You always said that women are better than men as far as ruling and governing people is concerned. You said that they are better than men because their starting point is from the heart.
Considering recent facts, do you still have this opinion? Do you still trust in women?
Certainly. The proof is Ma Prem Hasya, Ma Anuradha. Just one Sheela does not make any difference to me. Does it make any difference that man has produced during history people like Tamerlane, Genghis Khan, Nadirshah, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin? Does that mean that all men are condemned?
One Sheela is just a dewdrop; it will evaporate in the morning sun. It has not made even a dent in my respect for womanhood. That’s why I have replaced her with another woman – far better, far more intelligent, far more loving. Sheela was sick. She needs to be forgiven. Whatever she did was out of a deranged mind. She has done many crimes, but still she deserves your compassion.
As far as I am concerned, one person cannot represent the whole womankind. Two billion women are on the earth. Are you going to decide about two billion women because of Sheela?
Just look at Anuradha, who has been with me longer than Sheela. She has never hankered for any power, carries no inferiority complex in her, is absolutely fulfilled as she is. All that she wants is to be here in my presence, whatsoever the cost.
Look at Vivek, who has been with me longest – for fifteen years. When she first came, she was only twenty; now she is thirty-five. Almost half of her life she has been with me. And she has served me with an immense devotion, love, care, such that you can only find in ancient stories about women, not in reality. From the morning when I wake up, till at night when I go to sleep, she is running all around. She has no time of her own, every moment she is devoted. Just to serve me is her joy.
Sheela is not representative. And there are thousands of women who love me more than Sheela ever did. I don’t think she is capable of love. Perhaps that early rape and pregnancy and the condemnation – particularly in India – have destroyed some part in her heart. She has become more violent, aggressive, hostile to the whole world.
Your asking the question is absurd. I have known many more women than any man has known, ever. I have been loved by so many women – without any demands, without any jealousy. My respect for womanhood remains the same. Just one sick woman cannot destroy it. And she is certainly sick.
I had made her the president of the foundation for the simple reason that in a strange land you will be opposed, you will be continuously harassed. The whole of Oregon was hostile to you, which is simply man’s animal nature: anything that is strange makes them afraid. And who can find more strange people than you? You are the strangest lot on the earth!
I have collected all the unfits, rebels, individuals who have refused to become just a cog in the wheel of the social mechanism, who have refused to believe in religious lies, in political cunningness, hypocrisy.
Woman is woman,
man is man;
My people are not a society; it is a commune. And the difference between a society and a commune is tremendous. A society functions according to certain rules, regulations, morality, religion, politics. And anybody who does not fit becomes an outcast. A commune is a totally different phenomenon. It has nothing to impose upon you – no ideology, no discipline, no religion, no culture. A commune simply helps you to be yourself.
So this is a group where individuals exist. And because they have allowed everybody else to be themselves, everybody else loves them as they are. There are no demands on them. You need not fulfill any conditions to be respectable; you are born respectable. Existence has respected you enough; otherwise, you would not have been here. Existence needed you; without you something would have been missing.
So the commune is nothing but a communion, a meeting of individuals who are able to meet, to love, and yet remain individuals. There is no need, no effort to dominate, to destroy the other.
All the people around the world in different societies, cultures, civilizations, are doing one thing. They may call themselves lovers, wives, husbands, parents, teachers, students – but everybody is trying to destroy the other. There seems to be some fear, paranoia, that if you don’t destroy the other, then the other is going to destroy you, so it’s better to be first. And they have, down the ages, developed strategies. Those strategies have become part of their upbringing.
When the parents are trying to destroy their children – they don’t think they are destroying them; they think they are making them human; they are teaching them to be cultured; they are teaching them manners, etiquette, behavior. Whatever they are doing, they think they are doing for the children’s sake. This was done to them by their parents, and for millennia every generation has been doing it to the coming generation.
Only in this last phase of the century has a generation gap arisen. It has never been in the world before, for the simple reason that people were not going to the colleges, to the university, and being away from their parents for such a long period – ten years or more.
Those years they have been in the university is the gap. The parents could not condition them according to their ideology, and when they come back from the university – twenty-five years old, twenty-six years old – they are grown-ups. They have their own intelligence, their own thinking. Now it is not easy to force them to believe in things for which you cannot give any rational proofs.
You cannot tell them to believe in a God, you cannot tell them to believe in heaven and hell, for the simple reason that now they can think on their own, and your ideas look just stupid. This is the generation gap. It is growing wider.
You are the product of the generation gap; you could not fit in the society. You are fortunate. Others who have preceded you had to fit with the society from the very beginning. They never got a chance for their own individuality to grow. So the old type of human beings are bound to be very much against you. […]
My respect for women
remains the same.
