Osho comments on John Lennon’s Death

“We’re playing those mind-games together pushing the barrier, planting seeds. Playing the mind-guerilla, chanting the mantra ‘Peace on Earth’. We’ve been playing those mind-games forever… love is the answer, and you know that’s for sure. Love is the flower, you got to let it grow. Yes is the answer, and you know that’s for sure. Yes is surrender and you got to let it grow…”

This song was written by John Lennon about ten years ago. Now he is dead. Lennon was very much in love with you, even though he declared that he was not ready to become a disciple. I can feel this connection myself. I really would like you to say something about his death.

Swatantra Sarjano, words have their own magic, and the poets, the singers, live in the magical world of words, not of realities. They are skillful, very skillful and efficient, as far as the delicate, subtle waves of words, imagination, dreams is concerned, but all that they go on doing is utterly unconscious.

John Lennon on the one hand sings:

Love is the answer, and you know that’s for sure.”

He himself does not know it. He says:

Love is the flower, you got to let it grow.”

But to know it you have to be absolutely awakened, because love is the ultimate peak of consciousness. The poet can imagine about it, the singer can sing about it, the painter can paint about it, but they have seen only reflections of the moon in the lake; they have not seen the moon itself. And, of course, the moon reflected in the lake is just made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. The poets, the singers, are dreamers, they are not seers. So he says:

“Yes is surrender and you got to let it grow…”

His words sound true, but they are only reflections of the moon in the lake. If you dive in the lake you will not find the moon there. In fact, the moment you jump into the water, the reflection will disappear, will be broken into thousands of pieces. It will spread all over the lake; you will not be able to catch hold of it. The reflection is beautiful, but one has not to forget that it is only a reflection and it cannot transform your being.

So he sings: “Love is the answer… Love is the flower… Yes is the answer… Yes is surrender… And you know that’s for sure”—but he himself is absolutely unaware of it; he has not experienced it. A beautiful man, but still lost in dreams and imagination.

The poet lives unconsciously, the seer livers consciously. Sometimes their words are exactly the same—don’t be deceived by the words. If you really want to know whether those words represent reality or just empty wishes you have to look into the life of the man.

Kahlil Gibran has written tremendously beautiful words. They come so close to Christ, to Zarathustra, to Lao Tzu, to Gautam the Buddha, and there is every possibility many people will think that Kahlil Gibran is enlightened. He may even surpass Lao Tzu and Buddha and Christ as far as expression is concerned; his expression may be far more beautiful because he is a skilled poet, a very skilled painter. He has the sensitiveness to appreciate beauty, but howsoever he is appreciating it is unconscious.

Buddha may not say things so beautifully because he is not a poet in the ordinary sense, but whatsoever he says is the truth. His words may fall short of it… in fact, words always fall short of the truth; they are never adequate enough. So don’t decide by words.

Sarjano, you are deciding by words. That’s why you say:

I can feel this connection myself.

Sarjano himself has the quality of a poet, has the sensibility of a creative person. That’s why I have given him the name Sarjano; Sarjano means creativity.

But Kahlil Gibran or John Lennon have to be watched to know whether their truths are really truths or only fabrications of dream, fantasy, imagination; whether they have really experienced those things or they are only empty wishes. You have to watch the Buddha….

Buddha is reported to have said: “Don’t be too bothered about what I say, rather look at me, rather watch me, rather feel me. Let the words disappear. Don’t let the words stand between me and you. Experience my silence, feel the energy that surrounds me, resonate with me—only then will you be able to understand what I am saying.”

If you want to understand a Buddha, his words, you have to watch his life.

Buddha has also said, very poignantly: “Don’t follow my words, rather, follow what I am doing, follow what I am being.”

Sarjano, I can see these words are beautiful:

“We’re playing these min-games together

pushing the barrier, planting the seeds.”

But there is no need to go on playing them forever. There have been people who stopped all those mind-games, but the only way to stop those mind-games is meditation; there has never been any other way. Meditation means entering into a state of no-mind.

If he was really in love with me, then there was nothing to prevent him from coming here. To be in love with me means to be in love with meditation, but he must have been afraid of meditation. If he said that he was not ready to become a disciple he must have been afraid of meditation, of surrender, of saying yes, of falling in love. Why?—because the poets, the singers, the painters, the sculptors, the musicians, are the most egoistic people in the world. They talk about egolessness, saying yes and surrendering and love, but that is mere talk.

