From Misery to Enlightenment 08

Eighth Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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How can the idea of meritocracy be practically realized?
One thing is absolutely certain: The days of the politicians are over.
They have done too well their job of being destructive, violent.
They have come to a point where humanity has to decide either to die remaining with the politicians, to commit a global suicide, or to throw out the politicians and save humanity, civilization, culture, life.
Nothing is favorable to the politician; and as each day passes his death comes closer. He himself is responsible. He improved the weapons which can bring death to the whole world to such a point that there is no way of going back. Either there will be an ultimate war – which means death to all and everything – or a total change in the whole structure of human society. I am calling that change, meritocracy.
One thing – we have to drop the idea that every man, just because he is twenty-one, is capable of choosing who is the right person to decide the fate of nations. Age cannot be the decisive factor. We have to change the decisive factor; that is changing the very foundation.
My suggestion is that only a person who is at least a matriculate should be able to vote. His age does not matter. And as I explain to you the whole thing, it will become easier. For the local government, matriculation will be the qualification for the voters. And graduation from a university, at least a bachelor’s degree, should be a necessary qualification for anybody running for election, for the candidates. A master’s degree should be a minimum qualification for the one who is running for mayor.
For the state elections, graduation with a bachelor’s degree should be the minimum qualification for the voters. A master’s degree in science, the arts, commerce, should be the necessary degree for the candidates. For the ministers an MA first class should be the minimum necessary qualification; more will be, of course, more appreciated. And anybody trying to become a minister will have to know something about the subject. His qualification should correspond to the subject matter that he is going to deal with in his ministership.
For example, I have known, in India, in the central government, a health minister who knows nothing about health, who has not even the qualifications of a pharmacist, what to say about a doctor. He does not know even what first aid is. And he is the health minister! Now what is he going to do?
I have seen education ministers who have never been to university. Before they became education ministers they had never even seen a university campus. Yes, after becoming education minister they start giving convocation addresses to the universities. Universities start giving them degrees, honorary degrees, because actually they are not even matriculates. A few of them can only sign their signature, and a few of them even cannot do that; they have to make their signature by the mark of their thumb on the paper.
It happened; one man has recently became education minister in Madhya Pradesh; he is utterly uneducated, but rich, clever, cunning. And he was inaugurating the state yearly game competitions…. It goes on for at least one month; the whole state, all the colleges, schools, universities participate. It is a small, miniature Olympics. In his first address after becoming the minister, he said, “There are three kinds of games: football, volleyball and the Olympics.” He had no idea even that the Olympics is not a game. And I don’t think he had any idea what football is and what a volleyball is.
So if somebody is going to be an education minister, then his qualifications should make him capable of being an education minister. He should have at least a master’s degree in education, first class; with less than first class nobody should be a minister on the state level. Yes, if he has better degrees – doctor of education, PhD in education – that is good, that will make him more qualified.
The attorney general should have at least the degree doctorate in law, an LLD; not less than that, because he is going to defend the law of the state, the rights of the citizens. He should have the best degree possible so he knows everything about it.
The governor should have the best of all the degrees possible for him: MA first class, PhD – his subject for PhD should be on political science – and at least one honorary degree, a DLitt or LLD.
For the federal government, a master’s degree will be the voter’s minimum qualification. A first class master’s degree and PhD should be the minimum for the candidates running for election. And the ministers should all have the highest degrees in the subjects for which they are going to be ministers. If it is education then the highest degrees available in the country; if it is going to be health, then the highest degrees available in the country.
The president should have at least two PhDs and one honorary DLitt or LLD; and the same for the vice-president because he can become president any day.
In this way mobocracy is destroyed. Then just because you are twenty-one it does not mean you are capable of choosing the government. Choosing the government should be a very skillful, intelligent job. Just by being twenty-one you may be able to reproduce children – it needs no skill, even animals are doing perfectly well. It needs no education, biology sends you well prepared. But to choose the government, to choose people who are going to have all the powers over you and everybody and who are going to decide the destiny of the country and the world…the way we have been choosing them is simply idiotic.
Just the other day I got this information – and I congratulate Oxford University for it; perhaps this will be the only congratulations they will receive. In England, as in every country, there are conventions. Every prime minister in England conventionally gets an honorary doctorate from Oxford. This time – this is unprecedented in the whole history of England – Oxford university has decided not to give the degree to Margaret Thatcher. I congratulate them, because this is how every university in the whole world should act.
Of course the reason why they have stopped is not very great, but that is irrelevant. At least they have shown enough courage. And Margaret Thatcher will also be an historical person because no prime minister of England has gone without an honorary doctorate from Oxford. The reason they decided this was that she had cut the budget for Oxford university, particularly for research in literature. The reason is not very great, but still it is significant. A woman who thinks that literature does not deserve any research certainly does not deserve any doctorate from the university.
I would like all the universities of the world to think again; just don’t go on conventionally honoring stupid, idiotic politicians with doctorates. In this way you are simply insulting yourself. In this way you are degrading the status of education.
On the contrary, I would like all the universities – first of just one state – to call a convention of all the vice-chancellors and the eminent professors; of the eminent intelligentsia who may not be part of the university: painters, artists, poets, dancers, actors, musicians. It would include all kinds of people who have attained a certain eminence and have shown their caliber – excluding politicians completely.
