Lust for Power: An escape
Osho on Power
YOUR VISION IS SO BEAUTIFUL, AND MOST OF ALL, SO SIMPLE. BUT WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT MAN HAS TO CLEANSE HIMSELF OF, IT SEEMS TO GET COMPLICATED. I THINK THE THING HARDEST FOR MAN TO DROP, FOR YOUR VISION EVER TO BE, IS HIS SO-CALLED POWER — WORLDLY AND SPIRITUAL. TO ME, SUCH PEOPLE WOULD RATHER SEE THEIR WORLD BLOW UP THAN TO GIVE UP THEIR PRECIOUS POWER. IS THIS SO?
It is so.
People are so unconscious that they can do anything to keep their power, their respectability — even if it means blowing up the whole world. They can risk anything to save their ego. And these are the people who naturally reach to the positions of power, because they are the only seekers of power. No creative, intelligent person seeks power. No intelligent person is interested in dominating others. His first interest is to know himself. So the people with the highest quality of intelligence go towards mysticism, and the most mediocre go after power. That power can be worldly, political; it can be of money, it can be of holding spiritual domination over millions of people, but the basic urge is to dominate more and more people.
This urge arises because you don’t know yourself, and you don’t want to know that you don’t know yourself. You are so afraid of becoming aware of the ignorance that prevails in the very center of your being. You escape from this darkness through these methods — lust for money, lust for power, lust for respectability, honor. And a man who has darkness within himself can do anything destructive.
Creativity is impossible from such a person, because creativity comes from your being conscious, a little alert… light, love.
Creativity is not at all interested in dominating anyone — for what? The other is the other; neither you want to dominate anyone, nor you want to be dominated by anyone. Freedom is the very taste of being just a little alert.
But these people are completely asleep. In their sleep they are making atomic bombs, nuclear weapons, not knowing what they are doing. Only one thing keeps them moving, and that is: more power, more power. And whoever comes in their way has to be destroyed. They don’t know anything else. They are barbarians who have not evolved into human beings. Yes, they can destroy the whole world; they are already prepared to do so. They are all against me because I am exposing them.
And I am surprised: in this big world nobody else is there to join hands with me, because people are afraid of the powerful ones — they can destroy them. One is fearless only when he knows that he is indestructible; you can kill him but you cannot destroy his being. But such people have slowly disappeared from the earth. We have not nourished them. We kill them and then worship them. This also has to be understood, why all the people that we have killed — for example, Jesus, Socrates, Al-Hillaj Mansoor, Sarmad — are immensely respectable after they have been killed. When they were alive they were condemned by everybody, not only by those who were in power but even by those who were not in power. Those who were not in power condemned them to show to the powerful, “We are with you.” And the powerful condemned them because these people were bringing a vision. If it succeeds, then there will be no domination in the world; then there will be human beings — everybody unique, flowering in his own way.
But all these people are worshipped when they are dead. That comes out of guilt. First people kill them… It is the powerful who kill them, and it is the powerless, the dominated, who support them — unwillingly, but very fanatically, because they want to show to everybody, “We are more against them than you are, and we are more in favor of the powerful than you are.”
But once the man is killed, crucified, poisoned, these are the people who start feeling guilty, because from the very beginning they were not ready to kill the man. They had no problem with the man; he was not destroying any of their vested interests. They simply supported the powerful because they were afraid that if they didn’t support, if they remained silent, they would be suspected of supporting the person who has been killed. A disciple of Jesus was in the crowd when Jesus was crucified, and he was asked — because he looked different from others, was not from the same place, was a foreigner, and nobody recognized him — he was being asked again and again, “Who are you? Do you know this man who is being crucified?” And he said, “No, I have never heard about him. Just seeing that so many people are going this way, just to see what is happening, I have come.” Even he cannot admit that he is a follower of Jesus, because he knows the result will be another cross.
So finally, when these people are crucified, the people who had supported it unwillingly start feeling very guilty, “What have we done against an innocent man, who has done no harm to anybody? And whatever he was saying, he was right.” They can understand that these people in power are exploiting everybody. It is a strange world. You know people now as kings and queens, and if you follow their ancestors, in the beginning, they were robbers. From where did they get their kingdom? They are great robbers who have killed many people, accumulated money, land, declared themselves as lords of the land, and now they have royal blood. They are in the lineage of criminals — and not ordinary criminals, big criminals. But they have power, they have money — naturally their blood is special.
The ordinary people have known all along that they are being crushed, murdered slowly. They labor hard and they cannot manage even one meal a day. They produce — but all that goes to those people who are in power. So when they support these people, it is unwillingly. That unwillingness, when the man is dead, turns into guilt; they start feeling that they have been participants in a criminal act. They have not done anything, but they were participants in a way; they were showing that they are in support of the powerful people. To remove that guilt, worship arises.
Worship is simply the removal of the guilt, to wash away the guilt. That’s how such big religions like Christianity… otherwise Jesus had not that genius to produce such a big religion. There were hundreds of rabbis far more intelligent, far more scholarly than him, he was just an uneducated young man, but the crucifixion changed the whole situation. Once they crucified him, they made him a god — god to all those people, who are millions, who had supported the crucifixion. They started feeling guilty.
And you can see it, if you look deeply. Jesus was killed by the order of the Roman emperor, by his viceroy, Pontius Pilate in Judea, with the agreement of the high priest of the temple of the Jews. Today Rome has been the citadel of Christianity for twenty centuries, but the order to kill that man had come from Rome. There was a day when the whole Roman civilization turned into a Christian civilization. Today the pope has only a small piece of land — eight square miles — but it is an independent country. It has been shrinking slowly; once he had the whole of Italy. He was higher than the state. People were killed in Rome for being Christians. Christ was the first one, then whosoever turned Christian was killed in the same way; hundreds of people were crucified. And this whole crucifixion created so much guilt in people that a great religion came out of it. But such a religion can only be a psychological cover-up; it cannot be a true religion. It is simply covering up your guilt. The more fanatic a religious person is… you can measure by his fanaticism how guilty he is feeling, what he is hiding behind it.
But Christianity became the world’s biggest religion for the simple reason that not only Christ but many other people, who had turned Christian, were crucified without any trial. And the masses were supporting the powerful people but deep down feeling hurt — what is happening is simply inhuman, should not happen. But they are poor, they have no power; they cannot do anything except worship.
A real religion is always of meditation. A false religion is always of worship.
Worship is a psychological method of washing from your hands the blood that you can see on your hands…A guilt feeling is very basic for being a Christian, for being a false religious person. Real religiousness arises not out of guilt but out of silence, out of love, out of meditativeness.
These people who are in power are almost on the brink of destroying the world, rather than lose their power. I can understand their logic — they may not be aware of it. Their logic is: We are going to die anyway, so what if the whole world dies? Our death is certain, so why should we bother about whether the world lives after us or not? We should live in power as long as we are here, and there is no need to be bothered about what will happen if the world explodes into a third world war. The inner logic is: the day one is dead, the whole world is dead for him. You were not here one day; whether the world was here or not would not have made any difference to you. You will not be here one day; whether the world is there or has been blown up by nuclear weapons will not make any difference to you. What makes the difference to them is that they are in power, and they want to prove to the whole world that they are the most powerful people…
I can see clearly that there is more possibility of the world blowing up than being saved, because nothing is being done to save it and everything is being done to blow it up. And because I speak against it, America is against me, the Soviet Union is against me. This is a rare phenomenon; otherwise it happens that if America is against me, the Soviet Union will be favorable to me. And vice versa too is true. But both are against me, because I am not really against America or the Soviet Union; I am against this game of power, which is simply idiotic.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Beyond Psychology
Chapter title: A world beyond time
1 May 1986 am in
Osho has spoken on ‘freedom, consciousness, creativity, intelligence, light, love, meditation, religion’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- The Book of Wisdom
- From Death to Deathlessness
- The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
- The Path of the Mystic
- Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Golden Future
- The Book of Wisdom
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Last Testament, Vol 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- The Tantra Vision, Vol 1, 2
- Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 1, 2
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen