The Last Testament Vol 1 30

Thirtieth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 1 by Osho.
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Fred Bruning
Newsday, Long Island, New York, United States
Good evening.
Glad to see you.
How do you stay warm in such a cold room?
It is not cold.
To me it is very cold.
To me it is only cool.
You feel better in cold surroundings such as this? Have you always, even as a child?
I come from a newspaper on the East Coast which is interested in you and your work. I would like to ask a question that, as I understand, is a basic question asked in meditation: Who are you?
It is a little bit complicated. It is not an ordinary question. When you ask, “Who am I?” you are not waiting for an answer. There is nobody to answer you. But by constantly inquiring, “Who am I?” slowly slowly other thoughts start disappearing. You become more and more attuned with only one thing – this quest, “Who am I?” When all thoughts have disappeared and only the sound, “Who am I?” remains, that is the miracle moment. That sound also disappears. First it kills all your thoughts, and finally it commits suicide – not that you get an answer, but the question disappears. And that is the moment of ultimate bliss.
Maybe if I am a bit less metaphysical, then. How would you describe yourself?
Why is that?
A description is possible only of an object. And I am not an object; I am a subjectivity. I can describe the table, I can describe the grapes, I can describe the whole world – except me. Description is applicable only to objects. I am always the witness. If I describe myself, in the very nature of things that description becomes false, because I am again witnessing it. I am always the witness, which cannot be reduced to an object.
Is it possible for you to describe others – other individuals?
No – as objects of course, but not as subjectivity. I can describe the color of your hair, I can describe the clothes you are wearing, but I cannot describe you, the being you are – that remains indescribable. And that’s the whole mystery of existence, that at the ultimate core, at the very center, is something that you can experience but you cannot explain.
You seem like a very certain individual, a man sure of himself. But I wonder if you have doubts about your work, about your role?
You are not subject to self-doubt?
You don't second-guess yourself in any way?
There is no question. For thirty-two years I have not encountered any doubt in me, any question in me. Yes, before I became enlightened I had millions of questions, millions of doubts. The moment I came to know myself, that dark night was over. Now there is no question of doubt, no question of repenting, no question of planning for the future. Just this moment is enough – I am totally contented with it as it is.
Things couldn't be better?
No, not for me. For you, yes.
When you say something like that…hmmm, I am not sure that I understand exactly what you are saying.
That’s why I am saying it can be better. You are not sure. I am sure.
Well, maybe you can help me understand.
I can – that’s my whole business.
And you are good at it.
I am just perfect – not good.
Well, maybe you can spin that out a little before me: maybe things can be better for me, although they cannot be better for you.
They can be better for you.
But you would have to know how things are for me, before you can determine whether things could be better or worse.
No need for me. All sleeping people are sleeping people. It does not matter to me whether this man has a Ph.D. degree and is asleep, this man is a doctor and he is asleep, that man is an engineer and he is asleep – that does not matter to me. My problem is simple: they are all asleep and they can be bettered by awakening.
I am asleep as well?
You are asleep as well.
It is a long trip out here, you know…
People have been doing everything in sleep for millions of years.
Is everyone in the room asleep, as far as you are concerned?
As far as I am concerned, yes.
Is Sheela asleep?
Yes – sound asleep.
How will you awaken her?
I am trying!
I have read much about you, I have watched some of the talks, and of course I have talked to people. Do you ever get tired of this? Do you ever get tired of the sound of your own voice? Do you ever feel, “Enough!”?
I have never read any of my books.
You have never read any of your own books?
No, I have never heard any of my tapes. I don’t even bother about what I said yesterday. And if you ask me tomorrow about this meeting, I will not be consistent with it at all – because I don’t carry comparison, memory. I simply go on existing moment to moment. You get bored because you compare: the same wife every night, the same kiss, the same geography. It is strange, unless you are asleep, to remain with one woman for thirty or forty years – it is just a miracle!
This is just what my wife warned me about.
That’s good. Somehow help her to come here.
No way.
All wives who run, come here finally. You can run from one husband to another husband, but finally you have to run from husbands – and that is my place. Here there is no husband and no wife.
Do you put any premium at all on marital fidelity? Is it worth anything?
Nothing – just nothing.
You don't think it might be different, marriage to marriage – good for some, not good for others?
No, the very word fidelity is ugly, dirty.
How so?
If I love you, I love you. If I don’t love you, I don’t love you. I am a simple, sincere, straightforward man.
What do you mean by fidelity? Fidelity means, when you don’t love, even then remain faithful. Anything that goes against love is ugly. What is the need of fidelity? If I love you, is that not enough? You need some fidelity too? That means there is a doubt in your mind. You are afraid: today love is there, tomorrow it may not be. So something legal, religious – the church, the court, and some conditioning of fidelity. So when love goes away and the spring is over, you can cling to these props: fidelity, courts, law, religion, church. Love needs nothing.
You have never been married?
Would you consider it?
Never. Marriage – and me considering?
Do you have children?
No, how can I have children? Not even my sannyasins have children.
Why do you say, “How could I have children?” Of course you could have children.
I don’t want my child to be in this world with Ronald Reagan, the Soviet Union, Ethiopia, India. In this starving world, where people are piling up nuclear weapons to destroy the whole planet – I would not like my child to be in this world, no.
You mentioned President Reagan. I wonder who you consider some of history's most admirable figures and some of history's most despicable.
Your whole history is bunk.
My history?
I mean the whole of human history is bunk, because it is written by people who were victorious. It is all false. For example, in India, Britain ruled for three hundred years and they were the writers of history. Whatsoever they wrote was wrong. They were not writing about the reality, the fact; to them the revolution of the Indians was only a mutiny, it was not a revolution. A revolution has a respectability about it, a mutiny is something ugly to be crushed. The moment India became independent, they started writing history again– they changed those three hundred years. Now, who is right?
When Stalin came into power in Russia, he changed the whole history of the revolution. He even changed the pictures. Trotsky was the second figure to Lenin, so in every picture he was sitting next to Lenin. Stalin was nobody. He changed the pictures: Trotsky was removed, Stalin’s picture was put instead. And all the old books were destroyed. Trotsky himself had escaped and he was in Mexico, writing history. He was on the last page when one of Stalin’s murderers hit him on the head with a hammer.
Looking at Trotsky’s history – and he was one of the chief characters in that history. Lenin was not a very impressive person. Lenin had no charisma, he was a great organizer; Trotsky had charisma and he had influence over the masses. Both together were immensely helpful and complementary to each other.
You have read widely, it appears?
I have read immensely.
Right. And from your reading, I am interested in knowing – despite the flaws in history – whom you consider to be admirable individuals.
You will not even have heard of those names that I consider admirable. For example, I consider admirable a poet in Japan, Basho, who has written a few small haikus – three-line poetries. But each haiku is a tremendous experience of meditation. No poet in the whole world has been able to put so much in so few words. But only a meditator can understand it.
You have expressed yourself in the past on certain individuals, though.
I have spoken on many individuals.
Jesus, for instance.
Yes, I have spoken on Jesus, Moses, Mohammed; I have spoken on hundreds of people. I have spoken three hundred and fifty books. I have never written anything – those are all spoken words.
I have admired one Chinese, Chuang Tzu. He is the most absurd character in the whole history of man, and that is why I admire him.
Why do you admire absurdity?
Because life is absurd. To search for meaning in it, is going to be frustrating. That’s why the West has come to a certain philosophy of existentialism, which talks only of meaninglessness.
Chuang Tzu says that there is no need to search for meaning. If you search for meaning you will end up in meaninglessness, and that will be frustrating. Life is an absurdity, it is a mystery. You need not search for meaning, you have just to live it, enjoy it. And I agree with him.
You seem to delight in contradictions – I think that is part of what you are saying.
Yes, I am always contradicting myself, knowingly, so that nobody can make a consistent philosophy out of me.
But in the end, then, what will be left but a series of contradictions?
Those contradictions, if you pass through all of them, will first create confusion in you; second, will create a tremendous silence in you. If you persist, if you don’t escape from the confusion, they will create a silence in you – and that silence will be a revelation. So I am not giving people a philosophy, I am giving them a device to discover the ultimate silence of existence, which is meaningless – as meaningless as a rose flower.
How then do you want to be remembered?
I don’t want to be remembered.
But you will be – you can't do anything about that.
That is other people’s problem.
What do you want said on your tombstone?
No, nothing.
Nothing? No name?
No, nothing. Once I am gone, I am gone. Then whatsoever my people want to do, they can do.
Your life now interests me, your day to day life. Can you tell me a little bit? What time do you get up in the morning? And what are the first few things that you do?
The first thing to understand about me is that whatever I am doing, I am not a doer, I am always a witness. Taking a bath in my bathroom, there are two persons: one is taking a bath, another is watching. And the watcher is me. The one who is taking a bath will soon be in a grave. So as far as my inner being is concerned, it is just the same, twenty-four hours a day. Sleeping, I am watching; talking to you, I am watching; sitting silently in my room for hours, I am watching. So as far as my essential being is concerned, I am only a witness. But the doer is there: I have to get up in the morning, but I never get up on my own – I am a lazy person.
Who wakes you?
Somebody takes care of me. She is here, Vivek. She wakes me up at six o’clock in the morning. And then, for one and a half hours I enjoy in my bathroom.
One and a half hours?
One and a half hours – that is the minimum.
What goes on?
Great things!
I saw the interview about the very elegant bathroom, and your invitation!
Yes. I have not only one bathroom, I have two. Because if something goes wrong with one bathroom, the other is always ready, ready for an emergency. I cannot miss anything.
What kind of emergencies could come up?
Just some plumbing problem arising.
Oh, the plumbing problems!
Because I cannot miss anything. I want to take as much out of each moment as is possible. I love taking a bath, playing with soap bubbles. Albert Einstein discovered everything about the universe while playing with soap bubbles. My one and a half hours is nothing, he was sometimes six hours in his bathtub!
Maybe he had trouble getting out.
His wife had trouble getting him out. But because I won’t have any wife, there is no trouble!
So you are ready for the day, after your one and a half hours in the…
Yes, after one and a half hours of taking my bath, I take my shower. And I have all the best hypo-allergenic soaps, shampoos, conditioners – I enjoy them immensely.
And then, after, do you do any robust work, any kind of physical work? Do you do any sit-ups and push-ups?
Just a little exercise in my bathroom.
Also in the bathroom!
My bathroom is big enough.
And then there is period of study or…
No. For five years I have stopped studying anything, not even a newspaper – nothing.
Do you have any interest in what you might consider the outside world?
If I asked you what was happening in Nicaragua or El Salvador, would you know?
No, unless Sheela informs me. That is her duty. She is my secretary: if she feels that something is happening which needs to be told, I need to be informed of, then she brings it to me.
Are there any events now, is there anything in current history…?
Yes, right now she is bringing all the information about AIDS which is significant.
You are concerned, of course, about AIDS, and have made it very clear. It's our understanding – reporters' – that in September you will perhaps invite some victims of AIDS to the Commune for care. Is that true?
Perhaps, perhaps. Spread the gossip!
How do you think the sannyasins would respond?
Just the way they are responding – they will laugh.
A lot of nervous giggles!
They will laugh, because my sannyasins don’t consider death a calamity. It is a celebration, a new beginning.
Do you think AIDS represents some cosmic punishment for what's gone wrong somehow?
No, there is no punishment in existence and no reward. Each action has its consequence. It depends on you, what you want to call it.
So AIDS has no significance beyond itself: it exists, it kills, and it means nothing more than that?
That’s all – nothing more than that. There’s nothing more in it. Religions bring the idea of punishment and reward. And through that they bring heaven and hell and the whole theology that you are a sinner, that you are a saint. To me, there are only people – neither sinners nor saints. And everybody has to do what he wants to do. If a person ends up with AIDS, it is totally his responsibility; he was doing things which have brought him to a certain end. And he should be perfectly happy with it – nobody has forced him.
What do you think about those things: homosexuality, drug abuse?
I don’t. Each individual’s thinking… As far as I am concerned, anything that is unnatural, anything that is not part of the program of your biology, physiology, is going to lead you into trouble. But you may like the trouble, you may love the challenge.
I am against homosexuality, lesbianism, and all kinds of perversions. But that is my personal opinion. If any individual chooses to be homosexual, there is no condemnation in me for the person. I am not going to throw him into hell, I am not going to judge him. That is his way. I have told my opinion, if still he feels that homosexuality is the only thing that appeals to him, then he has every right to be a homosexual.
But you see that as an unnatural act?
Not only see – I also say that it is an unnatural act. But you are free to do something unnatural.
What for you is sexual perversion?
It is a religious disease – sexual perversion.
Is a religious disease?
It is a religious disease. All the religions of the world are responsible for it, because first they started forcing celibacy on people, which is unnatural. Unless you are impotent, you cannot be celibate. And the strangest thing is that not a single impotent person has become enlightened in the whole history of man.
And what do you make of that?
That means that all these people – Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Krishna – all these people were more sexual than ordinary people. It is their over-sexual energy that does not feel contented with women and children and the ordinary mundane world. After all that experience, they are still too full of energy and they want to go on some higher quest. All these people are over-sexual.
No impotent person has contributed anything to the world, because he cannot be creative. His basic creative energy, sex energy, is missing. Telling people to be celibate, and then putting monks in one place, in one monastery, and putting nuns in another place, and not allowing men and women to meet – you are creating the situation for homosexuality. So Catholics are responsible, Hindus are responsible, Buddhists are responsible – they are creating the situation.
Although there is no reason to believe, I don't think, that Catholics or Buddhists or Hindus are any more likely to be homosexuals than anyone else.
They have to be. Particularly their monks – what will they do?
Yes, but that doesn't affect necessarily the masses of people.
That reflects, because those… For example, in India there are five million Hindu monks. Now, these five million Hindu monks are staying in Hindu families, are coming in contact with Hindu children, women, all kinds of people. And they are bound to spread their perversion in every possible way. They will be abusing children for their sexuality.
They have been caught. Just now, three or four days ago, a Christian priest has been imprisoned for one and a half years, because he was abusing small children.
But these seem isolated incidents.
They are not isolated. They don’t come to your notice, that is one thing – because the church wants to repress them, the society wants to repress them, the government wants to repress them. How many homosexual senators do you have?
Got me…!
No information about your senators.
You suspect that they are all…?
I know.
How do you know?
One, personally I know.
You personally know of a homosexual United States Senator?
Yes, yes.
Can you tell us who he is?
Not only homosexual, perhaps he may have AIDS.
Who is the person?
The name I cannot tell you – that’s your work to find out.
How did you come upon this information?
I will not tell you anything. But one thing I can tell you, that every vested interest is trying in every way to repress such information. For example, the pope, before this pope, was a homosexual – everyone in Italy knew. He was a bishop in Milan, and he was always hanging around with a homosexual, and everyone knew. Then he became the pope, and that homosexual man who was hanging around him became his secretary, came to the Vatican.
But when you say everybody knew – who is everybody?
Because you could have asked anybody in Milan. These are things which people know, but which will not come to be given as evidence in the court. These are not easily provable things.
But people say things about you that may or may not be true.
There is no problem. No, no – you can ask me. I am not a pope and I am not a president, and I don’t care a shit about any respectability. You can ask me, and I can correct their information. They may not be well informed: I can inform them about myself perfectly well.
Well, there may be some things that you are unable to speak to…
No – not a single thing.
…to people on the outside.
Whatever they say, you just tell me.
Well, you know that they say…
No, I don’t know because…
…that you have developed this organization for your own benefit, that you are a liar, that you are a cheat, that you treat people unfairly, that you have been coarse and unkind in your dealings with Oregon and Antelope, for very particular, selfish reasons.
So, start with one, so I can answer you.
Yes, I…
For example, I have not been coarse and unfair to Oregonians. I have been very lenient and very liberal. I should not have been so liberal. And from now onwards, I will be coarse and I will show them what roughness means.
How have you been too liberal, too lenient?
We have just been factual – calling a spade a spade. But now I am going to call a spade a fucking spade! So you can go and tell those Oregonians.
I think people feel that you have been doing that for some time.
No, I have not been doing anything.
Go point by point, so I can put you right.
The point was, though, that things can be said about public people without there being any truth to what is being said.
No, you don’t come across a man like me in your “public people.” You can ask me, and I can answer you directly. For example, you cannot ask your public people: they depend on you, their respectability depends on you. If a senator says he is a homosexual, perhaps in the next election he will be gone. But as far as I am concerned, I am not dependent on anybody in the whole world, not even your God. So I can simply be true. Only I can be true – anybody who is dependent cannot be true.
