Like a Wildfire in the West – Osho

For some time I have been feeling that you are in a hurry. What is that hurry and why?…

I am in hurry for three reasons: first, no matter how much time one has, one will always find it insufficient. Always, any amount of time and energy would be insufficient – because the work is as big as the sea, and the energy and the time one has are like the hollow of one’s palm. Even if one is a Buddha or a Mahavira, a Krishna or a Christ, the effort cannot be greater than the hollow of the palm, and the expanse of the work is as vast as the sea.

This is only ordinary haste, which is usual. But there is haste for another reason too. Some time periods move slowly so that the time appears not to be moving at all. As we look to our historical past, we will find that time used to move very slowly. Then there are some eras that move fast, in which everything seems to be moving at a high speed. Today we are in such a fast-moving era. Everything is moving at a high speed, and nothing seems to remain steady or stable. If religion continues to move at its ancient slow speed, it will lag behind and die.

In the old days, even science moved slowly. For ten thousand years the bullock cart remained the same. The bullock cart remained a bullock cart and the blacksmith used the same old tools.

Everything moved as slowly as a river moving on non-sloping plains. You would not know at all that anything was moving. Banks of such rivers still remain here and there.

In such times, religion also moved slowly. There was a sort of harmony in that movement, and science and religion both were in step with each other. But now religion moves slowly while science and other things are moving at a faster pace. Given these conditions, if religion lags behind and walks hesitantly, then it is no wonder people are not able to keep in step with it. For this reason also there is hurry.

Looking at the speed at which the world’s knowledge about matter is increasing and the speed at which science is making great strides, religion should actually remain somewhat ahead of science and achieve a higher speed – because whenever religion lags behind science it causes great harm. Religion should remain a little ahead to guide, because an ideal must always remain a little ahead; otherwise the ideal becomes meaningless. The ideal should always be ahead of achievement and should remain beyond it. This is the fundamental difference between these two.

If we look back at the era of Ram, religion was always ahead of him. If we look to the modern era, man is always ahead of religion. Nowadays only that person can become religious who is very backward. There is a reason for this: it is only because such a person alone is able to keep in step with religion. Today, the more progressive a person is, the farther he is from religion, or else his relationship with religion will remain only formal – will be just for show. So religion must remain in the forefront.

If we look back to the time of Buddha or Mahavira, it will be very surprising to know that those who had the best minds in their times were religious. But in our civilization, if we look to the modern religious man, he has a lesser intelligence. In those days, those who were the leaders, those who had reached the top, were religious people. And now, those who are rustic, rural and backward are religious. The more intelligent minds of our times are not religious. This means that religion is not able to march ahead of man. For that reason also I am in hurry.

Another reason for being in a hurry is that these are times of emergency, of crisis. For example, when you are going to a hospital, your footsteps have a faster pace than when you are going to your shop. The speed you use to go to a hospital is that of an emergency or a crisis. Today, the state of things is almost as if some religion is not able to create and put forth a strong vigorous movement it is possible that the entire humanity may be annihilated.

It is a time of emergency, like that of being admitted to a hospital. It is possible that the patient may die before reaching the hospital or before any medicine can be administered or by the time the disease is diagnosed, but the ill effects of this prevalent condition are not affecting any religious thinkers. Instead, they are affecting the younger generations of the entire world, and they have hit the younger generations of the developed nations the hardest.

If American parents tell a son to study for ten years in a university so that he may get a good job, the son retorts by asking whether there is a guarantee that he will live for ten years. The parents do not have the answer. In America, there is little trust in tomorrow. Tomorrow cannot be trusted; it is not certain whether there will even be a tomorrow. Therefore, there is a desire to enjoy today as much and as fast as one can.

This is not accidental. It is like a patient who is lying on his deathbed and may die any moment. The whole humanity is becoming like that. There is a hurry, because if the diagnosis is slow there can be no quick remedy. Therefore, I am in a hurry that whatever is to be done should be done fast.

About my statement that I will move from town to town: I have by now, in one sense, already done that work. I have in mind some people; now it is a matter of working on them. But the difficulty is that it would be better if instead of my keeping them in mind they keep me in mind. And as long as I do not come into their minds, nothing can be done.

But I have started this work also. My going and coming or my staying are all for the purpose of doing something. After preparing some persons, I want to send them out in two years to various towns. They will go. Not one hundred but ten thousand persons will be prepared. These persons of crisis are as full of potential as they are of dangers. If time is properly utilized, great potentialities are developed; otherwise the result is calamity.

Many persons can be prepared. This is a time for enterprise, and many people can be prepared for a jump into the unknown. It will happen. I have told you about the outer state of things. But whenever an era of destruction appears near, there will be many a soul that will have reached the last stretches of development on the inner plane. Such souls only need a push, and with just that they will take the jump.

Ordinarily, when death is felt to be coming nearer, it can be seen that one begins thinking about what is beyond death. Every individual begins to become religious in such a situation where death is drawing nearer to him. The questioning about what is beyond begins at the approach of death.

Otherwise, one’s life remains so much engaged that such a questioning does not arise. When a whole era approaches a near-death condition, then millions of people begin to think inwardly about what is beyond. This situation can also be utilized; it has great potentialities.

Therefore, I will slowly confine myself to a room: I will stop coming and going. Now I will work on those who are in my mind. I will prepare them and send them out. The moving from place to place, which I cannot do myself, I will be able to do by sending out ten thousand people.

For me, religion is also a scientific process, so I have in my mind a complete scientific technique for it. As people become ready, the scientific technique will be passed on to them. With the help of that technique, they will work upon thousands of people. My presence is not needed for that. I was required only to find such people who could carry out that purpose. Now I shall be able to give work to them.

It was necessary to evolve certain principles; that has been done by me. The work of the scientist is over. Now the work is for the technicians. A scientist completes the work, like Edison discovering electricity and inventing an electric lamp. Thereafter, it is the work of the electrician to fix the bulb. There is no difficulty in that.

Now I have an almost complete picture of the work to be done. Now, after giving people the concept and getting them to do the technique, I will send them out as soon as they become ready. All this is in my mind, but the potentialities are not seen by all. Most people see only the actualities. Seeing the potentialities is a different task, but I can see them.

The conditions that were existing in one small area of Bihar during the time of Mahavira and Buddha can come about very smoothly within the next few years on a global scale. But an absolutely new type of religious person will have to be prepared, a new type of sannyasin will have to be born, a new type of yoga and meditation system will have to be devised. All this is ready in my mind.

As I come across people they will be given these things, and they will further pass along the same to others. There is a grave risk, however, because if the opportunity is lost it will cause great harm. The opportunity must be utilized because such a valuable time as exists today can hardly come again. From every angle, the era is at its climax or peak. Hereafter, there will only be anticlimax. Now America will not be able to progress further; it will only undergo disintegration. The civilization has touched its peak, and now it will disintegrate. These are the last years.

We have not noted that India disintegrated after Mahavira and Buddha. After them, that golden crest could not be touched again. People ordinarily think that this happened due to Mahavira and Buddha, but in fact the case is just the opposite. Actually, just before disintegration begins, persons of the caliber of Mahavira and Buddha are able to work, not before that – because just before disintegration, everything is in disorder and just on the point of crumbling.

Just as death faces an individual, so now death shows its dark face before the collective consciousness of an entire civilization. And that civilization’s collective mind becomes ready to go deep into the realms of religion and the unknown. That is why it was possible that in a small place like Bihar fifty thousand sannyasins could move along with Mahavira.

This can repeat itself again; there is a complete possibility for it. I have a complete plan and a blueprint in my mind for this. In one sense, my work of finding the people I wanted is near about complete. Also, they do not know that I have found them. Now I have to give work to them by preparing them and sending them out to spread the message.

As long as it was my work, I knew what I had to do and I was doing it with comparative ease. But now I have to give work to others; now I cannot remain in that ease. I have to hurry up. This is another reason for my hurry. I therefore want to make it clear to all friends that I am in a hurry, so they should also hurry up. If they keep on at the speed with which they are walking, they will not reach anywhere. If they see me in a hurry, then perhaps they will also pick up speed; otherwise not.

Jesus had to do this. Jesus said to the people that the world was very soon coming to an end. But people were so foolish that it was very difficult for them to understand. Jesus said that before their very eyes everything would be destroyed, that it was time for them to make a choice, and that those who did not change then would never get a chance to do so later. Those who heard and understood him became transformed, but most of the people went on asking when that hour would strike.

Now, after two thousand years, some Christian scholars, priests and theologians sit back and think that it seems as if Jesus had made some mistake – because up until now that day of judgment has not arrived: Jesus had said that the event of world destruction would happen before their very eyes – while he was there – that the day of reckoning would come and that those who missed would miss forever. But that time has not come yet.

Was this the mistake of Jesus or have we misunderstood him? Some say that he made such a great mistake because he did not know anything about the matter, and therefore there may have been many other things about which Jesus did not know. Still others say that there is something wrong in our interpretation of the scriptures. But none of these people know that there are deep reasons and a calculated purpose behind what people like Jesus say. By saying these things, Jesus created an atmosphere of emergency in which many people became transformed.

People become transformed only during emergencies. If one knows that one can transform tomorrow or even the day after, he will not do anything today; he will postpone it for tomorrow or the day after. But if he knows that there is no tomorrow, then that capacity for transformation comes into being.

In a way, when civilizations are on the verge of disintegration tomorrow becomes uncertain. One is not sure of the next day. Then the today has to be so compact that it can complete all that has to be done. If one has to enjoy, he has to do it today. If he has to surrender and renounce, that too he has to do today. Even if one has to destroy the ego or transform, that also must be done today.

So in Europe and America, a positive, decisive mentality has come into being that whatever one wants to do must be done today: “Forget the worries of tomorrow. If you want to drink, drink; if you want to enjoy, enjoy; if you want to steal, steal. Whatever you want to do, do it today.” On the material plane, this has happened.

I want this to happen also on the spiritual plane. This can run parallel to what is happening on the material plane. I am in a great hurry for this idea to dawn. It is definite that this idea will come from the East. Only Eastern winds could carry it to the West, and the West will jump into it with full vigor.

There are particular places suitable for the rise and growth of certain things. All types of trees cannot grow in all countries. There are particular roots, a particular kind of land, a particular climate and particular water required for the growth of certain things. Similarly, all types of ideas also cannot arise everywhere, because different roots, land, climate and water are necessary for these as well.

Science could not develop in the East. For that tree there are no roots in the East. Religion could develop in the East because for that the East has deep roots. The climate, the land and the water – everything required for its growth – are available in the East. If science has come to the East, it is only from the West. If religion goes to the West, it will be only from the East.

Sometimes there is an exception to this. For example, Japan, a country of the East, can challenge any country of the West in science. But it is interesting to note that Japan only imitates; it cannot be original. But it imitates in such a way that even the original looks pale before it. But still, it is imitation. Japan does not invent anything. If Japan makes a radio, it can outwit America in doing so, but it has to copy the basic one. Japan will be very skillful in copying, but the seed will come from Western countries. It will sow the seed and bring up the plant carefully, but it will never have original seeds of its own.

With religion also, America can outshine and surpass the East. Once the seed of religion reaches there, America will outdo the East in its growth. But all the same, this will be imitation. The initiative, the first step in this matter, lies in the hands of the East.

That is why I am in a great hurry in planning to prepare people in the East who could be sent to the West. The spark will catch like a wildfire in the West, but it has to come from the East.

-Osho

From Dimensions Beyond the Known, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Dimensions Beyond the Known

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

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