From Ignorance to Innocence 03

Third Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Ignorance to Innocence by Osho.
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An Oregon Senator has quoted you as saying that all Oregonians are idiots. Please comment.
I am not disappointed. He has proved my point. I have never said what he is telling people that I have said. What I have said is so clear that even an idiot would be able to understand it, but the poor guy has missed even that.
I had said, “I have seen all kinds of idiots, and I was thinking that this was it: there are no other kinds of idiots. But after coming to Oregon I came to know that I was mistaken. The Oregonian idiot is a class unto itself”
In this statement, where am I saying that all the Oregonians are idiots? I am only talking about the Oregonian idiot as a special class. I am a generous man, but not that generous. I cannot make the whole of Oregon so special in the world. It will become a unique place if all the Oregonians are idiots. Then there will be no other place comparable to it, it will be simply extraordinary.
The senator has simply proved my point. I was waiting… Somebody was going to prove my point and now he is the first of that special class of idiots in Oregon. He should be happy that he tops them all! Now anybody else will come second. He has won the Nobel Prize. He has also said that we should not be allowed to remain here. We have not committed any crime. We have not been in any way harmful to anybody. We are minding our own business. But why are these politicians so shaken, worried? And just one and a half years back the same man had said, “These people are absolutely legal and I have nothing to say against them.” Now, within one and a half years everything has changed.
We are the same people; but his political situation has changed, and now anybody who wants to make his political status solid can cash in on us. All the politicians are doing it. We are doing them such a great favor; they should be obliged to us for it. Any politician wanting to win an election has only to do one thing: he has to talk nonsense against us – that’s enough, and he is going to win. All the politicians are doing it.
Now his political situation is not so solid, it is shaky. We can help him; there is no problem in it. He can condemn us, he can make the threat that we should be thrown out; he can do anything if it will make his position solid. We will be happy: we supported one drowning man, we saved his status. He may not be thankful to us, but we don’t wait for anybody’s thankfulness, we simply do anything that seems to be humanitarian.
Just now we have been collecting the street people. These senators can become street people any day. Politicians are either in power or on the streets; there is no midway point. Even a powerful politician like Indira Gandhi once sent me a message: “I am persuading Rajiv to come to you because he is not willing to leave, to resign from his service as a pilot in the Indian airlines.”
And Rajiv’s argument was solid. He said to her, “The day you are not in power, then how are we going to support the family? We don’t have our own house to live in. I am the only member of the family earning money – and in your old age, have I to see you on the streets?” She could not persuade him to resign. And his argument was absolutely clear, “Where will you be?” In the three years when she was not in power and Morarji Desai became the prime minister, it was Rajiv who pulled her through. At least she did not have to beg.
Politics is a strange career. A few things are worth understanding about it, because they will throw light on the human mind. First: only a certain type of man becomes attracted toward politics, just as a certain kind of man becomes attracted toward science, poetry, painting, music, dance. You cannot think of Winston Churchill dancing; that would be simply unimaginable. Nor can you think of Nijinsky as a prime minister. Nijinsky was a dancer, and perhaps the best dancer the world has ever known; his dance was almost magic. He was born to dance.
It was not a talent that he learned; it was some instinct in him, a born quality. The magic was such that no other dancer has been able to imitate it. Once in a while, dancing, he would jump so high that it was against the law of gravitation. Physics cannot explain it. It is not possible with that weight to jump that high. And the most miraculous thing was his coming down: he came so slowly, just like a dry leaf falling in the fall, slowly, with no hurry to reach the ground. That is absolutely against the law of gravitation.
Gravitation is such a pull, it is a magnet. It simply pulls you forcibly; you are not able to manage, or do anything about it. It is not in your hands to come down slowly or to come down fast. Everything falling toward the earth is absolutely helpless – the earth’s gravitation will decide its rate of fall. And the earth is so vast, its power of gravitation is so vast, and we are not even light like a leaf. Even Nijinsky was surprised, always surprised. He could see himself coming down slowly, not falling – as if gliding.
People asked him again and again, “What is the technique, the strategy, the method?”
He said, “I am as surprised as you are. I don’t know. And whenever I try to do it, it never happens. It happens only once in a while, when I have completely forgotten about it. When the dancer disappears, when there is no Nijinsky, it happens. I am just a watcher, just as you are a watcher. I see my body falling down. I have tried it in private, tried it in every possible way. Neither can I jump that high, nor can I fall that slow. I have tried in front of friends, my lovers, but whenever I have tried, it has simply escaped from my hands.
