From Personality to Individuality 16

Sixteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Personality to Individuality by Osho.
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Isn't the vision of the new man somehow similar to the idea of the superman?
The idea of the new man is not only not similar to the idea of the superman, it is just the very opposite. The superman is a continuity with the old man; the new man is a discontinuity with the old man. The superman is superior, higher, but still belongs to the same world of the old man. He is better, stronger, more beautiful, more powerful, more intelligent; but the difference is only of degrees, of more or less.
The new man is absolutely unrelated to the old man. The superior man, the superman, is a refinement of the old. The new man is the death of the old man. The new man comes into being when the old man dies, hence they cannot be similar at all. They may sound similar to those who think only intellectually. I am not an intellectual, neither am I a thinker. I see things; I am a seer and in my eyes the superman and the new man are just the contrary to each other.
The old society, culture, religion, philosophy are not against the superman; in fact the superman is their projection, their desire, their hope. They have been working for thousands of years to produce the superman. And in the name of the superman they have tortured the poor common man so much: it is almost impossible to believe how much humanity has been sacrificed in order to bring the superman onto the earth.
What was Adolf Hitler doing? He was fascinated with the idea of superman. He got it from Friedrich Nietzsche. Now, it is a strange thing to understand that the people who have been interested in the superman were very inferior kinds of people. Strange, but not irrelevant. Somehow, deep down, you feel yourself inferior, and to forget that inferiority you start imagining, projecting, just the opposite of it: the superman.

Nietzsche was in love with a woman, Wagner’s wife. Wagner was one of the great musicians, a great master as far as music is concerned; and he was tremendously charismatic. He was not only a maestro of music but his playing had some touch of magic too. That’s what makes a difference. The same music may be played by many people – it may be the same instrument, the same music, the same notes, but somebody simply gives wings to it and it goes on soaring higher and higher. It takes you beyond yourself into unknown spaces.
With someone else it is just ordinary music. It takes you nowhere; at the most, it is a kind of entertainment. You have nothing to do so you listen to the music. At least it keeps you occupied in the same way that smoking keeps somebody occupied, or gossiping keeps somebody else occupied. But when a man like Wagner plays music he gives a new dimension to your being, he opens up new doors. You start moving into dimensions you have not even dreamed of.
Nietzsche was learning music from the master and fell in love with the master’s wife, not thinking at all that he had a very poor personality, in no way to be compared with Wagner. Of course Wagner’s wife was not interested; she had not even thought about Nietzsche. He was ugly looking, not even physically attractive like Wagner – what to say about the spiritual quality of Wagner and his artistic mastery of music? In the whole history of man there are not many names which can be compared to Wagner’s, not more than you can count on your fingers. He is one of the greatest musicians.
The woman had fallen in love not only with the man but with the music which surrounded that man and the magic that was somewhere absolutely present, almost tangible. There was no question of comparing Nietzsche with him. When Nietzsche approached her, she simply laughed and said, “You must be a fool! Even if God were standing before me my choice would be Wagner, because I cannot believe even God can be so charismatic.
“When Wagner plays I cannot believe that I am his wife and so fortunate to be so close to him. He is so far away and yet so compassionate that he allows me the intimacy. I know that I am not worthy; it is his compassion. Far more beautiful women are mad about him. Anybody who has any sensitivity to music and to the charismatic personality of a person is bound to fall in love with him.
“How could you think,” she told Nietzsche, “that I could even think about you? Simply forget all about it. You are nowhere. And it is disgraceful: you are a student of my husband and he trusts you, that’s why you are allowed in the house. You are just like a son to him, and I am just like a mother to you – age does not matter.”

This was such a shock and such an exposure of Nietzsche’s own inferiority that never again in his life did he approach another woman; he lost his nerve. But after that day he started thinking of a new race of man: the superman. He wrote against Wagner, he became an enemy. Wagner could not understand why, because he had no idea of what had transpired between his wife and his disciple; why Nietzsche had left and gone to the mountains.
Nietzsche took the wound really seriously. It created an immense hatred in him for women and for all the qualities that are womanly. For example, he started hating compassion, love, sympathy, kindness – these are all womanly qualities. He started hating Jesus, he started hating Gautam the Buddha, simply because they were teaching womanly qualities. Nonviolence is womanly, violence is manly; to be a real man you have to be violent. His mind became completely perverted from the shock.
