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Blessed Are the Poor, the Chaste, and the Obedient?
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OSHO : Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chapter 12

The first question:

OSHO,
Goethe once wrote in his Goetz von Berlichingen:
"Poverty, chastity and obedience -- unbearable are they all."
What do you think about his statement?
Would you please comment?

It is absolutely correct. These are the three calamities that have ruined the very being of humanity.

Obedience means, in other words, slavery. We are very clever to use good words for ugly realities. I do not teach you disobedience; this has to be understood clearly. Obedience is ugly, and the human mind moves like a pendulum of a clock -- it immediately goes to the opposite. Then it starts making disobedience the law of life.

Disobedience is only reaction. If there is no obedience imposed on you, disobedience will disappear automatically because there is nothing to disobey.

So I have to make it clear to you that I hate obedience, but in that obedience disobedience is included, because they are part of one reality.

I teach intelligence.

Obedience keeps you retarded. You have just to follow; you are not to doubt, you are not to question, you have just to be a robot. Naturally, sooner or later, particularly younger people start feeling that all this obedience is nothing but a strategy to impose slavery. They react, and move to the other extreme. Whatever is said, don't do it -- that becomes their religion. In both the ways they remain retarded.

My struggle is against the retardedness of human mind. I want you to be intelligent, to decide for yourself.

I can explain something to you. I can put all my cards open before you. Now it is up to you to decide what to do. Action is going to be your decision. Explanation can be done by your parents, by your teachers, by the society, but explanation is not an order to act. They are simply making you aware of the whole situation. Making you aware of the whole situation makes you intelligent; you become more alert, you start seeing things which you were not seeing before. You become aware of new directions, new dimensions, new ways of looking at things.

But there is no order that you have to act according to the explanation given to you. Action has to come from your own intelligence, from your own understanding. It will not be obedience, it will not be disobedience.

Sometimes you may feel it perfectly right to do something, but that is your decision. Sometimes you may feel it is not right to do something; that too is your decision. The more decisions you are allowed to take, the more your intelligence is sharpened.

Obedience takes away the very base of growth, it simply orders you.

You can see it happening in the army: the very psychology of obedience in its complete picture. The soldiers are for years trained for absolutely meaningless things... Turn to the left... there is no reason. Turn to the right... there is no reason. Go backwards, come forwards... there is no reason. For hours... It is an exercise in destroying their intelligence.

I have heard of a professor in the second world war. When everybody was needed for the army, he was also recruited. And he was stating continuously, "You don't understand. I am a professor of philosophy. I will not be able to become a soldier because I cannot even take a single step without deciding why."

But nobody listened to him, and the first day on the parade ground when the commander ordered "Turn to the left," everybody turned except the professor.

The commander was informed beforehand, "He is a little eccentric; he is a professor of philosophy, so be patient with him." He didn't say anything.

Then the people were ordered to turn to the right, go backwards, come forwards, but the professor remained in his position. When everybody had come back to the same position, the commander asked the professor, "Why were you not following the orders?"

He said, "It is so stupid... because if finally everybody has to come to this stage where I am already standing, then what was all that, 'Come back, go forward, go right, go left'? If this was going to be the final order, then I am already there. What more do you want? And I want to ask, Why have these people been turned like machines?" -- it was impossible!

There is no why; it is a strategy to destroy intelligence. When a person just follows orders for years, morning and evening, he forgets completely that he has his own decisiveness. The order becomes his decision.

The commander reported to the higher authorities, "That man is impossible, he argues."

In the army no argument is allowed. They said, "You give him some small job in the mess, where there is no question of ordering."

So he was brought into the mess, given a pile of peas... And he was told, "Within one hour you have to sort out the bigger peas on one side and the smaller peas on the other side."

He listened. After one hour, when the commander came, he was sitting silently and the pile was also sitting silently exactly as it was left. The commander said, "Now what is the problem?"

He said, "The problem is this: unless I figure out everything beforehand in detail, I never move. There are peas which are big, there are peas which are small, but there are peas which are in the middle. Where am I put to the peas which are in the middle? Rather than doing something wrong, it is better not to do anything. And this hour was beautiful. I meditated, the peas meditated, and everything was silent. No left turn, right turn... I love this job." And he had not done anything.

