Politics and Love


Politician, and Christ?

Politics and love are impossible to be together. Love is anti-political; politics is anti-love. I know politicians talk about love, but don’t be deceived by their talk. They talk about peace and prepare for war. Never listen to what the politician says; always watch what he is doing. Whatsoever he says may be just a distraction, to distract you so you cannot see what he is doing. He goes on saying things absolutely contrary to what he is doing. That saying is a camouflage. It is a cover to hide.

That’s why politicians go on talking — so that you are not in any way helped to be aware of what they are doing. They distract by their talk. They don’t communicate, they don’t say much. In fact, they want to hide so that things are not known. They talk about peace and they all prepare for war. They talk about love and they all create hatred in the world. But they are tricky, very diplomatic. When they say, “Love your country,” they are saying, “Hate your neighbors.” But they hide their hatred in the love of the country. When you say, “Love your motherland,” nobody is going to raise any question about it. There is no question: everybody has to love his motherland. But deep down in the teaching of the love of the motherland, they are preparing you for war.

Then you start hating the neighbors: they don’t belong to your nation, they don’t belong to your race, they don’t belong to your religion. Love your religion — then what will you do with people who don’t belong to your religion? Of course, it has to be understood that you will hate them. If you love your religion, you will hate other religions; if you love your country, you will hate other countries; if you love your color, you will hate people who are of a different color. If you really want to love human beings you have to stop loving the country, you have to stop loving the religion, you have to stop loving your color. If you really want to love human beings you have to stop all political nonsense. But they are very tricky — diplomatic. They talk about love and they sow the seeds of hatred, they talk about nonviolence and they prepare you for violence. They say they are preparing for war because without war, peace will be impossible. And they have talked such nonsense for so long that you don’t even understand how contradictory they are. Then the whole humanity goes on moving in darkness.

Remember one thing: Christ is not a politician — not even of love — because politics is poisonous. It will poison love itself. Christ is not a politician at all. If he been a politician, he would not have been crucified. Just a little diplomacy would have saved him. Just a little diplomacy: there was nothing much in it. But he was not a politician. That was the trouble. He was very authentic and true, not diplomatic. He said whatsoever he felt. Look: your so-called mahatmas are politicians. They try to live according to their principles, they try to be according to their ideology. Whatsoever they preach, they try to live it. Jesus is totally different. Whatsoever he lives, he preaches. There is the difference. A Mahatma Gandhi looks almost like Jesus. He’s not. He tries to live whatsoever he preaches, but the preaching is important. He wants others also to live according to his preaching and he himself tries to live according to his preaching.

Jesus is totally different. He says and preaches whatsoever he lives. When you preach whatsoever you live, you are exposed. You are open and vulnerable. You are true to yourself, but then you start becoming unfit with the society. Society is politics, it is diplomacy. Many things are not to be said, many things have to be said which are not true. When Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus remained silent. He could have said something, he was an articulate man. He was a great poet in his utterances, he could have said something. And his whole life was depending on that. That was the last thing Pilate asked: “What is truth?” Jesus looked into his eyes and remained silent. Very undiplomatic, very nonpolitical. He embarrassed Pilate. In that silence, Pilate felt very restless and uncomfortable. Jesus penetrated him deeply. His silence was something that he was saying from his heart. But Pilate wanted words. Pilate was not asking, “Show me the truth!” He was asking, “What is truth? ” He was asking for a definition. Jesus wouldn’t give the definition because HE was truth — and he was standing in front of him! He looked into his eyes. He must have stirred his soul. Pilate became uneasy. He turned away from Jesus. He said to the priest, “Take this man away and do whatsoever you like. Crucify him.”

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I always think about it. In that moment, Pilate must have felt as if he was being crucified in silence. Just think about Jesus looking at you. All your falseness, all your masks, fall away because they cannot be there when Jesus looks at you. Naked and nude you stand before him. Empty, with nothing. Pilate was the governor-general of the Roman Empire. But inside, a poor man, a beggar. All that falseness cannot deceive Jesus; he penetrates deeply. All your worldly riches are useless. He looks deep down into you and the beggar is caught. The beggar starts becoming restless. This was not asked for. If Jesus was a little diplomatic, he would have given a philosophical answer. Pilate was a student of philosophy; he would have understood. Jesus could have convinced him, argued, persuaded. Pilate may have saved Jesus his life. But rather than saying anything he created a climate, a situation in which Pilate became very restless.

Just think: Jesus is looking in you. Silence becomes embarrassing. This man seems to be dangerous, as if he is pushing a dagger in your heart. Suddenly Pilate must have felt the emptiness, the poverty that he was. He turned aside. He said to the priest, “Take this man away and do whatsoever you like.” But he must not have slept that night, or even for months. Jesus must have haunted him.

A very nondiplomatic answer. Jesus should have said the same thing that Pilate believed. That would have been diplomacy. Politicians say only the things you already believe. Then you are with them. They don’t disturb, they console. Their answers are like ointments. Jesus’ answer to the question, “What is truth?” — his answer is like a wound in the heart. For his whole life Pilate must have been haunted by the silence. “What did this man mean? Why did he remain silent, why did he look so deeply within me? Why?” In his dreams it must have become a nightmare.

