Osho on Wandering Hippies


Osho : The first thing: the hippie is not the alternative, he is a by-product. He has always existed in different forms. But remember, he depends on the established society. He is not an alternative, he’s just a shadow, a by-product of the society. He can go on moving, wandering, because many are established. If everybody is wandering nobody can be a hippie.

A wandering monk, a wandering hippie, needs a society which is established, otherwise where is he going to wander? And he can afford play because others are working. This is new in the West, because the West has become for the first time affluent. It is one of the ancient traditions in India. Right now five million sannyasins exist in India, wandering. They have been always there. They don’t stay in one place, they don’t work – they simply exist.

They beg, the society supports them. But they can exist only because a society exists, and the better the society is established the better they can exist. That is why only in America is the hippie way of life possible. Because American society is now well established, rich, it can afford a few young men wandering here and there, playing with life. It can afford it. In a poor society hippies cannot exist, a poor society cannot afford them.

So the hippie way of life is not an alternative, it is a by-product. And it happens only when a society has reached a particular point of establishment, richness. Then it can allow a few young men to wander here and there and experiment. This hippie way of life cannot become universal and I never suggest that which cannot become universal because it is useless. And if you have to depend on the society you condemn, then the whole thing seems to be bogus.

I don’t say no work and play, I say make your work your play. That is totally different, that can exist universally. Then you are not exploiting; otherwise hippies are exploiting. They may be exploiting their parents, their families, but they are exploiting. Their father and their mother and their brothers are working hard and they are enjoying a hippie way of life. This is sheer exploitation. Somebody has to work, and if somebody has to work it is better you work yourself.

But change the work into play. If the work itself becomes the play then the whole world can go hippie, then there is no problem. And unless the whole world goes hippie it cannot become a way of life. Hippies have always existed and then they have disappeared. Many times they come into existence and then they disappear. Sometimes they were called Bohemians, sometimes other names, but they could not create a permanent way, they couldn’t make it universal.

It is impossible to make it universal, somebody has to work somewhere. So I don’t say only work, I don’t say only play – I say make your work your play. Secondly, wandering, a life of a wanderer, is good for a few, it is not good for all. And that too is good only for a particular period of life, not for the whole life.

My feeling is that every young man and woman should be allowed to wander for a few years, wander carelessly, just experimenting with everything that is possible, good and bad both; moving with many types of people, different societies, countries. Before one gets established one should have wandered the whole earth.

This will give a richer family life. Then you are more experienced, more sensitive, multidimensional. And when you have wandered and then you settle your settlement has some meaning. You have known the opposite, and it is always good to know the opposite. It is said that whenever a person comes back to his own home country after wandering long, for the first time he comes to know it. It is true, because unless you have knocked at other doors you cannot recognize your own. So this must be a sort of university, this wandering.

Every young man and woman should be allowed to move for a few years carelessly, without any responsibility, because soon responsibilities will happen, will come. They will have to settle and they will have to carry many burdens. Before this happens they must be allowed a floating life, just to know whatsoever exists on earth – the bad and the good, the establishment and the anti-establishment – they must know everything.

The more you have moved around the richer becomes your consciousness. But this cannot be the whole pattern of life, this can be just a training, because wandering gives many things and then settling in a family life also gives many things that no wanderer can know. Both have their own richnesses. You may love many women. That has its own significance, because you come to know many types of personalities, and the more you know the richer you are.

But then to love one woman has a different significance, because loving many women may be a vast, rich experience, but it is never deep, it is always superficial. Depth needs time, depth needs a deep long contact. So when you love one woman and you have settled, all the wandering of the mind has ceased and now your desire never craves for anyone else, you can move deeply with one person. Now you can relate, now love can flower.

While making friendships and love with many women and men, you may come to know many techniques, many experiences of sex, but you will not be able to know love, what love is, because love needs seasoning. Just a hit-and-run experience cannot be of much depth – it cannot be. When you live with a person, and not only outward but inward wandering also has ceased, and nobody can create the craving in you, now this person is the sole and whole, then a depth starts happening.

Then you start mingling, merging into each other, and higher peaks of love will be available to you. And a moment comes when two persons become one. Both have to be known. So I am neither for this nor against that. I am always for a richer life – the richer the better. But it is better if the first wandering part is done when you are not responsible.

It must precede, and the latter part should succeed. And you will have your experience with many persons, many places, which will help you to settle somewhere, to choose the right person. The first love can almost never be the right love. It is bound to be childish, it is a baby love. You don’t know anything about love. When you have loved many persons you know what love is. You know the misery and the bliss both, the expectations and frustrations both, and then you can choose.

I am in favor of many trial love affairs, and then also in favor of a fixed, permanent marriage. But marriage must happen after you have wandered here and there and knocked at many doors, tasted at many wells. Only then allow marriage to happen. Then there will be no divorce; otherwise divorce is bound to be there. The first love is dangerous, one should never marry in the first love. Wait, because you don’t know your mind, how it will change.

It will change, it may be just a mood. Experiments are good. But there have been only two types of people. One type says, ”Marry. You should remain true forever to the first person you fall in love with.” This is nonsense. Then there is the other party, the other extreme, who says, ”There is no need for marriage, go on experimenting. Even when you are on your deathbed, go on experimenting.” That too is foolish. They are both foolish.

My attitude is absolutely the third. There is a time to experiment; when you are young, experiment. Know many persons, allow many happenings, don’t be shy, don’t feel guilty, let life flow so you can become acquainted with it. And when you feel that now you are acquainted, you have known, you have a certain experience to settle with, then settle, and then settle forever. Both these things will give you the highest peaks possible.

And this is my attitude in every dimension of life: allow both the opposites to happen. Don’t choose between the opposites, allow both the opposites to happen. Then you have depth, then you have height, and you will have a growth which cannot happen to persons who get married and have not known many persons, which cannot happen to persons who go on changing.

Both miss. But these are the two parties: one is known as the orthodox, the other is known as the hippie – and both are wrong. A deep synthesis is needed. There are moments you should be a hippie and there are moments you must be a conformist. And if you can allow both, if you can enjoy both, you will be richer for that.

2 thoughts on “Osho on Hippie way of life, Osho on Wandering Hippies”
  1. phew! i was counting osho as a indian hippie so far.. this post worth revisits.. balance is the key to unlock pleasure treasure of life..

  2. im agree its exactly true. i believe that if a society want sth nobody cant stopem
    even the goverment, thats true about the hippies too they can exist only because a society exists

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