The whole structure of armies around the world is made in such a way that in three or four years they destroy your intelligence completely, you become almost a mechanical robot. The moment you hear the order, "March!" you simply march; no question arises within you.

After the first world war, a man was retired. He had been awarded great prizes for his bravery. Two persons sitting in a restaurant watched the man carrying a bucket full of eggs on his head, and just to play a joke, one of them shouted, "Attention!"

In the middle of the street, the man stood in the position of attention and the eggs fell all over the street. He was very angry. He said, "This is not right. Now who is going to pay for my eggs?"

Those people said, "We have done nothing. There is no prohibition on using the word 'attention.' We have not told you to obey it."

The man said, "You don't understand. I have been thirty years in the army. I have completely forgotten how to make any decision on my own -- attention means simply attention. Although I am retired, the habit of thirty years of simply being obedient has become my second nature. I am a poor man. You should not have done this."

Obedience is basically used by religions, politicians, educationalists, parents.

They are all destroying your intelligence, and they are making a great value of obedience. It is a disease far more dangerous than any cancer, because cancer can be cured, can be operated on. But once you get caught into the net of obedience, there is no cure for you.

God was angry with Eve and Adam because they disobeyed; that was their only sin. Obedience is virtue. And the disobedience of Adam and Eve was so great that even now every Christian is born in sin, because your original forefathers -- Adam and Eve -- sinned against God. Obedience seems to be the very base of all your religions. In different ways they support it: belief, faith, no questioning, simply following The Holy Bible....

You are not taken into account at all. You are just a slave.

Certainly obedience makes you more efficient. That's why everybody wants you to be obedient -- your father, your mother, everybody wants you to be obedient.

In my childhood it was an everyday problem. I had made it clear to my parents, "If you want me to do something, please explain to me why and let me decide. If you don't want me to do it, then you can order me to do it. I would rather die than follow your order."

In my village we had a beautiful river. In summer it was not so big, but in the rainy season it became huge. I was a constant lover of the river, and if they could not find me anywhere else they searched for me near the river, and they always found me there.

My father told me, "Remember one thing: when the river is flooded with rainwater, it is a mountainous river, do not try to cross it."

I said, "Now it is absolutely impossible for me to resist the temptation. I will cross it."

He said, "You will die. You will not be able to cross such a strong mountainous current."

I said, "It will be a glorious death, but I am going to cross it."

The whole village gathered when I crossed the river. I was only twelve years of age. Nobody had done it before, it looked so dangerous. It took me almost six miles downstream to reach the other shore, and many times I felt that it was going to be impossible. But I crossed it.

Later on my father said to me, "Can't you understand anything?"

I said, "That's what I am trying to do, but you don't let me understand."

I had made it clear to the whole family, "Don't order; otherwise I am not going to obey. You are making me disobedient. The whole crime will be on your heads. I simply want to have explanations and to be left at liberty to decide for myself. You should have explained to me the whole situation of the river, how dangerous it can be, and that is all; then it would have been my decision to do it or not to do it.

"But it has to be my decision, not anybody else's. I understand your intention is good, but the way you are trying to impose your intention is very dangerous. Rather than seeing the death of my intelligence I would like to die myself, because what is the point of living like a robot?"

So Goethe is correct: obedience is one of the greatest sins. All the religions have perpetuated it, and all the generations have perpetuated it.

He is absolutely right when he says about chastity that it is unbearable.
It is not only unbearable -- he is not being absolutely correct -- it is impossible.

Chastity is against nature, and in anything against nature you are going to be a loser. You can be victorious with nature; against it, your defeat is sure and certain.

But that's what for centuries we have been told, to be chaste -- and at a time when it is naturally and absolutely impossible. But all the societies prolong.... There is education, the university....

The scientific fact is that between fourteen and twenty-one, somewhere near eighteen and a half, the boy comes to the very highest peak of sexual energy, which he will never attain again. And the same is true with the girl: somewhere near seventeen and a half she comes to the greatest peak of attaining orgasmic experience.

The whole of humanity has been deprived of orgasmic experience. By the time somebody returns from the university he is twenty-five, and if he goes back there for a Ph.D. then he is twenty-seven or twenty-eight. His peak of sexual energy is gone... down the drain! And now he gets married. Both are declining, and now they are no longer capable of having that vigor, that natural force which could have produced the orgasmic experience -- which is one of the foundations of religious experience.

A person who has known orgasmic blissfulness, only for a few moments, has touched the boundary line that divides ordinary life from the divine life.

And with the orgasmic experience the desire naturally arises, "Is it all or is there much more?" The experience is so tremendously thrilling that one wants to have something more, something better, something more refined. The first person who became religious must have become religious only because of orgasmic experience -- because there is no other experience which can give you an insight into religion.

Millions of people on the earth live their whole lives without the orgasmic experience. You want these people to pray in churches, in the temples, in mosques? You have destroyed the very energy in them which would have taken them to the beyond without any priest.

In the orgasmic experience a few things become very clear to the person.

One, mind stops...for a few seconds there are no thoughts. Time stops...for a few moments there is no past, no future, but only the present. Of course the experience is very fleeting and very momentary. And the only drawback in it is that it depends on the other person; it happens between two persons -- a man and a woman who are deep in love, who want to merge into each other so totally that they are not two entities but one organic whole.

It is a very simple, intelligent understanding that if we can stop thinking and stop time, perhaps the same experience will happen without the other partner. And that's how the whole spiritual phenomenon developed. People tried; they succeeded.

Mind stops and time stops -- simultaneously.

Mind and time are not two different things.

Reality is only in the present; past and future are part of the mind.

The present is the stoppage of time. When there are no thoughts, how can you think of the past and how can you think of the future? There is no way to think about the present, you are already in it. There is no need to think about it, you are experiencing it.

People tried, explorers of the interior world -- we don't know their names, who were the first explorers of the greatest discovery in human existence, who tried and succeeded in stopping time and mind -- and they were surprised that when there is not the other, then this state of orgasmic blissfulness can last as long as you want. It is no longer physiology; it is no longer biology; it is no longer genetics -- you have come beyond. It can spread over all your twenty-four hours. Slowly, slowly you will start living in it.

You don't have to produce it; it becomes just like breathing -- you don't even have to think about it. This state of your consciousness is the greatest experience that life makes available to you. But before it becomes available you should have some taste, some experience that helps you to go in search for the ultimate. This is the ultimate state.

Enlightenment is nothing but an orgasmic state which has become natural to you, just like the heartbeat.

And then there are many discoveries which happen in this state. In this state it was discovered that each man is both a man and a woman, and each woman is both a man and a woman. In the contemporary world Carl Gustav Jung was the first to come across it. He thought he had discovered something great -- it is something great, but it is not his discovery. In the East for at least ten thousand years we have known the fact: there are scriptures...there were statues made in which one half is male and the other half is female.

When you are in an orgasmic state, you discover for the first time that no outside woman is needed, no outside man is needed; your own inner woman is meeting with your inner man. And because both are inside you, the meeting can last forever.

Only this kind of man transcends sex.

Repression is not chastity; repression is not celibacy. Repression is perversion.

Using sex at the right moment, when it is at its peak... We are prohibiting our children from having anything to do with sex at the time when they are at the highest peak to which they will never attain again. Now it will be completely going down and down the hill... And when your energies are shrinking, orgasmic experience becomes more and more difficult, almost impossible.

Goethe is absolutely right.

Poverty is the third thing he says is unbearable.

It is unbearable, but religions have made it bearable. They function as opium -- opium can make anything bearable.

In India I have seen this happen. Poor women have to go to work; only the husband's earnings are not enough to keep them alive. But they have children, small children, and nobody wants a woman bringing the child to work. If a road is being made, the woman will have to go a dozen times to the child to feed him, to take care of him, and the child will throw tantrums and will cry and weep and the woman will have to go to calm him down. This is a disturbance, so they have found a trick.

