Is it not aggressive to try to change the world to save it?

Osho A-Z

Osho speaks on ‘being aggressive’; “Our only responsibility is that while we are here we live a life of joy, love, blissfulness.”

man shouting at woman

Osho, Is it not aggressive to try to change the world to save it?

It is aggressive. Even the effort to change a single individual is aggressive. Who are you to decide what is right for a certain person? Who are you to decide that the world, if changed according to you, will be a better place? It is taking upon yourself the role of a savior. It is a very unconscious way of dominating people. It is for their own sake, of course, so they cannot even rebel against you. Every parent is doing that to the children. For their own sake he is disciplining them, forcing them to do things that they don’t want to do, imposing a certain religion upon them without their consent. In every possible way their freedom is being cut. Less freedom, less individuality… and the moment the child becomes one hundred percent obedient, he has died.

In his disobedience was his life. In his rebellion was his being. And you cannot say that the intentions of the parents are wrong. I never suspect anybody’s intentions, but that is not the question at all. The question is, what is the result? The intention is something inside you. You can have all good or all bad intentions, just keep them to yourself. The moment you start acting on them, then the good intentions become far more dangerous than the bad intentions. A bad intention can immediately be retaliated, condemned, not only by the person you are imposing it on, but even by those who are eyewitnesses to it. But a good intention is very dangerous.

Both are doing the same work, destroying the freedom of the individual to be himself, so their nature is not in any way different. Rebellion is possible against the bad intention and will be supported by everyone; but against the good intentions, rebellion becomes impossible. Everybody will be supporting the people of good intentions who are destroying the individual. Nobody will come to the individual’s support.

Change yourself,
and in that very change
you have changed
a part of the world.

It is none of our business to save the world. In the first place, we never created it. It is none of our responsibility where it goes and what happens to it. Our only responsibility is that while we are here we live a life of joy, love, blissfulness. While we are here, our responsibility is to know who we are and what this life is all about. And the miracle is that in doing that you are already changing the world without being aggressive.

There is no idea to change anywhere, so the question of aggression does not arise. You don’t have even a vague conception of changing the world and making it according to yourself. You are simply living your life of which you are the master. You are trying to live as intensely and as totally as possible, because life is so short and the next moment is so uncertain that we have to take every moment as if it is the last moment.

Just the very idea – as if it is the last moment — will transform you. Then there is no need to be jealous, no need to be angry. In the last moment of life, who wants to be angry and jealous, sad and miserable? In the last moment of life, naturally all grudges and all complaints about life disappear. If each moment is taken as the last — as it should be taken because the next is uncertain — you are changing yourself; and your change is going to be infectious. It may change the whole world, although you had never intended it. That is my way of changing the world without being aggressive.

Otherwise, up to now all reformers, revolutionaries, messiahs were violent, aggressive. They were bent upon saving you. They never asked you whether you want to be saved or not; you were just something that they had to decide for. Who has given them the authority? — they have not asked even your permission. And if you don’t change according to them, they are willing to throw you into dark, dismal hell forever.

And, of course, if you are willing, willing to commit a spiritual suicide and just become a shadow to these people, they are offering you all the rewards that you can imagine in paradise. Hindus have tried to change the world, Christians have tried to change the world; all the religions have been doing that. Communism, socialism, fascism, all have been doing that.

My sannyasins have to be totally different: a new phenomenon in the world, not interfering with anybody’s life, and yet transforming the whole world. This is real magic. You never intended, you never imposed, you never interfered, you never trespassed anybody. You never made any judgment, “You are wrong and I am going to put you right.” You were never concerned. That is their business, that is their life. If somebody wants to destroy it, he has the right to destroy it. If somebody wants to live stupidly, then he is perfectly right to do that. It is his life. How he spends it, how he lives it or remains almost dead, asleep from the cradle to the grave, that too is his life and he is the master of it. So my people have not to interfere into anybody’s life.

I have found a totally different approach to changing the world: you just change yourself. And when you are rejoicing and dancing, you will find somebody by your side has started dancing with you, because we all are the same human consciousness with the same potential. Nobody is a foreigner. We may speak different languages, but we understand one language. So when you are happy, smiling, the other who may not be smiling suddenly feels a smile come to his face. You may be a stranger, but you smiled at the person, you waved at the person. You have changed the person without his knowing it, without you intending it.

Great Masters like Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu — have called this action without action. You are not taking any action, yet something is happening. And when things happen on their own they have a beauty, because deep down there is freedom. If the person waved, if the person smiled… you were not asking him, he was totally free not to look at you. But there is a synchronicity between heart and heart.

Knowing that secret of synchronicity, I am introducing a totally new kind of revolution. Change yourself, and in that very change you have changed a part of the world. You are a part of the world. If your change is something that makes you rich, makes you joyous, makes you blissful, makes you a song, then it is difficult for others to resist singing with you, dancing with you, blossoming with you. A single individual can transform the whole world without ever mentioning the word transformation.

I started the journey alone. I have not knocked on anybody’s door to come with me, but strangely, people started coming, and the caravan started becoming bigger and bigger. They came on their own. If they have lived with me, that was their decision; if they want to leave there is no problem. They are as free as ever. We have already started the world going into a new phase of human history.

We are not aggressive; we are not trying to change the world. We are not even interested in the world; we are just living our life, enjoying our life — we are utterly selfish. Still, what has not happened in thousands of years is possible through us. But it will be action without action, a transformation which has not been intended, which has not been imposed. A transformation that has spread on its own and people have understood what it is, because, deep down, every heart speaks the same language.

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol 2, Ch 6

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