The whole of humanity is living in a deep, deep sleep

'Desiderata' Discourses

Osho comments on the lines: ‘Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection,’ from the Desiderata.

'Visitation' - Painting by Siddhena Murray-Clark

Morarji Desai also says, “I want to attain the heights of truth.” The same political language, the same political mind: “heights of truth.” The desire is to be higher than everybody else, and something unconscious has also come into it. He says, “I have not acquired the truth in totality yet, nor did Mahatma Gandhi.”

The first thing is: truth cannot be divided into parts. You don’t acquire truth in installments, truth is not acquired in degrees. Either you know or you don’t know. You cannot say, “I know only a little bit of truth.” That is impossible. It is as impossible as saying that an arc is a little bit of a circle. Circle means the whole; if it is not a perfect circle it is not a circle at all.

Truth is indivisible; you cannot have it in parts, by and by. Hence the realization of truth is sudden, not gradual. It is not that first you acquire one kilo of truth and then another kilo of truth, and so on and so forth. Either you have it or you don’t have it. It is a radical transformation. It is a mutation.

It is just like either you are alive or dead. You cannot say, “I am just a little bit alive.” That is not possible. Even if you are a little bit alive you are fully alive – you are alive.

He says, “I have not attained truth in its totality.” Truth is always total. And suddenly he brings Mahatma Gandhi in; that is something unconscious erupting, “… nor had Mahatma Gandhi.” Because that is his ultimate desire: to be like Mahatma Gandhi. The whole effort of his whole life has been to be like Mahatma Gandhi. So suddenly he remembers that there is no need to be worried – Mahatma Gandhi did not acquire truth in its totality either. He wants to be another mahatma.

Mahatma Gandhi was wrong in saying that he had not attained truth in its totality; he was on the wrong track himself. He was also trying to be like Krishna. He said, “Srimad Bhagavad Gita is my mother.” He wanted to be like Krishna, but he failed – everybody has to fail in such efforts – and he was frustrated, deeply frustrated because of it. His whole life he was trying to become perfect, but the idea is always of somebody else.

Once he had even contemplated becoming a Christian because Christ attracted him very much and he wanted to be a Christ. He was reading Tolstoy and Ruskin and Thoreau, and they were all great Christians – but Christians, remember – and they impressed him very much. And he started contemplating whether to become a Christian or not.

He was born in Gujarat, which is very much influenced by Jaina philosophy. Even the Hindus of Gujarat are almost Jainas. And from his very childhood he had seen Jaina monks and he was very much impressed by the Jaina monks and their idea of non-violence. He wanted to become a Mahavira – but it is always somebody else.

Then he came in contact with a Jaina scholar, Srimat Rajchandra, and he became very much impressed. He says, “These three people are my great teachers: Srimat Rajchandra” – the Jaina scholar. I call him a scholar because he is not a realized person. He knows all about the scriptures, he quotes scriptures, but he has not known himself..

“Second,” Mahatma Gandhi says, “my teacher is Tolstoy” – who loved Christ very much and tried to be like Christ and failed, utterly failed, lived in great misery. Very few people have lived in such misery as Tolstoy did. His whole life was an agony; he never knew any moment of ecstasy. Imitators cannot know it.

And he says, “My third teacher is Henry Thoreau” – who was also trying to be like Christ. They themselves were imitators, and Mahatma Gandhi was trying to imitate the imitators – a carbon copy of a carbon copy. And Morarji Desai is a carbon copy of the carbon copy of the carbon copy! He is trying to be Mahatma Gandhi.

Just this morning I came across another statement of his. He says, “I have complete faith in God, and that I consider to be my greatest achievement.”

This mind always talks of achievement, ambition, heights. It is always on a power trip. And how foolish it is! On the one hand he says, “I have the ambition to know God.” He has not known God, that much is certain. On the other hand he says, “I have attained to complete faith in God and that is my greatest achievement.” How can you have complete faith in something you have not known? Your faith must be repressing your doubts somewhere. Hence the word complete – he himself is afraid. Just the word faith won’t do; it has to be complete, it has to be absolute, it has to be categorical. The statement shows that there is doubt, otherwise faith is enough; there is no need to say, “complete faith.” Is there any possibility of incomplete faith?

When you say to a woman, “I love you,” that is enough. You don’t go on saying, “I love you absolutely, I love you categorically, I love you completely, entirely!” If you say all these things with all these adjectives she may become a little aware that something is missing – why this emphasis?

There is some unconscious fear.

A ventriloquist traveling in the interior of Brazil was taking a ride in a bullock-cart with a Brazilian who was very silent. So to break the silence the ventriloquist decided to play with him a little. “Listen, friend, did you know that your bull speaks?” he told him.

The Brazilian did not believe him, but at that exact moment the bull started talking to him. The Brazilian was astonished. Then a horse passed by and said, “Good morning,” to the man; then came a cow and she spoke too.

Following these animals up the road was a very charming white goat. Moving her body graciously, the goat stopped right by the side of the cart, stared at the Brazilian and started to say something. But the Brazilian cut her off and said to the ventriloquist, “Don’t believe her, she is the worst liar!”

Now some fear!

These people like Morarji Desai go on in very stupid circles – complete faith in something that he knows not, only ambition for that which he knows not, a claim that he has achieved a little bit of truth – as if truth can be divided. But he represents in a way the ordinary, unconscious humanity. He is representative. That’s how millions of people go on thinking and behaving.

The greatest root cause of it all is that you have been told constantly, you have been conditioned and hypnotized constantly for thousands of years: “Don’t be yourself.” It has not been said so directly; it is said in a roundabout way: “Be a Buddha, be a Christ, be a Mohammed.” But have you ever heard your parents saying to you, “Just be yourself”? No parent will ever say that to any child, for the simple reason that he himself is afraid that if the child is allowed to be just himself he may not be obedient. He may start doing things that are against the ideas of the parents. He may start living a life that does not conform, is not conventional. He may turn out to be a rebel. And it is better to kill that rebellion in the very seed.

Hence so much misery in the world, no laughter at all and no love – because if you cannot love yourself, how can you love anybody else? The first person to be loved is your own being. Unless love happens inside you for yourself it cannot radiate and reach to others. A man who is a darkness inside cannot be a light to others. Only a man who is a light in himself may be capable of radiating a little light to others too.

The whole of humanity is living in a deep, deep sleep.

Miss Gambioni was a new patient and quite pretty. The doctor took her name and background and then said, “In order to determine what is wrong with you, I will have to give you a thorough examination. Please get completely undressed.”

“Okay, doc,” said the Italian beauty, “but to make me feel right, you first!”

Your unconscious goes on erupting into your consciousness. If you watch a little carefully you will become aware of your sleep – you may even hear yourself snoring!

A drunk staggered into a pub in the East End of London and ordered a gin. He promptly threw up all over a small dog sitting beside the bar.

His drink arrived, and in that moment of clarity when strong liquor hits the back of the throat, he looked down, saw the dog covered in vomit and muttered to himself, “That’s odd! I don’t remember eating that!”


A young monk went to a prostitute and said, “I know nothing about sex. Will you teach me?”

“Okay,” said the prostitute, “but it will cost you fifty quid.”

He agreed and paid her the money in advance. She disrobed, then undressed him and told him to lie down and said that she would start with the sixty-nine position. When she climbed on top of him, she accidentally farted in his face.

“Sorry!” she said, and climbed back on again farting one more time as she did so.

“Fuck this!” the monk shouted as he jumped up from underneath her.

“What’s the matter?” asked the prostitute.

“Well,” replied the monk, “I don’t think I can stand another sixty-seven of those!”


Man has been forced to remain unconscious, he has been forced to remain in a deep slumber. You are being driven in many subtle ways to remain drunk with power, with money, with prestige, with fame, name; all these are different kinds of opium. Power makes people so drunk, money makes people so drunk. Ambition is the greatest intoxicant invented ever.

Desiderata says:

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.

That too is of tremendous importance. When you are trying to be somebody else, naturally you start acting. The Buddhist monk acts like a Buddha, the Hindu sannyasin acts like Shankaracharya, the pope tries to imitate Christ. Just a few days ago he climbed up a hill near the Vatican, a small hillock, with a small cross on his shoulders, and thousands of Italians followed him. He was acting the role of Jesus, and Italians very much loved the whole play. It was a drama.

Just the other night I was telling an Italian sannyasin, “Come back soon, because all the intelligent Italians are coming here. Where are you going?” She is going back. All the Italians who have eyes are coming here – I call them “Eye-talians”! Only the blind will be left behind; all “Eye-talians” are going to be here.

This pope is blind. In the first place, a Polack being a pope, then trying to dramatize Jesus with a small cross – a child can carry it. When Jesus carried the cross up the hill, three times he had to fall and each time he fell because the cross was very heavy – a wooden cross, a big cross. It must have been at least seven or eight feet long; to crucify a man it has to be that long. He fell thrice, and each time he was whipped to get up again and carry the cross.

Now carrying a small cross… and do you know? The cross was made of gold! The Pope carried the golden cross. They should have at least crucified him on the hillock! Let it be a golden cross – crucify him! Be finished with this whole nonsense! But no, nothing like that happened – the real thing never happened. Just carrying the cross up the hill and down the hill!

And on the hill he did only one thing: he washed the feet of a poor man and kissed the feet of the poor man. And I know perfectly well that that poor man must have been prepared for this. You know Italians! He must have been given a good bath and a rubbing and massage, and his feet must have been clean. This whole drama! But in the name of religion there is drama everywhere.

