Rebels: The Very Salt of the Earth

Osho on Rebels



Devageet, Oscar Wilde is right. It often happens that what psychologists cannot explain about the human mind, the creative artist, the poet, can easily explore to the depths which are beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond scientific research.

Oscar Wilde’s statement is of tremendous value. When he says, “When the Gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers,” he is saying something about our unconsciousness. We are not aware what we are doing, we are not aware what we are asking, we are not aware what we are praying for. Our consciousness is so superficial and our unconsciousness is so deep that it is bound to be that, if our prayers are fulfilled, it will not be a reward, it will be a punishment; because we had asked for something in our sleep and we will repent that we asked for it. For example, you are all aware of the Greek mythological story of King Midas. His only prayer for years was that he should be granted the power that whatever he touches becomes gold. … … There are many mythological stories of the same type in all the languages, and they are not simply stories. They are descriptions of our unconscious mind. Unless you are fully conscious, your prayer is going to be a punishment if it is fulfilled. Because from where will it come? And the moment you are fully conscious you will not ask anything because the greatest treasure has already been given to you.

A Gautam Buddha has nothing to ask for. He does not pray. He has no prayer, he has no God, he is utterly fulfilled and contented. He has no desire, he has nothing to ask, he is no more a beggar. The man of consciousness becomes an emperor. But millions of people who are praying in the temples, in the churches, in the mosques, in the synagogues should give a little more thought to what they are asking for. And if it is fulfilled what will be the consequences? They are bound to take their prayers back, because all their desires are arising out of their deep unconsciousness. They don’t know what will be the consequence, what will be the ultimate result.

Devageet, Oscar Wilde is a great genius, a poet, a creative artist. And these are the people — not your so-called dead saints — who have given humanity new insights into their own beings, into the possibilities of what they can ask and whether it is right to ask, or wait for the moment when you have come to a point of desireless-ness. All your desires are going to be wrong, however logical they may appear. Their ultimate result will prove fatal. You can watch it in yourself.

I am reminded of a story: Alexander the great was coming towards India. This was his last country to invade and then he would be a world conqueror. In the desert of Arabia he met a mystic, and the mystic had such a majesty, such a charismatic energy field that he could not resist. He stopped his horse and got down. He had been carrying a question since the day he had left Athens towards the East; because he had heard that in the East there are people who have attained immortality… just rumors reaching Greece.

This man seemed to be ancient and yet very young, very fresh. Alexander exposed himself for the first time in the long journey from Greece to the boundary of India. He said to the man, “I would like to know the secret of becoming an immortal.”

The mystic laughed and he said, “What a coincidence. You have asked the right person; otherwise, in this big world there are so many people. You could have asked anybody and nobody could have shown you the way. I know, and I will show you the way.

“Just close by, not more than two miles away from here, there is an oasis absolutely unknown to people. No path goes towards it, it is a secret place known only to the immortals. If you can drink the water of that oasis — there is a small stream coming out of a cave — you will become immortal.”

Alexander never used to go alone anywhere. It was risky, it was a question of security. His bodyguards, his security people, his advisers, they were always all around him. But he did not want anybody to go with him on this adventure, he did not want anybody to know the place. So he ordered that nobody should follow him and the army should stay there. He would go alone and soon he would be back. He reached it quickly — he had the fastest horse of those days. And you can imagine his joy that his desire, the deepest desire, to be immortal… who wants to die? It is everybody’s desire not to die. But have you ever thought about what it means?

Neither had Alexander ever thought about it. He jumped from the horse, rushed towards the cave from where the small stream was coming out, crystal clear water, and just as he was going to make a cup of his hands and take the water into the hands and drink it, a crow who was sitting on the rocks said, “Wait a minute.” He could not believe it. He had never even dreamed that a crow could speak, but now everything was possible when you were standing before a stream which could make you immortal.

He asked, “Why you are stopping me?”

The crow said, “Just a minute, so that I can tell my story to you. I have also drunk from the same source, millions of years before, and since then I have tried to kill myself in every possible way. I am tired, I want to die and go to eternal rest. But no poison works, no effort succeeds. Fire does not burn me, and just the idea that I have to remain eternally bored with life…

“I have seen everything, I have lived everything, it is all repetition, repetition, repetition. I have been searching for someone to tell me where I can find the antidote to this nectar that you are going to drink. I wanted to say it to you so that you don’t drink it unconsciously. Don’t commit the same mistake that I have committed. But still, if you want to drink, you are free.”

