Q: Looking at myself and others here, is it possible there have been others like us – such as Buddha’s disciples? Were they amazed and did they find themselves laughing at how greedy, cunning, inept they appeared and how absolutely unlike what they thought a sannyasin to be – or do we take the cake?
Man has always been the same. Buddha’s disciples or Mahavir’s disciples – man has always been the same. The same misery, the same ecstasy; the same greed, the same renunciation; the same clinging to material things, and the same freedom of the sky, of the open space.
Man has always been the same. Only outer things change. Houses are different, roads are different, transportation is different. Bullock carts disappearing; spaceships, buses appearing. Everything on the outside is different. But on the inside the essential man is always the same. The disease is the same; the health is the same.
I’m reminded of one haddith, one saying of Mohammed.
A man came to Mohammed and asked: ‘Who was the first to be created in the world?’
Mohammed said: ‘Adam.’
The man said: ‘And before Adam?’
Mohammed again said: ‘Adam.’
The man said: ‘And before that?’
Mohammed said: ‘If you ask me to the very end of time, I will go on repeating Adam, Adam, Adam… so please stop.’
The man was puzzled, and Mohammed was not willing to explain more.
This has remained a mystery. Why had Mohammed insisted: ‘Adam, Adam, Adam….’? This is the explanation that I am telling you. Man has always been there. From the very beginning you have been there – and there was never a time when you were not.
Man is one of the most essential existences in existence. That’s why Mohammed says that there is no ‘before’ to it. Man has always been there.
It will be difficult for you to understand it because the whole modern mind has been taught to believe in evolution. Yes, evolution has been there, but not in the deeper core of man.
There is something in man which has remained the same. The outside has been changing and changing and changing. Man is like a wheel of a bullock cart: the wheel moves and goes on changing, but the wheel moves on an axle which remains static, which doesn’t change. And the wheel can move only because something un-moving supports it. Everything has been changing – the society, the culture, the civilization. But something deep in man remains the same. That depth is what Mohammed calls ‘Adam’.
Man, essential man, is the same. And remember always, he is the same in both ways. If you go back and look deeply into the disciples of Buddha, you will see the same problems. You can go and look in Buddhist scriptures – the same problem. The same greed, the same anger, the same hatred, the same possessiveness, the same competition – how to overtake the other – the same ambition, the same ego.
Why do I say this? – because if you look at the discipline that Buddha gave to his disciples, then you immediately know. He says: ‘Don’t be angry, don’t be greedy, don’t be violent.’ If the disciples were already non-violent, then Buddha looks like a fool. ‘Why are you teaching not to be violent?’ The disciples must have been violent. Buddha says: ‘Don’t be possessive.’ The disciples must have been possessive. Buddha says: ‘Don’t be greedy.’ The disciples must have been greedy.
There doesn’t exist a single scripture in the world which does not teach the same thing. The same ten commandments are everywhere. That shows man has remained the same, because the same discipline is needed for you – and the same discipline will be needed always.
Man can exist in two ways only; there is no evolution. Either you exist as an ignorant man, unaware, in deep sleep – then greed, anger, ambition, ego, will follow you – or you become awake.
Awakening is a jump! Then the second category of man arises. Then love, compassion, follows you. Then there is no greed, no anger.
The ignorant man has the same characteristic today as he has had always. And the enlightened man has the same characteristic as he has had always.
And these are the only two ways of being: either be sleepy, and miss the opportunity that is available; or be awake, and delight in it and celebrate.
Man is one of
the most essential
So never think that in past ages, in golden ages, people were different from you. They were not different, even though your priests go on saying they were. That’s why they call it ‘the golden age’. There has never been any golden age; there will never be any golden age. There have been golden people, but there has never been a golden age.
Buddha was respected tremendously. That shows that other people were fast asleep, because only people who are asleep respect a Buddha. If everybody was a Buddha, who would have bothered? Buddha has been remembered for twenty-five centuries. That shows that Buddhahood was rare in those days also. Otherwise, who bothers? If Buddha was available in every village, in every town, in every time, in every nook and corner, then who would have bothered to remember Gautam Siddharth? He would have been forgotten by now. But he was such a rare flower that centuries passed and no Buddha was happening. That’s why we carry on and on, in deep reverence – the name, the respect, the gratitude we feel.
Man has always been the same. The greatest scriptures of the world always talk about the lowest characteristics of man; they have to.
I was reading…. There is a Chinese book thought to be the oldest, the ancient-most – almost ten thousand years old. The book is a very small book; only a few pages of it are left. And those few pages are written on human skin. But the teaching is the same: don’t be greedy; don’t steal; don’t be violent. Ten thousand years have passed and the teaching remains relevant, because man remains the same.
In Babylon a stone has been discovered with a script on it. It took almost fifty years to decode it. But if you read it, you will not be able to say that it can be seven thousand years old. It looks as if it is this morning’s editorial in some newspaper.
Man is the same.
There is no evolution.
It says: ‘In the golden old days everything was beautiful.’ Seven thousand years ago, it says: ‘In the good olden days, everything was beautiful; now everything has become chaotic. And the new generation is completely immoral.’ Seven thousand years ago – ‘…and the new generation is immoral. Nobody respects his elders. The father is no more respected; the mother, no more respected. The family is being destroyed. The very foundation of society is shaking.’ Can you think that this is seven thousand years ago? This looks just like the editorial of this morning’s Poona Herald.
Man is the same. There is no evolution. Man can pass through a transmutation, but there is no evolution.
Either you are asleep or you are awake: this is the only transformation. But there is no evolution.
A sleepy man has always been the same. And those who are awakened have always been the same.
So don’t condemn yourself. Don’t say this age is in a deep crisis; it has always been so. And don’t say that in the past everything was beautiful. This has always been the idea of people: that in the past…. That past never existed.
And don’t think that in the future everything will be good. That too has always been an idea.
If anything is possible, it is here-now! And the jump is individual. Society remains the same. The jump is absolutely individual. If you want to take the jump, become awake.
Take the jump; don’t wait for a golden age to come. There has never been a golden age. Of course, a few golden people have existed; they still exist now.
Osho, The True Sage, Ch 8, Q 6