Power, Politics and Change (with DVD)

Book Reviews

Donna reviews a compilation of excerpts from Osho’s talks on a very contemporary topic.

OSHO: Power, Politics and ChangePeople live a very worried life nowadays. In the first place there are the many violent attacks which take place everywhere in the world, but especially now also in Europe. The (pointless) extreme bloodshed that takes place during these actions is something that hangs over us like a spectre. Besides this, the financial and economic crisis in different countries still continues. Will the poorer European countries manage to keep financially afloat with richer ones of the European Union? And then we have these countries’ presidents who appear sovereign and may enact all kinds of reactionary measures.

You may have worries, feeling gloomy about many situations in the world and at the same time you know it is not of any use. Because afterwards you can only conclude: “I don’t have an answer to it and don’t know how to solve these terrible and sad things.”

Osho discusses this theme in the book entitled Power Politics and Change with the subtitle, What Can I Do to Help Make the World a Better Place?

The book includes a DVD containing a discourse by Osho from the series From Bondage To Freedom. Osho’s answer to the question is that these developments deliver a feeling of powerlessness and that yet an adequate response is possible.

A nuclear bomb can be dropped in order to put an end to domination and to demand power. But also a bomb of love could be dropped:

“Love makes all things possible.”

This is not a phrase everyone voices and which, in fact, not many believe in. It is worth investigating. Everyone knows that in a loving mood we see and do things which we did not think of doing. And yet we do them; a power has awoken in us, something very special has risen in us. It is not power in the political sense, using our strength to outwit the other and so amassing more power for ourselves; it is a force which connects instead dividing.

In this book we find the quote where Osho talks about the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah, the two cities that were totally destroyed because the population deteriorated in their morality and behaviour. Ultimately, not one man could be found who lived his life in a pure and natural way; all that appeared was perversity. Osho however, offers us the Hassidic interpretation by which this parable takes a surprising turn. (The Hassids constitute a movement in Judaism that is rather rebellious and not recognised by orthodox Jews.)

From this story we learn how to respond to worrisome situations in the world and how we can make the world ‘a better place’. In the past it always happened on a very small scale, such as by Jesus or Gautama Buddha, who despite their life being threatened kept on giving unconditional love.

But this may become a more widespread phenomenon and all concerned people may actually give the response of radiating love. Of course, this should not be done merely as a habit, as we so often see around us. Because in reality so much is present to feel love for, to be exuberant about and to start radiating love. And if more people have a loving approach, others can be infected positively. Then the result is, as Osho expresses so pictorially: “A wildfire around the world.”

There are many surprising points in this book that are highlighted by Osho’s insights on contemporary events. For example, the following insight is, in my view, very striking: New world wars have been prevented because nuclear weapons have been developed. Politicians have become too scared of such a violent event because nothing would be left of the earth, including themselves.

And what if we abolish all new achievements and go ‘back to basics’ like what Gandhi stood for including other influential persons? “That is not a solution,” parries Osho ‘this too will also lead to the destruction of humanity. We will arrive in the dark times of the Middle Ages.”

Technical achievements are fantastic, they help humanity forward, and we can enjoy them.

Science in itself is neutral, but in the hands of the ‘wrong people’, it can be used in a harmful way. We as human beings must be willing to learn from the past. Poorly dealing with scientific discoveries shows a lack of awareness. This is what happened in the past: using these inventions without consciousness. In the future this should be totally different, if it is to help the salvation of mankind. Scientific research must go hand in hand with the growth of consciousness. This creates a fundamentally different choice for research and also for application methods.

With power it is the same. In itself it is a neutral phenomenon: being in a certain position, having the corresponding responsibility and the ability to push things through. But this should be done out of consciousness, otherwise we easily cross borders and come to abuse of power.

The book Power Politics and Change is a valuable addition to the series ‘Life Essentials’, enabling us to focus on the essence of life. And the discourse on the added DVD, Osho stresses this fact.

Humour is a real support and can be found in abundance in this book. A deep belly laugh is caused again and again and with it, relaxation. That experience offers expansion, while worries shrink and mean less and less, to us, to others and to the world.

Young Eddy is working on his math homework. His mother hears that he is busy rehearsing. “Three plus one, the ‘son of a bitch’, makes four.” He intones, “three plus two, the ‘son of a bitch’ makes five. Three plus three, the ‘son of a bitch’ makes six.” And so for a while it continues.

Gradually Eddy’s mom becomes increasingly shocked on hearing what comes out of the mouth of her zealous son. So she does not postpone and the next day she firmly gets off to the mathematics teacher. She confronts him with the things Eddy is taught by him.

“I do not know where he has the foul language from,” the math teacher says. “I teach them just that: three plus one, the sum of which makes four; three plus two, the sum of which makes five.”

Power Politics and Change, Life Essentials, St. Martin’s Griffin,
ISBN 978031259546351699

Review by Ma Donna van der Steeg

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