“So I have learned one thing: there are things which you cannot try. There are things which are not possible through any method, any technique, any strategy. There are things which happen; you only have to allow them to happen. And the way to allow them is not to interfere – so much so that you are not even present, because your presence will also be an interference.”
You know it. Now physics has come to discover a strange fact. We have known it about human beings. You are in your bathroom making faces in the mirror, knowing perfectly well that there is nobody watching you. But suddenly you become aware that somebody is watching through the keyhole. Everything changes. You stop making faces, you start arranging things and start doing something relevant, rational. You have been caught red-handed. You start looking busy – and just a moment before you were not busy at all.
Modern physics has come to discover that it is very difficult in the first place to observe the behavior of electrons, how they behave. But now we have instruments through which you can observe the behavior of the electron. But the trouble is, the moment you watch, the behavior changes – exactly the same keyhole story. The electron starts behaving in a different way. Just now when you were not observing, it was behaving differently. Physics has not come to any conclusion – what to conclude about it? But the fact is so clear that the electron is as conscious as you are conscious. There is no other way; otherwise, how can the electron become aware of your being aware of it?
Nijinsky said, “The moment I am not, not present at all, suddenly it happens. And while it is happening I am only a watcher. At that moment if I even start looking around to see how it is happening, things get disturbed. I have fallen in the middle of a jump so fast that I have broken my legs. Because I came in, the happening disappeared, and the gravitational pull was so much that I fell with a thump on the ground.” Otherwise he used to come down like a feather. He would not even make a sound when he came to the ground.
There are born poets, there are born dancers. In fact, everybody is born to be something. Those who somehow happen to find what they are born to are the most blissful people on the earth. Those who start moving into directions which are not for them, they are the most miserable.
The politician is a certain type. It is the same type as the criminal. The criminal is one who could not succeed in being a politician. Both are power-seekers, both are dominated by the will-to-power. The politician moves legally, constitutionally toward power, and once he has the power in his hands, then he can manipulate the law, the constitution and everything, in a thousand and one ways. He can corrupt and prostitute everything once he has power. But until he has power he moves very legally, constitutionally, morally.
The criminal is also after power, but he does not know how to move legally, constitutionally, morally. He is wilder, not so tamed as the politician. He is less cultured, not so cultured as the politician who uses culture as a stepping-stone. He is not as articulate as the politician. The politician’s basic art is to be articulate, to be able to express your hopes, transforming them into his promises. He is so articulate that he goes on finding your conscious and your unconscious dreams and hopes, and translates them into promises for the future: that if you give him power, he is going to fulfill all these things. It is a bargain: you give him power, and he will give you the promised land.
Once you have given him power, who cares about you? The man who had promised you was powerless. This is a totally different man; he is powerful. Lord Acton’s saying I have been quoting again and again in my life: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And Lord Acton is saying it through his own experience; he is not just philosophizing. He has known power, he has known its corruption, and because of its corrupting influence he dropped out of it.
Once you have power, then all the corrupting forces that have been hidden in your unconscious start raising their heads. Who cares about others? Those promises were not given with an honest mind, they were given by you knowing perfectly well that they are not going to be fulfilled. It was just a policy to gain power, and you have gained power. Now you have your own unconscious desires to be fulfilled.
The politician can turn at any time into a criminal. We see it happening throughout history, and still we don’t become aware. Joseph Stalin, before he came to power, was not a criminal. He had not killed a single human being, he was not a murderer. But what happened when he came to power? The first thing he did was to destroy the whole twelve-member committee, the communist presidium, which ruled over the whole communist party, the topmost leaders. He started killing them one by one.
He killed Kamenev, then he killed Zinovyev, then he killed Trotsky. He went on killing them one by one, and while he was killing one, he took the support of all the others. And they all were happy that there was one less; the power was coming into fewer and fewer hands, and that was better. From twelve, there were only nine people; then there were only six people. He poisoned Lenin who was the topmost man of the revolution. The second man was Trotsky. Once he succeeded in killing Trotsky – Trotsky was killed here in America, in Mexico, because he had escaped. Seeing Zinovyev and Kamenev being killed, he escaped.