All the Nobel prize-winners should be invited – excluding the politicians again, because within these past few years a few politicians have managed to get Nobel prizes, and this has degraded the value of the Nobel prize.
It has not added any value to the politician; he still remains in the gutter, and he will remain in the gutter because that’s where he belongs. He cannot live out of the gutter – he would die. And if you give him a Nobel prize he will drag the Nobel prize also into the gutter: of course wherever he lives he is going to take the Nobel prize, doctorates, and all kinds of degrees with him.
Every state should call a convention of all the intelligentsia who are part of the universities or not part of the universities – writers, novelists, all dimensions of talents – and they should choose a delegation for the national convention. So from all the states a national convention meets and goes into details of how the meritocracy can work.
From the national candidates there can be an international convention of all the universities of the world and the intelligentsia. This would be the first of its kind because never has the whole intelligentsia of the world come together to decide the fate of humanity.
They should write the first constitution of the world. It will not be American, it will not be Indian, it will not be Chinese – it is going to be simply the constitution of the whole of humanity. There is no need for different kinds of laws. There is no need all human beings need the same kind of laws.
And a world constitution will be a declaration that nations are no longer significant. They can exist as functional units but they are no longer independent powers. And if the whole intelligentsia of the world is behind this convention it will not be very difficult to convince the generals of the world to move away from the politicians.
And what power do politicians have? All the power that they have we have given to them. We can take it back. It is not their power, it is our power. We just have to find a way to take it back – because giving is very easy, taking is a little difficult. They will not be so simple and innocent when you take the power back as they were when they were asking it from you. It is our power, but they will go on having it if the mob remains there to give it to them; the mob can be convinced about anything.
It is the function of the intelligentsia…. I would like to say that now if anything happens to humanity, the whole condemnation will go to the intelligentsia: “What were you doing? If those idiots were ready to kill humanity, what were you doing? You could not even manage those idiots? You simply went on grumbling, being grumpy, but you did nothing else.”
And the time is running short. Once we decide that the voting power is not the birthright of every human being but is a right which you have to earn…. You have to see the distinction. It is not a birthright, it is a right that you have to earn by your intelligence. Everybody is given the opportunity to earn it, there is equal opportunity for all to earn it, but it is nothing birth – given; you have to prove it.
Once we move the power from the mob into the hands of the few intelligent people and the people who know what they are doing…. If a man who has devoted his whole life to thinking about education and its problems – has done all that was possible to do to find out every detail, every fundamental of education, all the possible philosophies of education – if he becomes an education minister, there is a possibility that he will do something. And at the same time, I want to shift completely from the mob to the chosen few.
I am not against the people. In fact, in the hands of these politicians, the people are against themselves. I am all for the people, and what I am saying can be said to be exactly what has been said about democracy: for the people, by the people, of the people – just “by the people” I will have to change. This intelligentsia will be for the people, of the people. It will be serving the masses.
It is so simple a thing. You don’t elect a doctor, that just anybody can stand, it is a birthright, and people can vote. Two persons fighting to be the doctor or to be the surgeon? What is wrong in it? The people choose for themselves: for the people, by the people, of the people. They choose one person, a surgeon, because he speaks better, he looks good on the television and he makes great promises.
But he is not even a butcher! – and he is going to become a surgeon. He is not even a butcher. Even a butcher would have been better; at least he would have known how to cut, and finish you. This man…but you don’t choose a surgeon by election.
How can you choose a president by election? How can you choose a governor by election? You are giving so much power to power – hungry people; with your own hands you are telling them to hang you! This is not democracy. In the name of democracy these people have been exploiting the masses.
Just to make a distinction I am calling my system meritocracy. But merit for what? The merit is to serve and share. And once you have decided to shift the power from the politicians to the intelligentsia, everything is possible – everything becomes simple.
Then I want every university to have two compulsory institutions, because that is the way I would like the people who are going to be powerful to be prepared.
Right now, up to now, for thousands of years you have never prepared anybody. If somebody is going to be a boxer you don’t just push him into the ring and say, “Start!” He has to learn. If somebody is going to be a swordsman, it will take him years. Otherwise he won’t even know how to hold the sword – using it and fighting with it will be impossible. First he will have to find out how to take it out from its sheath, how to hold it. It needs training. You don’t just give a guitar to somebody who has never seen the instrument before and expect him to be a Yehudi Menuhin or a Ravi Shankar.
Now this is your fault: these people who are in power, have you trained them? Has anybody ever thought that the people who will be holding so much power need some certain qualities so that they don’t misuse power? It is not their fault.
So I propose two institutes in every university. One institute is for deprogramming. Anybody who gets a graduation certificate will first have to get a clearance certificate from the deprogramming institute – which means it has deprogrammed you as a Christian, as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan, as a Jew…because this has been our trouble.
And four years is enough time. Deprogramming does not take that much time; just a few hours a month for four years and you will be deprogrammed. And you will not get any certificate from the educational institute unless you are cleared by the deprogramming institute that “this man is now simply a human being. He is no longer a Christian, no longer a Hindu, no longer a Mohammedan, no longer a Jew.”
The second institute will be an institute for meditation, because just deprogramming is not enough. Deprogramming takes rubbish from you, but you are left empty – and it is difficult to be empty; you will start gathering rubbish again. You cannot manage by yourself to learn how to live joyfully with your emptiness. That’s the whole art of meditation.
So on the one hand the deprogramming institute cleanses you, empties you, makes you a vacuum; and the meditation institute goes on helping you to enjoy your nothingness, your emptiness, your inner vacuum its cleanliness, its freshness. And as you start enjoying it you start feeling that it is not empty at all, it is full of joy. It looked empty at first because you were accustomed to having so much rubbish in it, and that rubbish has been removed so you say it looks empty.
It is just like a room full of furniture: you have always seen it full of furniture; then one day you come and all the furniture is removed and you say, “The room looks empty.” The room is not empty, the room is simply clean. The room is roomy for the first time. It was cluttered before, burdened, full of rubbish; now it is pure space.
You have to learn meditation to enjoy your emptiness.
And that is one of the greatest days in life – when a person starts enjoying emptiness, aloneness, nothingness.
Then nobody can reprogram you, nobody in the world.
Even if Jesus comes and says to you, “You are blessed. Just come, follow me, and I will take you to God,” you will say, “You go to hell with your God. Where I am, here is paradise. Wherever I am, here is paradise. You go, you follow yourself – and carry your cross also. And if nobody crucifies you, you crucify yourself because without crucifixion you will not be the real messiah.”
This is what Buddha actually said to his disciples: “If I come in the way, immediately cut off my head. I should not clutter your inner cleanliness. I should not be there, nobody should be there – no god. You alone are enough, more than enough. It is so overflowing.”
So a second institute is needed in every university which will be giving you a simple meditation. There is no need for any complexity. Universities, intelligentsia tend to be complex, tend to make things complex. A simple method of just watching your breath is enough. But every day for one hour you have to go to the institute. Unless the meditation institute gives you its degree, the university is not going to give you its degree.
The university’s degree will come only when a clearance certificate from the deprogramming institute and a graduation certificate from the meditation university have been granted. It will depend on you – you can graduate in one year, you can graduate in two years, you can graduate in three years, four years. But four years is too much. Any imbecile, if he just sits for one hour every day doing nothing for four years is bound to find what Buddha or Lao Tzu have found, what I have found.
It is not a question of intelligence, talent, genius. It is only a question of patience.
So from the university meditation institute you get a degree, a bachelor of meditation; then you get a bachelor of arts or commerce or science, not before it. And in the same way it continues. You get a master’s degree in meditation, MM., and again you will be required to continue with the deprogramming institute for two years, because you can’t be left so easily alone. People are, in some strange way, collectors of all kinds of things. A few people collect antiques, a few people collect stamps – postal stamps!
I was staying in a home in Madras, and the old man – he must have been sixty-five – my host, said, “Would you like to see my stamp collection?”
I said, “Your stamp collection?”
He said, “Yes, from my very childhood. But you will be surprised, I have such rare stamps.”
He had a room full of all kinds of stamps. I said, “That’s all you have been doing your whole life?”
He said, “You say, ‘That’s all?’ This is the best collection in the whole country!”
I said, “It may be the best collection, but you wasted your life collecting all this rubbish, these used stamps?”
He had devoted his whole life – and he had great certificates of appreciation from governors, from chief ministers, from prime ministers, from the president. They all had come to see: Anyone of any importance who came to Madras was bound to go to see his collection; it was the best in India.
I said, “The collection is okay, but leave the collection alone; I am worried about you.”
He said, “What is wrong with me? I am perfectly okay.”
I said, “You are not okay! If you were an eight-year-old child it would be okay, this collection. But you are sixty-five, and you are still collecting.”
He said, “I am still collecting. I am going to collect as much as I can.”
I said, “You go on collecting, but death will be coming soon: this collection will remain here and you will be gone without ever having lived because your whole time was wasted in collecting stamps.”
People are collectors. I think there is some psychological necessity. Because they feel meaningless, because they feel that they are not of any worth, they try to fill this gap by collecting something. By collecting knowledge, by collecting any kind of thing, they want somehow to feel that they are not empty and they have something valuable; they are worthy, they have not wasted their life.
So if you are going to continue on to do your master’s degree, then for two years you will continue with the institute of deprogramming – because there is no end to cleaning you. Every day the dust collects. It is not a question of your collecting it, it is just like a mirror: every morning you have to clean it and dust goes on collecting on it.
The mind is almost like a mirror, a reflector. Memories collect, experiences collect – this is the dust that is happening twenty-four hours a day. So unless you go on cleaning it continuously, soon you will be covered with dust again. So it is good experience: for two years again you are being deprogrammed; and for two years again you are meditating.
These processes go on simultaneously deprogramming and meditation. One goes on cleaning you, emptying you; the other goes on filling you not with something but some quality: blissfulness, lovingness, compassion, a tremendous feeling of worth for no reason at all. Just that you are living, breathing, is enough proof that existence thinks you worthy of living, that existence thinks you worthy of being here.
You are indispensable to existence.
This indispensability is discovered only through meditation; there is no other way. And unless you discover this indispensability to existence, you are going to do something stupid to feel worthy.
But when existence overwhelms you, showers all its blessings on you, then the urge to collect garbage simply disappears.
Then you live each moment and you die each moment. That is the time when meditation has come to its perfection:
Living each moment, dying each moment.