Jesus is talking about humbleness and meekness; those are womanly qualities. Jesus has destroyed man’s manliness. It is womanly, that when somebody hits your face you have to give him your other cheek. What else can be more womanly? But can you see how things are associated? One woman’s rejection caused his rejection of all womankind, and not only of womankind but also of qualities which have something in them which can be called womanly.
He condemned Gautam Buddha, saying, “It is because of Buddha that India became cowardly – he taught India to be womanly.” He said, “All these saints are not even worth comparing with soldiers. Even a third-rate soldier is better than a first-rate saint.” Now, the soldier! – and he himself was not a soldier; he himself was not even tall enough to be accepted in the army. He had tried and was rejected because he was not tall enough. There is a possibility that somewhere in his parentage some crossbreeding must have happened: he was not Nordic German – neither was Adolf Hitler Nordic German. Nordic Germans, if they are pure blood, are tall, blond, strong people. But neither Nietzsche was strong and tall nor was Adolf Hitler.
Nietzsche says, “The only beautiful thing that I remember in my life is when one morning as the sun was rising I saw a long brigade of soldiers marching on the street. Their naked swords were shining in the morning sun, almost like lightning. Their boots falling in tune were so musical that I have never heard any music comparable to it. Their uniforms and the harmony and the early morning sun…!” People have talked about lotus flowers in the early morning sun, of roses in the early morning sun, but Nietzsche is the only one in the whole history of man who talks about soldiers in the early morning sun and the beauty of the swords shining and the music of their boots: right, left, right, left, in harmony – the music! He says, “I never came across such a beautiful experience again.”
Now he himself was not an athlete, he was not a soldier. I don’t think he would have been able to hold a sword rightly, or know how to keep hold of it. He was a man who knew how to hold a fountain pen, not a sword. For his whole life he was simply writing; he had never fought. But he started projecting the idea of the superman.
Nietzsche started condemning the old man without ever thinking that he belonged to the old. It happens: one can put oneself aside, and put the old man on this side and the superman on that side; then you think you are not part of the old man. But because you are creating the idea of the superman, you start believing yourself that superman is your projection, your idea: you are giving birth to superman – then of course you belong to the superman. That’s how one tries to forget one’s inferiority.
Nietzsche never attempted to approach another woman for the simple reason that it might again provoke the feeling of inferiority; once was enough. He was a very egoistic type of man. It is a rare phenomenon: if a woman says “I am not in love with you,” that does not mean that there will never be a woman who will accept you. And he had qualities of his own; there was no need to be another Wagner. He was not a musician, but he had his own qualities: he was a great philosopher. But the insult went so deep he forgot all about his qualities and started comparing himself only with Wagner.
He influenced many people – all of them strange in a certain way. He influenced George Bernard Shaw – similarly a very egoistic man, a showman. If you read George Bernard Shaw’s books you will be surprised that the book is small but the preface is big. That has happened for the first time in the whole history of the world of literature: the preface is big and the book is small! Why? The book should be enough to explain itself. That’s what art, creativity, means.
The best painters have not titled their paintings, what to say of a preface? They have realized that if the painting is not explanatory itself, a title will not help. It should be left to the person who is seeing the painting to understand it according to his capacity, understanding, intelligence.
To put a title on a painting means you are worried that your painting is not going to be understood so you have to give a hint. But to give a title to a painting is to make it small and closed; it is a way of framing it. You have framed it with the title. Now you are telling the person this painting only means this, nothing else. You have taken the multidimensionality of the painting and given it a very small frame. You have destroyed it.
Bernard Shaw’s books are not difficult; you don’t need to be a genius to understand them. He wrote only dramas, and even those not of a very high quality. Anybody with a little bit of intelligence, even if below mediocrity, would be able to understand them. But perhaps he suffered from some inferiority himself. Perhaps he thought that nobody would understand the drama, perhaps he himself did not understand it rightly.
He had written it but he was not certain whether he had written that which he wanted to write, whether he had given it the right expression, the right words. Is it certain that it will be understood? He was in a confusion, hence the long preface. The preface destroys the whole drama because he tried to explain everything in it. When you have understood everything about the drama, what is left in it?
It is as if somebody tells you the whole story of a movie and then gives you a ticket, saying “Go, I have brought a ticket for you.” He has destroyed everything by telling you the whole story; now the ticket is absolutely useless. You will simply be bored because there is not going to be any excitement. You know already what is going to happen, you know already the end from the very beginning.
Bernard Shaw did exactly that, and did it to such an extent: one-hundred-page, two-hundred-page prefaces for a twenty-page drama. I don’t think that any psychoanalyst has tried – I have never come across anything – but Bernard Shaw needs to be psychoanalyzed. Why did he write these long prefaces to ordinary dramas? He simply projected himself. It seems that if the drama were written by somebody else he would not understand it, he would need a big introduction. That’s what he was doing.