You will not believe that when he escaped in disguise – he had to escape in disguise – and in such a hurry because Stalin was just getting ready to finish him… It was a question of two or three days, not more than that. And he was a minister, the defense minister of Russia. All the military, all the forces were under him. The moment he became aware of it, that same night he escaped. And he could not bring his dog, which he loved very much. Stalin even killed the dog – it was Trotsky’s dog. Such criminal minds! He sent a hired murderer to kill Trotsky in Mexico.
Trotsky was writing Joseph Stalin’s biography, which is one of the most profound biographies ever written because he knew Stalin as nobody else knew him: Trotsky was the second most important man in the revolution. Stalin was nowhere; he was somewhere around eleventh or twelfth. But Trotsky was alert that this man was dangerous – because he never spoke; he was always keeping quiet, everything about him was secret. His friends – who are his friends? His enemies – who are his enemies? Nothing was ever revealed. Trotsky was concerned about this man – he seemed to be a dangerous type. So he started collecting facts about him.
And when Stalin started murdering, the procedure that was adopted was a beautiful conspiracy: Lenin was given daily poison in the name of medicine. The doctor was a hired man of Stalin. The poison was to be given in such small doses that it would kill him over a long period of time. While he remains alive, he remains the leader because the masses still know him. He should not die right now, because if he dies right now Trotsky will be the man to control the country. Before Lenin dies Stalin should make his base solid, and all others should be removed, so after Lenin, Stalin will be the second man. So he had to be kept alive but almost in a coma. He became paralyzed and slowly, slowly was dying. He was confined to his bed; his eyesight was disappearing, and whatsoever Stalin was bringing him, he was signing it – he could not read it. Stalin killed everybody necessary to his cause, and then he killed Lenin: the last dose was given to Lenin.
The time that Trotsky remained in Mexico he devoted to writing the biography of Stalin. It is a rare book because never has an enemy written a biography with such great insight, with such profundity, with no hatred – just factual, no fiction. He was killed when he was completing the last page. It remains incomplete – the last page. It is a big biography, nearabout twelve hundred pages. He was writing the last page when he was killed with a ice pick from behind. The ice pick hit his head many times. His head fell on the book and splashed his blood onto the last page. In a way, that made the book an absolutely authoritative biography of what he had been saying all along about how people had been killed. He was killed on the last page; he died on the book, and the first edition was printed with the blood marks.
Stalin had never killed a single man before; he had never committed a single crime. In fact, his education had happened in a Catholic monastery – he was a Christian – and the monks had raised him. He lived in the monastery because his village was far away in the Caucasus, and the monastery was the only place where education was possible, so his father – he was a poor man – had left him there. The monks at the monastery, out of compassion, accepted the boy, trained him, educated him – and this is what he turned out to be. After gaining power he must have killed millions of people. There is no way to count them; he simply went on killing. Anybody, who was not for him, had to be killed. There was no other punishment. He made it very simple: “Either you are for me, or you are no longer.”
The politician is basically a criminal. He is trying to find power through legal methods; that is the difference. The criminal does not bother about the legal methods, and gets caught. The politician never gets caught – or once in a while, like Nixon got caught in Watergate. And do you know what Mao Zedong said when Nixon was caught? “What is this? So much fuss about nothing. Every politician is doing it!” In fact every politician is doing it. Watergate was not something exceptional that Nixon was doing. All over the world, all the politicians who are in power are doing the same kinds of things; they are just not getting caught. It was a misfortune that he got caught, and couldn’t manage…
In fact I have a certain respect for Nixon. A man like Stalin in Nixon’s place, or Mao Zedong, or Adolf Hitler, or Mussolini in Nixon’s place would have done something that you cannot imagine – and the idea must have crossed Nixon’s mind too. That is a simple method: when things were getting so hot, the best way would have been to drag the world into a war. Watergate would have gone down the drain; then who would have cared about Watergate? All that would have been needed was to divert people’s attention. That’s what those leaders would have done – immediately started a world war. Nixon would have remained the president and would have become the greatest president of America. If he had passed through the war and proved himself victorious, he would have proved himself the greatest man in the whole of history.
I have a certain respect for the man: that he avoided the criminal idea that was bound to have come into his mind. I can guarantee it; it is so simple. I don’t know much politics; although I have been a student of politics I know nothing about active politics. But just being a student of politics, I know with absolute certainty that this idea was bound to have crossed his mind: just put the world into such chaos that Watergate becomes a small thing compared to the chaos that arises out of a world war. Then everybody would have forgotten about it.
