Beloved Osho,

In the last few weeks you have been talking a lot about the world running fast towards a dead end, without showing any more hope that things will ever change.

On the other hand, up to one month ago, you talked on the possibility that the presence of two hundred enlightened people, or even one, could save the world. Why this shift of emphasis? Did you give up on the other possibility? Did something happen within the last few weeks that made your vision change?

Chidananda, it is true that I have been talking a lot about the world running fast towards a dead end. The reason is, factually it is running towards an end. But it was running towards its end before, too. Now I want it to be absolutely emphasized on your consciousness, so that you stop postponing your own transformation. Man’s mind is so stupid that if there is a little possibility to postpone, then he will postpone for tomorrow – unless he comes to a dead-end street where there is no way to go forward and he has to take an absolute about-turn.

But things in the world are not visible to you. You may go on sleeping and the world may die. It is urgent that you take it seriously that the world may not be there tomorrow. You don’t have time to waste for anything else other than your own awakening.

Osho 159

I still know if there are two hundred enlightened people in the world, the world can be saved; but I have never told you that just one enlightened man can save the world. It is a heavy load. One single enlightened man cannot carry it; two hundred is the minimum. But from where to bring those two hundred people? They have to be born amongst you – you have to become those two hundred people. And your growth is so slow, there is every fear that before you become enlightened the world will be gone.

It is not only
the world war –
the attack is
multidimensional.

You are not putting your total energy into meditation, into awareness. It is one of the things that you are doing, amongst many; and it is not even the first priority of your life. I want it to become your first priority. The only way is that I should emphasize, deeply into your consciousness, that the world is going to end soon.

And if you are not awakened before its end, you will be lost in a long journey, because evolution will start from the very beginning on some other planet. On this planet it took four billion years for man to arrive. His life began in the ocean as a fish. On another planet, if this planet is destroyed, life will continue, but it will have to begin from the very beginning – and after four billion years you may be again a human being. It is a great risk to take.

Nothing has changed in the world; everything is going exactly in the direction of death – a little faster of course – and the moment of total annihilation is coming very close. It all depends on what your priorities are. If being awakened has become your priority, and you are ready to sacrifice everything for it, then there is hope.

I have told you the ancient story in the Old Testament – but that will not help today, the situation is so different. In the Old Testament there is a story about two big cities almost the same size as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The names of those two cities were Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of those two cities had become so perverted, they were doing all kinds of unnatural, psychopathological actions. Their sexuality had totally gone astray. Those two places must have been the California of the Old Testament.

Being alert means
you have to stop
being robots.

The story is that God tried hard to change those people. But to change anyone is a difficult task, even for a god – because the very idea that somebody is trying to change you creates a resistance, even if the change is for your good, even if there is no vested interest for the person who is trying to change you. But the very idea that somebody is trying to change you creates an unconscious resistance not to change.

Finally, God gave up the idea and decided to destroy those two cities because their very existence was dangerous. They could spread all their diseases to the whole of humanity. Sodom was so perverted that people were making love to animals; hence the word sodomy. Gomorrah had gone completely homosexual; heterosexuality had completely stopped. According to the Old Testament, God destroyed those two cities completely; but there is another version from Hassid mystics.

Judaism has produced one of the most essential lines of mystics, the Hassids. The orthodox Jews don’t accept them – the orthodox can never accept the religious. But every organized religion has produced, on the margin, a rebellious group which is not organized, which has different interpretations and a different style of life. Hassidism is one of the most beautiful ways to find oneself and to find the reality of existence.

…we are carrying
nuclear weapons
within our souls.

The Hassids have a different version because they cannot accept God destroying two cities; there must be some way to save them. Their story is that when God became determined to destroy them, one Hassid approached God and asked him one question: “You are going to destroy these two great cities, but have you ever wondered that there may be, in both cities, two hundred good people? They will also be destroyed, and this will not be a good precedent. Just for the sake of those two hundred, you have to change your decision.”

God thought for a moment and he said, “I never looked at this side. Certainly there may be good people and they will be destroyed with the bad. No, if you can prove that there are two hundred good people, I will not destroy those two cities.”

The Hassid said, “But suppose there are not two hundred, but only twenty – ten in each city. Will you destroy those good people? Does quantity mean so much to you, and not quality? What does it matter whether there are two hundred good people or twenty good people?”

God had to concede to the argument of the Hassid. He said, “Of course. Prove that there are twenty good people.”

…the moment of
total annihilation is
coming very close.

The Hassid said, “And if there is only one good man who lives six months in one city and six months in another city, what is your idea? Will you destroy those cities? Will it be a godly action? Ninety-nine percent of the people can be destroyed, if they are evil, for the one percent of good people; but one percent of good people cannot be destroyed to save the ninety-nine percent of evil people.”

God said, “You are very persuasive. Okay, show me, where is the good man?”

The Hassid said, “I am the good man, and I live six months in one city to help people transform their ways of life, and six months in another city for the same purpose. What is your decision? Are you going to destroy me too? Is not one good man more valuable, has he not more weight than thousands of evil people?” And according to the Hassidic story, God had to concede not to destroy those two cities.

Orthodox Jews don’t believe in the story because it is not written in the Old Testament. The story may be a fiction, but I say unto you, it is truer than any truth. It may not be written in the Old Testament, but its logic is so clear that it cannot be false. It may not be historical, but it has a spiritual reality.

In the same way I have been telling you that two hundred enlightened people can save the world. Existence is very generous; it cannot destroy two hundred awakened people, who have reached to the highest peak of consciousness – which has taken four billion years of evolution. But you have to become those two hundred people! To wake you up, I have been insisting that the end is very close. And this time it is not a parable.

Jesus used it as a device, that the end of the world is very close and the last judgment day is very close. His disciples asked him at the time of his departure – before the enemies got hold of him and when it was certain that he would be crucified the next day, their last question was, “When will we be seeing you again?” He said, “In this very life, because the end of the world is very close – but do what I have told you.”

And even Christians don’t know what he has told them. The last night before he was caught they were in the mountains and he told his disciples, “This may be the last night we are together, and I am going to do my prayer. While I am praying behind the bush you should remain awake. It is absolutely essential, to support my prayer, that you are awake. Don’t fall asleep.”

In the middle of his prayer he came back – and almost all were fast asleep. He woke them up and said, “Have you not heard me? I had told you, you have to remain awake. Can’t you remain awake just one night? – because I will not be here with you again. Even my death tomorrow cannot help you to remain awake?” They were very sorry. They said they would try, and he went again. This went on four, five times – he would come back and they would all be fast asleep.

Your awakening is
of tremendous
importance.

According to me this was his last teaching: to remain awake. But Christianity has completely forgotten about it. And I have not seen a single commentary by Christians on the implications of why Jesus was so insistently saying, “Be awake!” He was trying his hardest because once he was gone, there was every possibility they would all fall asleep, just as the whole of humanity is asleep, and they would start doing in their dreams things that are not to be done. But things that are not to be done can be prevented only when you are aware, alert.

His last teaching was awareness, but the disciples failed him – not only those twelve intimate disciples failed him, for two thousand years all his disciples have failed him. The very word “awareness” has disappeared from the Christian idea of transforming human beings. Jesus was continually saying, “The end is very close.” That was a device – because if you feel that there is enough time, why not sleep a little more? What is the hurry? But if there is no time left at all, perhaps the shock of it may wake you up.

What was only a device to Jesus, to me is not a device. It is a reality. The world is going to end.

I have been giving you hope, because I have to do two things: on the one hand I have to make it clear to you that the world is coming to its final suicide; and on the other hand, I have to give you the hope that still there is a possibility at least for you to become awakened.

Your awakening is of tremendous importance; it has never been so important before – neither with Jesus nor with Gautam Buddha – because there was enough time. Time has run out. We are at the fag end of time.

To make you aware of the reality – so that you can make some effort to remain awake, to make some effort to be more conscious and not to get lost in trivia – is absolutely necessary. That’s why my insistence will go on growing, because every day the end is approaching closer.

Man is so asleep he is almost in a coma, and all his actions are arising out of this state of coma – otherwise, there is no necessity for the world to end. But we are carrying nuclear weapons within our souls. The end is going to come because of our own ignorance, our own deep sleep.

I have heard… a Polack is crossing the Sahara desert on a camel. After two months alone with the camel, and dreaming of beautiful women, he starts to find the camel attractive and decides to make love to her. But as soon as he is ready, the camel stands up, walks a few feet away and stops. The Polack tries again, but again the camel stands up, walks a few feet away and stops. The Polack tries again and again with no luck.

One day he finds the remains of a plane which has crashed in the desert, and just nearby a young woman, unconscious, but still alive. For days he takes care of her and she recovers totally. One morning she comes to him, looking her prettiest, hugs him and tells him how thankful she is to him for saving her life. “You have been so sweet with me,” she says, “and I like you so much that I’ll do anything for you.”

Looking at her beautiful face, the man says, “Would you really?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Oh, I really appreciate that,” replies the Polack. “Would you mind holding that camel for me please?”

Such is the situation of humanity. At least you have to come out of it – and you need a constant hitting on your head to remind you that the times are no longer ordinary. And there have never been, in the whole history of man, such dangerous moments as those through which we are passing. It is no time for quarreling, arguing about theological matters; it is not intelligent to console yourself that some miracle will happen and the world war will be postponed. It is not only the world war – the attack is multidimensional.

The ecology of the earth is breaking down.

There are thousands of submarines moving around the earth in the ocean – and each submarine is carrying nuclear weapons so powerful that even the whole energy that was used in the second world war is nothing compared to the energy of one submarine carrying nuclear missiles. The Soviet Union has its own submarines; America has its own submarines. Just by accident two submarines can collide, and the whole life on the planet will evaporate into smoke. And the politicians of the world are continually piling up more and more nuclear weapons.

