I am new, you are old tourists. I have come with a valid visa, and you entered America with your guns, not with your visas. In what way have you become citizens of America? Who accepted you? At the point of the gun you just destroyed the poor people, peaceful people, and proclaimed yourselves Americans — and you call the real Americans, Red Indians.” It gives the sense as if America belongs to the Americans, it creates an illusion. The Americans are all invaders, and if they have any self-respect and dignity they should leave America and go back home. They have deported me. This is strange… foreigners deporting another foreigner. At least I had a valid visa and I was not an invader. They are invaders and entered America with force and violence — and now they have become the proclaimers of freedom and democracy. The day America will be free, it will be in the hands of Red Indians. It is the greatest land of slavery today.
As far as their constitution is concerned, Americans have been very proud, proclaiming that they have one of the best constitutions. The latest research has just been published. Just two or three days ago I received the information that all that is beautiful in the American constitution is borrowed from the Red Indians and their old, ancient books of wisdom. So the so-called “great American fathers,” the founders of America, were simply thieves and nothing else. They have not mentioned, not even once, that they have borrowed the whole constitution from the poor Red Indians and their books of wisdom.
And you are saying, “At the same time it twists and breaks its own laws to persecute you.” It has been persecuting the Red Indians; if it decided to persecute me, there are valid reasons for their persecution. One of the most shocking things to the fundamentalist Christians of America — and Ronald Reagan belongs to that group — was this. They have always been sending missionaries to the East, to the poor countries of the East. There are thousands of missionaries all over India, converting the beggars into Christians, the orphans into Christians, the prostitutes into Christians, the aboriginals into Christians, the uneducated, uncultured. But they have not been able to convert a single cultured, educated, high class brahmin or a Jaina or a Buddhist. Their shock was that I was there and the most cultured and educated people of their country, doctors, surgeons, scientists, engineers were dropping Christianity and becoming sannyasins. And I am not a missionary; I have never told them… I have never promised them any salvation or any heavenly pleasures. I have not told them that “I will be your protector against hell.” I was simply telling them what is true and what is divine and what is beautiful.
Satyam, shivam, sundram.
Christianity has nothing to offer to the educated and the cultured. The shock was tremendous. Before me also there have been many people from the East, but they were all cunning, clever, and the Christians were not annoyed with them. For example, Vivekananda: he was the first Indian who was very much appreciated by the Christians, because he proclaimed that Christianity is teaching essentially what all religions are teaching. This was very ego-fulfilling.
When I said that Christianity is the lowest as far as the hierarchy of religions is concerned… It has nothing to be compared with Zen or Sufism or Hassidism; it has not even known the word meditation. All that it consists of is hypothetical. In fact, it prevents people from experiencing truth; its emphasis is on believing in God and believing in Jesus Christ.
Whenever a religion emphasizes belief, it is against wisdom, it is against enlightenment. It does not want you to become high peaks of consciousness and freedom.
It simply wants you to become just a seed and the shepherd, Jesus Christ will take care of you. It takes away your responsibility and you think, “This is very good. We are unburdened”. But with responsibility, automatically your freedom disappears. A Christian is the poorest religious person in the world. Before me there was Ramateertha, but he praised Christianity just as Vivekananda did. These are not authentically enlightened people; their whole interest is in how to get more admirers. And it is very easy to get admirers in a Christian country, if you admire Christianity; in the Mohammedan country, if you admire Mohammedanism you will have thousands of admirers. It is a very mutual conspiracy: they fulfill your ego, you fulfill their egos.
I am a simple person and I simply say whatever is the truth. Whether it hurts you, shocks you or not, it does not matter. To me truth is what matters — and certainly only the very cultured cream of the society has been attracted towards me. I cannot attract the beggars, I cannot attract the orphans, and I cannot attract the aboriginals, because they will not even be able to understand what I am saying. Everybody is not capable of understanding the music of Mozart or Wagner; you will need very trained ears to understand those great masters. And as far as spirituality is concerned, it is the highest point of intelligence. Unless you have that intelligence you are bound to misunderstand. Authentic religion is only for very few people, because it requires a tremendous preparation beforehand.
The American Christians were tremendously puzzled how to prevent their educated and cultured people from moving towards me, because that will become ultimately a movement where even less cultured people will start following the more cultured. That is human nature. When people see that all the geniuses, scientists, engineers, doctors, surgeons are moving towards a certain magnetic force, a certain charisma, the others also start following without even understanding. That was the danger. And the politician was also in difficulty. His difficulty was that I had created a commune of five thousand people according to my ideas, which go essentially against a Christian society, or a Hindu society, or a Mohammedan society — against any organized religion. I am against it because to me truth can never be organized. It is an individual affair — just between one individual and the cosmos.
This was appealing to all those who had the intelligence. The commune became an alternative society in the eyes of the politicians. They could see the great success of the commune — it was the highest quality of communism — and they could not believe that five thousand people were living there, and there was no murder, no theft, no rape. Women could move in the middle of the night alone without any fear. And because my concepts about marriage, about family, about education, are absolutely against the traditional concepts, their fear was that if this commune went on succeeding, there would arise more communes.
I am absolutely anti-political. Deep down I am an anarchist. My ultimate goal finally is that there should be a humanity without any government. Government is a condemnation of every one of us. The very existence of the government and the police and the army shows that we are still not civilized;
otherwise there is no need for courts, judges, police officers. What is the need of them?
If man is really man, if people become meditators and their criminal mind disappears, then the politician is naturally alerted. It is dangerous. If this commune succeeds, then there will be more communes arising in the country, and the politician will be in danger. I have been condemning the politicians and the priests together, because they are two sides of one coin. They are conspiring together against humanity. They have made a division: the politician will rule the body of man, and the priest will rule his soul. And they will support each other, because their interest is the same — domination over humanity. My effort to make life absolutely based on freedom and to destroy all possibilities of domination by anybody, naturally brought the politicians and the Christian priests together.
This persecution was not the simple persecution that every religion does against any competitive religion. This was a very unprecedented persecution.
All religions, all societies, all nations were against a single man who had no organization, but only friends and lovers and fellow travelers. It is a strange fact that Christians are against Hindus, Hindus are against Jainas, Jainas are against Buddhists, Buddhists are against Mohammedans — but as far as I am concerned they are all together. On one point at least I have created a unity: they are all my enemies, because I am hammering on the basic roots of every religion, which are the same.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Satyam Shivam Sundram
Chapter title: Nuclear weapons, and a cowardly soul
13 November 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken about ‘democracy and America’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Sword and the Lotus
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Beyond Psychology
- Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From the False to the Truth
- The Golden Future
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- The Invitation
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5