All these poor women give a little opium to the child when they go to work. Then hungry, in the hot sun, he does not make any trouble; he simply lies down by the side of the road. I have seen hundreds of children lying by the side of the road and the women are working. I was puzzled in the beginning, why these children are so patient. Then I was made aware that they had been given opium.

All the religions have been doing the same to make poverty bearable. The opium is very subtle. First, they all teach that whatever state you are in -- in the East it is because of your past life, and if you don't make any trouble, if you don't make any revolt against your present state, in the future life you will enjoy all the riches possible.

Now, this is psychological opium. Those people are waiting for a future life to have all the pleasures, and somehow carrying their poverty -- which is unbearable.

In the West, where past life and future life are not part of the mythologies, they have other consolations. Jesus says, "Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God." What is this? -- simple opium. To call the poor blessed... And to console them he says, "A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich man cannot enter into paradise." So the poor man is in a better condition than the rich man. It is only a question of a few years -- because there is only one life in Christianity, in Judaism, in Mohammedanism.

This is a test of your trust: if you trust in God, if you trust in Jesus Christ, you will go through this very easily. And the whole paradise for eternity is specially made for you; all rich men will be thrown into hell. It gives great consolation. One starts thinking, "That's perfect. We may be for seventy years poor, but these rich people are going to suffer for eternity and we are going to enjoy all the pleasures for eternity. It is not a bad bargain."

If these religions were not giving people such poisonous ideas, the world would have destroyed poverty long, long ago. Man is capable of reaching to the moon, and he cannot destroy poverty. He is capable of creating nuclear weapons which can destroy the earth seven hundred times, and he's not capable of destroying poverty. It's simply illogical, absurd.

Poverty can be destroyed, but nobody wants to destroy it.

Religions want to keep it, because otherwise all the blessed people of the earth will disappear and there will only be cursed people enjoying. That will be unbearable for the bishops and the cardinals and the pope -- the cursed people are enjoying everything and all the blessed people have disappeared. And these blessed people who have disappeared -- these blessed people are the people who come to the church; these blessed people are the people who support all kinds of idiots who pretend to be mediators between them and God.

Yesterday the local bishop has declared that he is going to take a protest march into the town against me. I was really excited, so I said, "That is great."

But nothing happened. I sent a few sannyasins to enquire what is the matter, what happened to the protest. The protest did not happen because nobody gathered there, only a few old women who go to the church. Who goes to the church otherwise? -- only old women who have nowhere to go, old women who are not wanted anywhere go to the church.

They gathered, but the bishop must have thought it will look foolish to have a protest with a dozen old women; it will be a protest against Christianity, not against me. So hiding somewhere in a small room.... We tried to find out where they were meeting, but we could not.

Then he gave a declaration to the newspapers that "the concerned people had a secret meeting." And who are these concerned people? -- the old women. I loved the words "concerned people."

All these religions are living on poverty.

The poor go there because they are suffering; it is unbearable, they need some kind of consolation. The rich don't go there; they are not suffering. And if they are in a certain anguish, these priests are not capable of helping them. The rich people, feeling frustrated, have to search for somebody who can help them out of their anguish. They don't want opium.

The politicians don't want everybody to become rich, because it is more difficult to enslave rich people than poor. It is easier to purchase the votes of the poor than to convince the rich people to vote for them. The richer a person becomes, the more out of hand he is as far as politicians are concerned. A richer person, if he has any psychological problem, will go to a psychoanalyst, not to a priest. He will go to the East to find some meditator to help him realize himself so that he can go beyond the mind, but he will not go to these ordinary priests who don't know anything.

Amrito has told me about another priest, a bishop, who lives far away from here. She has heard that he is a very revolutionary man, a very intelligent man. He was so intelligent and revolutionary that he was sent to Germany for ten years. The people of this island asked him back and forced the church to give their priest back. Now he is back.

She was thinking that he is the man who will be able to understand me, so she went, wasted her whole day. The priest may have been intelligent and may have looked revolutionary, but he seems to be a coward because he said, "I am perfectly willing to come and meet Osho, but not on the island. He has been here just two days and things are boiling up, and it is too hot. I don't want to take this danger. If Osho comes to Athens, then I can come and meet him secretly there."