But I might ask you how much money you have in the bank, and you may tell me that you have nothing in the bank. I can't tell whether that is true or not.
Just listen to me. You can inquire: has anybody ever seen me with a single dollar? I don’t even have pockets. I don’t have even a diary to keep my accounts. I don’t have any connection with any bank in the whole world. You can put your FBI or CBI – or whatsoever nonsense you have in America – if they can find a single bank account of mine, I am ready to be shot. I am not going to take any stupid kind of thing. They should inquire. And I am ready, if they can find a single paise in my name anywhere…
What I am saying, though, is that your being willing to entertain questions, doesn't settle the argument.
Nothing settles the argument. Has any argument ever been settled? Is it settled that Jesus was the son of a virgin girl? For two thousand years theologians have been arguing, and he was simply a bastard!
Your bank account is more easily dealt with though, I think.
No, this is a simpler case to decide, because a virgin woman giving birth is a simple matter to decide. The case of my bank account will take a long investigation.
But it could be determined.
Yes, it could be determined.
The other cannot.
The other can also be determined – I determine it! And no medical person can refute me.
That has to do with matters of faith. I am interested in knowing what your notion of faith is.
Faith is simply for the ignorant and the idiots; faith is not for intelligent people. Intelligent people try to know things: either they know, or they don’t know. If they don’t know, they simply accept that they don’t know.
But people say they have faith in you.
Nobody can say that.
I talked to many people here who say…
Then they are wrong…
…who say they trust you.
…because I am continuously saying to them that nobody should have belief in me, nobody should have faith in me. What more can I do?
But it seems to me that that makes you more appealing to people.
So what do you say? Should I start saying to everybody they should believe in me, everybody should have faith in me? Will that convince you?
I think, though, that people are drawn to you for this very kind of conversation.
That is people’s business. But as far as I am concerned, I can only do two things. Either I can say, “Have faith in me,” or I can say, “Don’t have faith in me,” – or I can remain silent. But in all cases, I am guilty. Just look at the situation. You cannot make a person guilty in all the situations. If I am silent you can say that I am silent and that is misleading. If I say, “Don’t have faith in me,” you say, “They have faith in you because they love your idea of not having faith in you.”
Exactly right, yes. You encourage questioning, but is there any format set-up for you to be questioned by the people?
No format is settled. They have to ask their questions. And there is no need for any format, for the simple reason that I don’t come to you or to my people with any answers ready. Your question creates the response in me. So if I know, I will tell you. If I don’t know, I will tell you that I don’t know anything about it.
But a person who considers himself a follower of yours…
That is his fault.
…let me just continue. May feel that perhaps the money should be used differently. How would that person make it known to you that he has reservations about the way money is spent?
I have nothing to do with money, and I have nothing to do with how it is spent.
Have you no influence in the way money is spent?
No, I have no influence, no information. That is different corporations, different corporation heads, they have to settle their own things.
I think, when you say that, people on the outside simply don't believe it.
That is their business. By not believing it, it does not mean that they are right. Half of the world does not believe in God. All the communists around the world don’t believe in God, all the Buddhists in the world don’t believe in God, all the followers of Jainism don’t believe in God – but even that does not prove that God is not. Neither does it prove that God is because half of the world has faith in God. It simply proves that God is just a bogus word. You can go on arguing about it for millennia and you will not come to any conclusion, because in the first place there was nothing to conclude about.
If we can move back to things concerning money, just for a moment. Would you describe yourself as a capitalist?
I am a super-capitalist – without a single cent!
You are in a very fortunate position.
That’s why I am known as “the blessed one.” I don’t have to bother about any taxation, I don’t have to bother about any bank account, I don’t have to bother how to earn and how to spend – and still everything is available to me.
Have you ever wondered why you have come into such good luck?
No, I have simply accepted everything that has come my way. Good or bad, I have accepted it.
Did you foresee anything like this, years ago?
What were your hopes then?
I am a “without hope” person.
Never had hopes for yourself, never dreams, as a young man?
No, I just had before twenty-one.
What were your dreams then?
They were dreams about becoming enlightened, and they were fulfilled. They were dreams about knowing myself, and they were fulfilled. And after that, now I have nothing to dream.
Your dreams did not have any kind of material element in them.
No, from my very childhood I was not interested in anything else than my self.
That's unusual.
It is. It is – in such an insane world, to be so sane is…
How do you account for that? Is it your upbringing, your parents?
It’s very difficult to account for it, because my parents were just ordinary people, as everybody’s parents are. They tried their best to bring me to their religion, but I was rebellious. I made it clear to them, “Please leave me alone, let me search for myself.”
When did you begin saying things like that to your parents? And what did they say to you in return?
When I was about four, I started. Small – about small things. It is not only about big, spiritual things, but about small things. For example, if my father would say, “Just get out of the room, don’t disturb me,” then there was no way. I would simply refuse, and say, “You can go out, if you are disturbed. I am not going out of the room alive.”
What happened when you disobeyed. Were you punished?
I was punished.
In every possible way. Corporal punishment – but I was never angry, and I had no complaint. I said…
You were hit. You would be hit by your father?
Yes, my father hit me, and he…
With his hand?
With his hand. And his whole life, he repented for that one hit. Only once… I had long hair when I was a small child, I had very long hair. And my father was in continuous trouble, because he was a small shop-keeper and I was continuously passing through the shop – the house was behind the shop – and everybody would ask, “Whose daughter is this?”
