“Many, many times man has become very civilized, and many, many times all civilization has disappeared from the earth,” states Osho.
The third question:
Osho, what is history?
History is time, hence all that is really significant is not included in it, because all that is really significant is beyond time.
Buddha’s enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree… it is not a historical fact; there is no way to prove that it really happened. It is such an interior experience that you have to take it on trust. Buddha says it happened: you can believe it, you can disbelieve it. If you disbelieve, there is no way for Buddha to prove it. If you disbelieve it, only you prevent your own enlightenment, that’s all. If you trust Buddha, a door opens for you. In trusting you can hope that if it has happened to Buddha it can happen to you too. Belief and disbelief have nothing to do with Buddha’s experience, but they have something to do with you and your future.
But history cannot prove that something happened that morning; history has no record of it. It happened beyond time, hence history cannot record it. It is unrepeatable, and history only records that which is repeatable. History is nothing but the record of the repetitious human stupidity. History is the record of all that is stupid in the human mind. Genghis Khan, Tamurlaine, Nadir Shah, Alexander, Adolf Hitler, these people are repeatable; Buddhas are not repeatable, a Buddha happens only once.
Tamurlaine will have many, many incarnations, sometimes as Adolf Hitler, sometimes as Ivan the Terrrible, sometimes as Josef Stalin and sometimes as Mao Tse Tung; he will have many incarnations. Buddha will never come again. He has gone beyond, gone to the further shore. Jesus will not come again; Jesus cannot be repeated. These people are unique.
History takes no note of the unique; history only takes note of the common, the average, and the average is the lowest. History is nothing but a vicious circle. It is a wheel: it goes on moving, the same spokes go on coming up again and again and again.
Just the other day I was reading a parable by James Thurber, The Last Flower. Meditate over it.
World War XII, as everybody knows, brought about the collapse of civilization. Towns, cities, and villages disappeared from the earth. All the groves and forests were destroyed and all the gardens and all the works of art. Men, women and children became lower than the lower animals. Discouraged and disillusioned, dogs deserted their fallen masters. Emboldened by the pitiful condition of the former Lords of the earth, rabbits descended upon them.
Books, paintings, and music disappeared from the earth, and human beings just sat around, doing nothing. Years and years went by. Even the few generals who were left forgot what the last war had decided. Boys and girls grew up to stare at each other blankly, for love had passed from the earth.
One day a young girl who had never seen a flower chanced to come upon the last one in the world. She told the other human beings that the last flower was dying. The only one who paid any attention to her was a young man she found wandering about. Together the young man and the girl nurtured the flower and it began to live again. One day a bee visited the flower and a hummingbird. Before long there were two flowers, and then four, and then a great many. Groves and forests flourished again.
The young girl began to take an interest in how she looked. The young man discovered that touching the girl was pleasurable. Love was reborn into the world. Their children grew up, strong and healthy and learned to run and laugh. Dogs came out of their exile. The young man discovered, by putting one stone upon another, how to build a shelter. Pretty soon everybody was building shelters. Towns, cities, and villages sprang up. Song came back into the world and troubadours and jugglers and tailors and cobblers and painters and poets and sculptors and wheelwrights and soldiers and lieutenants and captains and generals and major-generals and liberators. Some people went one place to live, and some another.
Before long, those who went to live in the valleys wished they had gone to live in the hills and those who had gone to live in the hills wished they had gone to live in the valleys.
The liberators, under the guidance of God, set fire to the discontent, so presently the world was at war again. This time the destruction was so complete… that nothing at all was left in the world except one man and one woman and one flower.
But that’s enough, that will do; that one flower will do. Again everything will come back.
History is a wheel. It is a vicious circle, it goes on moving in the same rut. Many, many times man has become very civilized, and many, many times all civilization has disappeared from the earth. This is not for the first time that we have discovered science. Ancient records tell something else, a totally different story.
There is every possibility that the great continent of Atlantis was drowned not by a natural calamity but by atomic explosion. In Hindu scriptures particularly, great proofs are available that man had discovered all the technology that we have discovered. It is a rediscovery, it is not a discovery. The great war that is known as Mahabharata had almost all the weapons that we have now. Ancient Indian scriptures have stories about airplanes, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and things like that.
Now we are again coming to a point where a total destruction will happen. But a flower will be left and that will do, and again the whole story begins from ABC. Many times it has happened. This is not the first world that we are living in: many worlds have come and disappeared, many civilizations have come and disappeared. Many civilizations have reached the same peak of affluence, technology, know-how. History is a repetition.
This is not the first world
that we are living in:
many worlds have come
have come and disappeared.
One has to learn how to get out of history and out of time. One has to learn how to get out of this wheel. One has to learn how to slip out of the very process of time, and that’s what meditation is all about.
The greatest contribution of the East to the world is nothing but meditation, because it teaches you how to get out of the mind. Mind is time, and time is history. When you get out of mind you get out of history and out of time. And when you are out of mind, time and history, where are you? You are in the whole, in the cosmic. You are in that orgasmic, organic unity called God.
God is not part of history, God runs parallel to history. Hence those who want to know God will have to unlearn history. History has made you Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Indians, Germans, Chinese. History has conditioned you. History has given you particular minds, ideas, ideologies. You have to get out of all that, history has to be forgotten. History is past, and the past is heavy. And if the past is too much in the mind, you will go on repeating it in the future. What else will you do? The past goes on repeating itself through you. Get out of it!
Don’t ask what is history, ask how to get out of it! How not to be a Hindu, because that is being part of a certain history. Ask how not to be a Christian. Ask how not to be an Indian, an American. Ask how to just be, without any adjective.
And that’s my whole effort here: to help you come out of your bondage of the past.
A sannyasin is one who drops the bondage of history. And he says, “I am simply a part of this whole. I am not part of human history, I am part of the cosmic eternity.” And becoming part of cosmic eternity, you are freed from all bondage and from all misery.
And more and more people are needed in the world who are free of history, free of the past. Then only can we create a new world where wars can cease, where more and more people can bloom in love, where more and more people can become lotuses of celebration.
Enough of history! It should be stopped. There is no need to teach all that nonsense and garbage, but we go on teaching the students. We go on telling them more and more about the past. And the more we tell them about the past, the more they become conditioned by it, and naturally they will repeat it.
There is no need to tell them about the past; past is past, gone is gone. They need something totally different: they need to be introduced to the present. They need to be made aware of this moment. They need a taste of now, not of then. They need to drink something from here, not from there.
It will be a great blessing to the world if history simply disappears from the schools, colleges, universities, and rather than teaching history we teach how to get out of time, how to cease being a mind, how to become a no-mind, because the no-mind is the door to God.
God has no history, history has no God in it.
Osho, The Guest, Ch 11, Q 3