But the man seems to be much more moral than people have thought him to be. That’s why I say I have a certain respect for him. He decided rather to go down as the first president in American history to come out of the White House with such condemnation. But he accepted the condemnation, the worldwide notoriety, and did not drag the world into a war. He proved more a man than a politician, more human than any other politician would have proved.
The criminal mind wants power because without power you cannot do anything. Just as the painter needs paints, and the poet needs a great vocabulary, language, the feel of different words and their nuances, the subtle undercurrents that run through words, so the politician knows perfectly well, deep inside, why he is after power. If you are not going to paint and you go on collecting paints, then you are crazy. If you are not going to play music and you go on collecting all kinds of musical instruments, you are mad.
Why power? Just the other day I told you that Jawaharlal had invited me to come to se him, and I went. He listened to me. I was very young, and he was a great statesman, but he listened to me as silently, as intensly as if I knew much about politics and what had to be done in the country. He told me, “Why don’t you come into politics? Whatsoever you are saying, if you really want to do these things, then you will have to come into politics. Nobody else is going to do it for you, only you can do it. I can understand your ideas, but who is going to implement them? Join!”
I said, “No, because I don’t have any interest in gaining power. Whatever I have said to you was just exposing my heart because you have the capacity, the power to do things, the understanding to do things. I simply exposed my heart. I have finished. I am not going to run after power. And I am not asking anybody else, I am asking you. If you feel I am right, then prove it by doing something.”
He said, “You are right, but I cannot do these things, because the people through whose support I am standing will not support any of the ideas which you are giving to me. If they come to know that I am going to implement these ideas, I will simply be thrown out. Politics is a pyramid. It goes on becoming thinner and thinner: at the top there is one man. So, you see that one man at the top, but underneath him are three men; those three men have nine men underneath them; those nine men have ninety… And they are all depending on those who are lower than them. They are standing on their shoulders; they can be thrown off at any moment.”
And in politics, once you have the power which you have got from so many people’s support you have to fulfill all those people’s desires. Somebody has supported you in order to get licenses, somebody has supported you to have an industry started; somebody has supported you for something else. Now you have to fulfill their desires. Otherwise, while you are standing on their shoulders, they can move away. The topmost man is a very weak person in a way; he has nothing above him to hold on to. Underneath are people who would not miss a single chance to throw him out, because if they can throw out this man, then one of those three who are under him will come to the top. So he has to fulfill all kinds of criminal things.
I know, because that’s how Indira came to power – because she was living with her father. She was a born politician; her husband was not. While studying in England they fell in love. The husband was not even a Hindu, not a brahmin. Indira was a brahmin, a very high-caste brahmin, a Kashmiri brahmin. The man she fell in love with, Feroz Gandhi, was a Parsi. The whole family was against it – nobody had ever heard of a brahmin girl marrying a Parsi, a man who was not even a Hindu. It is a totally different religion.
But she was the only daughter of Jawaharlal, and after Jawaharlal’s wife died – she died very early – Indira was the only person close to him. He stood by her and told her, “Don’t be worried about your grandfather and your grandmother. I will manage them. First get married. If you wait for their permission, it will be impossible; even I cannot manage to persuade them. And they will be hurt. It is better that you first get married, and when you come home, married, I will persuade them: ‘Nothing can be done now; the marriage has happened.’” That’s how they got married in the court.
But Feroz Gandhi had no interest in politics. Just because he was the son-in-law of Jawaharlal he became a member of parliament, but he had no interest in it at all; that was not his thing. But for Indira that was the only thing. They started quarreling immediately, and fighting, and soon Indira moved to Jawaharlal’s house, the prime minister’s, house and left Feroz Gandhi. They lived separated, not divorced, but for years they were not seeing each other. All those years she was a watcher of all the politicians, and she was collecting information about each politician: his weakness, his crimes against the society, his exploitation of others, his corruption – and yet on the outside that man would go on keeping a pure Gandhian face.
She was collecting a file – she showed me the file – against every leader, and that was her power. When Jawaharlal died all these politicians were afraid of Indira because she had the key. She could expose anybody before the public, before the court. She had all the evidence, she had all the letters. They were afraid of her for the simple reason that only she could save them; otherwise they would be exposed. That file was her power.