That hurt him very much, that he had to tell everybody, “He is my boy, not my daughter.” One day he became very angry, and he said, “This is an unnecessary irritation. The whole day, you are coming in and out. Either you start going through the back door, or you cut your hair.” And he hit me.
I simply went to a barber’s shop, just in front of my house, and I told the barber, “Shave my head completely.” He was an old opium addict – otherwise nobody would have cut my hair completely. So he was in his mood and he simply shaved my whole head! In India, you shave your head completely only when your father dies; otherwise nobody would shave their head.
I came back home. But before I came back, other people had already reached there, thinking that my father was dead. My father was sitting there and they said, “What is the matter? I saw your son shaved – and you are alive!”
Then I reached home, and he asked, “What have you done?”
I said, “This is the answer to your hit. If you are against long hair, you will be half against short hair. I said, ‘Let’s satisfy you one hundred percent.’ So I have shaved it completely. And in the future, remember: if you want to hit me I will not complain about it, but I will respond in my own way.”
Should children defy their parents?
Certainly – if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, there would have been nothing in the world.
When should children obey their parents?
Nobody should obey anybody unless their intelligence says it is right. But that is you obeying your intelligence – not your father, not your mother.
But is a child prepared to do that?
Yes, certainly.
So if a child chooses to walk into what an adult would…
Perfectly good. Rather than creating this stupid and mediocre world, it is far better that a few thousand children every year jump into the ocean and die. But leave the world with intelligent, rebellious, vibrant people.
But that would terrify parents.
Let them be terrified! I have terrified my parents – why should I bother about other parents?
But you've not been a parent. Isn't that too easy for you to say?
No – because I know my parents, and it was not easy for them. In fact, I have not been a parent because of them! Because they wanted me to be married, and I said, “Then there is no way. If you keep quiet, some day perhaps I may get married. But if you continue in any way trying to persuade me, then there is no way.”
Let me understand your views on children and defiance. If you saw a child putting himself or herself in danger, you would not reach out to that child?
I will tell the child, “There is danger, and you are going into danger; you can die. I can make help available to you if you want help. But if you have decided to go into it, then go – with all my blessings.”
You would not physically restrain a child who insisted on walking on the railroad tracks?
No, I would not. I will not interfere in anybody’s freedom, whatsoever the freedom is for.
But that's only the freedom to destroy yourself.
In this case – the case of the child.
This is only one case. The question is, out of a hundred cases, there may be one case where your example may be applicable. In about ninety-nine cases, there is no death involved. Just for one percent, I am not going to destroy the freedom of ninety-nine percent of the people.
But is that any meaningful limit on a child's freedom – to protect the child from danger?
I will tell him everything, and if he allows me I will help him physically to get out. But if he says that he wants to go into it, that he understands what I am saying, then with all my good wishes he can go.
What do you say to people who, when they hear you speak in these terms, say that you are too detached from the world, you are making no sense except for yourself, that what you say really doesn't apply to the broad population?
I don’t care – why should it apply? Everybody has intelligence, everybody has to decide for himself. This whole idea, that you should interfere in other people’s life, has been brought by the political leaders, by the religious leaders. And they have conditioned the whole of humanity that you have to serve others, you have to sacrifice yourself, that you have not to be selfish.
My whole approach is that you have to be selfish. And only if you enjoy serving somebody, serve – because there is no other reward.
Let me ask you something you have been asked many times before, and that is, your understanding of service to the poor, or there not being any need to serve the poor. It seems to me that you've said a few things that are not necessarily consistent on that.
I am not a consistent man, you should remember that.
Yes, I understand. But on this issue, what is your current feeling? Should you be helping the poor? Are we not obliged as human beings to help those in lesser situations?
No, all these are just nonsense words. Human beings – where are human beings? Just in theory. Monkeys never became man – perhaps may have become human monkeys, but I cannot say Ronald Reagan is a man – a chimpanzee, perhaps.
Human beings would not have been in such a stupid state, in the first place. Why is there so much poverty? Those poor people are responsible for it.
The poor people are responsible for their own dilemma?
Certainly, yes.
Would you say that to someone who lived in the ghettos of New York or Chicago?
I have lived in India, which is far worse.
And were you saying those kinds of things?
Yes, I have been saying it there, and they were trying to kill me. They are responsible because they have accepted religious ideas which make them poor. They have accepted a certain ideology that your poverty is your past life’s punishment: in your past life you have committed bad actions, that’s why you’re poor.
I don't think that is what the poor of the United States believe.
No, I don’t know about… This they cannot believe. But they believe that you are born in sin, you are born because Adam and Eve disobeyed God. And the whole of humanity has to suffer for it until you repent, until you become Christians, until you become a follower of Jesus, who will persuade God – because he is the only begotten son of God – to save you.
So the question has been removed from its real context, that there is exploitation. The rich are rich because they know how to exploit. The poor are poor because they are not intelligent enough, and are not allowed to be intelligent enough ,so that they are not exploited – one thing. Second, the poor go on increasing the population of their own; the rich people don’t increase in population.
So should the poor be punished for that?
They are already punished. Who is saying that they should be punished?
When you speak this way, you sound so unsympathetic.
I am.
You are unsympathetic to the poor?
I am, because those poor are a great calamity on the earth. And they go on producing, because they don’t have any other entertainment than sex. And they are not ready to listen to me. They are ready to listen to the pope, who goes on saying that birth control is against God, that the pill is the worst thing that has happened to humanity, that abortion is anti-life. They listen to these people, and these people are making them more and more poor.
Could the poor save themselves by listening to you?
Certainly – immediately.