The population of the world is growing so fast that just the growth of population will be enough to kill half of humanity out of hunger and thirst.

Sexual perversions have become so rampant that Gomorrah and Sodom look very outdated.

And there have
never been,
in the whole
history of man,
such dangerous
moments as those
through which
we are passing.

Ten million people around the earth already have AIDS – which has no cure. And this number of ten million people is not accurate, because many countries have not yet declared how many people there have AIDS; they don’t have any way to find it out. For example India is not aware how many people are suffering from AIDS. Mohammedan countries are bound to have a very large number of people suffering from AIDS, because homosexuality has been there for thousands of years.

Even according to very moderate estimates, by the end of this century there will be one hundred million people suffering from AIDS. And when one hundred million people suffer from AIDS, that means at least one billion people must have been involved in homosexuality.

These are the multi-dimensional ways that death is approaching the earth.

Because we have cut so many forests, a thick layer of carbon dioxide has gathered on top of our atmosphere, miles away from the earth, where the air ends. The layer is so thick that it has already increased the temperature more than it has ever been on the earth; and that rise of temperature is melting the ice of the north and south poles. If that ice goes on melting – and there is no way to prevent it – all the oceans of the world will rise four feet higher. And all your big cities are ports; they will be flooded with water, will become unlivable.

If this carbon dioxide becomes a little thicker, then the Himalayas and the Alps, which have eternal snow which has never melted, will start melting. The Himalayas alone have so much ice that if it melts completely, it will raise all the oceans of the world forty feet higher. All your cities will be drowned, and this is not a flood that is going to recede.

One of the most dangerous things happening is that carbon dioxide is going to accumulate more and more. The trees go on inhaling carbon dioxide. If you cut the trees you are cutting two things: the supply of oxygen for your life, and the place for carbon dioxide to be absorbed. It is a double-edged sword – and absolutely unnecessary.

Man has been trying to reach to the moon and to Mars, and before that, we were never aware that where the air ends, miles above earth… all around the earth there is a thick layer of a certain gas, ozone, O3, which is a very protective layer. Because of that ozone, life has been possible on earth. That ozone has only one function: it does not allow any sunrays which are destructive to life; it returns them. It allows only those rays which are life-giving.

Because of our rockets moving towards the moon and towards Mars, we have made holes, for the first time, in the layer of ozone. Now those holes are allowing in all the rays of the sun towards the earth – and death-rays are also included.

You have to
become those
two hundred people!

So when I say the end is not very far away, it is not like when Jesus says it – just a device. By the end of this century, you will see all these dimensions bringing death to you. It has to be emphasized: unless you become absolutely clear about death, you are not going to concentrate your whole energy on transforming your being.

People change with difficulty; they find it easier to remain as they are – just like stones, like rocks. Change means a determined effort, a commitment to transform your energies, to take your being in an absolutely serious manner – it has not to be wasted in stupid things.

A famous playboy dies, and his best friends decide to celebrate with a mourning party. Late in the night someone suggests calling Hell in order to find out where he is. “But how can you call Hell?” someone asks.

“Well,” the man answers, “I guess it is just a long distance call.”

So they check the telephone book and find out all about outer space calls and then dial Hell. A few seconds later a very hoarse voice answers, “This is Hell. What do you want?”

Terrified by the devilish voice, they say, “We are looking for a friend.”

“What is his name?”

“Peter Thompson.”

“He is not here.” And the devil hangs up.

Totally amazed and having dropped all reference to logic, they decide to call Purgatory. They dial Purgatory, and to their relief, the voice on the phone does not sound so terrible – more businesslike. They explain that they are looking for a dead friend who is not in Hell and who just died.

“Well,” the voice answers, “he is not here, either. Try Heaven.”

“But he was a playboy!” his friends reply.

“He has to be somewhere. Try Heaven.”

So they dial Heaven, and a heavenly voice answers very softly and slowly, “Hello. This is Heaven. This is Virgin Mary. Can I help you?”

Very shy, they explain the whole story.

“No,” says the beautiful voice, full of echo: “He is not here. Thank you for calling. Call again.”

So every day they call Heaven, and every day they get the same answer. So they call again and again; and one week later, on Sunday morning, a very sexy, foxy, quick voice answers, “Hey, this is Mary. What do you want, guys…?”

Looking at each other and laughing, the friends agree: “He has arrived!”

Change is very difficult. A playboy will be a playboy, whether he is in hell or in heaven; he will go on doing his repetitive style of life.

Being alert means you have to stop being robots. Change your routines, move more consciously; let every act become an object of awareness. Then even these few years that are left are enough – more than enough. If you put your total energy into transformation, the destruction of the earth will not be your destruction. If you can die consciously, you have found the key to a higher life, to an eternal life, to a divine life.

Osho, The Hidden Splendor, Ch 14, Q 1

Share