WHAT IS JUSTICE FOR A REBELLIOUS MAN?
it is one of the most significant questions to be asked — for the simple reason that man has never tried to remove the causes of injustice. On the contrary, in the name of justice, he has been taking revenge on the individuals who were not obedient to the social order, to the establishment, to the vested interests. They were condemned as criminals, punished — and it was thought that justice had been restored. In fact, the people who had been punished were really the victims. Justice was not restored. In fact, the people who were the root causes of injustice in the world had taken their revenge. Their revenge was fulfilled, and people were made afraid to go against the social order in any way.
It is very strange that such a long history… and nobody has tried to look at why injustice exists at all. We have been trying to look only at individuals, and they are not the causes, only symptoms. For example, a poor man is forced to steal in certain circumstances. If you really want justice to be restored, his poverty should be removed. But no, you throw the poor man into jail for a few years, and you create more injustice in the society — because then his children are bound to become beggars, or pickpockets; his wife is bound to become a prostitute. And the man you have jailed for a few years — you have taken away his humanity, his pride, his self-respect; you have humiliated him so much that back in the society he will find himself a stranger who nobody trusts, who cannot get a job, who everybody avoids. Nobody wants to be friends with him. He is again forced to steal. It is a known fact that once a man is forced into jail as a punishment, he automatically comes back again and again to the jail. In the long run, the jail becomes his home, he becomes a jailbird. The outside world is just a holiday resort. Once in a while he is out in the world — but the world is not accepting of the man, does not treat him on equal terms with other human beings. Insulted, he also becomes revengeful.
Revenge cannot create anything else except revenge. Hate creates more hate, revenge creates more revenge.
In the jail he becomes more and more of an expert. He is no longer an amateur — the first time he was an amateur. In jail, which should almost be named a university for crimes, a teaching school, a productive field for criminals… in jail he learns that it is not the crime that is punished, it is being caught that is punished. Don’t be caught, and you have not committed the crime. There are senior experts in the jail; they teach the novice, they initiate him into the secrets of the criminal world. Each time he comes out of the jail, he is more mature as far as crime is concerned. But perhaps the old humanity was not interested in removing crime completely. It was only interested in punishing the disobedient, the misfit — those who wanted to go their own way, those who did not want to become a cog in the wheel, those who had a certain individuality. There was no other avenue open for them except crime. Crime was their sort of rebellion.
The rebellious man and his world will look into the causes. No man is born as a criminal; every man is born as a sage, innocent. It is a certain kind of nurturing, a certain kind of society, a certain upbringing, that reduces him into a criminal. The society of the rebels will remove the causes.
For example, poverty will not be allowed on the earth. And once poverty is removed, almost fifty percent of crimes will be removed, and fifty percent of judges, fifty percent of courts, fifty percent of law enforcement authorities, and fifty percent of laws — just by removing poverty. Secondly, now science is absolutely certain that there are crimes which are hereditary. You are unnecessarily punishing a person — he needs sympathy, not punishment…And science will find, as we have already been finding, that there are crimes which a man is committing under biological laws — he is forced to commit them by his heredity. Then he needs hospitalization, medical care; or, if he has something wrong with his mind, then he needs a psychiatric hospital. But there is no question of calling him a criminal, and there is no question of giving him any punishment.
All punishment is crime. Just because we have not been able to find the causes… or perhaps we were not willing to find the causes, because to find the causes would mean changing the whole social structure, and we were not ready for that great revolution. The rebellious man is ready for every revolution in every area of life. Injustice disappears… and there is no question of any justice. It is very difficult to conceive of a man without jealousy, a man without anger, a man without competitiveness, a man without a lust for power, but it is all possible. We have just never thought about how to remove the causes. Why do people want power? Because whatever they are doing is not respected. A shoemaker is not respected like the president of a country. In reality, he may be better as a shoemaker than the president is as a president. The quality should be praised — if a shoemaker is a better shoemaker, then he need not be interested in being a president. His own art, his own craft, will bring him dignity and the respect of the people.