How would that work, though?
It would work immediately. For example, in India I had been telling people, for thirty years, to use birth control methods, to use the pill, to use abortion – whatsoever prevents population growth. But it goes against their religious ideas, it goes against their tradition.
But even if they were to begin practicing birth control, that would not pay their food bill for the next month. How can they save themselves now by listening to you?
The government was providing, free, every birth control method. And in thirty years they have doubled the population. When I started speaking to them there were only four hundred million Indians; now there are eight hundred million Indians.
But what about the poor tonight: the person who is hungry tonight, the person who has no money to pay his electric bill tonight – what can he do?
He should go to the church and first ask the priest there, “Give me food. Ask your God, ask your savior. He has been saying that he is coming back, and two thousand years have passed and his “soon” has not come yet. So, you give us.” And your savior was turning stones into bread, walking on water, raising the dead, so why cannot the pope do the same? He’s his representative, an infallible representative – he should do all these things. If he cannot, then burn the whole Vatican.
I'm sorry, burn…?
Burn the whole Vatican.
Burn the Vatican?
You speak with such disdain for Jesus now, although we are in a part of the commune called Jesus Grove, and in the past you have spoken rather fondly, it seems to me, of Jesus as a figure.
Have you changed your mind?
No, I have spoken about only half of Jesus before. Now comes the remaining half. Before, I spoke about the day; now I am speaking about the night – twenty-four hours I have to finish!
Again, on the question of poverty: people say you are the guru of the rich, the yuppies' guru.
People don’t say – I say!
That is how you want to be known? You're comfortable with it?
This is actually the fact. That’s why I say I am not like other public figures. Nobody – Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha – had the guts to say that they are the rich man’s guru, and they all were. Buddha had all the kings of India come to his feet, offer him thousands of acres of land and gardens. He was the rich man’s guru, but he had not the guts to say it. I have the guts to simply say what is the fact: I am the rich man’s guru, because only a rich man can be religious – a poor man cannot be.
For example, if you ask Albert Einstein, “Can you teach a poor man higher mathematics, physics?” he will say, “How can I? First he has to go through the complete course of the university and at least have a master’s degree in physics. Then, perhaps, I may be able to start from scratch.”
Up to now, religion has never asked for any qualifications from anybody – and religion is the highest experience in life. This is a strange situation: only a rich man – who has lived with all luxuries, all comforts, who has attained to his ambitions and is now feeling that nothing satisfies, that nothing brings the delight he was hoping for – is ready to go in the direction of religion. A poor man asks for food, a poor man asks for medicine; he does not ask for meditation.
He has more immediate needs, though, Osho.
And I don’t have food to offer him.
But is it a worthy way to spend a lifetime, ministering to the rich?
Only one man in the whole world ministering to the rich, and all the religions – there are three hundred religions – and all their priests and all their public servants are serving the poor. And just look: one man is looking after the whole rich world so well, and everything is going perfectly well! And all those idiots – three hundred religions, and millions of monks and nuns, and what are they doing?
Well, your job is easier though, isn't it?
So, I am ready to change. If they have guts, I am ready to change – I can become the pope, the pope can come here.
What would you do if you were the pope? What would be the first thing you would do if you were the pope?
First, I will destroy Catholicism completely.
By papal decree?
Because if six hundred million people are deleted from the world, we have solved a great problem for poverty!
Do you have any use for Protestantism?
I will take them when their number comes up. First, the Catholics – because Protestantism is nothing much, it is below my dignity even to condemn them.
You don't think of Martin Luther as a substantial individual?
Martin Luther was simply a politician, and wanted to be a pope himself. Because he could not be a pope, so the protest, and Protestantism. That is just a German mind and nothing else. And you cannot think…
What is your idea of a German mind?
Just zero. Mind – and German?
On a scale of zero to ten, a German mind scores zero?
German and mind are contradictory terms.
Who scores higher? What kind of mind scores higher?
Polacks! They are the highest.
So, just see. A single man taking care of the whole world’s rich people, without moving out of his house – and all these people are taking care of the poor. Just compare the work of one man against three hundred religions and their millions of servants, and you can see.
In my commune, not a single baby has been born in four years. And I have not told anybody that, “You have not to give birth.” Simply stating that the world is too populated, you should think, you are intelligent…
You would prefer that there be no more children?
For twenty to thirty years, there should be no children.
Anywhere. Only then can we cut the population to one-fourth of what it is now. And once the population is one-fourth, then every couple can be allowed to have two children.
How would something like that be enforced? How could that ever work?
If it is not going to work, then AIDS will work, then a Third World War will work.
Do you have a vision of the future that includes a Third World War?
If I am not the alternative, then there is no world.
It is you, or World War Three?
It is me, or the whole world. Really, things have come to such a point: either they have to listen to me or go to hell.
Whomsoever they have listened to up to now, has led them wrongly. The politicians have created nations, wars. And now the ultimate war – the Third World War – they are preparing for every day, piling up more and more nuclear weapons. They already have more than are needed – seven hundred times more. They can destroy the whole earth seven hundred times, and still they are piling up. I don’t know what kind of arithmetic these people have learned.
What's your advice to Ronald Reagan in regard to nuclear weapons?
Just drop all those nuclear weapons in the Pacific Ocean. That is the meaning of the name “Pacific Ocean.” Drop all nuclear weapons. Be the first, and declare, “We are not in favor of war, whatsoever the consequence.”
Do you fear the Soviet Union?
There is no problem, nothing to be worried about. If the whole world drops war, what can the Soviet Union do? Let them conquer the whole world – what is wrong? Rather than being destroyed completely, it is perfectly good to have a Soviet government all over the world. What is wrong in it?