Dying to the memory that you have lived.
Dying to the moment that is just passing.
It can leave its trace, its lining, its signature, its memories…. No, die to all that so you are again fresh, ready to mirror existence with a clear reflection.
So if a person continues to study in the university, then he continues to go to the meditation institute for one hour every day; and before he gets his MA, he gets his MM – that is, master of meditation. He can get it in one year, he can get it in two years; or he may take a longer time if he is not meditating, because there is not going to be any verbal examination – it is going to depend on the master.
If the master feels, watching you coming every day, sitting, going – for two years he watches you, inquires about you, how you are feeling, how things are going – and never sees any tension in you, never feels that you are in a hurry, anguished, worried; and that you are always relaxed, at ease, at home; that you don’t feel nervous about anything; that you are not concerned about the past and not concerned about the future….
Just all these things he goes on watching, and if he feels – and there is no question of misjudging. If he is a meditator, he is not going to misjudge anybody; that is impossible. He will know for sure that you have the taste of it, and he will give you the certificate.
These are clearance certificates for your MA degree. And I want this to continue: if you are going to do your PhD then you do three years deprogramming and three years meditation. Those are compulsory to the very end, so when you come out of the university you are not only an intelligent person, well-informed, you are also a meditator – relaxed, silent, peaceful, observant, watchful, intuitive. And you are no longer a Christian, no longer a Hindu, no longer an American, no longer a Russian. All that bullshit has been completely burned, nothing is left of it.
This is the only way, to replace the politicians by the intelligentsia. But as the intelligentsia is now, it won’t be of much help, because they are all as much into power politics as the politicians. That’s why I make these two conditions necessary. If you get a PhD, simultaneously you will be getting a D.PhilM, a doctor’s degree in meditation. And if the meditation institute feels that somebody has come to a point where he should be honored, then they can give him a DLittM.
So while you are being educated you are, in a very silent and subtle way, being prepared to be in power, in such a way that power cannot corrupt you, that you cannot misuse it.
So meritocracy is a whole program of transforming the structure of society, the structure of government, the structure of education.
It looks utopian. Who is going to do it? How is it going to happen? Hence the question – how are we going to make it a reality?
It is utopian, but the situation is such that within twenty years politicians will bring you to the brink of death. Then you will have to choose; and at that time, when you have to choose between death and meditation, I think you will choose meditation – you are not going to choose death.
If at that time you have to choose between death and deprogramming, you will choose deprogramming: “Let the Christian die, but I can live. Let the Jew die, I can live.” And who bothers when it is a question of you or the Jew? If you can choose only one, either you or the Jew, I don’t think you are going to choose the Jew; even Moses would not have done that. I trust him to have been at least that intelligent.
Politicians have brought this great challenge to the whole of humanity. In a way we should be thankful to these fools: they have dragged the whole of humanity to the point where humanity has to decide, “Now either we can live or these politicians can remain in power – both are not possible.”
My professor, Doctor S.K. Saxena, used to have a car, a very ancient model. It used to remain standing in his porch. I asked him, “I have seen this car standing there – either sell it and get rid of it…. Then at least we will have some space in the porch – in the morning we can have tea; we can sit there, play cards or do something, but this stupid car…”
He said, “Never speak against my car. I have been keeping it for almost twelve years in the hope that one day I will be able to afford both the car and a driver. The problem is….” He was a spendthrift, he was not a miser. He was getting a good salary, he could afford both a driver and a car, but he was always in debt, and asking for money from his students. After the fifteenth day of each month he was finished.
So he said, “The problem is either I can have the car or I can have a driver. So finally I said to myself, ‘Just having a driver will look more foolish – the driver will be sitting in the porch the whole day, and people will ask, “Why are you keeping this driver if you don’t have a car?”‘ So finally I thought having a car is a better idea.
“You are the only person who goes on poking at me about the car, otherwise nobody bothers. They say, ‘Professor, you have a car?’ I say, ‘Yes, I have a car.’ Nobody bothers that the car never moves; nobody is interested in its movement – only I am interested,” he said. “And I manage – all the neighbors have cars so anybody can pick me up going to the university. And they all know that I don’t have a driver. I don’t know even whether having a driver now is going to help, because for twelve years this car has been just standing there. I have no idea in what condition it is.
“So in this life at least,” he said, “I have lost hope. Next life I will manage both from the very beginning, so I will not get into trouble. Having just one is troublesome.” Every day at least he had to clean it himself because it used to collect dust – and just sitting in the porch, a dirty thing…so he used to clean it.
I said, “You do it, I am not going to help” – because I used to stay with him many times. “I am not going to help at all, because according to your Hindu philosophy, everybody has to suffer for their karma. I have no involvement with the car and you should not look with expectant eyes at me, as if to say, ‘It is mannerly for a student that when the old professor is cleaning his car, you should help.’ You should not look like that. Each according to his karma!”
The politicians are bringing you to that point; they have brought you there already. So I say that now the universities have to become more bold, courageous, united, and they have to gather all the intelligentsia round them – which is not difficult, because all over the world I have seen that every kind of intelligent person is against these political fools. But he cannot do anything alone – what can he do? And he does not see that there is any alternative.
