In a discourse about religions being out of date, Osho speaks about Salman Rushdie and the fatwa issued against him in 1989 because of The Satanic Verses
It seems that never has any god-oriented religion been more anachronistic than it is today; yet curiously, Christianity at least seems to be blooming. Born-again Christians, Jesus freaks, and fundamentalist Christians are rife.
Are we seeing the phenomenon you have described when something is about to die? You have compared it to a candle going out, having a last, final spurt of energy before it splutters into extinction.
It is exactly what has happened. Not only is Christianity going out of existence, all religions as such are already out of date. They are living a posthumous life.
Whatever they have been teaching to humanity has been found criminal. Their God is a fiction, a lie. They all have been telling people to be truthful, and they are teaching lies about heaven and hell and God. They have made the whole of humanity hypocrite.
The misery that you see all over the earth is created by your religions. Once you make a man feel guilty he cannot enjoy life, he cannot rejoice in existence. You have cut his roots, the very roots that nourish your joy, your blissfulness.
All the religions have been against humanity. They are bound to go into extinction. The sooner they disappear from the earth the better. Man needs to sing with the birds, to dance with the trees. Man needs to rise to the heights of a Gautam Buddha.
The religions have not been helping any evolution of consciousness; on the contrary they are the greatest obstacles. Religion has become a business in the hands of the priests. And certainly an authentic religiousness has nothing to do with business. It has something to do with your blossoming, it has something to do with your initiation into eternity, into truth, into beauty, into good.
Religiousness has no way to make humanity spiritually slave – but that’s what religions have done. Everybody is enslaved, oppressed, exploited, and everybody is being poisoned by the religions, forced to be unnatural. And the moment you force somebody to be unnatural you are committing the greatest crime against existence.
All the religions, God-oriented or not God-oriented, have been teaching man to renounce life. They are anti-life, they are against everything that can make you a whole person. Not only physically, not only psychologically, but spiritually too. They have been cutting you into pieces, and they have been trying for centuries, insistently, to enforce the idea of renouncement. This is not a right approach to existence.
The moment you start renouncing, you start shrinking. Rather than growing, rather than becoming vaster and infinite, you start shrinking into yourself. You lose all interest in existence, in love, because you are told to torture yourself. Renunciation from the world is another name for self-torture. And a man who is torturing himself – how can you expect him to dance? How can you expect him to be ecstatic? He is committing a slow suicide.
God-oriented religions, and not God-oriented religions – both are going to disappear.
Religion is an individual matter; it has nothing to do with collectivity. It is not a social phenomenon, it is very private, absolutely private, your innermost affair. Even love is not that much private, because at least two persons are involved in it. In meditation, nobody is involved – only you are. It is absolutely individualistic.
I teach you to be individuals.
Never belong to any organization, never belong to any holy scriptures, churches, temples. Never belong to any monastery. This whole existence is available for you – rejoice in it, celebrate in it.
No religion teaches celebration; they teach celibacy! I am absolutely against celibacy and all for celebration. I am making every effort to bring a new approach towards life which the past humanity has missed – a new freedom, a new sky to open your wings. All religions have been cutting your wings, putting you into cages and making you believe that this is all that life is. There was a reason for them to do this. Unless you take away people’s individuality and destroy their wings and their freedom and cut their roots of nourishment, you cannot enslave them. It is impossible to create armies and wars; it is impossible to make millions of people suffer in poverty – they would have revolted long ago. But religions are keeping them subdued by the fear of God, by the fear of punishment in hell, and by the greed that if you follow their commandments you will be rewarded immensely.
I have told you about this man Salman Rushdie. The way Ayatollah Khomeini and the other religious leaders of Iran have behaved…ordinarily people think that this is very strange from a religious man. I want to tell you this is not – this is what religions have been doing for centuries.
Mohammed himself carried a sword his whole life, killing people, and he has given the name Islam, to his religion, which means peace! And on his sword was written in letters of gold, “Peace is my message” – on the sword!
Ayatollah Khomeini is exactly behaving like all the religious leaders. It is absolutely irreligious behavior but Ayatollah Khomeini is not the only one responsible for it, he is simply a representative of the whole past history of religions: killing, murder, crusades…fights over strange things.
Christians, Mohammedans and Jews, all three religions have been fighting over a strange idea which can be shared very easily, that Jerusalem is the holy city. So what is wrong? All three religions can enjoy going to Jerusalem. But they have been fighting. Jews have been claiming, “It is our holy city.” And Christians of course were saying, “It is our holy city because Jesus was crucified here.” And Jews are saying it is their holy city because the ancient Jewish temple used to exist in Jerusalem and there is still the great wall where Jews weep, cry – that is their prayer, in front of an ancient wall. You will find hundreds of Jews every day standing in front of the wall or kneeling down in front of the wall. It is their holy city.
And then came the Mohammedans and with a strange fiction they have made it their holy city. The fiction is that Mohammed went to heaven sitting on his horse, and just on way to heaven he stopped for a rest in Jerusalem. Now, I cannot conceive how Jerusalem comes on the way to heaven. It does not exist somewhere in the clouds….
So the rock on which he had rested for a few minutes before ascending to heaven is the holy rock, and because the holy rock is in Jerusalem, Mohammedans have been claiming, “It is our holy city.” And all three religions have been fighting and killing for hundreds and thousands of years. I cannot understand why they all cannot share the holy city – they all can go and worship. But the very claim that it is “ours,” is absolutely non-religious.
A religious person has no possessiveness. These are not religious people, they belong only to pseudo-religious organizations. And they are doing everything wrong in the name of God. That gives a sanctity to their immoral acts.
Ayatollah Khomein’si death sentence on four persons was absolutely immoral, absolutely unspiritual. And then another ayatollah came and declared that he would give 2.6 million dollars to the person who brings the head of Salman Rushdie to Iran.
I was hoping Salman Rushdie would prove to be a man of integrity – he did not. He has started falling from integrity, from individuality. Today he has requested Ayatollah Khomeini – “I can feel that I have hurt so many people’s religious feelings…” Yesterday, Ayatollah Khomeini said that if Rushdie asks for forgiveness and is ready to receive a penance, then he can save his life. Otherwise there is no way.
This statement is not accurately speaking an apology, but just a recognition that he had unconsciously hurt the feelings of thousands of Mohammedans, and that he would be more careful in the future. But he was not aware that Ayatollah Khomeini is not a sane man. He rejected the statement, and said again on the radio, “Rushdie has not apologized and whatever he has said, we reject it.”
Now Salman Rushdie has started falling. Soon he will have to apologize, and after apologizing, Ayatollah Khomeini will ask him to do penance. “Come to Kaaba and fast for one month…” Salman Rushdie has taken a wrong move. This is how people out of fear have been kept imprisoned.
I was hoping that a man of the intelligence of Salman Rushdie would prefer death to apologizing. He has not committed any sin, and he has not done anything wrong. I was hoping that he would put Ayatollah Khomeini in a corner. He should ask him, “On what grounds are you saying that I have committed anything against Islam? Tell me exactly what is the reason that you are asking for an apology or giving me a sentence to death.” And that would have exposed Ayatollah Khomeini because none of these ayatollahs have given a reason.
Rushdie simply stated a historical fact, that a few of the verses which Mohammed wrote in an earlier version of the Koran he dropped later on saying that he had been inspired by the devil to write these verses. Now, this is a historical fact, it is not Salman Rushdie’s imagination. Why should he ask forgiveness?
He should have said, “Give me the reasons,” and he would have put these fanatics into a corner, because they cannot say what really is the problem. I want you to understand it because that will give you an insight into the murderous instinct of all the religions. This does not make any sense because it is a well-established fact, accepted by Mohammedan scholars for centuries, that a few verses have been dropped. And the statement of Mohammed is well known to those who have ever studied the Koran and the history of Islam. If anybody is at fault it is Mohammed, not Rushdie.