You know in this country there is a term, “Better dead than red.”
So then, be dead! But we have decided to be red. We are not deciding in favor of being dead. So our slogan is: Better to be red than dead. It is only a question… Just think, if I say this to the Soviet leaders, they will ask the same question: “If America overruns us…?” If I say it to Americans, they think, “The Soviet Union is going to overrun us.” So nobody is willing to do it first – but somebody has to. And America, being a far more intelligent, far younger nation, far more democratic, far more intelligent – I would like to appeal to America first: you be the pioneer.
But you've said some harsh things recently about America. You said that violence is the religion of America.
I say all kinds of things in different contexts.
But let me ask: you've said that, “I believe that violence is the religion of America,” that America has mistreated many groups – Red Indians, black people…
That’s true.
Why then do you remain here if you find so much evil in the United States?
I will fight it.
Well, can you give me some sense about what you are doing about, say, racial discrimination?
We are creating a commune of joyous, happy, silent, dancing, singing, loving people. And this commune is going to create a sabotage of your whole American society. If just a small atom can explode and destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki, then don’t think a small commune cannot sabotage the whole American continent.
How will that work?
You will know only when it has worked. Had you any idea how the atom bomb would work before it worked? Even those who made it had no idea how it would work. Einstein suffered his whole life after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, repenting that in the first place he had written a letter to President Roosevelt that atom bombs could be made. He was not aware that so much is possible through a single explosion. And now we have seven hundred times more power to destroy.
This small commune is a life-energy phenomenon. If dead matter can explode… This type of experiment has never been done. What we are doing here is totally new: we are creating a certain kind of energy field.
This is what the evangelicals say. They say that, “It will spread, it will pass word to word, and finally we will have influenced millions.” Realistically, do you think that will happen?
Those people have no idea what is going on here. Don’t compare us with all those retarded people.
Like Billy Graham, for instance?
Yes, Billy Graham is the final word as far as retarded people are concerned. You can even just look at his face, and it is the face of a chimpanzee, not of a man. Well shaved…
Why do you see in him a chimpanzee?
He is – dressed in the American way, but he is a chimpanzee. Just undress him and you will find…
Which ideas of his do you find most offensive?
Everything, because I find Jesus a crackpot, so what about these people? I don’t criticize Billy Graham or that kind of person. I think of Jesus as a crackpot, and these are…
What do you think of Reverend Moon?
He should be sentenced for his whole life, not for one and a half years. And, with him, all the other bishops and priests who have signed a petition for him that he should be released and should not be punished.
Are you distressed that sometimes people put you and Reverend Moon in the same category?
They can put me wherever – everybody is free to do that. In fact, Moon’s and my name mean exactly the same thing: the moon.
What's the difference between the two of you?
The difference is absolute – there is nothing similar. I don’t have any God, I don’t have any paradise, I don’t have a savior, I don’t have a gospel, I don’t have a holy book. I don’t teach a certain theology, doctrine, creed, discipline. On the contrary, I teach individuality, freedom, doubt, skepticism, agnosticism. These words are anathema to people like Reverend Moon.
And yet in your community there is a sense of order and authority here.
There is a sense of order, and that sense of order is coming out of the intelligent people living here. Nobody is ordering.
But those people say they draw their energy from you.
They can say whatsoever they want to say – what do I have to do with that? Nobody is ordering, nobody is trying to enforce a certain system on them. I am simply explaining my experience, my attitude, my approach to life, and leaving it to them. If they want to live it, they are free; if they don’t want to live it, they are free. If they want to be here, good; if they want to go away, that is even better.
I spoke to a young woman today who said once that – while she thought there was no chance that you would ever do this – that if you did, as Jim Jones did, suggest a mass suicide, that she would hope that she would do that. When you hear that, what do you feel, what do you think?
Certainly, that woman is speaking her heart. She is not saying anything about me, she is speaking about herself. And as far as she is concerned, you have to ask her. That is her love for me. But I have not asked anybody to die for me – I have asked people to live for me.
This is the only place on the earth where Jonestown cannot happen, because I am in total love with life – with everything that life is. There is no denial, no renunciation of anything. And I would like my people to live as long as possible. But if somebody feels that way, that is his freedom, what can I do?
Would you consider that a fanatical kind of response?
No, not at all. Not at all.
Why not?
It is simply her love.
Isn't that a dangerous kind of love?
Love is always dangerous. So people who are not capable of living dangerously are not capable of loving, either.
I know you've often had to speak about Jonestown, and I'll just ask you to be patient with me. When you heard about the incident, what did you think?
I thought, “This is where Jesus has led people.”
Where Jesus had led people?
Yes, this was Jesus’ doing. If I get him, I am going to slap on both his cheeks together, so he cannot give me another cheek.
Why did you think that – that this is Jesus' doing? Jonestown is Jesus' doing?
Because that’s the whole conclusion, the logical conclusion, of Jesus. Jesus was telling his people that he is going to his father’s house to prepare a place for them, and then he will come and take them. Two thousand years have passed; he did not come back.
Now it is simply logical that Jim Jones thinks, “Why bother going first, preparing? It is better to take the whole lot with me.” I think this seems to be more logical and mathematical. If Jesus had done that, that would have been better, there would have been no Christianity. That would have been a great blessing in the world: if he had taken those twelve fools that he used to call apostles, humanity would have been saved from so much misery and suffering.
Your followers have been called fools, though, as well.
They are!
Do you tell them that?
Yes, they are here – I tell them.
They just don't listen, though, huh?