These are your religious leaders. And this man was thought to be a revolutionary; the church had to send him away for ten years.

And I don't think that anything is boiling here. I don't see any problem arising here. It is as peaceful here as it will be anywhere on the whole island.

Goethe is right, but nobody has criticized him for the simple reason that he does not elaborate. He simply says, "Chastity, obedience, poverty are unbearable" -- in a very mild tone, so nobody has criticized him. He is criticizing your whole church, your whole religion, your whole civilization. But he is being clever, he is not straightforward; he should have defined everything that he meant by it.

I have been told by many sympathetic people -- Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India; she told me, "If you say the same things without making them too elaborate and in a mild tone, nobody will take any objection. But you make everything so fiery...."

I said, "Then what will be the point? Why should I waste my time making mild, liberal statements if it does not create thinking in people? I am going to put more and more fire into my words."

She said, "I know you. Because of your words I want to come to see you at your commune. I cannot come; I am afraid of my voters, that there will be great trouble. Just coming to meet you in your commune I will lose many voters, many sympathizers."

This is from a very courageous woman. And from many sources people have been telling me, "Why don't you say things in such a way that nobody is hurt?" The point is not that nobody is hurt; if nobody is hurt then nobody wakes up.

I am ready to risk my life if I can wake people.

Those three words he has chosen are perfectly right. Goethe was a man of insight, tremendous insight, but not courageous. So that great statement has never been taken any note of by the people -- nobody has bothered about it. But now that I have explained what he really means, you can understand that there are many people in the world who have said right things, but in such a lousy way that they don't make any impact.

Humanity needs people who are real fire and who can make them aflame. Certainly many enemies will be created, but that does not count. What counts is the friends. Do you know how many enemies Gautam Buddha created? -- you cannot name even a few of them. They disappeared, but his friends took over the whole of Asia. How many enemies did Jesus create? -- almost the whole of the Jewish community. But where are the enemies? What is their position? What is their situation? Christianity has become the greatest religion in the world, and Jesus had very few friends. To begin with, he had only twelve disciples, a few sympathizers.

I am far more fortunate. I have millions of friends. I don't care about the enemies because enemies disappear; they don't make any impact on history.

The impact that is made, is made by friends. The friends of truth are the people who revolutionize, who change human beings for the better.

The second question:

OSHO,
Can you say something about the psychology of the inferiority complex, which in your understanding all politicians have. How can this dangerous disease be treated?

The disease is not only dangerous, the disease is as ancient as man. The disease comes from the idea of comparison.

We are always comparing; from our very childhood we are taught comparison. Somebody else's child is more cute, more beautiful, more intelligent; somebody else's child is more obedient, and you are not....

All educational systems depend on comparison: somebody comes first, and somebody is the last in the class; somebody passes, somebody fails. Teachers appreciate students who are obedient; they hate the students, they punish the students who are not obedient in every way.

The whole structure of society is continuously comparing, and the very idea of comparison is absolutely false.

Each individual is unique because there is nobody else like him. Comparison would have been right if all individuals were alike; they are not. Even twins are not absolutely alike; it is impossible to find another man who is exactly like you. So we are comparing unique people -- which creates the whole trouble.

When I entered my high school, I came first in the class. Somebody came thirtieth, and he was crying. I went to him and said, "You need not cry, and if you are crying I will sit by your side and start crying."

He said, "But why should you cry? You have come first."

I said, "This is all nonsense. It is only a question of seeing from where you are seeing: on that side I am first; on this side you are first, nobody could beat you. I can be defeated, but you cannot be defeated."

He started laughing at the idea that from the other end of the line he is also first; in fact, I am thirtieth from the other side.

In my vision, in schools there should be no examinations, so nobody comes first and nobody comes second, nobody passes and nobody fails. In schools there should be merits given every day by every teacher in different subjects to each student. And based on all those merits it should be decided when a child is ready to move into another class. Some child may be ready within two months; there is no need for him to wait one year. Some child may move after eight months, some child may move after twelve months, some child may take fifteen months. But nobody is higher than the other; everybody is moving according to his pace, according to his interest.