So they cannot really say these are the verses that are creating trouble, because then immediately the question arises that they are historical facts. So nobody has said what the problem is. The problem is that if Mohammed can be influenced by the devil, and he withdraws a few verses as the devil’s inspired verses, that makes a crack in the whole fanatic idea that the Koran is infallible, that Mohammed is God’s only paigambar, only authentic prophet. “One God, one prophet Mohammed, and one holy book the Koran” – these are the three basic principles of Mohammedanism. Accepting the fact that Mohammed could be influenced by the devil and could not recognize it for many years makes the whole Koran dubious, makes the prophet Mohammed fallible. These are the reasons hidden behind, implied, and they cannot say why they are so angry.
They are angry because if the whole world knows that Mohammed could be deceived by the devil, then he is not a perfect prophet of God – what about the other verses in the Koran? Who knows which verses are inspired by the devil, which verses are inspired by God? Just to avoid this implication becoming clear to everybody, these people are getting mad.
For the same reason, Galileo was called by the pope because he had written that it is not the sun that goes around the earth; on the contrary, it is the earth that goes around the sun. But the Bible states the commonsense view. Just as we see the sun rising in the morning and going around from the east to the west, setting, so it appears that the sun is going around the earth. This is a commonsense view, but the question that Galileo had asked the pope was, “Why are you are so much afraid of a truth? I have been experimenting; this is my whole life’s work. And even if I withdraw the sentence that you are wanting me to withdraw, neither is the earth going to change its course nor the sun, because they don’t read my books. The earth will go on circling the sun. But why are you afraid?” Galileo had asked, and he had cornered the pope: “You either prove that I am wrong on scientific grounds…because it is not a religious matter at all. What has religion to do with whether the sun goes around the earth or the earth goes around the sun? It has nothing to do with any spirituality, it is a scientific area. If anybody can prove anything scientifically against me, then of course I will withdraw. But why are you afraid?”
Cornered in this way, the pope had to accept that the real problem was: “We are not concerned whether the earth goes around, or the sun. Our concern is that even if one sentence in the Bible is found to be wrong, the whole credibility of the Bible goes. Then it is not a work of God. God is infallible, God cannot commit such a mistake. He made the earth, he made the sun, and he does not know who goes around.
“The point is that one sentence proved wrong will create doubt about the whole authenticity of the Bible, so we cannot allow you to create this doubt in people’s minds.”
Galileo was very old, almost on his deathbed. He had been dragged from his deathbed to the court of the pope. He said, “I don’t want to get into any unnecessary trouble. I am already dying. So I will cancel the sentence.” And he must have been a man of a great sense of humor. He canceled the sentence. But in a footnote he wrote, “Although I am canceling this sentence, the fact is that the earth goes around the sun. They are not going to listen to me, and they don’t follow any religion and they are not Christians.”
Certainly the earth is not Christian, neither is the sun Christian. And certainly whoever wrote the Bible is not omniscient, is not infallible.
Hundreds of facts have been found in these three hundred years after Galileo which go against the Bible, which go against the Koran, which go against the Vedas…which go against every religious scripture in the world. And that proves that these books have not been written by God, or written by the only begotten son of God, Jesus Christ, or by prophets like Mohammed or Moses who represent God. And they are the messengers…. Certainly these messages are their imagination.
All these holy scriptures are full of common sense, not of any scientific inquiry, nor of any spiritual inquiry.
It is so strange to read the holy scriptures. They look such rubbish that even newspapers seem to be more important. And if God is writing, or his special messengers are writing these scriptures, they cannot be counted sane.
My whole understanding is that all these prophets and messiahs and avataras and tirthankaras – the founders of all the religions – are basically megalomaniacs, great egoists. This is the greatest ego in the world, that you are related with God in a manner nobody else is related.
That’s why Jesus excludes the idea that there is another son, another brother to him, or another sister. God has only one begotten son and that is Jesus Christ. Why does Mohammed close the doors – “I am the last prophet of God; now there will be no more prophets coming. So the holy Koran is the final message from God; no correction can be made in it.” But he himself corrected it, and he himself accepted that he was inspired by the devil.
Religions have been repressing truths, and now it is time that the truth should be declared, freedom should be declared, individuality should be declared. Man has lived under slavery long enough. The night has been too long; a new dawn is needed. A new man is needed, a new humanity is needed, and that humanity necessarily needs all these so-called religions to disappear from the earth.
They are having their last breaths, so your question is exactly right. The same is the case with a candle going out – having a last final spurt of energy before it splutters into extinction.
This happens to man also. Physicians have been observing it for centuries that before death the person becomes perfectly healthy; all his diseases disappear. And they could not understand – “What is happening? He is going to die, the logical thing would be that his diseases become more dangerous because they are going to kill him. But at the last moment all diseases disappear.”
It is the last spurt of energy. Before going into darkness, the candle flares up. And many times, physicians have been deceived by this flaring up of energy; they think they have cured the person. And by the time they have reached home, the phone rings to say that the man is dead. And they were thinking they had cured him, because everything becomes normal before death. The man is making his last effort – of course unconsciously – to remain alive. He is for the first time being total, so the whole energy is gathered. That gathering of the energy gives a false appearance of health as if he is cured.
All these religions are gathering their whole energy – the last flare-up of life before they disappear forever with their God, with their priests, with their monks, with their churches, with their holy scriptures. That day will be the greatest day in the history of man. Man will become free.
Hence I say that the days for celebration are coming closer. Get ready!
Celibacy is no longer scientific; we have to fill up the gap with celebration. Renunciation is no longer logical, rational; we have to fill the gap with rejoicing. That is the reason so-called religious people are against me, because they can see what I am saying destroys their lies and their fictions and their consolations. This destruction they call “having their religious feelings hurt.”
Just today one man has asked the government of India, “Just as you have banned Salman Rushdie’s book, why don’t you ban Rajneesh’s books which are far more dangerous?” It is true, they are far more dangerous. Rushdie has not done anything, and is unnecessarily being harassed. If you harass me that will be absolutely right, because I am stating things against every religion.
But to ask the government to ban my books is to accept defeat. Why can’t you argue with me? Why can’t you bring a dialogue into existence? If you think your religious ideology is right, I am ready for any challenge to discuss it. Why are you afraid? In a cultured society, in a democratic nation it is against the constitution to take away anybody’s freedom of speech. I am ready to confront anybody – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jaina, Buddhist. Whoever they are, I am ready to confront them, but because they don’t have any way to answer my questions they immediately take the course of asking the government.
The Indian government is secular, it has no way to defend any religion or anybody’s religious feelings. And it is barbarious to ask the government; it simply shows you are primitive and you don’t know how to behave in a civilized way.
If Ayatollah Khomeini was a civilized, sane man, he would have asked Rushdie, “Are you ready for an argument?” To declare a death sentence…and Mohammedan criminals, professional murderers have already entered Britain from different Mohammedan countries. Even Pakistan has sent people. I was shocked because the woman who is now the president of Pakistan, her father, Bhutto, was sentenced to death for no reason at all. He was the most prominent person in Pakistan, the most influential person. And because of him, the man who was in power – he was a military general, it was a military dictatorship – was afraid to call elections, so he was tolerating and making excuses and postponing. But how long can you postpone? People were asking again and again, “Why are elections not happening?” And the reason was that Bhutto was alive. He used to be the president of the country, and this was a takeover by the army, by force. Bhutto had to be killed before the elections.
So they brought all kinds of imaginary crimes that he had not committed. He was a well educated man, and he was not a fanatic. They killed him. No appeal was granted to him; he could not appeal to the president for mercy. It was against Pakistan’s constitution, against Pakistan’s law, but General Zia, who was in power, was not a man of any influence in the public. He had come into power by force and violence because he was the commander-in-chief of all the forces – the navy, the air force, and the army.
It was just luck that a few days ago, General Zia, with his seventy-four most intimate people from all the armies, had an accident, an airplane accident, and all seventy-five people died.
