“The rebel is in a state of tremendous love with freedom – total freedom, nothing less than that,” states Osho.
Is the path of the rebel the middle path, or the path of extremes? I have heard you speak for and against both, and also say that there is no path.
What guides the rebel?
Marga Madir, the rebel has no path to follow; those who follow any path are not rebels. The very spirit of rebellion needs no guidance. It is a light unto itself.
The people who cannot rebel ask for guidance, want to be followers. Their psychology is that to be a follower relieves them of all responsibility; the guide, the master, the leader, the messiah become responsible for everything. All that is needed of the follower is just to have faith. And just to have faith is another name of spiritual slavery.
The rebel is in a state of tremendous love with freedom – total freedom, nothing less than that. Hence he has no savior, no God’s messenger, no messiah, no guide; he simply moves according to his own nature. He does not follow anybody, he does not imitate anybody. Certainly he has chosen the most dangerous way of life, full of responsibility, but of tremendous joy and freedom.
He falls many times, he commits mistakes, but he is never repentant of anything because he learns a deep secret of life: by committing mistakes you become wise. There is no other way of becoming wise. By going astray you become acquainted more clearly with what is right and what is wrong; because whatever gives you misery, suffering, makes your life a darkness without end, without any dawn, means you have gone astray. Find out, and come again to the state of being where you are peaceful, silent, serene, and a fountain of blissfulness, and you are again on the right path. There is no other criterion than that. Being blissful is to be right. Being miserable is to be wrong.
The pilgrimage of the rebel is full of surprises. He has no map, no guide, so every moment he is coming to a new space, to a new experience – to his own experience, to his own truth, to his own bliss, to his own love.
Those who follow never know the beauty of experiencing things first-hand. They have always been using second-hand knowledge and pretending to be wise. People are certainly very strange. They do not like to use second-hand shoes; even on their feet they will not put second-hand shoes. But what garbage they are carrying in their heads… just second-hand shoes! All that they know is borrowed, imitated, learned – not by experience, but only by memory. Their knowledge consists of memorizing.
The rebel has no path as such. He walks and makes his path while walking. The rebel is almost like a bird flying in the sky – what path does he follow? There are no highways in the sky, there are no footprints of ancient birds, great birds, Gautam Buddhas. No bird leaves any footprints in the sky; hence the sky is always open. You fly and make your path.
Find the direction that gives you joy. Move towards the star that rings bells in your heart. You are to be the decisive factor, nobody else!
That’s why I have spoken about the middle way many times when I was contradicting the people who follow the extreme; because the extreme can never be whole, it is only one polarity. In certain contexts I have contradicted them, saying that to be on one polarity is to miss the other polarity, is to live only half of life. You will remain always with something tremendously valuable missing, and you will never know what it is. In that context I have talked about the middle way.
The man who walks the middle way, the golden mean – exactly in the middle – has both the extremes, like two wings reaching to the farthest corners. He comprehends the whole polarity in his being. He stands in the middle, but his wings reach to both the extremes simultaneously. He lives a life of wholeness.
But in another context, I have spoken against the middle way – because life is not so simple to understand. It is the most complex phenomenon in the world. It has to be, because it is the most evolved state of consciousness in the whole of existence. Its basic complexity is that you can never speak about it in its totality; you can only speak about one aspect. And when you are speaking about one aspect, you are automatically denying other aspects – or at least ignoring them – and life is a combination of all contradictions. So when you are talking about one aspect, the contradictory aspect of it – which is also part of life, as much as the aspect you are speaking about – has to be denied, negated.
To understand me means to understand everything in a certain context. Never take it out of context, otherwise you will be simply bewildered, confused. Sometime I have spoken of the middle way because, as I have told you, it comprehends the whole of life; its beauty is its totality. Sometimes I have spoken in favor of the extremes, because the extreme has its own beauty.
The life of the man who walks in the middle is always lukewarm. He is very cautious. He takes every step very calculatedly, afraid that he may move to the extreme. The man who follows the middle way cannot live passionately; he cannot burn his torch of life from both ends simultaneously. For that, one has to learn life at the extreme points. The extreme point knows intensity, but it does not know wholeness. So when I was talking about intensity, I emphasized the extremes. But these were all spoken in a certain context.
I have also said that there is no path. With the idea of a path we always conceive of highways, superhighways, which are already there – you just have to walk on them. That’s why I have been denying that there is any path.
In the world of reality, you have to create the path while walking on it. As you walk you create, by and by, a footpath; otherwise you are entering into an unknown territory with no boundaries, no pathways, no milestones. Your walking is creating a path, certainly, but you cannot follow it; you have already walked on it – that’s how it has been created.
And remember, your path is not going to be anybody else’s path, because each individual is so unique that if he follows somebody else’s path he loses his own identity, he loses his own individuality, he misses the most beautiful experience in existence.
Losing yourself, what are you going to gain? You will simply become a hypocrite. That’s why all so-called religious people are the worst hypocrites in the world; they are following either Jesus Christ or Gautam Buddha or Mahavira….
These people are not only hypocrites, these people are also cowards. They are not taking their own lives into their own hands, they are not being respectful of their own dignity. They are not trying to figure out, “Who am I?” They are simply trying to imitate somebody else. They can become good actors, but they can never become themselves.
And your acting – howsoever beautiful, howsoever correct – will always remain something superficial, just a layer of dust on you. Any situation can scratch it, and your reality will come out.
You cannot lose your uniqueness; that is your very being. And particularly the rebel… his very foundation, his very spirituality, his whole being is an assertion of his own uniqueness. It does not mean that he is asserting his ego, because he respects your uniqueness too.
People are neither equal nor are they unequal. Those philosophies are absolutely unpsychological, unfounded in scientific truth. The very idea of equality is absolutely baseless. How can you conceive unique human beings to be equal?
Yes, they should be given equal opportunity – but for what? For a very strange reason… they should be given equal opportunity to grow to be themselves. In other words, they should be given equal opportunity to be unequal, to be unique. And the variety of different flowers, of different colors, of different flavors, makes the world rich. […]
The rebel is the real spiritual being. He does not belong to any herd, he does not belong to any system; he does not belong to any organization, he does not belong to any philosophy. In simple, conclusive words, he does not borrow himself from others. He digs deep within himself and finds his own life juices, finds his own life sources.
What need is there of any path? You are already here – you exist, you are conscious. All that is needed for the basic search is given to you by existence itself.
Look within your consciousness and find the taste of it. Look within your life and find the eternity of it. Look within yourself and you will find the holiest, the most sacred temple is your own body – because it enshrines godliness, divineness, all that is beautiful, all that is truthful, all that is valuable.
You are asking, What guides the rebel?
That’s the beauty of the rebel – that he does not need a guide. He is his own guide, he is his own path, he is his own philosophy, he is his own future. It is a declaration that “I am all that I need and existence is my home. I am not a stranger here.”
Osho, The Rebel, Ch 20, Q 1