The Third World War

Discourses War and Peace

Beloved Osho,
What do you say about the third world war? Is it going to happen or not? What should we do to prevent it?

Don’t do anything to prevent it, because this humanity that you see around the earth is not worth anything. A good third world war will at least clean this planet of human garbage: cathedrals, temples, mosques, White Houses where only lies are manufactured. Perhaps that’s why it is called the White House – because we know the phrase “white lie.” Lies are always white; they have to be painted white.

All these politicians, with no awareness, no love, and with all the nuclear weapons in their hands…. The world right now contains so many nuclear and atomic weapons that this poor humanity can be killed seven times – although that is not needed, once is more than enough. And they go on piling them up.

Osho in sunlight

But I am not a pessimist. I am saying it to you just to emphasize the fact that it is not a question of the third world war, it is a question of a change in human consciousness. You cannot prevent the third world war with the same mind as human beings have today – and there is no need either. But human consciousness can be changed.

What is there to save? –
your football matches?
the Olympics?
What is there in people’s lives?
They are living empty, hollow lives.
In fact, the third world war
is coming closer and closer
because people are feeling
more and more hollow,
without any meaning.

You can become the beginning of a new mankind. And the very newness of your consciousness will be contagious. If sannyasins go on growing around the world as they are growing, there is every possibility there will be no third world war.

My sannyasins are not politicians. My sannyasins have no political aspirations; only idiots have those kind of aspirations – chimpanzees and others.

My sannyasins are learning to live right now, intensely, totally, burning the torch of life from both ends together. If you can make the people around the world dance and sing and celebrate…. You may not see the connection between the third world war and what I am saying, but there is a great connection.

The third world war is possible only if humanity feels suicidal, if people lose all interest in life and become so frustrated that they don’t want to live – for what? For Ronald Reagan to become the president? For Ethiopia, so that thousands will die every day? For India, which goes on producing children? The Indian woman is continuously pregnant. Half of India is starving; soon it will be a second Ethiopia, far bigger. If you cannot manage Ethiopia, it is impossible to manage India. And the same is going to happen to other third world countries.

What is there to save? – your football matches? the Olympics? What is there in people’s lives? They are living empty, hollow lives. In fact, the third world war is coming closer and closer because people are feeling more and more hollow, without any meaning. They will certainly be happy that the whole world is finished. But if we can create a little joy in people’s lives, a little silence, so that what they think of as hollowness is no longer hollowness; it is serenity, it is silence, it is emptiness, but intensely full, overflowing with joy….

I don’t have any dogma, any creed, any cult to spread. I want you to be carriers of joy – in small things. Life does not consist of big things.

Alexander the Great is just a fool. You have another fool in America – Muhammad Ali the Greatest. There is nothing big in life, because nothing is small either. There is no question of thinking in terms of great, not great. There is no need to think in terms of mundane, spiritual; materialistic, spiritualistic. All these divisions are false. Life is one single whole. It is material, and at the same time it is spiritual. It is mundane, and at the same time the holiest thing possible.

I gave you the mala
with my picture to be certain;
I don’t want to take any chances.
I want you to be
recognized in the world
as the craziest people around.

If you can become the carriers of my at-ease – that is just the word I have invented against dis-ease – if you can do this…. And it is not much, just rejoice in small things: a cup of tea… sipping it, feel blessed, because who knows? tomorrow morning you may not be there, the third world war may have happened. When you go to sleep, say goodbye to the stars and to the universe, because who knows at what time Ronald Reagan may go berserk. When you wake up in the morning, greet it. Greet the sun, greet it the way the birds are greeting it with their songs, greet it the way flowers are greeting it by releasing their fragrance.

Dance! Don’t be bothered that you will be thought crazy. Once you are my sannyasins you are crazy. And craziness gives such great freedom that the so-called sane people cannot even understand. You can dance for no reason at all. You can laugh although no joke has been told to you. You can do anything, because you are a recognized crazy man.

Why have I given you this red uniform? So it will be recognized: “This man is crazy. He talks to himself, he laughs when there is nothing to laugh at. Watching the sunset, we have seen tears of joy flowing from his eyes.”