I had put Sheela in charge, knowingly. She was needed, she did much good to the commune. But there is always a risk, and she started doing harm too. The moment I became aware that she was doing harm also, and I saw that the commune was now established and Oregon has accepted that we are going to be here – America or no America, we are going to be here – Sheela was no longer needed. And that was hurting her ego very much.
Now we need a softer quality of people who can destroy all the hostility that Sheela has created, had to create. We need superior people who don’t have any inferiority. We need more creative people, more healthy, more juicy.
You will have observed that I have put Americans in most of the power positions. In Sheela’s group, most were non-Americans. The reason was, those non-Americans would be more able to fight for you against the Americans. That phase is over. Now we want friendship. We are now part of America. We are Americans, fresh Americans.
I have put more Americans in power, but they are still women. Man has his own qualities; they are different from woman’s.
And I want to prove to the world that just as the woman is capable of managing a house beautifully – a clean house, good food, good clothes, everything in place; can beautify the house, just by her presence can make it something of an art – women can do the same to the commune. It is a bigger home.
Of course, they cannot be soldiers, and they should not be. They cannot be great scientists, and there is no need. But they can be good painters, poets; they can create great literature. And greatest of all, they can create an atmosphere of love, hospitality. This has to be proved existentially; otherwise the woman will remain always a slave.
For centuries she has been a slave, and now there are a few idiotic women who call themselves the women’s liberation movement. And whatever they are doing is not liberation, but simply reaction. They are teaching women to be lesbians, against men. They are spreading hatred. But a woman who cannot love a man loses something.
That was the case with Sheela; she cannot love a man. She has been trying hard; she has changed many husbands, many boyfriends, hoping that perhaps somebody she can love. But she cannot love unless her deep-rooted hatred for men is dissolved. She needs psychotherapy. She needs to open her wounds so they can be healed.
The liberation movement is not really in favor of woman’s future, it is against it. It is a reactionary movement. They are asking for equality with men. Why equality? Woman is woman, man is man; they are unique beings. They are not equal, they are not unequal either; they are simply different. They are opposite polarities.
Asking for equality, they are doing all kinds of idiotic things. Because man smokes, liberation women are smoking. Do you think this is intelligence? Man is doing something foolish, but to be equal, you have to do that foolish thing. Soon the women’s liberation will tell women to piss standing! Equality? This is sheer nonsense.
I don’t see that there is any problem. Women should behave like women, according to their nature. A woman smoking looks as if something has gone wrong. And please, at least don’t start pissing standing. Equality does not mean that you have to do everything that man is doing.
Psychologically there is no equality; there is only uniqueness. The woman has to assert her uniqueness, and she has a different way of expressing herself.
It is not only when you make a painting that you are a creator; when you make delicious food, you are an even greater creator, because nobody can eat the painting. It does not help in any way.
his own qualities;
they are different
You just have to make certain that whatever you are doing is done as a worship, as love, as creativity. Your creativity as woman is far more nourishing than man’s creativity. What does he do? He paints, he makes sculpture, he writes poetry, novels. This is good, but it is only entertainment; it is not life.
Woman has to contribute more to life.
Why not make life more poetic? And just a small touch and life becomes poetic. Why not make life a little more musical? Why not make life more colorful? – which will be the woman’s way of painting. Why not grow beautiful gardens around your house? Why not bring thousands of flowers around your house? A flower is far more valuable than any sculpture. The sculpture is dead; the flower is alive, is full of dance in the wind, in the rain, in the sun.
The woman should not try to imitate man; otherwise she will be only a second-grade man. She will never become equal, she will be only a carbon copy.
Be original. And that’s what I have been trying in my commune: giving women every opportunity to express their potentiality.
Sheela was not really a woman. She had lost her heart long ago, she was crippled. But I had chosen her for the simple reason that she is so full of hate, so hostile that she will be able to fight, and allow you meanwhile to become established.
She did her work. But when you give some work to a sick man or sick woman, you know it is risky. A madman may be useful; but a madman is, after all, a madman. When she got the taste of power, then rather than defending the society, the commune, the people that gathered here, she started becoming a criminal. She wanted to take revenge.
That was the time that I had to stop her. I had to wait for the moment when you were established. To remove her was not a problem. I had not even told her to get lost. I just started speaking, and she understood that now her power was gone. Her power was as my representative. Now, there is no need for any representative – I am speaking myself. […]
My respect for women remains the same.
Every man should be respectful to women: they are your mothers, they are your beloveds.
Every woman should be respectful towards men: they are your children, they are your lovers.
There is no question of any conflict between man and woman: they are two sides of the same coin.
Osho, From Bondage To Freedom, Ch 14, Q 1