Alexander had never thought about this side of things — that immortality would be unbearable. All your friends will be gone, all your contemporaries will be gone, all those you have loved and all those who have loved you will be gone. New generations will go on passing; the gap between you and the people will go on becoming greater and greater. Nobody will understand you, neither will you be able to understand the new people who will inhabit the earth. And your life will be just a repetition, a wheel revolving eternally; the same route every morning, every evening, and there is no way to escape, no exit. A great fear… he dropped the water from his hands and he thanked the crow. He said, “I will remain grateful to you forever, and I pray that you please remain here to prevent anybody else from committing the same mistake. Because anybody, without exception, would like to commit it.”

This is our unconscious desire: not to die. But we have never looked at the implications of it. What will happen if you cannot die, if you cannot commit suicide; if death cannot come by itself and there is no way for you to get out of this vicious circle of life? You will be utterly helpless and your anguish will be almost intolerable. You will repent tears of blood and there will be no solace for you. Oscar Wilde had a great insight. And this man was turned out of England, expelled because of his strange ideas. His contemporaries thought that he was a little bit crazy. Do you think a crazy man can have such a great clarity, such a great consciousness? But this is the fate of all those who are born ahead of their time. The gap between their understanding and that of their contemporaries is so vast that they are always misfits. Oscar Wilde is one of the most famous misfit geniuses of the world.

But always remember: whenever you can find any book, any poetry of a man who was condemned by his contemporaries, look into the poetry, into the book, into the statement; because that statement must be carrying something of tremendous value which the contemporaries could not understand. The great man has to wait centuries to be understood. The people who can understand them come when they are long dead. They live a life disrespected, dishonoured in their own lands by their own people. And they give tremendous treasures, but there is no appreciation in their contemporaries. These rebels are the very salt of the earth. It is because of these rebels that humanity has a little hope, that consciousness has grown a little bit higher. Just take away these few rebels from the history of man, and mankind disappears and there are only barbarous, inhuman, ugly creatures left behind. But the people who have given you all the wisdom that you have, all the consciousness that you have, all the sensibility that you have… you have paid them with crucifixions.

Oscar Wilde lived his life being deported from this place to another, from that place to another, without any honour. Still, not a single word of complaint, no grudge against anybody, but a simple acceptance that “I have come before my time. It is not their fault; it is just my fault. I should have waited a little longer.” But perhaps even today he would have been before his time; still his time has not come. I have looked into his words and I can say it authoritatively: still he will have to wait for his people. The people who are living around the earth, even today, misbehave with him as the people of his own day did.

But I would like my people to understand these rebels, because these are authentic human beings. These are the crystallized souls, integrated consciousnesses. Not your bogus saints, but great poets, great mystics, great painters, great creators in any dimension… they have a vision which goes to infinity; they have a depth like the Pacific and they have the heights of the Himalayan peaks. If you can make friends with these rebels, something of their flavour may enter into your own being too. It may become a seed in you, and in the right time may bring great flowers and great fragrance.

Once Gautam Buddha was asked, “Why don’t you teach your people to pray?” It was an obvious question — a religion without prayer is simply inconceivable to many people. And the answer Buddha gave is as fresh today as it was twenty-five centuries before, as new and as revolutionary. He said, “I don’t teach my people to pray because their prayers will harm them. Right now they are not conscious enough to ask for anything, and whatsoever they ask will be wrong. First, let them become conscious enough. I teach them how to become more conscious and then it is up to them. When they are fully conscious, if they want to pray, they are free. They are not my slaves. But I can say one thing: that anybody who is fully conscious has nothing to ask for. He has got everything that one can ever ask for.”…

People try to pray, people try to smile, people try to look happy, people try to be truthful, honest — whatever qualities are praised. But their unconsciousness stands there behind every act of theirs, and their unconsciousness distorts their honesty, distorts their smiles, distorts their truth. But no morality in the world teaches people to first be conscious and only then to find, by your own consciousness, what qualities you would like to blossom in your being…. Honesty, sincerity, truth, love, compassion? Except for a very few rebels like Gautam Buddha, nobody has thought about your unconscious — that first it has to be dropped, changed, your inner being has to be full of light, and then whatever you do is going to be right. Out of a totally conscious mind nothing can go wrong. But who listens?…

What Oscar Wilde is saying, you should remember. My place is not a place of prayer. My place is not a place where you can come for your wishes to be fulfilled. My place exists only to help you become more conscious, alert, so that you can be a light unto yourself. Then whatever you do is good, is beautiful, is spiritual, is godly.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse series: The Rebel Chapter #26

Chapter title: Physician of the inner world

13 June 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken on ‘rebels, consciousness, wisdom’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Come Follow To You
  2. Beyond Psychology
  3. The Dhammapada: the way of the Buddha
  4. From Bondage to Freedom
  5. The Rebellious Spirit
  6. The Hidden Splendor
  7. The Golden Future
  8. The Path of the Mystic
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