Please Leave the World to Itself – Osho

This is the last question in The Book of Secrets discourse series.

I certainly want to become enlightened. But if I do, what difference does it make for the rest of the world?

But why are you worried about the rest of the world? Let the world worry about itself. And you are not worried about what will happen to the rest of the world if you remain ignorant . . .

If you are ignorant, what happens to the rest of the world? You create misery. Not that you knowingly do it, you are misery – so whatsoever you do, you sow seeds of misery all around. Your hopes are meaningless; your being is significant. You may think you are helping others – you hinder them. You may think you love others – you may be simply killing them and murdering them. You may think you are teaching others, but you may be simply helping them to remain ignorant forever – because what you hope, what you think, what you wish, is not significant. What you are is significant.

Every day I see people around who are loving to each other – but they are killing each other. They think they are loving, and they think they are living for the other, and without them the life of their family, their beloveds, their children, their wives, their husbands, will be miserable – but it is miserable with them. And they try in every way but whatsoever they do, it goes wrong. It is bound to be so, because they are wrong. Doing is not of much importance, the being from where it comes, originates, is. If you are ignorant, you are helping the world to become a hell. It is already. This is what has happened through you. Wherever you touch, you will create hell.

If you become enlightened, whatsoever you do – or you need not do anything – just your being, your presence will help others to flower, to be happy, to be blissful.

But that should not be your concern. The first thing is how to be enlightened. You ask me, “I want to be enlightened.” But that wanting seems to be very impotent because immediately you say “but”. Whenever “but” comes in, it shows the desire is impotent. “But what will happen to the world?” Who are you? What do you think about yourself? Does the world depend on you? Are you running it? Managing it? Are you responsible? Why give so much importance to yourself? Why feel so important?

This feeling is part of the ego and this worrying about others will never allow you to move to a peak of realization, because that peak is achieved only when you drop all worries. And you are so efficient in accumulating worries that you are simply worryful. Not only your own, you go on accumulating others’ worries – as if yours are not enough. You go on thinking about others, and what can you do? You can only get more and more worried and mad.

I was reading a viceroy’s journal. Lord Wavell’s journal. The man seems to be very sincere, deeply honest, because some remarks he makes are just superb. One remark he makes in a journal is, “Unless these three old men, Gandhi, Jinnah, and Churchill, die, India will be in trouble.” These three men, Gandhi, Jinnah, Churchill – and these three were helping in every way! Churchill’s own viceroy writes in a journal that these three men should die soon. And he hopefully even gives their ages: Gandhi, 75, Jinnah, 65, Churchill, 68. Because these three are the problems. Can you think of Gandhi imagining that he is the problem – or Jinnah, or Churchill? All are doing their best to solve the problem of this country! And Wavell said that these three are the problem, because all the three are adamant, stubborn; every one of these three has the absolute truth and the other two are absolutely wrong. These three absolutes cannot meet anywhere – the other two are simply wrong. There is no question about it.

Everyone thinks as if he is the center and he has to worry about the whole world, and change the whole world, transform the whole world, create a utopia. All that you can do is just change yourself. You cannot change the world. You can create more mischief trying to change it; you can create more chaos; you can harm; and you can puzzle. Already the world is too puzzled. You can puzzle it more and confuse it more.

Please leave the world to itself. You can do only one thing, and that is, you can achieve inner silence, inner bliss, inner light. If you achieve this, you have helped the world very much. Just by changing one ignorant spot into an enlightened flame, just by changing one person from darkness into light, you have changed apart of the world. And this changed part will have its own chain reactions. Buddha is not dead. Jesus is not dead. They cannot be dead because there is a chain reaction – from one lamp, from one flame, another flame takes over. And a successor is created, and they go on living.

But if your light is not there, if your lamp is without a flame, you cannot help anyone. The first basic thing is that you must attain your inner flame. Then others can share. Then you can kindle others’ light also. Then it becomes a succession. Then you may disappear from the body but your flame goes on passing from hand to hand. Up to eternity it goes on and on. Buddhas never die, enlightened persons never die, because their light becomes a chain reaction. And unenlightened persons never live, because they cannot create any chain, they don’t have any light to share, no flame to kindle someone else’s flame.

Please be concerned with yourself only. Be selfish, I say, because that is the only way you will become selfless, that is the only way you can become a help and a blessing to the world. Don’t be worried about it; that is not your concern. The greater your worries are, the greater you think your responsibilities are. And the greater your responsibilities, the more you feel yourself as being great.

You are not. You are simply mad. Get out of this madness of helping others. Just help yourself. That’s all that can be done.

And then many things happen . . . but they happen as a consequence. Once you become a source of light, things start happening. Many will share it, man will be enlightened through it, many will attain life, more life, abundant life through it. But don’t think about it. You cannot do anything about it consciously. Only one thing can be done and that is: you can become conscious. Then everything follows.


From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 80

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  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 and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and


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