Jesus was not a politician, not even of love.

Love cannot be politics. Love is simple, not complex. Politics is very complex and cunning. Love is intelligence; politics is stupidity. Only mediocre people get interested in politics. Love is tremendous intelligence; it is understanding. When you love, you are transformed through it. Politics is always concerned with the society, the nation, is always concerned with the collectivity. Love is always concerned with the individual. Love flows between two souls, there is no other way. Just like a river flows between two banks. Love flows between two souls. Love is individual, intimate, close. It can flow between one individual and the whole existence, because the whole existence has a soul. That soul is God. But it cannot flow between one individual and society. Society is just a word. It cannot flow between one individual and humanity. Humanity is just a word. There is nobody to receive it, there is nobody to respond to it.

Jesus loved, but he was not a politician. And Jesus never tried to change the society, remember. That was a misunderstanding on the part of the priests: that he was trying to change the society. He was not trying to change the society at all. He was trying to change the individual. And that, too, not according to his ideology, but according to the individual’s potentiality. There are a thousand and one instances….Jesus never condemns, Jesus never creates any guilt. Jesus never says, “That is sin. Don’t do it.” He reveals what is sin, but he never says it. He makes you understand what is sin, but he never gives you a dead dogma in the hand.

In life, dead dogmas are useless. Only an alive consciousness is useful because every moment the sin and the virtue changes. Something was a virtue in the morning. It may not be virtuous in the evening. It depends on you, on others, on circumstances. It is not a dead thing that you can carry with you. It is changing every moment. Unless you have a flexibility, a sensitivity to change with life, you will not be able to know what is sin. Every moment life goes on moving. Something was virtuous in a certain moment. The same thing can become a sin in another moment. So no dogma is possible.

Jesus gives a sensitivity to people, an awareness, a mindfulness, a meditation, so that they can feel their way, so that they can understand every situation and respond accordingly. If you go deeply into Jesus you will understand only one thing: that to act with awareness is virtue and to act with unawareness is sin. Sin is not a quality of any act. Neither is virtue. Sin and virtue belong to the presence or absence of awareness. It is not WHAT you do which is sin or virtue, it is HOW you do it: aware or unaware. It doesn’t depend on the action. It depends, deep down, on the consciousness — what quality you bring to it.

Jesus loved. That was one of his crimes: that he loved. A rabbi should preach, he should not love. A religious man should become an example, and induce and seduce people to follow his example. He was not an example at all. In the ordinary sense, he was not creating any ideal of his own. He was simply helping people to be more prayerful, to be more mindful, to be more watchful. And he lived, and loved. He lived like a very ordinary man. But with very extraordinary awareness. He lived like a Zen master. Jews could not understand him, or only later on. Hassids would have understood, but they came very late. They would have understood him, they would have understood him absolutely. He was a Hassidic master, or a Zen master. But his followers also misunderstood him. They thought that he was a politician and he had come to change the society. His enemies also misunderstood him.

The same has happened again and again. I am here. I am not interested in society at all, not a bit. But the politicians go on thinking that I’m planning in some way or other. I’m a conspirator and I’m planning something in secret ways to change the society or the government. It is difficult to convince them that I’m not interested at all in their government or in their society. They can go on playing with these stupid toys. I’m not interested. But they cannot understand because it is beyond them. They cannot see the point: that somebody is not interested in government, in governing people. They think there must be some deception; something is hidden behind it. They think my talk about religion — changing the individual, loving the individual — is just a facade. Behind it there must be politics. They can understand only politics, and they will see politics everywhere…

When a politician looks at a Jesus, or at me, immediately his understanding is political. He becomes afraid, he thinks a competitor has come. But

Jesus is not a politician, a man who knows love cannot be a politician. Why? — because politics is ambition; love is non ambitious.

Politics is a way to rule over others. Love never wants to rule. The very effort to rule and possess and be powerful is violent. It is part of hatred. Love gives, and gives unconditionally. Love does not possess. Love is not a monopoly, is not a power-lust. How can love be politics? Please don’t use that word with Jesus. He’s not interested in changing the society. He is interested in changing the heart, the heart of man. Maybe society is changed through it, but that is irrelevant. It can happen as a consequence, but that is not a concern. If the heart of man changes, the society is bound to change, because with a different man a different society will arise. But that is a consequence. Jesus is not interested in that. His whole interest is in how the kingdom of God can be felt within. That’s why he goes on insisting, “The kingdom of God is within.” It has nothing to do with the without. Politics is without; religion is within. Love gives, politics takes; love shares, politics has nothing to share. It tries to possess.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Come Follow To You, Vol 2

Chapter #6

Chapter title: Politics And Love

5 November 1975 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘Love, heart, awareness, religion’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Razor’s Edge
  2. The Path of Love
  3. Sermons in Stones
  4. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
  5. The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
  6. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  7. Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language
  8. The Hidden Splendor
  9. Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
  10. From Darkness to Light
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