And when you start imitating you will imitate everything. You will imitate love, and that is the most dangerous thing. Jesus loved so you will start loving. But how can you love unless you attain the consciousness that Jesus attained? Love is a fragrance. When the one-thousand-petaled lotus of consciousness opens in you, the fragrance is released. If you start feigning it, that will be just artificial. You can bring perfume from the marketplace and you can start throwing the perfume all over yourself, and of course it will stink because it will not be your own flowering. It will be artificial and ugly.

And once a person starts feigning love, his whole life becomes false, because love is the center of life. Love is the very purpose of life, the destiny of life.

Desiderata has a great message there: Especially do not feign affection.

If you feign affection you will feign intelligence, you will feign freedom – you will start pretending everything else. A man who is capable of deceiving himself that he loves without loving is so stupid that he will imitate everything and will believe it. But his life will show that that’s not so.

I have heard about a Christian monk who was sermonizing on the message of Jesus that if somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other too.

A man became interested in the idea and he thought “Let us try it on him to see whether he proves himself by his response that what he says he lives too, practices too or not.”

So he slapped him really hard on one cheek, and he was surprised: the Christian monk gave him the other cheek. But that man was not going to be defeated so easily – he slapped him on the other cheek also.

The moment he slapped him on the other cheek, the Christian monk jumped upon him and started beating him.

He said, “What are you doing? Have you forgotten your sermon? Have you forgotten your Christ? What are you doing?”

He said, “Jesus said that if somebody slaps on one cheek give him the other. And I don’t have another cheek anymore – only two. Now the message is finished! Now I am free! Now I will show you what it means to hit somebody!”

Once Buddha said to one of his disciples who was asking, “Bhagwan, you always say forgive, but how many times?” In fact, to ask that question is enough proof that the disciple has not understood. It is not a question of how many times: forgiveness simply means you accept the person as he is, you still love him the way he is. Forgiveness means that you don’t judge him, that you are non-judgmental.

But ordinarily we think forgiveness means you know that he has done wrong, still you forgive him. First you judge and then you forgive. Your forgiveness is false.

Real forgiveness has no judgment. It never says, “No, you have done wrong, but still I forgive you.” It simply accepts the person as he is. There is no grudge, no complaint, no grumbling. There is no question really of forgiving because there is no anger in the first place.

But the man asked, “How many times?” Buddha said to him, “At least seven times.”

The man said, “Okay.” The way he said okay, Buddha said, “Wait – seventy-seven times, or better still, seven hundred and seventy-seven times.”

But even seven hundred and seventy-seven times will be exhausted – then what about seven hundred and seventy-eight? Then he will take revenge and with a vengeance, because all those seven hundred and seventy-seven times have to be taken care of; he has to take revenge for all those too. He was somehow tolerating – somehow it was not out of understanding.

If you feign, if you pretend, you become pseudo. A man who has a pseudo personality loses all intelligence, and that is the greatest loss in the world.

Lukowski had come to such desperate straits he kidnapped a millionaire’s son, a boy of six.

Lukowski wrote a ransom note, asked for half a million Dollars in small bills – and signed his name. But he forgot the address of the millionaire, so he gave the note to the kid and told him to take it to his father. The boy did, and when he returned with the money there was also a note from the victim: “Here is your filthy money. And I gotta say it is a rotten thing for one Polack to do to another.”

That’s why I say the whole earth has become Poland!

Kazewski and Candelli agreed to a bet on who could make love to his wife more times in one night. They took adjoining hotel rooms and decided that each time they succeeded they would carve a notch on the wall.

Candelli performed at once at ten o’clock, placing a scratch on the wall. Then at two a.m. he drew another gash. By six o’clock he had three scratches.

At eight in the morning the Polack came in and looked at the marks. “My god! One hundred and eleven!” cried the Polack. “He beat me by three!”


Corporal Torlonia had been overseas for eighteen months. He came home and found he had a three-week-old baby. His wife explained that she dreamt she had intercourse with him, and she got pregnant.

Torlonia sued for divorce. In court even the judge was astounded by the wife’s story. He stood up and asked the audience if they had ever had intercourse with a ghost.

In the back, Torlonia’s father raised his hand. His Honor called him to the bench. “Now,” said the judge, “you say you had intercourse with a ghost?”

“Ah, scusa,” said the elderly Italian, “I thought-a you say-a goat!”

Pseudo people are bound to hear something else. They are bound to see that which is not. They are bound to miss that which is, because in their very beings they have deceived themselves. Now their whole lives will be again and again missing the point.

Osho, Guida Spirituale, Ch 9 – Part 2 of 3

Featured image: ‘Visitation’ – Painting by Siddhena Murray-Clark –

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