This woman is General Zia’s enemy and has been fighting from Britain, trying to get into Pakistan. And General Zia was not allowing her, because people would have sympathy for her because her father had been killed illegally, unconstitutionally. But when Zia was dead she immediately rushed to Pakistan and she has been elected. Now she is the president – a young woman, well educated, but she is doing the same stupidity as Zia did. Zia killed her father without any reason or rhyme, simply because he was the most impressive person in the country and Zia could not stand against him and win the elections. That was the reason.
Now, I was thinking that this woman would behave – and she has been educated in Britain, just as her father was educated in Britain – in a different way. First, she is a woman, and has more heart than any man. Secondly, her father has been killed. She should reconsider the very desire for killing people. And now she has sent a death squad to Britain, professional murderers, to kill Rushdie and the other three persons who are involved in the publication of the book.
It seems people don’t learn at all. That’s why history goes on repeating. The repetition of history simply shows that people don’t learn at all. Otherwise, there is no reason for history to repeat – if you learn, you only commit a mistake once, not twice. That’s what learning means: commit as many mistakes as you want, but only commit one mistake once. Committing mistakes is not bad – that is the only way of learning; you have to commit mistakes. If you don’t commit mistakes you cannot find the way from this darkness that surrounds the earth. But don’t commit the same mistake, otherwise you will be in a vicious circle.
Committing the same mistake again simply shows you are unconscious, you are not behaving consciously. Now, this woman, Bhutto’s daughter, is doing the same as Zia was doing. And the man, Rushdie, has not done anything wrong.
But he seems to be a coward. And because of these cowards these insane people have been in power.
I am ready for any argument with anybody, because I know their whole religious belief is absolutely unfounded. They cannot prove God, they cannot prove heaven, they cannot prove hell. They cannot prove that God created the world, because there is no witness. How have you found it? Who told you? Obviously there cannot have been any witness when God created the world. If there was a witness, the world was already there. It is intrinsically rational to accept that there cannot be any witness – because there was no world. From where will the witness come? So God cannot have a witness; then how have these people come to know? From whom?
Their whole idea is based on the lie of God. And I always strike at the very foundation, I don’t bother about the branches and the leaves. I cut the very roots. And they cannot defend, because they don’t have any foundation to their temple.
I once went to see a temple which is a very rare temple, near Indore. There is a very small village where the temple is; it is a Jaina temple. Jainas have the mythology that the temple has fallen from heaven. It does not look very heavenly….
And it fell because the gods – Jainism does not believe in God, it believes in gods – and the devils were fighting about who should own the temple, and the fight was going on just above the clouds. So they became so much engaged in fighting that they lost control of the temple and the temple fell near the village. And the only reason they could manage this mythology was that the temple has no foundation. You can put a thin wire underneath and you can go around the whole temple. The wire goes through to the other side. Then two persons can take the wire and go around the whole temple – it is a round temple, it has no foundation at all.
So this has given the idea that it must have fallen, because how can you make a temple without a foundation?
It can be made, there is not much problem in it. It is a small temple, and just some architect’s imagination to make something absolutely new…he had raised this temple without any foundation.
But when I went to see the temple – a few friends had accompanied me from Indore, and they were all amazed. They said, “Perhaps the mythology is true.”
I said, “You are idiots! No temple has any foundation. No church has any foundation. No belief system has any foundation. This temple is a proof!”
Humanity requires a totally different approach. We should discuss. Why is there so much fear about discussing? The fear is valid – they know they cannot win. All their religions are slipping out of their hands; they cannot win, they are fighting a losing battle. If they are men of intelligence it is better that they come out of the temples and the churches and the monasteries and declare their independence.
My whole effort is to give you freedom from all chains, from all prisons, so that you can celebrate life.
Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement, “God is dead; hence man is free”…but free for what? That he has no idea. That’s why he went insane. God was dead – that was the consolation. Now the consolation is gone and there is a vacuum. If you leave the vacuum, the whole of humanity is going to be mad.
Great intellectuals in the West have committed suicide or gone mad. In fact it has become almost a criterion: if you don’t go mad or you don’t commit suicide you are not much of an intellectual! The greatest intellectuals have gone mad, have suffered suicide, because they could not find how to live without God. Without heaven and hell, how to live? They suddenly saw their future was complete darkness, death. To live for death…? Without God they lost all reason for living.
And my whole effort is that before your God is taken away – and it is going to be taken away, because it has no foundation in truth – you should learn the art of living. You should learn the art of celebration so you never suffer the vacuum which creates insanity and all kinds of neurosis, psychosis.
Even the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, because he did not believe in God…He said God is a father fixation – and his analysis is correct, intellectually correct. That’s why you call God “the Father” and that’s why you call even the Catholic priest “father” – who has no wife, no children! What kind of father…? At least God has only one begotten son, something to brag about. But these Catholic priests – unless they have illegitimate children – cannot claim to be called fathers. It is very strange – what kind of father…?
Sigmund Freud is right that the child grows up with the idea that the father is his security. He is so powerful to the small child, seems to be all-powerful, he can do anything. But as he grows he finds that the father is not all-powerful. His security starts disappearing, he starts feeling insecure, unsafe.
Sigmund Freud’s analysis was that this fear of losing security and safety has been the cause of creating a Father God far away in the sky, who never dies, who is always there to protect you; he is compassionate…Jesus says, “God is love.” He will be very loving and very compassionate, so you need not be worried about anything. All that you have to do is to believe in God.
But once this God is found to be dead, as Nietzsche found – that we are carrying a corpse, God is dead…He was not aware that he himself was going to get into trouble, because his own make-up was of a father-fixation psychology. Now he found the father – even the ultimate father – is dead. These temporary fathers go on dying, it is okay. “Daddy” has been always dead, nothing much in it. But the eternal God…to find him dead is such a shock that although Friedrich Nietzsche wrote it, after writing it immediately he went mad.
The moment he concluded ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’, where he states this sentence that “God is dead and man is free,” he started behaving strangely. And finally, his friends, and particularly his sister who was taking care of him, had to put him into a madhouse.
He could not find the alternative. “God is dead and man is free” – but free for what? That he does not say at all in the whole book. And just to be free is not enough. Free from something is not enough, you have to be free for something. So there are two sides of freedom – from and for. You can be free from God, but if you don’t have any freedom for you will go mad. That consolation has been very ancient and very deep rooted; it will kill you. You cannot live in insecurity, you need an immediate alternative – freedom for.
Freedom for celebration, freedom for meditation, freedom for rejoicing, freedom for dancing – because God is dead. Now there is nobody above you and you are ultimately free from any spiritual slavery. Now you can dance without any guilt. You can love without any guilt. You can live as abundantly as possible. There is nobody to dominate you, and there is nobody to send commandments to you, and there is nobody to frighten you with hellfire, and there is nobody to provoke your greed for heavenly pleasures.
Sigmund Freud analyzed from a different angle, psychoanalysis. But he found himself in the same trouble as Nietzsche. He never went mad, but almost touched the boundaries. Because God was no longer there, death became the only thing that you are moving towards. He became so much afraid of death – God was a security, he would be there to welcome you after death. Now there is no one, now once you enter this tunnel of death there is no way out. He became so much afraid that even the word `death’ was prohibited. He had hundreds of disciples, he created the whole movement of psychoanalysis. It was prohibited in his presence ever to mention the word `death’, because it was so frightening that the moment somebody mentioned death he would fall into a fit and start foaming from the mouth.
And this is your great psychoanalyst. But he was suffering from the same problem. God was the security. He psychoanalyzed people and found that there is no God, it is just an invention of a sick mind. Logically right…but what about himself?
You will be surprised to know that Sigmund Freud founded psychoanalysis but he himself was never psychoanalyzed, because he refused. He was asked again and again by his disciples, who had become well-known psychoanalysts. They said, “It will be good if you yourself get psychoanalyzed. Now we are ready, you have prepared us so we know the whole technique. And we would like to look into your dreams. It will be an immense treasure to find out the dreams of the man who found dream analysis.”
He refused. And the reason he refused was he was afraid because he was boiling with the same repressed desires as you are boiling. It would be a great threat to his whole movement if people came to know his dreams. They would be as sexual, as criminal, as anybody’s – maybe more. Why was he afraid? He knew his dreams.
And that shows that the man was not well psychologically, although he was the founder of psychoanalysis.
And this goes on and on. Psychoanalysts themselves are the most highly vulnerable group of people to become insane. And they go on psychoanalyzing each other. But that does not bring sanity, that brings only normal insanity.
The whole of humanity is normally insane – a few people become abnormally insane; they go beyond the border of common sense. But the difference between your insane and the so-called sane is only of degrees. Perhaps you are ninety-nine degrees and the other person has gone to one hundred and one – past that line. And all that psychoanalysis is to bring him back to the ninety-nine degree insanity. One hundred and one degrees is dangerous.
The whole of psychoanalysis and all kinds of other schools that have developed – analytical psychology, or psychosynthesis, Assagioli, Carl Gustav Jung, Adler, and then there is a long line of people who are inventing their own therapies – they are as sick people as anybody. Your priests are as ignorant as anybody, your psychoanalysts are more in danger than you are – because they know there is no God. Your philosophers, your giants of intellect are in more danger than the retarded people. The retarded people don’t worry at all; they don’t know that God is dead. They have not heard it yet.
But sooner or later they are going to hear it. How long can it remain a secret? The priests have been keeping it a secret too long, and now they are themselves becoming aware that there is no God as they used to believe. So they are inventing new gods – a last flare-up of energy before the candle goes out and it becomes dark.
My effort is not an ordinary religious sermonizing. My effort is, before this candle goes out you should have your inner light ready, so you don’t fall into darkness, that you don’t go mad. I want you consciously to drop God, consciously to drop all lies and fictions in the name of religion, and start the other side. First, freedom from, and then the other side, freedom for – freedom for celebration, freedom for rejoicing.
Now there is no longer any point in renouncing. Nobody is going to reward you; don’t unnecessarily torture yourself. The whole sky is open for the first time; just open your wings and enjoy this freedom.
Very few people are capable of enjoying this freedom, because they don’t know how to dance. They have become crippled. They don’t know how to sing, they don’t know how to love. People say to each other, “I love you” – but just ask them, “What do you mean?” They will shrug their shoulders and they will say, “I don’t know…but what is love?”
Their love is just a fiction.
You cannot love anybody unless you know yourself. You are not there – who is going to love? You cannot love anybody unless love starts like a flood and starts overflowing you. First you must have love, then you can share it.
But do you have love? It is a by-product of meditation. Only people who have meditated deeply know what love is, and then there is no question of “falling” in love. Then comes the rising in love, you go higher and higher; your love becomes your religion, your love becomes your very existence.
I teach you love, not renunciation.
I teach you celebration, not celibacy.
I teach you to be natural, to be existential.
Then you will find yourself being very creative in some dimension or other, and you will not be suffering from a vacuum.
Celebration has to fill up your vacuum, otherwise, the whole of humanity is going to suffer badly. These religions are dead. Sooner or later everybody is going to recognize the fact and then there will be an immense vacuum which God used to fill. It was a lie, but it was a great consolation that there was somebody who was caring for you, who was your security. Even in death you need not be worried – beyond death is paradise.
But now there is no paradise, no God. Nobody is waiting for you beyond death. You will be going alone.
You have to learn how to be alone.
You have to learn how to rejoice to be alone. You have to learn how to dance – alone; there is no need for spectators. And there is no need even for partners. You can dance alone the way a rose dances in the wind, in the air, in the sun, in the rain. Do you think the rose is waiting for spectators or for partners?
Meditation gives you the deep insight into your aloneness. And remember the difference: aloneness is not loneliness. If you don’t learn aloneness, you will feel yourself very lonely. God no more, all consolation gone, no paradise after death…suddenly you feel accidental, not wanted by existence, not needed by any God. You don’t have any purpose, you don’t have any meaning. Suddenly your whole personality which was supported by lies, falls down.
This is what brings neurosis, breakdown.
Unless you learn meditation you cannot change your breakdown into a breakthrough. The whole alchemy of meditation is to change breakdown into breakthrough, to teach you freedom for.
Freedom from is simply clearing the ground, creating a dancing hall, removing all gods and temples who are cluttering the whole space.
You cannot dance in a church, where everywhere you see all around Jesus crucified with a long face – and you can celebrate this situation?
A small boy was for the first time found doing homework. His parents were surprised, because he never did it.
They asked, “What is the matter? We have been telling you to do homework and you never listen – what happened?”
He said, “The new school …”
They had changed him from the old school because they had changed their neighborhood, so he had to go into a new school. The new school was a convent school, and the little boy said to his parents, “In this school they have one Jew named Jesus, crucified everywhere – and I am the only other Jew in the whole school! So I have to do homework and everything they say. Immediately I do it, because I don’t want to be crucified!”
He is being very sensible and very rational. He is only the second Jew… His number is just number two – one has been already crucified. Maybe he was not doing his homework or something….
You cannot dance when Jesus is crucified. When all your gods are watching you, you cannot love. It is loving in a crowd of gods, who will be all pointing their Saint Finger towards you: “You are committing a crime!”
You have to throw away all these gods. They are all manmade, so there is no need to be worried; they are our creation. We have invented beautiful lies to console ourselves, so we are absolutely capable of throwing them away; nobody can prevent you.
But you have to learn, side by side. As you are clearing the ground, start singing a tune. Start moving your legs; get out of the crippledness of centuries. It is not only Jesus who is crucified – all those who believe in Jesus are living a crucified life, crippled. Of course Jesus cannot dance!
That would have been a real miracle, if he had danced on the cross. He could not even laugh – that would have been a real miracle. But he is so sad that perhaps he is having second thoughts…
And he shouted at God, with anger, “Have you forsaken me?” Because he was waiting for six hours, and not a single white cloud. The whole sky was blue, as far he could see. There was no sign of God coming.
At least he could have sent some saints – if he was not coming then servants would do. But somebody should have been there! Six hours he has been on the cross, waiting and waiting, and looking all around, and finally finding, “It seems that I have lived in a false consolation.” He died in sadness.
That sadness pervades every church. And that sadness has become ingrained all over the world. Not only amongst the Christians – because Christianity is the biggest religion in the world; half of the earth is Christian – other religions have been immensely influenced, without their knowing, by Christianity.
For example a man like Mahatma Gandhi. I have looked very carefully and I have found that ninety percent he was a Christian, nine percent he was a Jaina, one percent he was a Hindu – and he was born a Hindu. What happened? In his life, three times he was just on the verge of being converted into Christianity. His wife just made such a fuss that he stopped. He said, “Okay, wait …” It was the wife who prevented him from becoming Christian. Many wives are doing great jobs! She would start beating her chest and crying, “We are Hindu, and what are you doing?” And she would make such a scene that neighbors would gather and they would say, “This is not good. She is right – why are you becoming a Christian?”
But he was influenced, and it is happening all over. You can see how Christianity is influencing – because they serve the poor, every religion starts serving the poor. Otherwise they will not look so religious as the Christians. The Christians are taking care of the orphans, so Hindus have to open orphanages, otherwise their religion will look a little unconcerned about suffering people. So they open hospitals, which they have never done in the past. They have been in existence thousands of years before Christ and they have never made hospitals, they have never served the poor. They have told the poor, “You are suffering from your evil acts of the past life, so there is nothing to be done. You just finish it! Get cleared out.”
But Christianity has been a tremendous influence. It has poisoned almost the whole of humanity, made them sad and miserable.
So once you start feeling a vacuum, your sanity is at risk. Before the vacuum comes, I want you to learn how to fill it with beautiful songs and flowers and ecstasy, and a divine drunkenness and a festivity.
The only art of life is to transform it into a celebration.
Osho, I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here, Ch 7, Q 1