JESUS SAID: THE KINGDOM IS LIKE A SHEPHERD WHO HAD ONE HUNDRED SHEEP. ONE OF THEM WENT ASTRAY, WHICH WAS THE LARGEST. HE LEFT BEHIND THE NINETY-NINE, HE SOUGHT FOR THE ONE UNTIL HE FOUND IT. HAVING TIRED HIMSELF OUT, HE SAID TO THE SHEEP: I LOVE THEE MORE THAN THE NINETY-NINE.
Absurd, illogical — but true. Try to understand: THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE A SHEPHERD WHO HAD ONE HUNDRED SHEEP. ONE OF THEM WENT ASTRAY, WHICH WAS THE LARGEST. It is always so — the one who goes astray is always the best. If you are a father and you have five children, only the best child will try to resist and deny you, only the best child will assert himself. The mediocre ones will always yield to you, but the one who is not mediocre will rebel, because the very quality of his mind is rebellious. Intelligence is rebellious: the more intelligent, the more rebellious. And those who are not rebellious, who are yea-sayers, are almost dead; you may like them, but they have no life in them. They follow you not because they love you, they follow you because they are weak, they are afraid, they cannot stand alone, they cannot stand against — they are weaklings, impotent.
Look around: people whom you think are good are almost always those who are weak. Their goodness does not come out of their strength, it comes out of their weakness. They are good because they cannot dare to be bad. But what type of goodness is this which comes out of weakness? Goodness must come out of overflowing strength, only then is it good, because then it has life, a floodlike life. So whenever a sinner becomes a saint, the saintliness has its own glory. But whenever an ordinary man becomes a saint because of his weakness, the saintliness is pale and dead, there is no life in it. You can become a saint out of weakness — but remember, then you will miss. Only if you become a saint out of your strength will you reach. A man who is good because he cannot be bad is not really good. The moment he becomes stronger he will become bad; give him power and power will corrupt him immediately.
This happened in this country: Gandhi had a great following, but it seems that the goodness of his followers came out of weakness. They were good when they were not in power, but when they came to power, when they became the rulers of this country, then the power corrupted them immediately. Can power corrupt a powerful man? Never, because he is already powerful. If power could corrupt him, power would have corrupted him already! Power corrupts only if you are weak and your goodness comes out of weakness. Lord Acton has said, “Power corrupts and corrupts absolutely!” But I would like to make it conditional; this statement is not unconditional, not categorical, it cannot be. Power corrupts if goodness comes out of weakness; if goodness comes out of strength, no power can corrupt. How can power corrupt if you know it already, when it is there already? But it is very difficult to find from where your goodness comes. If you are not a thief because you are afraid of being caught, the day you become certain that now nobody can catch you, you will become a thief — because then who will prevent you? Only your fear was preventing you; you were not going to murder your enemy because you knew you would be caught. But if a situation arises where you can murder the man and you cannot be caught, you cannot be punished for it, you will murder him immediately. So it is only through weakness that you are good.
But how can goodness arise out of weakness? Goodness needs overflowing energy. Goodness is a luxury, remember, saintliness is a luxury — it comes out of affluence. When there is too much energy, so much that you are flooded with it, then you start sharing it. Then you cannot exploit because there is no need. Then you can give out of your heart because you have so much that really you are burdened. You would like to share and renounce, you would like to throw everything and give all your life as a gift. When you have something you would like to give it — remember this law: you cling to something only when you don’t really own it; if you own it you can give it. Only when you can give something happily are you the owner. If you are still clinging to it, then deep down you are afraid and you are not the master of it. You know deep down that it does not belong to you, and sooner or later it will be taken away from you. That is why you cannot give. So only when a person gives his love does he show that he has love; only when a person gives his whole life does he show that he is alive. There is no other way to know it.
Out of weakness much goodness appears. It is an appearance, it is a false coin, and a false coin is just like a paper flower or a plastic flower. Whenever a tree flowers it flowers only because it is flooded with too much energy. Flowers are luxuries — a tree flowers only when it can afford to. If water is not given in the right proportion, if fertilizers are not given in the right proportion, if the soil is not rich, then the tree may have leaves but it cannot have flowers.
There is a hierarchy: the highest can exist only when there is energy to move to the highest. If you are not fed well, intelligence will disappear first because that is a flowering.
In a poor country the real poverty is not of the body, the real poverty is of intelligence, because if the country is very poor intelligence cannot exist — it is a flowering. Only when all the bodily needs are fulfilled does energy move higher; when the bodily needs are not fulfilled, the energy moves to fulfill the bodily needs first, because the base has to be protected first, the root has to be protected first. If there is no root there cannot be any flowering; if there is no body then where will the intelligence exist? And compassion is even higher than intelligence, and meditation still higher. In India, Buddha and Mahavira were produced when the country was very rich. Since then so-called saints have existed, but not a man like Buddha. Difficult, very difficult — because such a flowering is possible only when there is useless energy, energy which cannot be used; only then does the energy start enjoying itself. And when energy starts enjoying itself it begins to turn inwards, it becomes an inner turning. Then it becomes meditation, then a Buddha is born, then ecstasy exists.
Don’t give water to the tree and first the flowers will disappear, then the leaves will disappear; then the branches will die and only at the last moment will the roots die — because with roots things can come up again, so the tree will protect its roots. The root is the lowest, but the lowest has to be protected because it is the foundation. When good days come, when the rains come and there is water, then again the root can sprout, again the leaves will come, and again there will be a flowering. This same hierarchy exists in you. Be good out of your energy, never be good out of your weakness. I am not saying be bad… because out of weakness, how can you be either? Badness needs energy as much as goodness. You cannot be bad, you cannot be evil without energy, and you cannot be good without energy — because both are real. Then what can you be without energy? You can just have a false face: you will not be anything, you will just be a facade, a deception, a ghost, not a real person — whatsoever you do will be ghost like. And this is what is happening. Then you will create a false goodness, a false saintliness. You will think you are a saint because you have not committed any sin, not because you have attained the divine.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
Chapter title: Absurd! Illogical!
26 August 1974 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘energy, intelligence, meditation, compassion, ecstasy’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses: