The following is an excerpt from a talk Osho gave in 1970:
You admire America so much, you say that socialism will come first in America, but it is in America where hippies, Beatles and beatniks are increasing in number, where people are taking increasingly to drinks and drugs like LSD and mescaline, where consumption of sleeping pills and tranquilizers is assuming alarming proportions and where people are disturbed and restless. Can you say something about it?
You should know that no animal ever gets disturbed. Have you ever heard that a water buffalo lost his peace of mind? Have you ever seen a donkey spending a sleepless night or getting bored? Have you come across a bull committing suicide, because life became meaningless? No, no animals ever get bored. disturbed or worried; nor do they commit suicide. Why?
The reason is that the mind of animals is very undeveloped. The more the mind develops, the more you become sensitive and understanding. As the mind grows, your vision grows; you begin to see things around you with clarity. As your mind expands, your being expands in the same measure. And with the development of intelligence begins the search for the meaning of life, its significance. If there are hippies and Beatles and beatniks in today’s America, if its young men and women are getting rebellious, they are the barometer of the fact that consciousness is touching new heights there, that they see things that are not yet seen by us.
Man’s intelligence has developed in a great way, and it is this developed intelligence that is making him restless. The more intelligence, the more restlessness.
And remember. the greater your restlessness, the greater peace you can attain. Levels of peace and restlessness – their proportions are always the same. If man’s restlessness is say, only two milligrams, the peace he will attain is not going to be more or less than two milligrams. And if his restlessness grows to be a thousand tons, his peace will grow to be the same thousand tons. Our capacities in both directions – dialectical directions – grow together. They are coextensive. If I become very sensitive to ugliness, I am bound to be as sensitive to beauty too. The man with a high sense of beauty will have a high sense of ugliness also. Of course, ugliness will hurt him, but beauty will comfort him in the same measure.
As man’s consciousness expands, his world of anxieties will equally expand, because now the anxieties of others enter his awareness. Man, today, is much more intelligent than before, and that is why he is so anxious and unhappy too. But because of our mounting anxiety and unhappiness we need not despair and retrace our steps and turn back to the past, our new difficulties and problems are only a challenge and we have to accept the challenge and go onward and forward. We have to find new paths of peace – peace commensurate with our restlessness. Old paths will not do; new ones have to be found.
Man is, today, on a brink, and his consciousness is nearing a great leap forward, a quantum leap.
For example, when the first monkey came down from the tree and for the first time walked on two legs instead of four, he must have felt very awkward. And then the older monkeys, his elders, who remained sitting in the tree must have jeered at him, saying, “What are you doing, you fool? How stupid it looks. Is it becoming for monkeys to walk on two legs?” And the monkey walking on two legs must have gone through a lot of worry and anxiety, any amount of suffering. Maybe his backbone had ached, his sleep had been disturbed. But it was from this monkey that humanity came into being and developed to its present state. In the same way man’s grown-up consciousness today – which is undergoing such pains that it is driving him to the point of committing suicide – is soon going to give birth to a new humanity, a higher humanity.
The emergence of a new consciousness in man is at hand. And remember, the aboriginals still living in the jungles are not going to participate in this quantum leap, nor are the saints and priests sitting and singing in temples and mosques going to take part in this great transformation. They are all seeking comfort and contentment, and they are so afraid of discontent. Only they are going to be partners in the glory of giving birth to the new man who are prepared to walk through the fire of discontent, and who have the courage to go beyond it.
In this respect, we are a very unfortunate people. We cannot produce hippies, we cannot be that anxious, we cannot suffer so intensely, and consequently we cannot attain to that deep peace. America today stands as a vanguard on a forward line from where a leap is possible. It is a very critical situation where many times one may feel like escaping and retreating. That is why men like Mahesh Yogi have influence in America. The people who feel panicky and want to go back are being influenced by Mahesh Yogi and others. They are telling them, “Why worry? Get out of this mess; close your eyes, chant a mantra and go back to the past.” For the same reason Gandhi has influenced America more than he has influenced his own country. The backward-going mind has panicked, and it says, “Yonder is an abyss; let us go back! Gandhi is right to say that technology and skyscrapers are useless!”
The cry of “Go back to the past” has always been there, and it has done us no good. We have to go forward, there cannot be any going back. There is no way to do it. And even if there was a way, it would be so dangerous to do so. Nothing can be gained by returning to the past. If a grade four student wants to go back to first grade because the homework was easy, there is no sense in doing it. And even if he actually goes back, he will find it to be meaningless. He has now the maturity that comes with passing three grades; he cannot stay in first grade. So with his highly developed mind, man cannot go back to the times of Rama. He cannot return to the caves. Of course, he may enjoy it for a change if he returns to the forest for a while.
Recently about two dozen of my friends from Bombay had gone to Kashmir with me. In fact, they had escaped from Bombay and they were with me in Pahalgam, a scenic spot in Kashmir. The man who cooked for me at Pahalgam told me every day that he would be grateful if I took him with me to see Bombay. I said to him, “You seem to be crazy. You see the friends here with me, they are all from Bombay and they are here to see Pahalgam. You are fortunate to be in Pahalgam itself; better enjoy it.” He then said, “Life is so dull here that I wonder why people come here at all. There is nothing here. I crave to see Bombay.” He wants to see Bombay, and I want that he should have the opportunity to see that city. Why? – because then he will be able to enjoy Pahalgam too. That will be his gain if he visits Bombay.
Man has to go forward. Once in a while he can go back to the past to have a brief holiday. That would be pleasant. But a return to the past for good is not possible. It is different if for fun you sit sometimes at Rajghat with a spinning wheel as the leaders do. It is a pleasant hobby and a cheap one at that if you occasionally take to spinning and get photographed and filmed. But it would be utterly wrong if we make the spinning wheel the kingpin of our industries. That way the spinning wheel will be dangerous. No culture of the past, be it Hindu, Mohammedan or Christian, can make man happy if he returns to it. Man has to go ahead and ahead into the future. In that future no Hindu, no Mohammedan and no Christian will survive; only man will survive. In that future only man will live.
The future belongs to man. And here we have to think together about how much creativity we need to bring that future in. We also have to consider how much wealth and health will be needed to make man happy, so that from his happiness he creates music, he goes on the search for his soul, and ultimately reaches the temple of God.
There are many questions to be answered. I will take them up tomorrow. And if you have any more questions, you can send them in writing.
I am grateful to you for having quietly listened to my talk with so much love. And lastly, I bow down to the God residing in each of you. Please accept my salutations.
From Beware of Socialism, Discourse #3, the last question
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.
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