They do not. They know me – they don’t care what I say.
You once lived a very simple kind of life; now you live a very opulent kind of life. What happened?
I am just a contradictory man. One day, I can again live a simple life, there is no problem in it.
I'm sorry…?
One day, I can again start living a simple life, there is no problem. But whatsoever I do, I do it totally.
Is there a possibility that one day you will give all this up?
Every possibility, any moment – because in the first place nothing belongs to me, so I have not to give up anything. This watch is given to me for your interview. In my room, I am not…
Timex in your room, huh?
…I am not even wearing a watch. The car comes to me when they have to bring me here. Nothing belongs to me, everything belongs to the commune or their Trust. So in the first place, I am still a poor man, pretending to be a rich man!
You're doing a good job!
I am.
If you gave all this up, what would you do?
I would just go to sleep.
Permanently, or for the evening?
What should happen to all this after you are dead?
I don’t care, because nobody bothers… When I was not here, I was not concerned abut the world, neither was the world concerned about me. When I am not here, you think only one thing, that I am dead. You forget the other part – that you are dead for me, too. The connection is finished. The world is no longer there for me, just as I am no longer there for you. I become absent to you, you become absent to me.
Do you believe in reincarnation?
I know – I don’t believe. I don’t believe in anything.
What do you know?
I know my own past lives. That’s why I know there is reincarnation.
What were your past lives?
Now, that will be a belief for you, only fiction. And a man who can write three hundred and fifty books can write three hundred and fifty fictions also. So that is not much use.
But how many lives have you had in the past?
As many as you want. One thing I can say: I can lead you to the point from where you can look at your past lives – at least one life – and that will be proof enough of reincarnation. Telling my stories will not be of any use.
But maybe you could give me some example of how it happened in the past.
No, I never give anything which can become a belief in any way.
What are your feelings about funeral preparations? Have you made some arrangements?
Would you want to be cremated in the new crematorium?
That, my people will think of. Who bothers? I will be gone. People are so worried about controlling things, even after their death. When I am not there, this body is just matter. So whatsoever they want to do… If they want to throw it into the river, most probably that will be the right thing!
Do you think you will be in Oregon for the rest of your life?
I don’t know. If I get the green card, I may go out. If I don’t get the green card, I am going to be here.
You've got the people in Australia worried now, as I understand.
I have my communes in the whole world, but everywhere I will have the same problem. So first I will have to settle here. If the green card is settled here, then I will go to Australia to fight again, for whatever card they have.
The last thing: do you have a message for the people of America?
I certainly have a message. Because America is not an old country like India, which has existed for thousands of years and has a burden of a long past, prejudice, conditioning. America is just a child compared to a country like India or China – three hundred years mean nothing.
America has a very superficial layer of conditioning. If it can drop that conditioning – being Christian, being Jewish, being American – America can become the first country in the world to open the doors for a new humanity. It is a risky thing, dangerous, but only America is young enough to take the risk.
Drop all religions, drop the boundaries of the country, throw away all nuclear weapons, declare to the whole world, “We are no longer for war. If anybody wants to invade us, we will welcome them.”
I don't think that's a platform you could win the presidency on! If you were voting – if you were an American citizen and you chose to vote – would you be a republican or a democrat?
I will simply be what I am. I cannot conceive of myself in any other role.
But from what you know of American politics, where do you think you would be most comfortable?
They are both the same type of people. This is just a political conspiracy. It depends on a certain psychology of people, and democracy is using it. People’s memory is very short – three years. So for four years, five years, one party rules, and naturally it cannot fulfill all the promises that it has given to the people. It starts falling, in people’s eyes. And for five years, the other party has been giving promises that, “We will do what they have not done.” So after five years the other party comes on top. And this game goes on being played. Those two parties are conspirators, shareholders in the same company. It is a rotation of a wheel.
I don’t see any difference in their ideology, I don’t see any difference in their principles, I don’t see any difference in their faces. They are all the same people, playing a game. It is a football match: one team on this side and one team on that side. It doesn’t make any difference to me.
I am against parties. I want democracy to be party-less. Unless it is party-less, it cannot be democracy. It is only temporary dictatorship. For four years, five years, or whatsoever time in different countries – you give a party four years’ dictatorship. It is a temporary dictatorship, it is not democracy.
Democracy will be possible only when there are no political parties, and each individual decides on his own. Nobody is going to campaign, nobody is going to convince him. He is not a party member, he has not to follow a party line – he has to decide himself.
Ronald Reagan thinks he presides over a democracy. Is he incorrect?
Absolutely incorrect. He does not preside over Rajneeshpuram.
Is he a deluded man?
He is – senile.
Think he's too old to be president?
He really should go back to cowboy work, cowboy films, to Hollywood. Don’t waste the time of the world unnecessarily. Even as a cowboy, he was a third-class actor.
You like movies, isn't that right?
Once in a while, if my people suggest them to me.
What are some of the movies you've seen lately on video?
Perhaps one or two which I liked. One was, The Brothers Karamazov. That is the novel of Dostoevsky that I have always loved, and I consider it more valuable than the Holy Bible. Another was Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. That is a masterpiece of genius. So once in a while, if somebody sees something beautiful that they would like my time to be wasted on, they bring it.
I read somewhere that you liked “Patton” and “The Ten Commandments.”
“Ten Commandments” I liked – as a film!
You didn't like the book! No, commandment – the very word – is not for me.
Do you spend much time looking at videos?
And you're not reading anything anymore?
No, for five years I have not read anything. But before that I read as much as people will read in five lives.
Well, thank you, thank you for your time. My pleasure.

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