They are very egoistic people, in fact they far surpass even the politicians and the priests, for the simple reason that they are talented people. The politicians are not talented people—they are third-rate, they belong to the world of the mediocres. But poets, singers, musicians, painters, they are talented people. They really have something which they can brag about—they have got something. Their ego has a solid support. The politician is making his house on shifting sands, but the poet—any kind of creative person—Is making his ego on solid ground, on rocklike ground. His foundation is concrete; it is not made of just shifting sands. Hence he has every reason to feel egoistic, but then the danger is even far greater: he will be the last person to surrender, and his whole life he will talk about surrender and about egolessness and about love.

Kahlil Gibran talked about love, surrender, saying yes, but his whole life was quarrelsome. The people he loved, he always fought with them. He was talking about compassion, but he was a very angry man. He would go into childish tantrums for small reasons—aany excuse would do. He would throw things, he would break things—he would go mad! The people who lived with him were always afraid of him, the women who loved him were continuously in misery.

And this is the man who wrote the great book, The Prophet. It stands as one of the ten great books of the whole world and it will remain one of the greatest ever; there is no possibility for somebody to surpass it. And this is coming from a man who was very angry, very violent, very jealous, very egoistic.

Wilhelm Reich has written about how to get rid of jealousy — because jealousy is THE poison for love, it destroys the roots of love. And Wilhelm Reich is one of the greatest creative psychoanalysts after Sigmund Freud. But his wife writes something else—she writes about him: “I have never seen such a jealous person in my life. He was taking all kinds of freedom, he was moving with many women!”—because he was talking about freedom and that relationship should not be any kind of bondage, but about his wife he was very jealous. Almost twenty-four hours a day he was detecting, spying on where she was, with whom she was, what she was doing, was she looking happy with the man. When he went out of the town he would tell his friends to keep watch….

Finally his wife had to divorce him — it was too much of a torture. He was taking every kind of freedom — he was moving with many women — and his wife was not even allowed to have friends, not to mention lovers.

You have to look into the life of the person, because only that is decisive.

Now, Lennon was continuously fighting with his own woman — many times they separated and many times they got together again — and he is talking about mind-games, and he was playing those mind-games himself!

Sarjano, the words are beautiful: Love is the answer. I also say love is the answer, but I mean it! He does not mean it, he is simply saying beautiful words. Beautiful words have their own hypnotic quality. They catch the mind of the singers and the poets and the musicians; they fall in love with beautiful words. He must be in love with the word ‘love’—and remember, the word ‘love’ is not love, the word ‘God’ is not God, the word ‘yes’ is not yes.

Yes is a totally different existential experience. To say yes means to drop your ego entirely. Surrender means disappearing into the whole. He was a nice man, but as unconscious, Sarjano, as you are. That’s why you say:

I can feel this connection myself.

You must be feeling it!

Now the poor man is dead. Somebody played the game—the mind-game—killed him. Many questions have come to me asking that I should say something about his death. To me, birth and death have no significance at all. There are many ways to die, and the best way is to be killed—at least you are not responsible! The worst is to die in your bed and ninety-nine percent of people choose to die in their beds. Beware of the bed, because that is the most dangerous place in the world! All the accidents happen there: birth happens there, love happens there, death happens there. If you can simply renounce the bed you are enlightened!

He died a good death—somebody killed him. One has to die anyway; when one has to die one should choose a good way. I don’t think he chose it and I don’t think the person who killed him chose it either. People are living—all people are living—in utter unconsciousness.

A patient lying on the operating table started screaming, “I don’t want to be cut open! You’ll kill me! I don’t want to die!”

The surgeon tried to calm the patient.

“Just take it easy, sir,” he said. “Look at my long white beard. I’ve done thousands of operations and nothing has ever gone wrong.”

“Oh, doctor, you’re right! I know I can trust you!” replied the patient.

When the patient awoke after the operation, he looked around and saw the same white beard and said, “Oh, thank you, doctor! You are a saint!”

“It’s okay, son, you don’t have to thank me. I am not your doctor—my name is St. Peter!”

So what can I say about his death? It is perfectly okay! Everything is okay. Just… if he had really come here he would have died a totally different kind of death. He would have died celebrating, he would have died rejoicing. He would have died without any regrets, without any complaints. He would have died in love, in surrender, in yes. That he has missed this time—I hope next time he does not miss it.


From Philosophia Ultima, Chapter 10

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

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