It actually happened — because Lincoln’s father was a shoemaker, and Lincoln became the president. The whole American aristocracy was very much shocked that they had to live under a shoemaker’s presidency. In the Senate they were all aristocrats, super-rich people. The first speech that Lincoln delivered on the inauguration of his first term was interrupted right at the beginning. A man, very arrogant and egoistic, stood up and showing his shoes said, “Mr. Lincoln, by accident you have become the president. But never forget that your father was a shoemaker. In fact, in my family your father used to come to make shoes for everybody. The shoes I am showing you were made by your father.”
The whole Senate laughed; they thought they had humiliated Lincoln. But it is difficult to humiliate people like Lincoln. There were tears in his eyes, and he said, “I am immensely grateful to you for reminding me of my father. He was a perfect shoemaker, and I know I cannot be that perfect a president. I cannot beat him. But I will try my best to at least reach close to his greatness.
“As for your family and the shoes my father has made, I can inform the whole Senate that there may be other aristocratic families that my father used to make shoes for. He has taught me a little bit of the art of shoemaking too. If his shoes are not working well — if they pinch you, if they are too tight, or too loose — I can always mend them. I am my own father’s son. Never feel embarrassed — just inform me. I can come and do my best. Of course, it will not be the same as my father, but he is dead.” There was great silence… the senators could not believe it — what mettle is this man Lincoln made of? You cannot insult him. He can turn your insult into great respect. And he is so humble, how can you humiliate him? Only arrogant people can be humiliated.
A commune where rebellious people live will be non-competitive, will give equal opportunity to everybody to be himself. It will accept everybody the way he is. And all are needed — the shoemakers, and the toilet-cleaners, and the presidents — all are needed. In fact, there may come a time when there will be no need of presidents, no need of prime ministers, no need of government itself; but there will never come a time when there will be no need for a shoemaker or a toilet-cleaner. They are far more essential, they serve society in a more fundamental way. All respect is due to them. When everybody is respected as he is, when his profession is respected whatever it is, you are cutting the very roots of crime, of injustice. And when there is no money as an agency for exchange, nobody can become richer and nobody can become poorer. The miracle of money is that it can be accumulated.
You cannot accumulate wheat. How much can you accumulate? — it will get rotten. You cannot accumulate flowers, you cannot accumulate milk products, how much can you keep? You have to share them, and you have to be quick to share them — because the fresher they are, the better. The currency note never gets old, and the currency note never gets rotten.
You can go on collecting currency notes. The division of classes in the society between the poor and the rich is because of currency notes. The rebel will remove all currency, all money.
Everybody should get his needs fulfilled. The commune will be responsible to take care of the individual. The commune will make every effort to be richer, to be healthier, to allow people to live more comfortably, to live more luxuriously.
But for that you don’t need a great bank account, and you don’t need to reduce thousands of people to starvation.
The rebel will look at every problem of life from its very roots. He will not repress the symptoms, he will destroy the causes. And if all the causes of injustice are destroyed, then justice is restored for the first time.
Right now, we are all living under injustice, multidimensional injustice. And to keep this injustice prevailing, we have armies, we have police, we have national guards, we have courts and we have judges. These professions are absolutely useless! All these people should be taught some craft — shoemaking, weaving clothes, carpentry. If they cannot do anything very skillful, then unskilled labor — they can at least carry bricks, participate in the construction of houses and roads. At the very least, all your judges and all your great law experts can become gardeners. But the whole justice establishment is there to protect the many injustices that are in existence, and the people who are in power want those injustices to continue.
