Freedom or Equality
Osho on Freedom
We do not remember God in happiness, but we remember Him in our unhappiness because then we want to shove off the responsibility from our shoulders. Russell has written, “I will only believe that God really is when there is no sorrow on earth.” Russell is right as far as theism goes. Our theism will fade if there is no sorrow on earth. Think a while: Will anyone remember God if there is no sorrow on earth? Will the temple bells ring? will candles burn in churches then? Will the call of the muezzin fill the morning air? These prayers, these calls, this worship, these oblations of fire — through all these, our sorrow cries. And the absurdity of it all is that neither temples nor mosques can eradicate our sorrows, because it is we who create them and we alone can destroy them. Sorrow is the misuse we make of our freedom. But it is this freedom that we want to save ourselves from.
Really, would the thought of God ever have entered our mind if there was no sorrow on earth? How could it arise? God is like medicine for an illness. If there is no illness, who but a madman would think of taking medicine? God is like a medicine to us. We use Him to cure our ills. When there is sorrow, we think the medicine of His name; when there is happiness, we throw the bottle of this medicine in the dustbin. We think of Him in sorrow only, because we want to place the responsibility for our ills on His shoulders. But you cannot place any responsibility on God’s shoulders because God does not bind you. You are free, independent. No one is there in this world who is a greater advocate of freedom than God.
The freedom He confers on His creation is so profound that we see so much dissimilarity around us. The socialist and the communist, who always criticize God always put forth this argument: that if there is a God, then why all this inequality? Their argument appears to be correct on the face of it because they do not take the trouble to think. Remember, however, that freedom and equality are opposite conditions. If you desire equality, you cannot have freedom; if you desire freedom you cannot have equality. All people can be made equal, but then all will have to be slaves. Equality can only exist in prison. Even in a prison, if there is some laxity, inequality creeps in. Utmost strictness is required to maintain equality.
Complete equality is possible only in complete subservience. Therefore, if communism succeeds, the whole world will be one big prison. If communism does not succeed completely, it cannot be communism. Freedom means that each person has the freedom to be what he wishes to be. Then, inequality is bound to be there. Then inequality is inevitable. If equality is to be maintained, each man will have to be forcibly made to conform to the accepted level of equality.
Another interesting development that follows such equality is that the level of consciousness falls according to the degree of equality in a society. The greater the equality, the lower will be the plane of consciousness. Supposing there is a class of thirty pupils. The boy who is the thirteenth in the class cannot be made to attain the first grade; but in order to maintain equality, the first boy can be forcibly constrained to go down to the level of the thirteenth. Actual equality can only be maintained at the level because the lowest can never be pulled up to the highest point, whereas the highest can be obstructed and made to go down. Likewise, it is not easy to bring all the patients in a hospital back to good health, but it is very easy to make healthy people sick. To pull back is always easier; to rise up is always difficult. Therefore, the greater the equality, the lower will be the plane of intelligence; and the greater the freedom, the greater the possibility of intelligence touching the peaks of consciousness.
Remember, freedom means that he who wants to reach the peak will reach, and he who does not want to reach will not reach. He is free to remain where he was if he so wishes, and he is free to undertake the long journey — again, if he so wishes. So to people like Marx who deny the presence of God on the grounds of inequality, I say that this is one of the many proofs of the existence of God: that there in so much inequality and disparity in the world because of the complete freedom He has granted us.
People invariably invoice equality and freedom in one breath. Not only this, in France they went a step further and shouted the slogan: “Justice, Freedom, Equality!” This is complete insanity, but we are not aware of it because we are so enchanted by the trickery of words. We never try to investigate deeply, but are simply carried away by the magic of words. If there is equality, there cannot be freedom; and if there is freedom, equality is impossible. And if you want justice, you shall have to choose between the two.
Then also, if you opt for freedom, your justice will be entirely different; and if you opt for equality, your justice will be entirely different. If you choose equality, then an attempt to be different will be termed a crime. If you choose freedom, this very attempt would be deemed a just and rightful act. If you choose equality, it will be lawful to keep each man limited; and if you choose freedom it will be considered lawful to encourage a person to be different. It will be unjust and unlawful to hinder or obstruct a person from becoming unusual and different.
All this is very difficult to deal with. Freedom and equality are very important problems.
So, Marx denied God. He had very little to do with God. Rather, he had no use for Him. But one thing was clear to him: If God exists, freedom cannot be destroyed. Then inequality is bound to remain. So if inequality is to be destroyed, we shall have to destroy the very philosophy of the existence of God. Thus it is not without reason that Communism is atheistic. A person cannot be a communist and still believe in God. He has to be an atheist, because the very meaning of God is freedom — no control.
What Lao Tzu said dates back 2500 years before Marx. Independence and freedom can only be in absence of control. Only where there is freedom is there the possibility of development. But then, the responsibility rests with us. If we wish to avoid it, we will have to find some means of bondage and slavery. If we do not make God or guru our master, we shall make the state our master. It makes no difference. Let he who wills, throw the reins round our necks. We are ready to follow. We are incapable of walking ourselves; we need someone to prod us, to goad us on. Then we are assured and feel confident. We feel there is no need for anxiety; we cannot go wrong. But remember, this is the biggest mistake. No other mistake can be there. The biggest mistake is losing our freedom and then whatever we will do, will be an error, a sin, a crime.
Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.
Discourse Series: The Way of Tao, Volume 2 Chapter #4
Chapter title: Tao’s unpresent presence
1 February 1972 pm in Immortal Study Circle
Osho has spoken on ‘Freedom, Responsibility, Life, Man’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- Beyond Psychology
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- The Path of the Mystic
- The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 2
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
- The Invitation