George Bernard Shaw was impressed by Nietzsche’s idea of superman; he wrote a drama on superman too. Strangely enough, he was also rejected by a woman. The name of the woman was Annie Besant. She was the godmother – is it okay to use “godmother” as well as “godfather”? – of J. Krishnamurti. She was the president of the Theosophical Movement for the whole world. She was a very beautiful woman with great charisma of her own, very intelligent, and one of the greatest orators ever. If she had remained in England she would have become prime minister anytime, because none of the prime ministers of her time had the same charisma, or the art of speaking that she had.
Bernard Shaw heard her for the first time in a Theosophical conference and he immediately fell in love. When he approached her she said, “Please excuse me, I have far bigger things to do.” And certainly she had far bigger things to do than to be the wife of George Bernard Shaw. But George Bernard Shaw thought that he was the greatest man on the earth: “And she has far greater things to do…?” The wound remained with him.
Annie Besant became more and more popular. It is simply unbelievable that she became the president of the Indian National Congress. When India was under the British Raj, a British woman was accepted by Indian revolutionaries – who were fighting the British Raj – as their president! You can understand her charisma. Even the white skin was hated because that represented the rulers, the oppressors. And to accept a woman who comes from the same country with which you are fighting… The Indian National Congress was the party struggling with Britain to get independence and it accepted her as president. She must have had a magic personality. So if she refused Bernard Shaw, I don’t think that she did anything wrong; she certainly had much bigger things to do.
She made the whole Theosophical Movement for the first time into a worldwide movement. She created the idea that a world teacher is going to be born and made the idea worth believing by millions of people. It is not so easy. Even Jesus was not able to convince his own people that he was the messiah. But this woman was saying, “I am going to introduce to you, at the right moment, the messiah who is going to save the whole world,” and millions of people believed in her word. She was not the messiah, but she had some quality of creating trust in people.
Bernard Shaw was rejected by Annie Besant; he carried that wound his whole life and started projecting the idea of the superman.
Adolf Hitler was the second person who became a disciple of Friedrich Nietzsche, and he was in every way intellectually inferior. Even to call him mediocre does not feel justified; the word falls short, he was far below mediocrity. He had no intelligence of any kind; he was absolutely an idiot. He should have been born in Oregon; it was just an accident that he was born in Germany. Germany is not the right place for such great idiots.
He was rejected from the school of architecture – he wanted to become an architect. He was rejected from art school – he wanted to become a painter. He was rejected from the army because he could not prove his mettle in the First World War. He was a coward: he used every excuse to hide and keep himself behind, and not go forward and rush toward the enemy. Whenever it was time to fight, he would fall sick. He would manage to produce a stomachache, a headache, backache – anything which cannot be proved.
Now there is no way to prove whether a headache is there or not. One of my teachers used to begin his class every day with this ritual: “First listen to my conditions. I don’t accept a headache, I don’t accept a stomachache. Things that I cannot find, I don’t accept. Yes, if you have fever, I accept it because I can check that your temperature is high. So remember, nobody is to ask leave for things which are unprovable. Even a doctor cannot prove whether there is a headache or not.” He prevented almost everything because you had to produce a visible disease, only then could you get out; but I had to find some way around it because this was unacceptable.
He was an old man, so all that I had to do was in the night… He was old, but very strong and very particular about exercise, about walking, so he used to get up early, at five o’clock, and go for a long walk in the dark. So I just had to put a few banana peels in front of his door. In the morning he fell, and had a bad back. I was available immediately because I knew about it.
He said, “My back is hurting so much.”
I said, “Don’t mention anything which you cannot prove.”
He said, “But whether I can prove it or not, I am not able to come to school today.”
“Then,” I said, “you will have to stop your conditions from tomorrow, because I am going to spread the whole thing to the whole school, that if a bad back is accepted… What proof have you got? Then why not a headache? Why not a stomachache?”
He said, “I think you have something to do with these banana peels here.”
I said, “Perhaps you are right, but you cannot prove it, and I believe only in things which can be proved.”
He said, “You can at least do me one favor: you can take my application to the principal.”
I said, “I will take your application, but remember, from tomorrow stop those conditions, because sometimes I have a headache, sometimes I have a stomachache, because I am accustomed to eating all kinds of unripe fruits – when you are stealing from other people’s gardens, you cannot ask that they should be ripe. You can get them only before they are ripe; once they are ripe the people take them. So I suffer from stomachache.” From that day he stopped the conditions. He just looked at me, smiled, and started his class.
The students were simply shocked: “What has happened to him? What about the conditions?”
I stood up and said, “I have a lot of pain in my stomach.”
He said, “You can go.” He told me in the evening when he came to see my father, “This is the first time I have given leave to anybody for a stomachache, because these people are just so imaginative and inventive.” He told my father, “Your boy is dangerous.”
I said, “Again you are trying to do something which you cannot prove, you are just assuming. I was simply going for a morning walk and I saw you fall, and I just went to help you to get up. Do you think it is wrong to help somebody?”
He said, “No, it is not wrong to help somebody; but who put those banana peels there?”
I said, “That, you have to find out – it is your house. It was just coincidence that I was going for a morning walk; and my father knows that every day I go for a morning walk.”
My father said, “That’s true, he goes every day. It is possible he may have done it but unless you prove it, it is no use: we have to prove things to him. If argumentatively he wins, then even though we are right, he is the winner and we are the losers. He has told me the whole story about your bad back, and that since then you have stopped your two conditions.”
My father had also been his student. He said, “This is strange, because you never began without those two conditions.”
My teacher said, “Never before did I have this kind of student. I had to change my whole plan because it is dangerous to be in conflict with him; he could have killed me.”
When Adolf Hitler was in the army he continually had headaches, backaches, stomachaches – any excuse to get into hospital just so that he did not go on the battlefield. After the First World War he was refused by the army. Now, this man was unemployed with no qualifications. He gathered seventeen other unemployed soldiers who had been rejected by the army, and those eighteen people created the National Socialist Party – the Nazi Party. Their ideal was: “We have to conquer the whole world because that’s God’s mission given to the Nordic Germans, the purest Aryan race. The mission is to rule the world. The world consists of pygmies.”
Now, Adolf Hitler was a pygmy in every way; in no way can you find anything which has any value. But he got the idea moving, and the Nordic Germans started feeling that they had a certain mission, that they were the chosen few of God. Why was he so much against the Jews? One of the reasons was that the Jews have been saying since Moses that they are the chosen few of God.
Now, there cannot be two races chosen by God; so either the Nordic Germans are the chosen race, or the Jews. It had to be proved. Hitler started killing the Jews. He said, “The Jews have to be completely erased because they have been pretending that they are the chosen few – while we are the chosen few and have not been even aware of it.” And it got into the minds of people. The mind gets such ideas very easily and makes you afire because you suffer from so many inferiorities.
Everybody in life comes across boundaries he cannot cross over and feels inferior; comes against walls, gets hit and has to turn back. Everybody in life some way or other has to face the problem of inferiority. If somebody gives you the idea that you are one of the chosen few of God, you are going to buy it. And Hitler was giving it free, he was not charging you anything; he was making you the very top. Nietzsche’s books became Hitler’s bible.
The third man who was impressed was Sri Aurobindo in India. He was also suffering from a tremendous inferiority complex. Sri Aurobindo was educated in England. He belonged to a rich family and was going to become an ICS, a member of the Indian Civil Service, which was the topmost bureaucracy in India, created by the British. To be an ICS one had to pass many examinations in England, and naturally it was very difficult for Indians to pass those examinations. The examinations were such that Indians were not accustomed to them.
For example, Aurobindo failed in only one subject – horse riding. Indians are not interested in horse riding; English people are. Indians are not interested at all in horse riding, nobody thinks it of some great value; in fact Jainas prohibit it because to ride on a horse is to be violent. Who are you to ride on the horse? If horses start riding on you would you like the idea? Jainas are averse to it. And in India nobody is interested in horse riding the way British are.
So, of course, Aurobindo was not a good horse rider compared with British students, but in all other subjects he passed. One wonders what an ICS officer has to do with horse riding, but you don’t know the ways of imperialism. Horse riding had a certain purpose for the ICS officer. In India, the moment you saw a white man dressed in army uniform with a gun, and riding on a beautiful horse, it was the symbol of imperialism and its power.
Now, Aurobindo was a Bengali, so I don’t think he could have managed even to ride a donkey! Donkeys are also very clever; I have been riding on them so I know. You can try it, and you will find that donkeys have a special trick. They will never walk in the middle of the road; they will always go to the side and rub you against the walls of the houses. It is impossible to keep them in the middle of the road: they will simply move either to this side or to that side and rub against the wall. Of course they will damage your leg and you will have to get down. They are simply saying, “Get down, get lost!”
Aurobindo was very shocked because he came back having failed, and to be an ICS was his ambition. Inferiority always has great ambitions; the inferiority complex is the base of all ambition. Now, to be an ICS officer was the greatest ambition any Indian could have in the British regime because it was the topmost position you could reach; more than that was not available to Indians. One Indian might succeed in reaching it out of thousands of ICS officers, so it was really something superior.
Aurobindo came back frustrated, with great anger, jealousy, rage; and he joined the Indian National Congress – the party that was trying to throw out the British Empire. Just look at the facts. He had gone to join the British Empire, and if only he had succeeded in horse riding he would have been a supporter of the British Empire; he would have been killing those people whom he was now joining. Now he wanted to destroy the British Empire. Can you see how people’s minds work?
He was not a nonviolent revolutionary, no. He did not believe in Gandhi, he was not a follower of Gandhi. He was a believer in violence: he wanted the British people to be killed, burned, destroyed. He was trying to make bombs and was caught red-handed, and suffered a few years in jail.
It is very interesting to look into people’s lives. If you have an unprejudiced mind then strange facts start coming up. When Aurobindo was in jail he suddenly became a religious man. From being thrown out of the ambition that he was trying to fulfill, he moved to the opposite extreme: he wanted to take revenge, but now in the name of revolution. Then, when he was put into jail, he saw the whole thing: that it was not so easy to overthrow this great empire with just creating hand bombs; it was just befooling yourself. You may kill one or two persons or you may destroy a bridge, but that is not going to destroy the empire; it is not possible. The empire has tremendous power.
Then how to fulfill the ambition? He had seen that he could not succeed in Britain in becoming an ICS officer; he had seen that he could not become the great leader of the Indian revolution. He turned to religion. He could become a great saint; at least nobody could prevent him doing that. That is the cheapest way in the whole world. Who can prevent you? There is no competition either.
Aurobindo became a religious person. He started writing a commentary on the Shrimad Bhagavadgita in jail. When he was released, the first thing he did was to escape from the British Empire. Pondicherry was not part of British India; it was a small place under the French empire. It is part of India now, but three hundred years ago when all European powers were struggling to capture India, Britain succeeded in capturing almost the whole of India: France only succeeded in capturing a small place, Pondicherry, and Spain succeeded in having only one small place, Goa, and two small islands, Daman and Diu.
Why did Aurobindo escape to Pondicherry? It was just close to Bengal. He was a coward; now he was afraid to face his revolutionary friends. He could not say to them that now he was no longer a revolutionary, that he wanted to become a saint – which is the safest way to fulfill your ambition to become respectable, honorable and great. He created his ashram in Pondicherry.
He was immensely interested in the idea of the superman. In fact he made it his life’s ambition. He said, “I am going to bring the superman into myself. The superman will descend from heaven into my body, so I am trying to purify my body so that the superman will descend.” For thirty years he remained in a closed house, and his followers believed that he was purifying his body. Now, if you look at his literature you can see perfectly well that for all those thirty years he was continually writing, because that literature is not spoken, it is written. The volume of literature is so big that I suspect he had no time left to purify his body. And what purification? – the body is pure. What can you do with it? What is wrong with the body? For anything that is wrong you need medical science to help you. In a closed room how are you going to purify your body?
He became fatter and fatter, that’s all. He had been a very lean and thin young man, but just reading and writing, reading and writing… And his writing is the worst possible. One sentence will continue for almost the whole page. You will forget about the beginning of the sentence by the time you have reached the end. By the end of the page you will have to go back again to the beginning to see what words the sentence had started with.
Aurobindo’s books are unreadable, pedantic, verbose. He uses big words because he thinks the bigger the word, the more unused it is by people, the more mystified they will be. And it happened – people were mystified. People are very strange: they get impressed by things which they cannot understand. If they can understand, they don’t get impressed. Their logic is simple: “If I can understand it there is nothing in it.” Unless they feel “I cannot understand it,” they cannot believe that something higher, something of the beyond, is there. The way he has written is just to mystify. There is no need to write a paragraph or a page as one sentence. It is simply ridiculous if you want your word to reach to people. But no, he wanted to mystify.
I have gone through all his books and I have suffered so much. You cannot believe how much I have suffered through such people. I had gone through all his books simply to see what this man was trying to do. In those books there is nothing. You dig up a whole mountain and you don’t find even a rat! But they are big volumes, one thousand pages; and there are big words. He was clever enough to make and create big words, for example, supramental. And he would create categories.
For the superman to arrive, first you have to create the state of supramental, and for that you have to purify your body. He declared that he was going to be physically immortal. Up to now Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed have all said that the soul is eternal. Aurobindo said, “I am going to prove that only an eternal body can contain an eternal soul. My body is going to live forever, it is immortal.”
Now this kind of thing is simple nonsense. But there is one good thing about such statements: you can never prove such statements wrong because if the man dies, to whom are you going to prove he is wrong? And if he lives, of course he is immortal. This is the trick behind the statement, “I am going to be immortal. I have purified my body, and the superman is descending, slowly, slowly coming into this body. This body is going to be immortal, and then I will teach my disciples to be immortal.”
Hundreds of people, hoping to be physically immortal, followed Sri Aurobindo their whole life. The day he died, one of my friends was in his ashram; he was his follower. I had been telling him again and again, “Don’t be a fool! The body cannot be immortal, it is made of mortal things. Perhaps one can live a little longer, but to live eternally…! You can see the body is continually changing: the child is becoming a young man, the young man is becoming old, the old man is becoming older. Death does not come suddenly, it is coming from the very day you were born. Somebody who says his body is going to be immortal has to prove that his body has stopped changing.
That was my argument to my friend, “If you can manage to send a message” – because Aurobindo used to see his disciples only once a year, and that too simply for darshan. He would not talk, he would not answer; he would simply sit there and people would pass by him in a line – you could see him just for a moment. So I said to my friend, “If somehow you can send a message…”
There was a way. The woman who was in charge of the ashram was called “the Mother.” People have completely forgotten her name, they have forgotten even her profession. She was a film actress who fell in love with Sri Aurobindo. She dropped her husband and became a disciple – because obviously the idea of physical immortality will appeal more to women than to men.
Women are more physical, more grounded, and have more of a sense of their body. I don’t think women believe much in the soul, because they cannot see any soul in the mirror. What they cannot see in the mirror is just a stupid men’s idea. All women know that men go on playing with words and philosophy and religion. The woman is not interested in these things. She is more interested in gossip, in juicy things; what is happening in the neighborhood, who has purchased a new car and who has purchased new clothes and who has made a new house. They are not worried about God at all. It is not their concern. If they become concerned it is because of men. Because men are continually worried about God and soul and heaven and hell, the woman thinks, “Perhaps there is something in it; if so many men are interested in it, who knows? It is better at least to keep quiet about it, not to say anything.” But I know every woman feels that all this is simply jargon.
This French actress became interested in the idea of physical immortality. She was a powerful woman and really capable of organizing, so Aurobindo could withdraw – he had a good organizer at hand. He wanted all his time to write. He was trying to create the whole philosophy of the superman: all the stages, methodologies to purify the body and the mind, what stages you will reach, what lights you will see and what colors will appear at what stage. If you read him you will think, “Perhaps this man is talking sense, because he talks like somebody talking about geography. He can show you everything on the map.”
But looking at his books, all I can say to you is that he was a good linguist and knew how to play with words and language. For thirty years he was in isolation. Nothing was being purified; it was just that he needed time to study and to write. And his voluminous literature is proof enough – nobody could produce that much literature if he were not continually working at least twelve or fourteen hours a day. The sheer volume is proof enough.
So I told my friend, “Send this message to Aurobindo: ‘If you say you have attained immortality physically, then one thing can be the proof. If you die then whom are we going to ask? If you don’t die and you continue not to die, of course you are right – because you are living. But I have found a criterion of immortality: the criterion is that your body should not change anymore – because death is only a change. If you are young, then you should not become old; if your hair is black it should not grow white. That will be proof enough.’”
But my friend said, “His hair is gray and he is looking older and older every year. We can feel it more clearly because we see him only after a year.” When you see a person every day you cannot detect that he is becoming older. But if you see him after a gap of a year you can immediately see how much change has happened, how much his hair has gone gray, how much his face has wrinkled, how much older he is looking.
So I said, “If he cannot prevent old age, then be certain that he cannot prevent death, because old age is just a preparation for death.” And that’s what happened: one day Aurobindo died. When he died it was a great shock to his disciples who lived in his ashram and to his followers who were all around the earth, because who does not want to be physically immortal?
There are people in America, at least ten of them, whose dead bodies are preserved – those bodies belong to multi-millionaires – in the hope that within the coming ten to fifteen years, science will be able to revive a dead man. Those people have put all their money into a trust so that their bodies should be preserved exactly as they were when they died. So if, after ten or fifteen years, science becomes capable of reviving the body, their bodies will be revived.
Do you see man’s ambitions, his poverty, his inferiority, his fear of death, his lust for life? Even after death they are hoping…! Millions of dollars are being wasted on their bodies because they have a trust; it is their money. They are being preserved, frozen, completely frozen. Even if they come back after fifteen years, what are they going to do? They won’t see anybody around whom they had left. Their wives may have gone, their children may have died. And even if the children are there, who will want them? Who would like to have them back? Just think: your father comes after fifteen years of being a ghost; one day he suddenly comes home. You may die just with the shock of seeing your father standing before you.
People are talking about the generation gap – have you thought about the gap between the dead and the living? If after fifteen years a person comes back to life, he will not find anything recognizable, everything will be different. Perhaps he will not find the same world at all; perhaps the Third World War will have happened and he may wake up to start the whole game again: to go in search for Eve! If by chance he finds an Eve, then they will both have to think twice before they take the jump: should we start that whole thing again? If they have any intelligence they won’t because once was enough – look what happened to it!
But people are interested in immortality. Aurobindo exploited the idea of the superman: physical immortality was his contribution. Nietzsche was not thinking of that, neither was Bernard Shaw, nor was Adolf Hitler. But Aurobindo, being an Indian, contributed to the idea. He was not very original because the immortality of the soul has always been talked about. He simply transferred it to the body: immortality of the body.
When he died, they kept it a secret for three days because the Mother, the organizer of the ashram, said, “He cannot die, that is impossible. It must be a certain stage when he is going out of the body, and the superman is getting into the body. It is just the interim stage, the interval.
“Of course if somebody is getting out of a house he has to take his luggage and furniture and mattresses; and there are so many things to move out of the house. Then the other will bring his own mattresses, his own furniture. And who knows what kinds of things that superman needs? He will bring his own paraphernalia. So it is just an interval.” People are so foolish. That’s why I ask what kind of humanity we have, that people believed that it was an interval?
The body was kept in secret, and they were praying and waiting for the superman to descend. They were rejoicing because they thought, “Now it is happening” – and all that was happening was that the body was deteriorating: it started to stink. Then the Mother became afraid, so she said, “It seems it will take longer for the superman to descend, so we have to preserve the body inside a marble grave.” You will not believe it: there are still people in Aurobindo’s ashram who are waiting, thinking that one day he will knock inside the grave and say, “Now please open up: the superman has arrived.”
The man died. Then the Mother started pretending the same role: that her body had become immortal. Of course she lived for long, almost a century, but if you had seen her face before she died, you would have thought that this face could only be of a ghost: she was just a skeleton, with wrinkled skin. You could count, even from a photograph, how many bones there were in her neck, and how many blood vessels were going down her neck. There was no need for any X ray, just seeing her was enough. You could have seen everything that was in her – nothing was left. The same people who had seen Aurobindo dying started to believe that she was immortal. Then she died and again the same stupidity: three days’ interval, then the stinking body, then again another grave – and waiting. People are still waiting.
The idea of the superman is basically rooted in your feeling of inferiority, of fear, of death. But the new man has nothing to do with all this. The new man is the very ordinary man: nothing special, nothing superior, supramental.
The new man is the first man who recognizes that it is enough to be human. There is no need to be a superman. There is no need to become gods and goddesses. It is so fulfilling just to be an ordinary human being. I declare to you: there is nothing above human consciousness. Everything that is possible is within you. You are not to become special, superior; you have to become absolutely simple, ordinary, just nobodies.
One day I had a small meeting with Sheela and the group that works with her, and Hasya, John and their group. They were somehow feeling that they were not joining together and that somehow the gap was increasing. I had called a meeting of all and I also called Hanya. Hanya is neither of this group nor of that. She is a simple woman, and I had especially called her to see the reaction of a simple nobody.
What I expected happened: Hanya freaked out. She could not understand. What politics? Why should these people be quarreling or arguing or creating a gap? They are both working for me – all are working for me. But I wanted to see the reaction of someone who has no political mind, no kind of division, who is simply in love with what I am doing; someone who has no ambitions, no ideas to make into a reality. She freaked out – that was expected.
Sheela told me, “Hanya is very disturbed and wants to leave.”
I said that there was nothing to worry about; I knew that that was what was going to happen. I was expecting that she would not be able to understand. Sheela and her group understood, Hasya and her group understood and the gap has been dropped. The only person who was at a loss was Hanya.
I would like you all to be like Hanya – so simple, so innocent, that you cannot even understand what politics is, why people go on fighting, quarreling. For what? It is such a small life; we cannot be certain even of tomorrow and we are wasting it for some great ideals in the future, we start fighting about those ideals.

There was a case in an Indian court: two friends were brought into the court. The whole court knew they were great friends, but they suddenly started beating each other. The police came, the friends were caught and taken to the court. The police asked, “Why were you fighting?”
One said to the other, “You say it,” and the other said, “You say it” – and both felt embarrassed.
The judge said, “Enough! You simply have to answer: what was the reason you were fighting? Why were you creating a nuisance in the village? You were so angry and violent you could have killed. You both have to say what the reason was.”
They said, “We feel very embarrassed to say it, but now if you force us, we have to.”
One said, “We were both sitting by the side of the riverbank on the sand, and I was saying to my friend that I was going to purchase a buffalo, and he said, ‘Nothing doing. You are not going to purchase a buffalo, I won’t allow it.’
“I said, ‘This is something! Who are you to prevent me? I am purchasing the buffalo with my own money; I am not asking you to give me money. Who are you to decide it?’
“Then my friend said, ‘I have told you this is not going to happen because my farm is at the side of your field. If your buffalo enters my farm, I am telling you, I will kill it. I don’t want any nuisance around my farm.’
“I said, ‘You will kill my buffalo? Let us see.’
“My friend drew his farm on the sand with his finger and said, ‘This is my farm; now I will see. Bring your buffalo in’ – so with my finger I drew my buffalo coming.”
And that was the point when they started beating each other; and that’s why they were feeling embarrassed, because there was no buffalo, no field, and they were almost on the verge of killing each other!

All the politics of the world is like that. Why are people fighting in the name of religion, in the name of a political ideology: socialism, Communism, democracy, Fascism? – just words, just fingers drawing lines on the sand. What are your maps but lines drawn by fingers on the sand? If I say I am coming into your land without a passport, without a visa, immediately your army and National Guard are ready to kill me. Just on the map: I cannot even say it – it is a criminal act.
Strange: the earth has no boundaries, but you cannot get into Russia, you cannot get into America. Although I have been here for four years, I am not here. Rajneeshpuram has been here for four years; there are seven thousand people living here – enjoying, dancing, doing all kinds of things that should be done, and should not be done. But for the government there is no such thing. You don’t exist!
Your city is really unique in the whole history of humanity. There have been cities and there have been no cities; but an illegal city? – never heard of before. It is a city, but illegal. It is not recognized that you are here. Ignored, you don’t exist.
I am here, and I am going to be here. There is no way to send me back because I have my own arrangements. I persuaded the Indian government to reject me, so where are you going to send me? You can only deport me to India. I persuaded India beforehand; they are not going to accept me at all. Now I am stuck here in the Big Muddy Ranch. There is no way, no crane to get me out.
But these fools are in power. They have removed even the name of Rajneeshpuram from the Wasco County city project. In the Wasco County files, Rajneeshpuram does not exist. If seven thousand people suddenly disappear, the Oregon government will not be able even to say that they have disappeared, because then they will have first to accept that we were here – and we are not here!
But in a way it is perfectly good: if we are not in Oregon, then of course we are not in America. This seems to be the birth of a new nation. Soon we will have to make our own constitution and declare our independence. What else to do? We are big enough to be a nation. Just the other day Sheela showed me the list of all the nations who accept and respect patents made in America. The Vatican City is one of the countries listed, and the Vatican City is only eight square miles. We are too big – we are almost a continent compared to Vatican City. We can do it.
These lines are just drawn on the sand. The wind comes and all the lines are erased. And the wind of the new man is going to erase all these lines.
The new man will be simply man – not American, not Russian, not Indian; neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian; neither democrat nor republican, nor liberal, nor independent. All these nonsense words will not exist for the new man.
The new man will be simply man. I repeat again: I don’t accept anything higher than man. I am talking about the ordinary, simple man. There is nothing higher than that. The idea of being higher than that arises out of inferiority. I would like you to be just like Hanya: ordinary, no politics. But I will tell Hanya there is no need to go anywhere: this is your place, and you are the type of person I want all my sannyasins to be. Superman is just rubbish.
The new man is the birth, for the first time, of man without any ideology, without any ideals – just the way Adam and Eve entered the world. Was Adam Communist, Fascist, socialist? Was he Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian? Was he superior or inferior? He was simply what he was: there was no question of superiority or inferiority. I want you to be again Adam and Eve, to go back to your authentic nature, to your original face.

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