I have looked into the file. All those people were exploiting that poor country. They all had bank balances in foreign countries, in Switzerland, in America. They all had connections outside India, from where they get bribes and money and everything, for giving secrets. They were all connected to one country or other; they were agents. They had one face before the masses, the poor masses; and their reality was something totally different. And they were also afraid because Indira was absolutely incorruptible. That was one thing she had learned from Jawaharlal. He was incorruptible because he was not a politician; he was more a poet. He would have loved to be a painter or a sculptor; any art would have been closer to his nature.
Politics was just accidental to him, it was almost forced on him – it sometimes happens. Because he was interested in the independence of India, he fought against the British government, but with no idea that he was going to become the prime minister when the country became free. He had never thought about it. He was just a soldier of the freedom movement, as were many thousands of others. He might have been shot, he might have been killed, he might have been sentenced to death – anything could have happened. There was no question of power.
When the fight for freedom was over, then the question arose of who was to be in power? Till then there was no question of power at all. The question was how to remove the invaders. He became interested because he was so sensitive a man that he loved the idea of freedom. It had nothing to do with politics; he loved the idea of freedom – as a poet. But when freedom came there was a great struggle for who should be the prime minister. There were people like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was a real politician, a solid politician who could commit any crime. He did commit them when he became deputy prime minister. Even Jawaharlal could not stop him.
And there were others, because in the freedom fight there were thousands of people of caliber. Jawaharlal was the only one who was not interested in politics, not interested in power. That’s why Gandhi chose him, because to choose those people who were really interested in power… In fact their fight for freedom was not a fight for freedom but just a step to reach power. It was a shock to all the politicians because none of them had been chosen by Gandhi to be the prime minister; and Gandhi had total control of the Indian mind.
Sardar Patel was shocked because he was very close to Gandhi and he was also a Gujarati – Gandhi was a Gujarati – and he had served Gandhi his whole life with total trust. And at the last moment Gandhi simply said to Sardar, “Step down. Don’t fight with Jawaharlal. I will make you deputy prime minister but let Jawaharlal be the prime minister.
“Why?” Patel asked.
And the reason that Gandhi gave was right. He said, “He is the only one who is not interested in power. You will all be fighting with each other; he is the only one who is above all of you.”
Because Gandhi said, “Be the prime minister,” Jawaharlal said okay. When Gandhi had said, in 1942, “Be the second soldier in the freedom fight” – the first was Vinoba Bhave – he said okay.
Vinoba Bhave was not known at all in India up to that time. He was just an inmate in Gandhi’s ashram. He massaged Gandhi, bathed Gandhi, read scriptures to Gandhi, and because he was a Sanskrit scholar, explained to Gandhi what those scriptures meant. But as far as the country was concerned, he was an unknown person. Gandhi chose an anonymous person to be the first freedom fighter – that he would go to jail first – and the second would be Jawaharlal.
Jawaharlal didn’t say, “This looks disrespectful toward me. This man, nobody knows” – and particularly Jawaharlal never liked Vinoba. Jawaharlal was almost a western man, educated in the West, brought up in the West; his lifestyle was western. In every possible way he was not an Indian, except that he was born in India. He was a meat-eater – because he lived in England and grew up in England there was no question of his being a vegetarian. He had every reason to dislike Vinoba, but there was no problem because Vinoba was doing different work. I have talked with both Vinoba and Jawaharlal, and both have confirmed that they had a dislike for each other.
For example, Vinoba’s beard: Jawaharlal did not like it. He himself shaved twice a day, and a beard was not the right thing for him. He was very intolerant, impatient: the dress that Vinoba used was not the “right” dress. In the twentieth century you have to be a twentieth century man. Vinoba’s education was an orthodox brahmin education. He studied in Varanasi, in a Sanskrit college, and lived like an old Sanskrit scholar. He was not educated in western subjects, western languages, so there was nothing in common between the two. And to put this man first… Jawaharlal must have felt hurt but his devotion to Gandhi was unquestionable: if Gandhi chose Vinoba to be the first, then it had to be that way.
If Gandhi had chosen Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to be the prime minister, Jawaharlal was not going to dispute it or say anything. He had actually offered to Gandhi, “Why create so much misery in these people? I can withdraw; they can choose anybody they want. I am not interested, I have never thought about it. I was fighting for freedom and freedom has come, I am happy.” So he was not corrupted by his prime ministership. He was the second man to Gandhi, and after Gandhi’s death he had the whole monopoly over the Indian mind.