The world of my vision, the world of the new man, will remove all causes. Many crimes — murder, rape, even stealing — are hereditary. You need your chemistry to be changed, your hormones to be changed. A few crimes are committed because you have a wrong psychology; you need a good brainwash, and more clarity of vision. And all this should not be considered as punishment. If somebody is suffering from tuberculosis you send him to the hospital, not to jail, and to be in the hospital is not considered to be criminal. And once you are healthy, and back in the society, your dignity is not destroyed. There are many problems which have not even been touched by the old man. They have been avoiding them, postponing them. Their greatest fear was that the powerful people were one of the causes of all crimes, that the rich people were a cause of all crimes, that the priests were a cause of all the sexual crimes, sexual perversions, homosexuality, lesbianism. They never brought those causes to light…
But these are the people who are in power — the priests, the pope, the shankaracharyas, the jainacharyas, the presidents like Ronald Reagan. They are all fanatically religious. And to see that celibacy is the cause needs a little more intelligence. Any idiot can be a fanatic — in fact, only idiots can be fanatic. An intelligent man is not fanatic, there is no need. He has arguments and evidence and reasons for whatever he does; whatever his way of life, it is based on experiments and intelligence, not on a fanatic attitude.
The future man will destroy all the causes of injustice. And if something comes from heredity, it is a very simple matter of changing your hormones, changing your chemistry, your physiology. If something is in your mind, that too can be operated upon. You will be surprised to know that your mind has seven hundred centers, and these centers control everything in your life — hunger, thirst, sensuality, sexuality — everything. If something is wrong in those centers, if they are malfunctioning, they can be put right. Now brain surgery is in a position to know exactly which center controls which act. With the collaboration of science, psychology, psychoanalysis and psychiatry, the rebel will be able to remove all injustice, and the very question will become irrelevant. Raso, you are asking, “What is justice for a rebellious man?” To destroy all the causes of injustice… to help people to be healthier, to be more sane, to change their chemistry so their anger and their violence disappear. To give everybody the same respect as anybody else has — because everybody is helping the society to be beautiful and to be richer, is helping life to be meaningful and significant, and they all should be rewarded with honor. Then politics will disappear automatically, lust for power will disappear automatically. If there is no money to steal, stealing will disappear automatically. If everybody’s needs are fulfilled, then people will not be mad enough to go on stealing unless they are suffering from something — for example, kleptomania…
One has to look into the cause of why something is happening — why a man has been murderous, why a man has been suicidal, why a man has been a thief, why a man has been committing all kinds of crimes. There must be causes which can be removed. Once the society is no longer under a power bloc — the politicians, the priests, the capitalists — all causes can be removed. People will completely forget the word `justice’, because there will not be any justice or injustice in existence. There is one tribe in Burma, a very small tribe, whose whole history is a great example of what I am saying. There has never been any murder, there has never been any suicide, there has never been any rape, there has never even been fighting. The simple reason is that for centuries they have practiced something of a deeper psychoanalysis than even Sigmund Freud knew. Everybody has to tell his dream in the morning. Most of the people don’t dream, because there is no repressive order; without repression, dreams cannot exist. But once in a while somebody dreams that he has slapped somebody else — it is a small tribe, everybody knows everybody else. Then he has to go to that person with sweets and fruits and flowers and offer his apology, “Forgive me, in my dream I slapped you.”
It looks very crazy, but whether you slap somebody when you are awake or you slap somebody when you are asleep, is there any difference in your action? It is the same action. Perhaps you wanted to slap him while you were awake, but you somehow repressed the desire; perhaps he is stronger than you — hence the dream. But you have to go to give him fruits and sweets, and ask his forgiveness. And unless he forgives you, you cannot leave his door. That society has lived in such peace for centuries. If it can happen in one tribe, it can happen on the whole earth — because man is the same. Justice will be a very natural thing. Once in a while someone will go berserk, but that does not need punishment: it needs help, it needs love, it needs compassion. The source needs to be found — why did it happen? That man has to be put in a psychiatric hospital and taken care of, with great respect. And when he is back, he is to be welcomed — he is cured.
All crime is illness, sickness. It does not need any punishment; it needs understanding, and it needs treatment.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Rebel
Chapter title: Society’s justice is revenge
5 June 1987 am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken on ‘justice, rebel, commune, intelligence, compassion’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Messiah, Vol 1
- Om Mani Padme Hum
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- Beyond Psychology
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
- From the False to the Truth
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- The Rebellious Spirit
- Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing