14 DICEMBRE 2015
JESUS SAYS, ”COME FOLLOW ME.” YOU’RE AGAINST THIS STATEMENT. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
Jesus says, ”Come follow me.” It is not only Jesus who says it: Krishna says it too, Buddha says it too. All the old religions of the world are based on that statement. But that statement is a psychological exploitation of man. I cannot say, ”Come follow me.”
First, those who have said it have crippled humanity, have made humanity helpless. They certainly fulfilled a certain need. People don’t want to be on their own. They don’t have the guts to create their own path, to walk and create it. They want to be led. But they don’t know that if you are being led, slowly slowly, even if you have eyes, you will lose them. You will be seeing through the eyes of Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed. Your eyes will not be needed; in fact your eyes will cause a disturbance.
The leader wants you to surrender your eyes and see through his eyes; surrender your legs and walk with his legs; to not believe in yourself but believe in him. To me it is a crime; it is crippling you, paralyzing you, destroying you. And you can see it all over the world. The whole of humanity is destroyed by such statements and such people.
I can say to you, ”Come and share me,” but I cannot say, ”Follow me.” Who am I that you have to follow?
And you have to understand also that each individual is so unique that if you start following somebody you will be automatically imitating. You will lose your identity. You will start becoming phony, a hypocrite. You will not be yourself, but somebody else. You will become split.
You will have a mask: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist. That will be just the mask that you and the person you have been following have created – it is not your authentic face. You are going against yourself, and you will be in suffering… and the whole of humanity is in suffering.
It sounds very strange to say that such statements are criminal, because they come from nice people like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius. You can understand my difficulty too. I have to say it the way it is.
Every child is trying to imitate his parents, his neighbors, his schoolfriends, his teachers… and they are all trying to enforce it.
I remember in my own childhood. It was just an accident that I was born in a Jaina family. That is a very ancient religion in India, perhaps the ancientmost religion in the world. But my father was certainly a human being. He used to take me to the temple, but he told me that I need not imitate him. He had followed the ways of his forefathers and he had not found anything. He said to me, ”I cannot force you to follow my ways. I can make you acquainted – that this is the way I have followed, these are the gods I have been bowing down to, these are the prayers I have been doing, but nothing has happened to me. I will not insist that you do it; on the contrary, I will insist that unless you feel to do something, never do it.
I have never followed anybody and it has paid me tremendously.
It has been the greatest benediction to me that can be possible for a human being: not following.
I have tried to remain just myself.
You will need courage. You will need intelligence. You will need a true search and seeking; then
only can you risk. Otherwise there are people all around you, they are all salesmen….
Now, Jesus is just a salesman, saying, ”Come follow me, because those who will follow me will find God, will find heaven and all the pleasures therein. And those who will not follow me will fall into dark hell for eternity.” Now, this man is not going to help anybody. He is exploiting your need for guidelines, your need to find a path; basically, your need to have a certain meaning in your life. And he is promising that, ”I am ready to give it to you. All that you have to do is to believe in me, unquestionably, without any doubt. All that is needed on your part is absolute faith.”
To ask anybody to believe is to cripple his intelligence, is to make him mediocre, is to condemn him to remain an idiot forever.
A Christian cannot ask, ”What is God? What is all this nonsense about the holy ghost?” And he does not seem to be very holy either. He is a rapist; he rapes the virgin Mary. And this trinity: God, son and holy ghost – they have not allowed a single woman in it. Without a mother, the son is born….
In the trinity there is no possibility for a woman. Nobody has asked, ”And what are the proofs that you are the only begotten son?” But you are not supposed to ask, you are supposed to believe. It
is a bargain. He will give you, after death, all the pleasures of life; all imaginable fantasies will be fulfilled. And you will be surprised what kind of fantasies these religious people have been offering to fulfill.
Mohammed says in his paradise – and remember, the English word paradise comes from the Arabic firdous; it is basically Mohammedan – in his paradise, there are rivers of wine. ”Drink as much as you want, drown yourself, swim in the wine.” And there are beautiful women available who remain always young, stuck at the age of sixteen. They are still sixteen. Whenever you will go, they will be sixteen; they don’t grow. And not only that – because in Mohammedan countries homosexuality has been a very long tradition Mohammed promises young, beautiful boys also, for the great saints.
It is a bargain. You remain crippled, unintelligent, mediocre, stupid – and after death you will achieve everything. And nobody knows what happens after death. Nobody has ever returned and told what happens after death. So they are doing such a fabulous business – they are selling such a commodity, which is invisible, intangible, and what they are taking in return is your whole humanity, your whole integrity. They are destroying you completely.
I can say, ”Come and share me.” That is a totally different standpoint.
I have known something.
I have seen something.
I have lived something.
And I can share it with you.
And remember, I am not obliging you when I share it with you; you are obliging me, because when a cloud is heavy with rainwater, the earth is obliging it by receiving the water. I say to you: I am heavy with some ecstasy, some blissfulness. And it is not a question of a bargain after death. I am not promising you something in the future, and I am not asking you anything in return, not even a thank-you, because I am grateful to you that you shared with me.
My religion is a religion of sharing, not of following. It is a religion of love.
The very idea of following makes me sick. It is sickening. You have to be yourself, and when you blossom, you are not going to be like me or like Jesus or like Buddha. You are going to be just like you: you have never happened before, and you are not going to happen again. It is only possible with you. You are unrepeatable. If you start following somebody you are missing a great opportunity that existence has provided for you, and you will never be happy. No Christian is happy, no Hindu is happy, no Buddhist is happy; they cannot be. How can you be happy?
Just think in this way: if the roseflower tries to become a lotus, the lotus tries to become a rose, both will be in tremendous suffering because neither can the rose become the lotus nor can the lotus become the rose. At the most they can pretend, and pretensions are not fulfilling. The roseflower can only be a roseflower. And the unfortunate thing is, when the roseflower starts trying to be a lotus, its energy goes into that effort of becoming a lotus. A lotus it can never become, it has no
potential for it. It is not a lotus, and there is no need for it to be a lotus. If existence wanted a lotus there would have been a lotus. The existence needs a rose. Trying to be a lotus, the rose will be losing its energy in a fruitless, hopeless effort, and perhaps may not be able to even become a rose. From where will it find the energy to become a rose, the vitality to become a rose?
It is one of the most important psychological phenomena to understand: each individual is unique. There has never been that kind of individual before, and there will never be again that kind of individual.
If you follow somebody you are betraying existence because you are betraying your own innermost being. You are betraying your flowering. And why do people so easily become followers? Why is the whole world following somebody or other? And if sometimes one becomes fed up with Christianity, he becomes Hindu; the Hindu becomes fed up with Hinduism, he becomes a Buddhist… but the following continues. The whole pattern remains the same. The book changes, the leader changes, but the following, the follower… and the whole process remains the same, the same destructive suicidal process.
I am against following because it is against the basic psychological principle of the uniqueness of the individual.
You should pay a little more attention to the word individual. It means indivisible – it cannot be divided. The moment you follow, you are dividing. You are something, you are trying to become something else; you are somewhere, you are trying to reach somewhere else. Now you are creating a tension in your being. Hence the anguish all over the world.
My religion is not the religion of following. I can only share with you whatever has happened to me. And I am not saying that the same will happen to you. I am simply saying that if I can see, you can also see. If I can feel, you can also feel. Certainly, you will feel in your own way and you will see in your own way. The poetry that will be born to you will be your poetry, it will not be mine.
So the people you see here around me are not my followers. I am nobody’s leader. That silly word leader is perfectly okay in politics, but not in religion. In politics, of course, you need idiots. The greater idiot leads the smaller idiots. But in religion, a flowering of intelligence is needed, not idiocy. So my work is basically of sharing. It is just… I would like to tell you an old, beautiful parable.
A lioness gives birth to a child in a crowd of sheep. The child grows amongst the sheep and naturally believes that he is a sheep – what else can the young lion do? One day an old lion, just passing by the crowd of sheep, looks at this miracle: a young, beautiful lion just walking in the middle of a crowd of sheep. Neither the sheep are afraid of him, nor is he in any way behaving differently.
The old lion becomes interested. He runs after the young lion. It is with great difficulty that he catches hold of him because the young lion escapes, just like every other sheep escapes. But finally he catches hold of him. The young lion starts crying and weeping, like a sheep. And the old lion says, ”Stop all this nonsense!” He takes him to a nearby pond, drags him by his side to the pond, forces him to look into the water… and suddenly the young lion roars like a lion.
The old lion has not done anything. He has just shown him his face, his real face, and he has recognized that he is a lion – he is not a sheep. And just that recognition is enough. It is transforming.
The old lion has not done anything at all. He has not told the young lion to ”follow me,” to ”imitate me,” and ”These are the commandments for you, and this is the character you have to attain, and these are the principles, and these are the things you have not to do.” He has not done anything of that sort.
That is the function of the master: just to bring you so close to his own experience that something transpires in you.
A sudden lion’s roar… and the transformation, and you are yourself – neither a Hindu, nor a Mohammedan, nor a Christian. But the world wants a mob, a crowd. It is afraid of the individual because every authentic individual is bound to be a rebel, because he will insist on being himself.
Adolf Hitler would not like individuals, nor does Jesus like individuals. And the strange thing is that even Jesus cannot understand that he is not liked by the Jews. He was born a Jew, he lived as a Jew, he died as a Jew. Remember, he had never heard the word Christian in his life. He was never a Christian, because the word christ does not exist in the Aramaic language that he spoke, which was his mother tongue. Nor does the word exist in Hebrew, which was the language of the learned rabbis.
It was three hundred years after Jesus, when The Bible was translated into Greek, that the word messiah, from Hebrew, was translated as christ. It was after three hundred years that the word christ became significant, and after Christ of course the followers became Christians.