But Indira was a politician, a born politician. She dropped her husband and forgot about him; politics was more important than the husband. The whole love affair was finished when it became a question of choosing between them. And Feroz became insistent: “Either be with me or be with your father, the prime minister. I don’t care, but this cannot go on. The whole day you are there and you come here for a few minutes, just to say hello, and again you escape and you are in the prime minister’s house. You go on his travels with him but you never go anywhere with me.” He made it clear that the choice had to be made.
Indira simply moved out. She said, “There is no question of choice; I belong to politics, and I am going into politics.” From her father she learned one thing: that no politician can pull you down if you are incorruptible. Let all of them be corruptible but you keep an eye out and go on collecting all the data about them. And that was her whole power; they could not discredit her because she had never done anything wrong, and she could discredit all of them. Politicians are legal constitutional criminals.
Now this senator wants to throw me and my commune absolutely out from here. The way these people talk – they are senators – is the way of a fascist, communist, nazi. They talk about democracy, they talk about freedom of speech, they talk about respect for the individual, but I don’t think they belong to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln; they belong to Joseph Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev. These people should put themselves in their proper line, and they should try to move Oregon to Russia, then only can they throw me and my commune out; otherwise there is no way.
And who are they? But they are cashing in on us. Now, by telling the Oregonians that I have called all of them idiots, he is trying to cash in on us. I have not said that at all. But now I say: the first idiot, I have found. He himself has declared it. And I will wait for the second, because Oregon has two senators, so the second will be just around the corner. He is already late. This senator has come first in the race.
My statement is so simple that even a child can understand it. I said the Oregonian idiot is a class in itself. How does he manage to understand from this statement that all Oregonians are idiots? Then what about me? Then what about you? We are all Oregonians. And we are going to remain Oregonians.
These people can do, can say, anything. Our sannyasins were there in a hearing where he spoke. He had called the hearing and two or three of our sannyasins were present but they never participated because what is the point of participating in all these nonsensical things? It was so absurd a hearing – one cannot imagine how people go on tolerating such things.
On our property we have a few small pieces of land which belong to the government, the federal government. They are leased for fifty years, and when we purchased the land, the lease also came to us. This hearing was about us not allowing people to approach the government land – a charge that was absolutely false, because even the officers who look after the government land said that we had never done anything illegal, we had never prevented anybody. And there is no reason for anybody to go to the bare land or hills.
So we never participated and argued there, for the simple reason that the government office itself was arguing for us, that we had never done anything illegal and everything was absolutely as it should be – so there was no case at all. But all the bigots who have been against us since we came here were all present there, giving their evidence against us.
This senator, before our sannyasins, was saying to the commissioners how they could manage to destroy the commune, the city. He was giving instructions to these people – in front of our people who were sitting there – about how they could do it and get around the law; how they could make our life impossible so that we had to leave.
This is democracy. These are democratic people. They are the people who are looking after people’s needs. This is the democracy that has been described as “for the people, of the people, by the people.” I don’t know who these people are – certainly we are not the people.

Since each of us is born alone and dies alone, and aloneness is the state of our being, what is the function of a commune?
The function of the commune is exactly that: to make you aware of your absolute aloneness.
The family does not allow you that. The family gives you the fallacy that you have a mother, you have a father, you have a husband, you have a brother, you have a sister – that you are not alone.
The society gives you the idea that you are a member of the Rotary Club, the Lions Club; that you belong to this church, to that temple, to this congregation or that congregation – that you are not alone. The society provides you with all kinds of crowds to mingle with. You are republican, you are democrat, you are liberal, but you are not alone, all the republicans are with you.
The function of the commune basically is to destroy all these fictions. Nobody is with you. You are alone, and you have to understand that this aloneness is so precious that you should not lose it.
It does not mean that you cannot relate. It only means that you don’t believe in relationships. Try to see the distinction between the two.
Relating is a flowing river. You can relate, and you can relate only because you are alone, because you are an individual – there is somebody who can relate from your side. And you can relate only to the person who understands his aloneness, otherwise you cannot relate.
If you know your aloneness, and you fall in love with a woman who does not know her aloneness, this love is not going to go anywhere. This is going to be finished sooner that you can imagine, because the woman is asking for a relationship. The person who is lonely is asking for a relationship: “Fill the gap, I am lonely. Be part of my being.”
But a person who is alone knows that neither you can fill anybody’s gap, nor can anybody else fill your gap. You can meet, but you will remain two alonenesses.
And it is beautiful that two alonenesses can meet, two individuals can meet, but the meeting cannot be made solid, concrete. It cannot be reduced to a relationship, it will remain a relating. It will always remain a changing flux, a movement, because the other person is changing and you are changing. You are not static – though that’s what people expect.