I gave you the mala with my picture to be certain; I don’t want to take any chances. I want you to be recognized in the world as the craziest people around. And slowly you will be surprised: the people who call you crazy will become curious. They also want to laugh, but their mouths are tightly closed by the society. They also want to dance, but their culture does not allow it, or allows it only in certain situations, certain occasions.

[…] If my people go on being non-serious, laughing, dancing, singing, not finding any reason for it – life is enough reason for it – we can make the whole world aflame with laughter. Nuclear weapons can be destroyed by a laughing, smiling, dancing humanity. But as humanity is now, there is no hope.

You are the only hope! So don’t keep your joy to yourself, spread it, make it available to anybody. Don’t even think whether he is introduced to you or not. Don’t be British, be human! These are the only two kinds in the world.

The third world war can be completely stopped – should be stopped. But it is not going to be stopped by the pacifists and their processions and their screaming and shouting for peace. They are not the people to stop it. They are really showing by shouting and screaming that they are not peaceful men. They may be pacifists, but they are ready to fight for it!

I am not a pacifist, I am at peace.

But you can help the world to continue.
I am not concerned with the war directly,
I am concerned with something else,
some other energy as an antidote.
Be meditative, be loving, be silent,
be sharing – and spread your craziness.

I have never participated in any protest of any kind. I have never been a part of any organization of any kind, and I would like you not to be pacifists, but peaceful, radiating your silence around you. It is invisible but it stirs hearts. Radiate your love – not even to your wife, which is the most difficult thing, so I am leaving it for later stages. Radiate your love – not even to your neighbors, that is too difficult. Radiate to strangers.

Start radiating your being to a tree. Hug it. Have you ever hugged a tree? If you have not hugged a tree you have missed something of grandeur. If in a silent, deep, peaceful moment you hug a tree, you will find it is not a one-sided hug; the tree is responding. And the response is so tangible, that the tree is happy. Dance, and the tree will also rejoice with you; it may become greener, may bring more flowers.

Have you not watched this happening to this desert, this Big Muddy Ranch? When I came here it was really a sad place: no flowers anywhere, no trees except the juniper. The juniper seems to be German. And those junipers were also very few, not thick, somehow surviving like human beings, at the minimum. Now, after just four years of our being here – and we have not done anything to those junipers – they are greener, thicker, bigger. You can feel their joy.

We have changed the desert into an oasis. And soon the whole Muddy Ranch will be green. Your laughter is nourishment even to the trees. There were no birds when I came here, not a single bird. Now birds have started coming. Life is such an organic whole. In my garden there must be nearabout eighty peacocks. Near my house we have made a small river out of rainwater. There are beautiful swans…. Your joy, your love, your peace does something without your knowing to everything that is around you.

The third world war is the conclusion
of all the religions and the politicians
and all the cultures of the past.
It is a logical conclusion.
It is only a question of time –
and the time, too, is not so much.

So I cannot say, “Go and become pacifists. Take the flags and the banners and go to Washington or to Moscow and scream against nuclear weapons.” Nobody is going to hear you. Those politicians are deaf; those politicians are just dodos. That is not going to help. But doing something totally different, which has nothing to do with the third world war…. That’s why I said, “Please don’t try to prevent it,” because that would be directly making an effort to prevent the third world war. You cannot do it; things have gone too far.

The third world war is the conclusion of all the religions and the politicians and all the cultures of the past. It is a logical conclusion. It is only a question of time – and the time, too, is not so much. Things are moving. The way they are moving, before this century ends, the world will be finished.

But you can help the world to continue. I am not concerned with the war directly, I am concerned with something else, some other energy as an antidote. Be meditative, be loving, be silent, be sharing – and spread your craziness.

Soon the same people will start doubting their sanity; you just have to go on spreading your craziness. It takes a little time to hammer the fact, but the so-called sane people will not be incapable of seeing. What is the point of being sane if you cannot love, you cannot dance, you cannot sing, you cannot even whistle? What is the point of being sane? They will say, “Let this sanity go to hell, or to Oregon, but we are no longer going to be sane. We are going to be human, alive, thriving, so full of life that it starts touching others and everyone.”

And you know it by your experience. What I am saying is not giving you a belief, it is your experience too. Just don’t be miserly and hoard it. Remember the law of existence: the more you give, the more you get.

Osho, From the False to the Truth, Ch 22, Q 3

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