I wonder why you can’t see any: you have so many universities of great prestige. For example, if Oxford can gather courage to refuse, to say that the university is not going to give Thatcher an honorary doctorate, why shouldn’t a university like Oxford – which is prestigious, old enough, respected around the world – start calling these conventions? Why shouldn’t Oxford become the center of a new power, the power of the intelligentsia?
And it is not so difficult as it looks. One thing I forgot. I said, “Exclude the politicians”; I wanted to include one thing more: exclude the priests, the pope, because the religious establishment has always been supportive of the political establishment. They are in deep conspiracy together, they support each other. And they support in such absurd conditions also that one cannot make any sense out of it.
Adolf Hitler was blessed for victory by the Christian high priest in Germany; he prayed for Adolf Hitler to be victorious. And he was very happy because Adolf Hitler was finishing the Jews; perhaps he has done greater service to the Christians than anybody else – millions of Jews he finished. So the Christian priest might have been feeling he was doing the right thing by blessing him: revenge against the Jews had to be taken. But he forgot completely that Churchill was being blessed for victory by the Christian archbishop in England; that in America, the American president was being blessed…strange! And they were all praying to one God!
Now God must have been in a difficulty: who to listen to? But he, being an old Jew it seems, heard Churchill, who was not a religious man at all. He neither looked religious, nor did he look intelligent. If Churchill was to be sent to the right place, he should have been in a circus or in a carnival somewhere, selling hot watch – dogs; that man does not look like an intelligent person.
So all these bishops and popes have to be excluded; they have nothing to do with it. And we have to exclude them because we are going to deprogram, and the deprogramming is one of the most significant things to be done; otherwise, the world cannot be saved.
These people – priests, popes, shankaracharyas, imams – have been doing the ugliest things in the world, but because of the facade of religion you let them go free. If anybody else were doing them he would be caught immediately.
The previous pope, Pope Paul the Sixth – before this Polack came upon the stage…. This Pope Paul the Sixth was a cardinal in Milan before he became pope. And the whole world knew that he was homosexual. It was such a known fact, particularly in Italy and more particularly in Milan, that there was no question about it.
He had a boyfriend, a male ballet dancer; and when he became the pope, in Italy just as a joke, the ballet dancer also became famous. They changed the pope’s name in Italy: they made him a feminine pope. They gave him the name Papessa Pauletta. This was the first woman pope, Papessa Pauletta. The Italian language seems to be groovy; I would have learned it, but Italians look greasy, so I don’t want anything to do with it.
But not a single newspaper around the world published the facts. Strange – the whole country knows, all cardinals, all bishops, everybody knows, still it is not published anywhere? It is because the pope is a political power too: your paper could be crushed, you could be destroyed.
They go on writing things against me which are absolutely absurd, lies, because one thing they are certain of: no politician can be in support of me, no power is going to support me. I am against all those who are powerful. Naturally, anybody can write anything against me. The courts, the political powers, the governments – they are all already against me; they are prejudiced beforehand. But you cannot write against the pope that he is having…that this guy is a gay guy. And even after becoming pope he was moving with that boyfriend, Papessa Pauletta was always….
The rumor is all over the capital that one of the most prominent politicians is a homosexual. That is old news, but just two days ago it has been discovered that this man is not only a homosexual – he has AIDS. And now he is going to run for president in the next election; he is trying for it. Right now he is a senator and one of the most powerful senators, and he is preparing to run for the presidency. But all the newspapers are silent.
What kind of news media exists? It seems it is only against people whom you can harm but who cannot harm you. For example, I cannot harm anybody so they can write anything against me; right or wrong is not the question. You know perfectly well that before seven thousand people, a knife was thrown at me. Twenty policemen and four police officers were present – eyewitnesses. The man was caught red-handed – and yet he was released. Seven thousand witnesses didn’t prove anything; even police officers could not prove anything – because the government wanted him freed.
The magistrate knew that if he did not listen then his promotion would be stopped. And he was not concerned with me or my life, he was concerned with his promotion. So to get the promotion he simply released the person with no punishment.
But a person who has AIDS may become the president of America – and everybody will keep silent about it. Nobody is going to open his mouth, because anybody who opens his mouth will be in danger from those in power. But I don’t have anything to lose so whatsoever I want to say, I say. And I know that that man cannot challenge me because if he challenges me then he has to come to the hospital and prove that he does not have AIDS.
Pope Paul the Sixth of course is dead so he cannot do anything against me; I don’t believe in ghosts. But just think: if Pope Paul the Sixth – who was thought to be a very wise man, perhaps one of the wisest popes in the whole of history – could do such stupid things, what about the Polack Pope? You can just imagine what he can do. He cannot be defeated by Pope Paul the Sixth; he will do something to defeat that fellow and he must be doing it. But these things you come to know when the person is dead. Now Pope Paul the Sixth’s story is known to everybody – because dead people cannot influence anybody, cannot take revenge, cannot harm you.
So the politicians and the priests have to be avoided. The politicians are going to say that what I am saying is anti-democratic. It is not, because nowhere does democracy exist.
I love the statement by H.G. Wells. Somebody asked him, “What do you think about democracy?”
He said, “It is a good idea.”
The man said, “A good idea?”
He said, “Yes, it has yet to happen.”
It has not happened yet. In the name of democracy something else is going on.