When two persons get married, both are getting married to a certain image which is going to change tomorrow. The woman you have married is not going to be the same tomorrow. She is alive, she is growing, she is moving – tomorrow will be tomorrow. But if you expect her to remain stuck here, in that moment when you signed the register in the court, you were trying to stop the clock.
But even if you stop the clock, your clock is not running the time. Both will carry the image stuck in their minds, and they would like you to go on fulfilling that image. If, in some way, you differ from that image, then you are deceiving, cheating. Nobody can fulfill that image, it is impossible, it is against nature.
The function of the commune is to give you the opportunity to be together, without any relationship. It gives you the opportunity to relate to people without getting fettered to people. It gives you the opportunity to know others, feel others, but without any bargain, without any bondage, without any imprisonment. You remain you; the other remains the other.
It is good if we meet today, it is a joy to be together, but if it is not going to happen tomorrow then there is no need to go on weeping for spilled milk. It is pointless. Perhaps this meeting was meant to be only for this time. You remain a stranger, the other remains a stranger, and you don’t reduce each other into acquaintances.
The strangeness is absolute, indestructible.
So the commune is not another society. It is not providing you with a society, a club, a congregation, a party. No, it is simply providing you a space, and an understanding that all these people are lonely, just as you are. But don’t try to fill it, because if you try to fill it, you are trying to do something against nature and you will be miserable. Hence, don’t think in terms of loneliness; better to think in terms of aloneness.
And to be alone is so beautiful; untrespassed, nobody trampling on you, you are left to be yourself and you leave others to be themselves. Yes, once in a while you meet…
India has produced a few great geniuses in this century; one of them was Rabindranath Tagore. I love one of his novels – The Last Poem is the name of the novel:

There are two persons: one, a young man, a poet, a philosopher, actually says what Rabindranath would like to say – he represents Rabindranath – and a woman who is in need of relationship. She is continually harassing him about marriage. And particularly in India, if a woman and a man are even seen walking together, that is enough for a scandal. They might not be doing anything, but just walking together and it is enough for a scandal; the whole town will be agog, and so many stories will start springing up from nowhere. And of course the woman suffers more because everywhere people start pointing at her.
So she was desperate. She was saying, “Why do you go on postponing? You love me, you want to be with me. If you don’t love me, I will not force you.”
And the man says, “I love you, that’s why I am not going to marry you.” Now, this is very difficult for the woman. If she had been from my commune she would have understood. But what kind of statement is this: because I love you I cannot marry you? But she goes on and on, so he says, “I will marry you on one condition.”
They are sitting on the bank of a lake. He says, “I will make my house on this side of the lake and you make your house on the other side of the lake. Once in a while, walking, perhaps we may meet. Once in a while, perhaps I may knock on your door or you may knock on my door. Once in a while, perhaps I am in a boat and you are also in a boat, and we meet on the lake.
But it always has to be without any prearrangement. It has not to be a dating. I will never inform you that I am coming; you will never inform me that you are coming. I will marry you on this condition only. For a few days we may not be able to see each other. You will never ask me, ‘Where have you been?’ I will never ask you where you have been. We will never interfere in each other’s freedom. We will remain as strangers, as we are now.”
The woman said, “Then what is the purpose of marriage?” Naturally she cannot understand what the purpose of the marriage is.

The purpose of marriage is to be in each other’s head twenty-four hours a day. The purpose of marriage is to destroy each other in the name of love: to nag, harass, fight. The man is suggesting exactly the right thing: “It will be a great joy suddenly seeing you on the lake. I will not be expecting it. Unexpectedly, I will find you in the jungle by the side of the lake.” Just to think of that unexpected moment, is relating. There is no relationship.
He cannot send a message: “You have to come tonight because you are my wife, otherwise I am going to court.” In fact the husband cannot say to the wife, “Sleep in the other room.” That is enough to create trouble. The wife cannot say to the husband, “You cannot sleep in my bed.” That is enough for trouble, because we have completely forgotten a simple thing: our aloneness. And we are trying to forget it as much as possible – the very idea should be dropped. Aloneness is a natural phenomenon. And there is nothing painful about it. When you know it, it is the greatest bliss.
The function of the commune is to give you the space, to give you the understanding, to give you the feel of aloneness, and the experience of relating without getting into relationship.

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