Society is interested in specialists and not in happy people.
[…] The questioner asks: “You say choicelessness is bliss but society rewards specialists.” That’s true – society is not interested in your bliss: society is interested in its own efficiency. Society is not bothered whether you are ecstatic or not – that is none of its business. Society wants you to be just efficient mechanisms, robots. Do the work that society wants you to do, and then the society is finished with you. What you do with your own being is none of its business.
In fact, the society wants you not to do anything on your own, because that can become a distraction from efficiency. A man who is very happy cannot be so efficient – because he is so bubbling with happiness that efficiency seems trivial. What does it matter whether you earn one thousand rupees a month or ten thousand rupees a month? If his needs are fulfilled, a happy man doesn’t bother. He stops at a point; he is not obsessed with money.
in your happiness,
in your joy.
If a happy man sees that five days working is enough, then two days he rests – goes fishing or to the mountains. If he sees that only two days working is enough, then he works two days – in five days there are many more important things to do. He has to compose poetry, and he has to play his guitar, and he has to dance; and he has to just sit with friends and gossip; he has to meditate, pray, dance – he has a thousand and one things. His work is a need he has to fulfil. He enjoys it, but he is not obsessed with it.
A happy man is never a perfectionist. Only unhappy people are perfectionists, only unhappy people are obsessed with their work – because that is the only way they can avoid themselves, they can avoid facing themselves, they can avoid encountering themselves. They are continuously working; late hours they will go on working; unless they fall asleep they go on working. Why? Because they are afraid. If they stop work, then what to do? Then they are left to themselves and they cannot face themselves.
Society is, of course, interested in specialists. And specialists, more or less, become inhuman – because they know too much about too little. Their whole vision becomes narrow, narrow, narrow.
I have heard – the story must belong to the twenty-first century:
One man knocked at a doctor’s, an eye specialist’s office, and he said, “My left eye is hurting very much, and I cannot see rightly, my vision is blurred.”
The doctor said, “Excuse me, I am sorry, but I specialize only in right eyes. For the left eye you will have to go to some other specialist.”
Narrower and narrower goes on the path of the specialist. He never sees the tree; he only can see the leaf. The whole is lost in the part. And, of course, the part cannot exist without the whole. In fact, all divisions are arbitrary. The leaf is not separate from the branch; the branch is not separate from the tree; the tree is not separate from the roots; the roots are not separate from the earth. Everything is in organic unity. The specialist goes on dividing, and by and by those divisions, those demarcations, take on too much importance. A specialist becomes inhuman.
I have heard:
A doctor put an elderly man on a diet because of his weight problem. The man returned to his doctor in two months’ time and he had lost dozens of pounds.
The doctor was very pleased with the result.
The patient said, “I feel so young. doctor. Only today I saw a girl’s bare arm and I felt like biting it!”
The doctor said, “You could have done. It’s only about forty calories.’
A specialist is a specialist. All specialization becomes basically inhuman. It loses track of the whole. But the society is interested in efficiency. So beware of the society.
Society is not interested in your happiness, in your joy. The interest of the society is more production, efficiency, more work – and don’t ask for what, because they don’t know for what. If you work hard they will say to create better situations – for what? – to work still harder. It is just like a man who earns money and you ask him “For what?”
He says, “To earn more money.”
“And then you earn more money, then what?”
He says, “To earn still more money.” The thing seems to be vicious.
The individual has totally different interests from the society, because the society has no soul. The society is soulless. And if you become too much a part of the society, it will reduce your soul also to a non-entity.
Beware, before you have lost your whole opportunity. Don’t be a slave. Follow society to the point you feel is needed, but always remain master of your own destiny.
Abe Katz got a call from his stockbroker one day. “Abe, do I have a deal for you!” started the broker. “It’s an Indian copper mine and the shares are selling for only fifty cents apiece.”
“Buy a thousand,” ordered Abe.
A few days later another call came in announcing the price had gone up to $1.00.
“Looks good,” said Abe. “Buy another thousand.”
A week went by before the broker was heard from.
“Well, Abe, I’m sorry to tell you the stocks are down to twenty-five cents… what to do?”
“Sell!” barked Abe.
“To whom?” answered the broker.
It is easy to purchase, it is difficult to sell. It is easy to become part of the society and get into the rut; it is difficult to get of it. And once you are in the rut, you start becoming afraid: What will happen if you get out of it. You will lose money, you will lose this, you will lose that. But you are losing your life all the time!
Life should be the supreme value. Nothing should be put above life. I call a man religious who puts life as the supreme value, and sacrifices everything to life, and never sacrifices his life to anything. Even if your country says, “The country is in difficulty – sacrifice your life! Become a martyr!” don’t be foolish. Life is the supreme value. No country has any right to sacrifice a single life. It is your life, and it is only yours.
If your religion says you are a Mohammedan and says, “Fight Hindus! and sacrifice your life!” or you are a Hindu and Hinduism says, “Go and fight and kill the Mohammedans! Even if you are killed, don’t be worried – in heaven you will be paid well” – don’t listen to all that nonsense. Enough is enough! Much has happened on the earth, much suffering because of these people.
Never sacrifice your life for anything! Sacrifice everything for life! Life is the ultimate goal – greater than any country, greater than any religion, greater than any god, greater than any scripture.
But nobody is going to say that to you, no leader is going to say that to you, because then their whole business is gone. No priest is going to say that to you, because then their whole business is gone. That’s why politicians and priests are very against me.
If you understand me well, then do, become part of the society – you are part of the society – but do only that which is needful, never get lost.
Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Ch 8, Q 2
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