Osho on Hostility towards Rajneeshpuram Commune

Question – Since americans, and especially oregonians, pride themselves as having the land of the free — we hear that all the time at grade schools, national anthems and so on — why do you think so many people are so opposed — i mean not just opposed, but really ardently opposed — to what you’re trying to do?

Osho – I’m not surprised by it. If I was not opposed then certainly I would have been surprised. It is just a natural phenomenon. If you have been miserable your whole life, if you have lived in a society where everybody is miserable — they all have their styles of being miserable, different colors, different shades, but basically everybody is miserable — then you don’t see people just laughing for no reason, or just dancing because the moon is full tonight. Your society condemns such people as crazy. So when they have to encounter a commune like this, their first reaction is that if such blissfulness has not happened to them, these people and their existence prove to them that they have missed the train.

It will be good that these people are removed, destroyed, because they become a question mark. It hurts that there are people who are happy: Why am i not happy? If others have been able to manage it, then what is wrong with me that I cannot manage it?

A great inferiority complex arises. And whenever you are under the impact of feeling inferior, there are only two ways to think: either think that these people are mad, perhaps hypnotized, or that something is wrong with them. But this explanation cannot stand long, because these people are doing everything so intelligently, they cannot be mad. They are so conscious and alert, they cannot be just moving like robots, hypnotized. They are not sleepwalkers. So condemn them, that they are immoral, that they are against God, that they are not religious.

Just condemn them so you can feel a certain guarantee that you have not missed life. Whatever life has, you have: television, a car, a good job, a wife, children. This is what life gives, so you have got it. But these people have got something else, and that hurts. Condemn them. Find out bogus, false charges against them. I invite these people just to come close and see, but they are afraid to come close, because deep down they know they will be infected by these people, and they will be left in a limbo.

All their investments are there in the world. Here, they will be coming into a strange space where they have no idea even what is happening, where these people are going. And there is the conflict in the mind of leaving the old world, where you had all your acquaintances and friends and family. They also were all miserable, so there was a certain affinity, a family feeling, a certain equality; there you cannot risk. Those who come here only come if they have the guts to risk.

You mentioned that they can tolerate Olympics, they can tolerate boxing, they can tolerate every other thing, and asked, “Why are they against you?” The reason is clear. The boxing does not make them feel inferior. In fact, the boxing helps them to release their violence. California University has been studying why, after a boxing match, violence increases immediately fourteen percent. They have studied only violence. They should also study other things after boxing — how many more rapes happen, how many more murders happen, how many more suicides happen — and you will find they are all increased.

The society is so violent, so full of violence that just a football match, and people are ready to kill each other. A boxing match is simply ugly, barbarous. People enjoying two persons hitting each other like animals, breaking their noses, hurting their eyes, bringing blood… and people are clapping and shouting and enjoying. They get in some way identified with one of the fighters. Everybody in the stadium is identified with one wrestler, boxer. His victory is their victory. When he hits the enemy they are hitting the enemy. It is unconscious, but it is a release.

Those who have too much violence, when just the identification won’t help, they raise the percentage of actual violence after the match is over. For four days the percentage remains higher and then slowly it goes down. The same is true about football matches, about Olympics. They fit perfectly in their violent society. Even war fits perfectly. Nuclear weapons fit perfectly.

I am nonviolent and I stand for love, not for war. And I don’t see that there is any need… things like boxing should be absolutely prohibited. They are ugly and barbarous. People can go there, thousands go, and millions of people are sitting glued to their chairs before the TV. It is strange that violence is so much appreciated, enjoyed. These people must be all carrying some violence in them, otherwise I don’t see it, I cannot enjoy boxing. It is disgusting.

The phenomenon of the commune is just the opposite, and that’s why it is so troublesome to them. If we were also boxers here, eating meat, doing all kinds of crime, they would have been perfectly happy to accept us. We are strangers to them. It hurts their egos. We are creating civilization. Up to now it has been only a word.

The Romans thought they had come to the peak of their civilization, and at the peak, what were they enjoying? Throwing Christians to hungry lions. I think they must have been very compassionate people. They could see lions hungry, and they provided the best food they could find. Why were they against Christians? The same reason: in the beginning Christianity was a stranger.

Now nobody is against Christians because Christians have compromised with the society. They are only nominally Christians. Sunday morning religion is their whole religion, and their church is nothing but a club where they go to gossip. And nobody listens to the priest. There is nothing to listen to. That man has been repeating the same sermon again and again, but he can repeat the same sermon because nobody is listening.

I have heard that a Christian minister was very much disturbed by one old man who was the richest man of his congregation. Of course, he used to sit just in front of the priest, but he was old and he had heard these sermons so many times that they were like sleeping pills for him. The moment the priest would start he would fall asleep. That was not a problem; the problem was he snored. But he was the richest man, the richest donor. In everything, he was helpful to the church. In fact, he was the only man who was keeping the minister paid, otherwise the congregation would disappear. So the minister could not say anything to the man; but complaints started coming to him from other people.

They were saying, “We are not against his sleeping, he can go to sleep for good. What troubles us is that he disturbs our sleep by snoring. And just a beautiful Sunday morning and one feels so good to have a little nap. But this old man….”

