The Mob Mind


You say: Osho, please, has a group a kind of unique soul beyond individuals?

No, but a group can have a mind – not a soul. A group can easily have a mind; that’s how people are. All the Mohammedans have a certain kind of mind.

I was a student at a university and I was staying with one of my professors. He loved me tremendously. Not only did he love me – he was a rare man, very old, must have been almost of the same age as my father – he not only loved me, he respected me too. I had to tell him again and again, “I am just your student – you need not be so respectful towards me.” It was embarrassing for me sometimes, because whenever I would enter the room he would stand up, even if there were other people. Once the Vice Chancellor was present; I entered the room, he stood up. The Vice Chancellor could not believe his eyes! I had to ask the Vice Chancellor to forgive me, “It is all my fault – I should not have entered!”

Osho Discourse

I was staying with the professor. It was a winter morning; in the sun outside on the lawn I was reading a book. The professor’s mother came – very old, must have been eighty – she asked me, “What are you reading?”

Just to tease her, because she was a fanatical Hindu I said, “This is the holy Koran.”

That old woman simply forgot that she was eighty! She snatched the book away from me, threw it away, outside on the road, and told me, “How dare you bring such a book in my house!”

I said, “Now you have committed a sin. It was not the holy Koran, it was the Bhagavad Gita – I was just joking! ”

She ran, brought the book, touched it seven times with her head, cried and wept, and I said, “What are you doing? It is the holy Koran! I am just teasing you!”

She threw the book in the fire! I told her, “You have the mind of a Mohammedan.”

Mohammedans have a very obstinate, stubborn mind. Hindus also have an obstinate, stubborn mind – but it is not so tight, it is a little loose. The reason is that so many Buddhas have happened in this country and they have been hammering on the society, they have made it loose in many places. But Mohammedans have not known anybody else except Mohammed.

That’s what has happened to Catholics. The word ‘catholic’ means one who is very liberal, but that is not the case – Catholics are worse than Communists!

Just the other day a friend from Rome sent me a letter saying that the new Pope has released a five-page epistle, very stern, very hard, cruel. And the friend writes, “It seems that the epistle has been written keeping you in mind.” Of course the name is not mentioned, but whatsoever is said seems to show that the Pope must have some idea of me in his mind. He must be reading The Mustard Seed, Come Follow Me… because he says, “There are people now on the earth who are claiming that their interpretation of Jesus is more right than the Vatican’s interpretation. Beware of these people! Don’t even listen to them and don’t read them. If you read and listen to them you are bound for eternal hell.”

Now these people create a certain mind – but not a soul. Catholics have a certain mind, Mohammedans have a certain mind, Hindus have a certain mind. People who have no individuality start having a certain mind – the mob mind.

Osho, Be Still and Know, Ch 8, Q 1 (excerpt)

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