The more we arrange to protect ourselves, the more we expose ourselves to danger


Osho declares, “If we examine the course of human thinking in the last 300 years, we find a steep increase in doctrines of humanity and justice. But never, in all the history of the world, has mankind indulged in such terrible warfares or committed such heinous atrocities.”

Osho walking 35

On one hand we have evolved great doctrines on humanity, and on the other hand we have thrown atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On one side we clamour for justice and humanity and on the other side we involve a weaker country in endless wars. It is those who talk loudest about humanity who wage those wars. If we have become so conscious of humanity, wars should have stopped long ago. But this is not so.

We are so conscious of justice, and there is no end to injustice anywhere. Whenever we make new changes in order to ensure greater justice, a new arrangement of injustice is created – with the result that there is no change for the better. Our whole revolution in the field of medicine does not destroy disease; it only helps new diseases to be created. All the improvements we bring about merely increase our hopes, without bearing results.

Rather, we find the results to be the contrary of our expectations. We think that if we increase our laws and the number of courts, we shall be able to bring down the incidence of crime. But the figures of crime tell a different story: the number of criminals has increased equally. If we look at the history of crime over the last two thousand years, we shall find that crime has increased in the same ratio as the institutions of law. When crime increases, the government feels there are not enough laws. So they add more laws.

Man’s mind revolves around some illusory logic. When crime increases we bring in more laws. This seems to prove a deep relationship between the judge and the criminal. The thief and the policeman seem to be two sides of the same coin. They are not two separate things; rather, they are interlocked somewhere within. When one increases, the other also increases. When the growth of one implies the growth of another, the root must be the same. Therefore the same sap that feeds one feeds the other, the same energy flows through one as the other.

Lao Tzu’s viewpoint is entirely different. He says that it is the evil within you that is the root of all your moral codes and moral concepts. Humanity and justice emerged only on the decline of Tao. […]

America is the most educated country in the world today. We look upon it as the custodian of man’s future. If all countries are thus educated, they will become like America. But what has been the outcome of all this education? Crime has not decreased, it has increased. Dishonesty is rampant. All this has increased in the same ratio as education. What does this mean? This means we cannot wipe out the opposite. By increasing the one, we cannot decrease the other, much less destroy it. We can only increase it. Let us see this from different aspects.

Today we have innumerable cures for all kinds of illnesses – but illnesses have not lessened. Rather, they have increased. The fact is that many new illnesses have come into being which were never there before. Not only have we invented new medicines; we have also invented new diseases. What is the reason behind this? If medicines have increased, diseases should be less – this is simple logic. But cures have increased and so have illnesses! What is this! What law is working?

Actually, as cures increase, your ability to fall ill also increases. You no longer have faith in yourself; you have faith in the medicine. You do not have to fight the illness; that work is now taken over by the medicine. You are now out of it. When the medicine fights the disease, your resistance, your body’s ability to fight the illness, goes down. As you depend more and more on medicines, your resistance gets less and less and you get weaker and weaker.

And as you get weaker and weaker, you need more and more medicines. This shows how weak your body has become. Then you find yourself confronted by a very major illness. And this goes on – the fight between illnesses and medicines. You are not even a part of it. You are merely the battleground, the Kurukshetra where the Pandavas and the Kauravas fight. The germs of the medicines fight the germs of the disease. You get knocked around in the process. The medicines, however, keep you sufficiently alive so that the fight goes on. There is all interconnection between the cure and the illness somewhere.

If we question Lao Tzu on this, he will say that illness will end the day medicines are no more. This however, is beyond our understanding. His logic is this: when there is no medicine, you yourself will have to fight the illness. Your strength of resistance can only develop then. To rely on medicines is not to rely on oneself. We can see for ourselves how we have filled ourselves with medicines.

But there is no way out because our whole logic is based on this kind of thinking. It is like this: The more we try to protect ourselves, the more insecure we become. The more insecure we become, the more means for security we contrive. What is the meaning of this riddle? It means that the more we are protected the weaker we become.

You are sitting in an air-conditioned room. You watch a worker walking in the burning sun and you say to yourself. “Poor man, to walk in all this heat!” But you do not know that this man may be totally oblivious to the heat. This thought of the burning sun is yours. But it is true that if you were to step outside to walk with him, the heat would be overbearing for you.

The heat is not the same for every person on the road. Each person experiences it differently. The heat does not depend entirely on the sun; it also depends on you. When you walk on the road and sweat profusely, you think, “The poor worker!” but the worker is almost unaware of it, because in order to experience the heat of the sun, air-conditioning is absolutely necessary.

The more air-conditioning there is, the greater will be the heat. The more we try to cool the world, the hotter it will become. This seems contrary, but there is a deep-seated connection. The more you remain in an air-conditioned room, the less will become your power to fight the heat.

It is only natural that that energy which we do not put to use should get less and less. The air-conditioner does for you what normally your body should be doing – fighting the heat. Therefore, when you suddenly stand in the sun, your body becomes totally unprotected. It will not be able to bear the heat and you will feel very very uncomfortable. This discomfort did not exist before air-conditioning was discovered.

Now Russia is thinking of air-conditioning the whole continent. But when people are born and die in air-conditioned places all mankind will have to go underground. There are stories about cultures reaching to the peak. But those that reached the ultimate height eventually had to go underground.

There is a lake named Titicaca in South America. It is a unique lake. It has puzzled scientists, because a river falls into this lake. Millions of gallons of water fall daily into this lake and there is no way for it to flow out of the lake. Yet not an inch of water rises in the lake. Scientists are confounded. Where does all this water go? The lake has been observed for hundreds of years. It is said that beneath the lake there are the ruins of the ancient civilisation of the Incas. This lake is supposed to have been its reservoir. The Incas are no more, but their arrangement for collecting water still remains. Scientists now think that this was the water supply of a people who lived beneath the lake. A lot of research is going on to discover this lost civilisation.

The more developed a society becomes, the more it goes underground. In Mohenjodaro and Harappa, there are seven tiers of townships. This cannot be because of earthquakes or any other calamity. The greater possibility is that the civilisation had moved underground. Scientists and archaeologists have maintained up to now that Mohenjodaro was built seven times and destroyed seven times by earthquakes. This does not seem plausible: that seven cultures could disappear in the same place, one after the other. It seems more plausible that the culture must have reached such a peak where it became absolutely necessary to go more and more underground. Man must have lost all his power to bear the conditions above the ground.

If air-conditioning is spread all over the world, man will have to go underground within the next two hundred years. Then, to step outside in the light of the sun may become fatal. A child born and brought up in an air-conditioned place will not be able to bear sunlight. Up till now the sun has been the source of life; tomorrow, it may be the cause of death.

The more we increase our means of protection, the more vulnerable we become. The more we arrange to protect ourselves, the more we expose ourselves to danger.

Osho, The Way of Tao Vol 2, Ch 18 (excerpt, translation from Hindi)

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