While I was in India I used to think that perhaps in America something of democracy is happening. But coming to America has been a tremendous disappointment. There is no democracy anywhere – neither in America, nor in the Soviet Union, nor anywhere else. It is only a word that politicians have been exploiting.
So first it does not exist, so there is no problem that I am against democracy, anti-democratic. There is no democracy, so how can I be anti-democracy? What I am proposing is the right way to change the whole structure, so that one day meritocracy can merge into democracy – because sooner or later everybody can be educated. I am not preventing anybody; I am simply saying that right now give the power of governing only to those who are entitled to it and prepared for it. Meanwhile, go on preparing other people.
We may not be here, that does not matter. But within three or four generations, everybody can pass through the process of deprogramming, meditation and education. Then all people are entitled – because by twenty-one, most have already matriculated: they can participate in the local election. A few of them are graduates: they can participate in the state election. And by twenty-four, most of you are post-graduate: you can participate in all the elections. And before thirty you can be able to stand for the presidency of the country.
I am not asking much, just a ten-year preparation. And if the whole government is meditative, deprogrammed, unprejudiced – just visualize it – then bureaucracy disappears, hierarchy disappears; then things that take years can be finished within seconds.
I know of one case, one of my friends – he was a very old man, he just died two years ago. He was a very famous historian, Pandit Sunderlal. Sometime in 1920 he wrote a book of history in which he disagreed with British historians; and he was perfectly right, because what British historians were presenting was not factual. It was one-sided, naturally – they were the victors, the defeated ones had lost even their voice.
The victors can write anything. So if the defeated were going through a revolution, the victors would not call it revolution, they call it mutiny. If the revolutionaries become victorious then even if it was a mutiny, it becomes revolution. It depends on who is going to write the history.
The British historians wrote about the leaders of the Indian revolution as if they were criminals and of course in their eyes they were criminals. They were trying to overthrow the government, creating disorder, chaos. Naturally, these people were criminals. But to the Indians, those people were their heroes, not criminals. They were fighting for their freedom; they sacrificed their lives for the freedom struggle.
So Sunderlal wrote – he was the first historian to write from the side of the Indians. Of course his book was immediately banned and a case started against him, which continued up to ‘82: sixty-two years. The case continued for sixty-two years – can you imagine? If a case needs sixty-two years to decide, my God! Then who is going to be punished? All those people are gone!
It was tried by at least eight High Court judges; all died. At least one dozen advocates who fought both for and against all died. Of the publisher of the book, the printer of the book, the writer of the book, and the distributor of the book – the case was against all four – three of them died. Only the writer continued to live, and because of him the case continued because there was no way…. Even the government who had started the case died. The country became free, the ban from the book was removed – but the case continued.
I asked Sunderlal, “Panditji, this is a miracle. You have killed everybody: twelve advocates, eight magistrates, two governments – and when is this case going to be finished?”
He said, “Until I die this case is not going to be finished because there are legal problems. They cannot just finish it, they cannot just close the file. They have to come to a certain conclusion. Now it has become, it is becoming every day, more and more complicated.” All the magistrates that were trying the case before India became independent – they have their notes and their opinions; they were against Sunderlal, they all wanted him to be imprisoned for life.
After the government changed, India became free. Now the magistrates are all for Sunderlal: “He has done a great service, he should be honored.” But what to do with the opinions of their predecessors? It does not matter to which government they belong; it is the same court and the same law. “And the complexities were such,” he said, “that those judges have said, ‘Unless you die we cannot close the file, the case will continue. We are not going to punish you – we cannot punish you. Even they could not punish you.”‘
They could not punish him because all their witnesses had died – three “major criminals” had died. Only that one man, Sunderlal, remained, and that man was a very intelligent man. He fought continually, saying that whatsoever he had written was right: “Unless you prove it wrong…and you cannot just prove it with your British writers because what do they know?
They were not present here, they don’t know the Indian situation; they remained in England and they were writing history in England about India! They never came to India, and their histories are being taught in the universities. And I have been here, I have seen with my own eyes what has happened. I am an eyewitness, and you are telling me that I am wrong. You call your historians: they have to prove on what grounds they got their ideas.”
Those historians were collecting simply from British newspapers. Naturally, all that they were collecting was favorable to the British government. Sunderlal was collecting raw material from the Indian masses about what had happened; he was far truer. And it was felt by all the judges that he had a point there – that he was an eyewitness here. But although they were feeling that he had a point there, they had to protect the government. They were servants of the government, they were there to serve the British empire.
In schools, before 1947, students had to pray for the queen: “God save the Queen” or “God save the King.” My principal was a certain Badri Prasad Gupta. The day I entered the school my father told me, “Don’t create trouble about this ‘God save the Queen.’ Let him save her; don’t create trouble on this point.”
I said, “I have no problem with that, don’t be worried.”
He said, “Promise that you won’t create any trouble about the queen.”
I said, “Promise.” And I never created any trouble about the queen. I asked the principal, “Where is God? I cannot pray…to whom? I have no problem about the queen – just show me God so I can pray.”
Badri Prasad Gupta said, “Up to now there have been some students creating problems because they come from revolutionary families. Their question was, ‘We cannot pray for the queen. Why should we pray for somebody who is imposing slavery on us?’ That I have heard, but this is a new problem.”
