Can a true rebel be a disciple of a master, or must he be simply a friend of the master?
A rebel needs no master. If he needs a master, he is not a rebel. A rebel is a master unto himself. Rebellion is his religion, and there is no other religion for him.
To follow a master, and at the same to think yourself a rebel, is a contradiction in terms.
A rebel can only be a friend. A rebel can learn from all the sources available, but a rebel cannot be a follower. He cannot be a believer. A rebel cannot afford a master. He has chosen his individuality, his freedom, and he is not going to be enslaved by any master.
That’s why I go on insisting to you that I am not your master, because I don’t want anybody to be enslaved. It is a psychological slavery: whatever I say you believe, whatever I do you believe – and still you think you are a rebel?
To be a rebel needs guts.
Yes, you can be my friends – and I am available to you: whatever I know, whatever I have experienced, is always available to you. And I don’t ask anything for it – your trust, your surrender, your faith, no! I cannot be inhuman to any human being.
In the past, your so-called masters have all been inhuman to you. What does it mean when Jesus says, “I am the savior”? What does it mean when he says, “I am the shepherd and you are the sheep”? What more humiliation do you want? And still there are millions of Christians who think that they are sheep, and their shepherd is hanging on the cross.
I am not your shepherd; you are not my sheep.
A rebel is a beautiful human being. A sheep? – you have fallen far below being human. Have you seen sheep? They always move in a crowd – so close to each other, rubbing their bodies against each other. They cannot move alone. No sheep is a rebel – they feel comfortable and cozy only in a mob.
Only lions move alone. Lions don’t move in a crowd – they are rebels. I would like you to be lions, not sheep.
I am not your master; you are not my disciples. You love me – that’s enough. I love you and respect you, and respect your freedom. In this freedom and love, if something can transpire and transform you, that will be beautiful. But nobody was the master and nobody was the slave.
This is not a religion, this is a love affair; and in love, nobody is a master. This is the highest that can be possible. And I would like you to live at the highest peak of human growth.
There is not much difference between me and you, a very little difference: you are asleep, I am awake. But that is not much of a difference. You can be awake any moment. I was also asleep one day. If I can be awake, why can’t you be? The capacity to sleep proves the capacity to be awake.
You can sleep only if you can be awake. Stones don’t sleep, because they cannot be awake.
All that is needed is just a little shaking, a little cold water thrown into your eyes. That’s what I am doing every day, day in, day out. Once in a while you open your eyes too, but old habits die hard; then you close them again. Once in a while you hear me too, but then you pull the blanket over yourself again. Just human – just a little bit more rest, just a little bit more of a beautiful golden dream.
And naturally, sometimes you get angry at me because I am disturbing your dream. But I am not angry. Even if you pull up your blanket again, turn to the other side, start snoring again, I am not going to leave you. I know that you are not dead – you can pull up the blanket, you can move to the other side. So it is very close; just a little more effort and you will be awake.
I am not your savior, just a friend who knows both the states: the state of sleep and the state of being awake. And I feel that you are missing such a great joy, of opening your eyes and seeing the sunrise, and the birds singing, and the fresh morning air. And I feel compassion for you, that you are unnecessarily wasting your time in dreaming, while real life is waiting for you.
So remember it: there is no question of anybody being your master. These masters have exploited you enough! It is time to stop this exploitation. An authentic human being cannot reduce you to a sheep. If there is any sin, Jesus has committed it, and that was making you sheep, and posing as your savior.
And when he was being caught, just a few minutes before, his disciples asked, “What about us?” He said, “I will be coming soon to deliver everybody who has faith in me from all suffering and misery. And I will take you to the house of my father in paradise.”
Two thousand years have passed, and that guy has not been seen since then. How long can you stretch the word “soon”?
And I can say, with categorical certainty, that he is not going to come back again. He could not save himself! – how can he save the whole humanity?
He died in tremendous doubt. At the last moment he shouted, looking at the sky, “God, my father, have you forsaken me?” He was expecting a miracle – naturally. He was believing himself to be the only begotten son of God. The only begotten son is being crucified, and God – sitting on a white cloud with angels playing on their harps – does not come to save him? Jesus died shaken. His faith was only that of a crackpot, it was not authentic experience.
I do not expect anything; nobody can disappoint me. I don’t have any God – I am happy just being myself.
Remember one thing: if there is a God, then you are all slaves, and freedom is impossible. The first principle of rebellion is that there is no God, no savior, no prophet, no messenger; you are alone, and you have to learn to depend only on yourself. That brings independence. And independence is such a joy, is such a beauty, is such a maturity, is such a flowering, that nothing more is needed.
You feel so contented, so fulfilled, and the whole existence becomes your paradise.
It is not a question of going into paradise. It is a question of going within yourself, reaching to your very center of being, which changes your perspective. This very existence becomes paradise. They are the same trees, the same birds, the same people, and yet they are no longer the same because you are no longer the same. Now you are not dreaming; now you are awake.
For the awakened one, this existence is paradise. Every moment it is paradise. And when I say this, I am not saying it according to any holy scripture. There are no holy scriptures, there are only books.
I am saying it out of my own experience, out of my own authority. I am ready to share with you. And it is not something that can be sold or purchased. Only in deep friendship, in love, does the transfer, the transformation happen.
You are all rebels.
Only rebels can have a contact with me.
And I would like you to be a rebel always.
I respect your rebellion. It would be so ugly for me to have five thousand sheep around me. Even if I become the shepherd, what would be the joy from it?
I want five thousand rebellious spirits, five thousand burning torches, lights unto themselves – and then to be amongst you is a joy.
From From Bondage to Freedom, Discourse #16, Q2
Copyright © OSHO International Foundation