But Jesus was not a Christian, and his only crime was that he was himself an individual, trying to live authentically his own way of life, not bothering much about the tradition. That’s why the Jews were so very angry. They would have loved him, they would have made him a great rabbi, but he tried his individual way, not the traditional way. He had to die on the cross just because he insisted on being an individual.
I am surprised that even such a man who suffered because of his individuality is again making the same mistake with other people: asking them to follow him. That’s what the rabbis were asking Jesus, ”Follow us, don’t try to be on your own.” They were saying, ”Follow Abraham, follow Moses, follow Ezekiel.” They were asking Jesus, ”What is your authority?” And Jesus says, ”I am my authority.”
This is how an individual should speak: ”I am my authority – and I am before Abraham was.” Abraham was three thousand years before Christ, and he says, ”I am before Abraham was.” He is simply proclaiming that he does not belong to the tradition, that he is a flowering on his own accord.
But even Jesus could not see that he is making the same mistake that the rabbis were making. And of course the popes have been repeating the same mistake. If Jesus could not see, then how can you hope that popes will be able to see? They are just blind followers. They are trying to convert the whole world into a Christian world; they are not satisfied that you already have so many Christians
– and what have you attained? What has man gained through it?
More blood has been shed by Christians than by anybody else, more wars have been fought by Christians than by anybody else. People have been massacred, butchered, burned alive by
Christians… and they are all following Jesus! They are really following those Jews who had crucified Jesus. They have been crucifying other individuals; whoever asserts his individuality, they have been crucifying him.
My way is not the way of following anybody.
It is just sick to be a follower. It is just sick to be a leader. The leader is somehow not certain about his authentic individuality. He wants followers because if he has followers then he becomes more certain he must be right. If so many people are following him, how can he be wrong? Alone he becomes suspicious. Alone doubts arise: Who knows whether he is right or wrong? He needs followers. It is his need that followers should be there. The greater the number of followers around him, the more satisfied and contented he is. He knows he is right; otherwise how can so many people be following him? That is the logic.
And why are the followers with him? They are seeing his contented, authoritative statements, his determined effort, unwavering. Now, when Jesus says, ”I am the only begotten son of God,” with authority, naturally the poor people…. Who were the people who followed him? Have you ever thought about it? The twelve apostles – who were these people? All uneducated: fishermen, farmers, woodcutters, carpenters. Only Judas was a little educated; so he betrayed him. All the others were absolutely uneducated, poor people in search of somebody who could hold their hand and could give them a certain strength that they were lacking in themselves.
The followers feel it is a mutual conspiracy. Perhaps both are unaware: the leader is unaware that he needs followers to feel comfortable with his own idea, with his own fiction, and the follower is unaware of why he is following this man. He is following because the leader looks so authoritative, and he himself, the follower, feels so wavering, so doubtful, so untrusting. He thinks it is better to be with a man who knows. They are supporting each other.
I don’t need any followers because whatsoever I know, I know; and whatsoever I am, I am.
Even if the whole world is against me it will not create a single doubt in me, not a single question in me. They have all disappeared.
I am absolutely at ease with myself and with existence. I don’t need any followers, and I insist that knowingly or unknowingly you should not fall in the trap of being a follower, because then you will never be able to be authentically yourself, an individual flowering.
Communism has created an idea in the world that every man is equal, which is absolutely absurd. Every man is so unique that he cannot be equal to anybody else. That does not mean that he is higher or lower; that simply means everybody is unique. And there is no question of comparison, the comparison does not arise. The rose is perfectly beautiful being a rose; the lotus is perfectly beautiful being a lotus. The grass leaf is perfectly beautiful being a grass leaf.
If you remove man from the earth, the grass leaf, the rose, the lotus will not have different values. They will be all equally unique. The winds will not behave differently with them, the sun will not shine differently on them, the clouds will not rain differently on them. It is man and his stupidity that brings the idea of comparison, of higher, of lower; and then the question that – no, everybody is
equal. Neither man is higher than anybody else, nor is he lower than anybody else, nor is he equal to anybody else.
Remember, my third point is of utmost importance: everybody is unique. And I respect this uniqueness.
How can I say to you, ”Come and follow me”? Out of respect I can only say, ”Come and share with me. Share my abundance.”
And the beauty is that the more you share the inner riches, the more you have them. The more you give, the more you have them. If you hoard them, you will lose them. So nobody who attains to inner blissfulness can hoard it. Hoarding kills it. He has to share it, it is an absolute necessity to share it. Only by sharing it remains alive and flowing. And more and more it goes on coming to you. One is simply amazed.
Ordinary economics do not work here. If you have money and you give to people, of course you will have less money. That is ordinary economics. But if you have silence, peace, love, joy, ecstasy – give it and see what happens. The more you give it, the more existence goes on pouring it in you.
So you are not obliged to me, I am obliged to you.
Osho: From Unconciousness to Consciousness CHAPTER 2