I said, “I have no problem with the queen; I will pray, but first show me God. If you cannot show me God, whom do you want me to pray to? – to you?…’Badri Prasad Gupta, Save the Queen’?”
He said, “No, don’t say that! I am a government servant and you are making me also involved in it. It may become a trouble.”
I said, “Then I cannot pray.”
When I came home, my father was waiting. He said, “No trouble?”
I said, “Trouble was bound to be there but I kept my promise to you.”
He said, “How did you manage?”
I said, “I changed the subject. Instead of bothering the queen, I said, ‘Why bother about the queen? Why not hit God himself so there is no question of prayer?’ And I told Badri Prasad Gupta, ‘I can pray to you, Badri Prasad Gupta,’ but he was so afraid that he said, ‘Don’t mention my name, because if some British officer comes to know that I am teaching students to pray, “Badri Prasad Gupta, Save the queen,” they will hang me! My job will be gone…and how am I going to answer those people? Just don’t mention this and don’t say it to anybody else, because these children are just a nuisance: they may start shouting in the streets, “Badri Prasad Gupta, Save the Queen.” But I will be killed; the queen will be saved, but I will be gone.’”
I said, “No, I will not create any trouble – you just have not to ask me again. I will remain silent. If God wants to save, let him save, if he does not want to save, that is his business and his problem. It is not of my concern. I am absolutely impartial about whether the queen is saved or not; I have no interest either way.”
But those British officers…Badri Prasad Gupta was an Indian, but being the principal of an English high school was enough to make him afraid. Every official was afraid, judges were afraid, Indian officers were afraid, because the power….
So politicians and priests both have to be dropped out of their long, long-standing establishment, and a totally new kind of management has to be developed.
It is a difficult job, arduous but not impossible – particularly in such a situation when death is the only alternative.

What do you say about meditation according to the three states of consciousness?
Meditation I have explained to you so it won’t be difficult…just a little bit of new perspective.
Concentration is concerned with the instinctive layer, hence even animals are capable of concentration. When an animal is hunting game he is utterly concentrated. He is unmoving, not making even a little stir. And if you see his eyes, they are fixed, unblinking.
In fact, it is one of the findings of great hunters…. Once in a while it has happened that barehanded a hunter has come across a lion, and there was no way to escape – the lion was coming closer to him with his eyes fixed. Because the hunter was unable to escape, just unconsciously, without knowing what he was doing – of course he was frozen to death – the hunter’s eyes also became unblinking, and he was watching every move of the lion, so he was looking into his eyes.
And this is how it was discovered that if you look into the eyes of the lion just for a minute or two, the lion becomes hypnotized. He forgets to kill you. He forgets everything; he falls into a coma.
Gurdjieff remembers in his memoirs that while he was moving with the nomads near the Caucasus, he found they all hypnotized their animals. Nomads are moving people, a few days here, a few days there; they don’t stay in one place. They have a totally different culture. They don’t think much of you who live in cities and in houses. They think you are dead, finished; you have made your graves yourself.
What is life if you are not under the sun, under the sky, always moving into the unknown? – managing moment to moment, not being worried about tomorrow. They don’t believe in your law, they don’t believe in your state – they don’t believe in anything. They can steal, there is no problem; they can kill, there is no problem. They are a totally different people, and they are not ready – many governments have been trying to settle them, prohibiting them….
But you will be surprised, even in Europe the nomads are all Indians from Rajputana. In fact, all over the world the nomads are Indians from Rajputana – one particular state. They all speak Rajputani. The language has changed, taken on different forms, but still you can figure out that they are speaking Rajputani. In Europe you call them gypsies, because from Rajputana they first went to Egypt, and after remaining in Egypt they moved to Europe. Because of this movement coming from Egypt, they became gypsies.
Gurdjieff was with these people, and these people have a different kind of wisdom – not bookish but from actual experience. And they have been moving around the earth experiencing so many things…. A person who flies from New York to London cannot say that he has toured from New York to London, flying in an airplane is not an experience. But moving on the earth, making your way through different societies, different laws, different difficulties, different problems, every day is real experience.
Gurdjieff said that these people knew a certain art of hypnosis. It was not much of an art, it was a simple process you can practice on your dog, on your cat. But if they are your pets it becomes difficult because they start moving here and there; they will not keep their eyes fixed on you. On wild animals it is very simple.
These nomads had to pass through wild areas, and that was their practice…. Gurdjieff was very young nine or ten, and he watched them: even if a lion came all the nomads, the men, would stand in front staring at the lion without blinking their eyes. And something happened – the lion simply collapsed, fell, as if there were no life in him. And immediately those gypsies would jump and catch hold of the lion; and by the time he came back to his senses, he would be captured, without any weapon.
Concentration is instinctive.
Everybody can practice it; all that is needed is to pinpoint your consciousness.
Contemplation is of the intellect.
It is beyond animals, and beyond most human beings – not absolutely beyond; if they try they can rise up to it. Contemplation needs your interest to be wide enough so that you can create a space in the mind to move. You need much information about a single subject so that you can move around the single subject without changing it, and yet moving, keeping in the same area.
For example, you are thinking about truth or love or religion: you keep yourself in the same area, but you look at it from every possible angle. And you will be surprised – there are always angles which have never been looked at. Life is so mysterious, there are always aspects which you may be the first to discover.