The old man used to come with his great-grandson. The boy enjoyed sitting there by the side of the old man. The priest took him away from the old man and told him, “I will give you one dollar every Sunday if you keep hitting the old man with your elbow so that he does not fall asleep. That is your work.” The boy said, “Done! There is no problem. I will not let him sleep a single moment, but I don’t believe in priests and I don’t trust them. Pay me in advance.”

The priest gave him one dollar, and the next Sunday morning the boy continued pushing the old man with his elbow. The old man was very angry, and looked at the boy again and again, but he could not say anything. The priest was there, the whole congregation was there, but he did not allow him to sleep.

Outside, the old man was enraged. He said, “You stupid. What happened to you? Why did you go on hitting me with your elbow and waking me up? I’m old, in the nights I don’t have any sleep. This is the only place where at least for one hour, one and a half hours, I can have a good time. Doctors have failed. In fact, doctors have suggested, ‘Why don’t you start going to Sunday sermon? When we fail to give sleep to any patient we send him to the church, and it always succeeds without exception.’

“So, you rascal,” he said to the boy, “you disturbed my whole joy; now I will have to wait one week again. But what went wrong, why were you doing this? You were always sitting silently.” The boy said, “It is something concerning business.” The old man said, “What business? What business have you started doing?” He showed him the dollar. “The priest is paying me one dollar to keep you awake.” The old man said, “Then you should have told me before. I will give you two dollars every week. Don’t disturb me.” The boy said, “So far, so good. The business is going good. Two dollars, in advance.”

He got the advance, and the next Sunday morning he was sitting silently. The priest made many hints, but the child would not look at him at all. He would look here, there, everywhere else. The priest said, “What has happened to this boy? Last Sunday was so peaceful.” After the service, the priest caught hold of the boy and said, “You are cheating me. I am giving you one dollar per sermon. Why have you stopped hitting the old man?” The boy said, “He is giving me two dollars for not hitting him. Now if you want, the price has gone up. If you give me three dollars I will keep him awake.”

The priest said, “I cannot compete with your old man. He is so rich he can give you any amount of money. I am a poor priest. Three dollars per sermon, I will go bankrupt.”

These people who go to the churches are no disturbance to the society. It is their society. Jesus was a disturbance, hence they crucified him. After Jesus, his apostles started compromising with the society, and what a coincidence. He was crucified by the order of the emperor of Rome, and later on Rome became the capital of world Christianity.

Existence works in strange ways. These people who are against me, hostile towards me and my people, one day you will find them in red clothes. I just have to manage to be assassinated. Then everything will be good, then I will gain their sympathy. Right now I am such a disturbance. They have never conceived such a religious man, one who has ninety Rolls Royces, hundreds of diamond watches, and a 126-square-mile ranch, three times bigger than New York. Naturally they should be offended. I am responsible for their being offended. And I am trying to introduce a totally new religious phenomenon which goes against their morality, their etiquette.

Everything that they have, my commune goes against it. Because I have seen one thing clearly: every society is an organic whole. If there is rape, murder, theft, and all kinds of crimes and perversions, then whatever good is there is so interconnected with the bad that we stand even against those things that appear good. We can see the interconnection between the good and the bad. They are two sides of the same coin, and we have renounced both. We are amoral people. We are not immoral, we are not moral.

We are amoral people. This is their problem. They can deal with moral people, they can deal with immoral people, but they don’t know how to deal with us. It is so new to them, they are puzzled and confused. But this is really the shock of the beginning of a new man. These are the birth pangs. The society is going, but we are going to continue to grow — not in spite of them, but because of them. If they are hostile and they hate us, we are already connected. We have a certain relationship already. Sometimes friendship is not so deep as enmity.

Just the other day I received a letter from a sannyasin: “I love you. My wife likes you but does not love you. I love my wife. I want to move to a commune, and now I am in great difficulty. My wife likes you but she is not ready to move to the commune. She does not love you that much. I love you so much I want to move, but what will happen to my wife and children? I am in a dilemma.” When I heard the letter I said, “This man is going to be in great difficulty.” If the wife hated me, things would have been simple, but she likes me. Like never changes into love. Hate has the capacity to change into love. In fact, it is love standing on its head.

I am really happy that people are hostile. How long can they remain hostile? And they are unnecessarily wasting their time and energy, and having nightmares, and we don’t care a bit. We are not bothered. We are enjoying the time that is available to us. Tomorrow is uncertain, so we are not going to sacrifice today for any tomorrow. We are existential people. Just this moment is so much, who cares whether the next moment we survive or not?

But they will have to change their attitude. You cannot carry hostility long. It starts disturbing your stomach, raises your pulse beat, and gives you heart attacks. We have not done any harm to anybody. They are doing it on their own. They are creating it for their own death. If they understand just a little psychology, before becoming hostile, please come and become acquainted. I am not a missionary and I don’t convert anybody.

If a person wants to be converted, wants to become a sannyasin, that is his responsibility. We are not making any effort to change any man, because I think that is trespassing, and I respect the individual as one of the highest values in the world.

Source – Osho Book “The Last Testament, Vol 1”

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