That’s how science functions. The subjects are not new, these are the same subjects. From Archimedes to Albert Einstein there is not much difference; they are thinking about the same subject, but new aspects go on revealing themselves. And each aspect becomes almost an area in itself. You can watch the progress of science, then you will understand.
In Oxford University the board hanging by the department of physics says: “Department of Natural Philosophy.” That is strange, because it was one thousand years ago that physics was part of natural philosophy. The board is one thousand years old; although painted again and again, although different boards may have come, the writing has remained the same. Now philosophy has nothing to do with physics.
In Saugar University where I did my postgraduate work, by the department of philosophy the board read: “Department of Psychology and Philosophy.” That too is one hundred years old. The university is new, but the founder was an old man and when he was studying philosophy and psychology were one subject. Now psychology has a separate individuality.
I told my professors, “This is stupid – drop it.”
But they said, “It is a historical monument. Leave it there.”
I said, “Now psychology is no longer being taught here. Why psychology and philosophy?” It used to be that psychology was part of philosophy, then they separated; now psychology has separated into different parts. Philosophy was part of physics; now physics has separated into different departments.
You go on contemplating and you find a new area which is vast enough to be a subject unto itself. And as you go into details you find that there are still branches moving apart. So there is now biophysics. No philosopher has ever contemplated that biophysics is possible. Metaphysics is possible, but it is completely finished; there is no department of metaphysics anywhere.
Metaphysics used to be in Aristotle’s time – and for a very strange reason. Aristotle wrote the first history of philosophy; he wrote all the chapters. One of the chapters is physics, and after the physics chapter comes philosophy. Just because it comes after physics – metaphysics means after physics – because the chapter came after physics, slowly it became known as metaphysics: the chapter that comes after physics.
When philosophy came into its own, metaphysics, the very word, simply disappeared. It is not used anymore – although it seems it may have a revival, a resurrection, because now physics is coming very close to philosophy, becoming more mysterious, finding more areas which cannot be explained by logic, cannot be explained by science. Perhaps they will start calling it metaphysics. It is beyond physics, after physics. Higher physics they are calling it now.
Contemplation is just the process of thinking, refining your thoughts; and the more you practice this refinement, the finer they become. And it is a joy in itself. It is a joy far superior to anything like food, sex, clothes; it is a finer joy. When you come across a new phenomenon which for millions of years people have passed by and nobody has detected and which you are the first to detect, a tremendous joy arises in you.
Contemplation is of the intellect.
Meditation is of intuition.
Meditation has no subject matter.
It is pure subjectivity.
Meditation is not thinking about something.
It is not thinking at all.
But one thing has to be remembered: it does not mean falling asleep. That’s what happens; if you are not thinking then the mind says, “What are you doing? Go to sleep.” Mind is at ease with thinking or with sleep, and just between the two is meditation: no thinking, no sleep. Thinking has been dropped and sleep has not been taken up. You are fully awake. It is awareness without thoughts. The road of your mind is completely empty of the continuous traffic of thoughts.
In that state of no-mind is hidden the ultimate secret – the secret of your being and the secret of the whole universe…because at the point of your being all points meet together. Your point is also the center of the whole universe. The further you go into thought, the further you move away from your center and also from the universe. Hence, I was suggesting a very simple method for all universities.
Buddha used to call it Vipassana. The word is beautiful, simple, meaningful. It means just watching. Pashya means to see and passana means to see very carefully. Vipassana means to see carefully but without thinking. You are just there, sitting silently, doing nothing.
In the West the proverb is that the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. It is not true. The idle mind, absolutely idle, is where your real birth happens. The mind full of thoughts is the devil’s workshop because it is continuously giving you ideas: “Do this, do that.” The silent mind…how can the silent mind be the devil’s workshop?
The West never attained to the state of meditation; it remained only at the state of contemplation. Concentration happened, contemplation happened, but meditation remained something unexplored by the West. Perhaps the conditions were not ready for it, ripe for it. Perhaps the West was too much concerned with physical survival. Life was difficult, the climate was cold; hard work was needed to survive.
In the East the climate was warm and not much work was needed to survive. One person in a family used to work and the whole family used to enjoy themselves. There was no need for everybody to work. The land was fertile, the population was small – and the land was giving so much without much effort that naturally people started exploring just sitting silently, doing nothing. It was a natural phenomenon to happen.
So many people were without any work – that’s why so many people became monks. And there was no trouble, no problem. Otherwise to so many monks you have to give food, you have to give clothes, you have to give shelter, because they don’t work. But there was no problem: people had enough to eat and they could give enough. Millions of monks roamed around the country, and all that they were doing was one thing…. Never in the history of man were so many people trying to sit silently and just be absolutely quiet not even a stir, not even a little breeze. And they attained it.
And that’s why I suggest each university should have an institute for meditation. Arrange the right climate, the right atmosphere – beautiful gardens, Zen-type cottages, ponds, trees, and small, Zen-type meditation rooms so every student, before he comes out of university, brings the quality of meditation with him.
Once we can help people to be deprogrammed and leave them just clean slates and, secondly, can help them to enjoy this cleanliness so that they never clutter it up again, we have prepared the foundation for a new humanity, for a new world without boundaries, without nations, without cults, creeds, religions – just one vast commune surrounding the whole world.

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