Everybody has some uniqueness.

Education should be organized in such a way that that uniqueness comes over, becomes an actuality.

There should be no hierarchy in the world.

A plumber should be as respected as a great physicist. In fact, before dying, Albert Einstein said, "If there is another life I would like to be born as a plumber, not as a physicist again. Enough is enough." If Albert Einstein is desiring to be born as a plumber, that is beautiful; the very idea is beautiful. The plumber should be as respected and dignified as the professor. These are professions. You should not value the individual by profession; the individual is invaluable. Hierarchy would drop from society if no profession were bigger and greater and higher than other professions; then comparison would start disappearing.

In schools comparison should start disappearing.

There is no need for every child to read geography or history unless he loves it. The choice of the subjects should be his love. Every school, every university, every college should devote at least two months in the beginning of the year for students to move into all other subjects, to listen to teachers of different subjects, and find out for themselves what is their love, what triggers their heart and their intelligence.

Right now the situation is such that a person who could have been a good butcher has become a surgeon. Now there is going to be a difficulty. He should be a butcher, but the butcher should not be in any way lower than the surgeon. Society should be made of unique people, bringing out their talents as fully as possible. Education should help it, the parents should help it, everybody around should help every child to bring out his talents. But right now that is not the situation; everybody is being ordered.

My parents wanted me to become an engineer or a doctor. I simply refused. I said, "I am going to study philosophy because I have to fight philosophers all my life."

They said, "What nonsense. If you want to fight philosophers why should you waste six years in studying philosophy?"

I said, "Without studying philosophy I cannot fight rightly. I have to study philosophy. I enjoy the way philosophy argues, and I want to go into the very deepest arguments all the philosophies have produced. But I am going to fight against it, because my experience is that not a single philosopher has ever become enlightened. They were just playing with words, gymnastics of logic; they never reached above their minds. They did a great job with their minds, but they remained minds."

My parents threatened me, "If you choose philosophy then remember we are not going to support you financially."

I said, "That you need not say. I was not going to accept it anyway, because when I choose my subject then I will find my way. I am not choosing your subject; naturally you are out of the question. Why should I ask your financial support? Even if you give it, I will reject it."

They were shocked. They could not believe how I would manage -- but I managed. In the night I was editing a newspaper, and in the morning I was going to the college. And in between, whenever I could find time, I would go to sleep.

Finally they started feeling guilty. My father went on writing to me, "Forgive us and accept."

I went on returning their money orders, and one day he himself came and he said, "Can't you forget, can't you forgive?"

I said, "I can forgive but I cannot forget, because you were forcing me into something just because of finances, just because of money" -- money was more important to them. "You thought more of money than you thought of me, and you threatened me. I had not asked for money. You can keep your money. I am managing perfectly well."

In fact, things turned out so beautifully, because the work in the newspaper was negligible. You have just to invent events that don't happen, things that nobody has said. My chief editor called me and said, "Since you have come our circulation has increased. But a few letters have started coming saying, 'Where are these things happening? Who is saying these things?'"

I said, "Don't you worry. You worry about your circulation. I don't have time to go out and look and report; I simply sit here and finish the whole work. I don't want to waste my whole night. In two, three hours I invent things I put in the paper. Your circulation is growing. You should look to your circulation. And any letters that come, you simply redirect them to me. I will answer them."

I worked well with the journalist. It worked well in the college too, because I was expelled from the college. The professor was ready to resign. He said, "Either he can be in the college or I can be in the college."

I told him, "Before you do it, just let us meet the principal."

The principal said to me, "He is our oldest professor, very respected, and we don't want to lose him. We know that you are right" -- because he was teaching philosophy and he was teaching as if he was simply giving commandments. We had just to memorize whatever he said and reproduce it in the examination papers.

I was arguing. I said, "If this man is not capable of arguing, he should simply say, 'I don't know,' and I will not harass him. But he is not courageous enough to say even that."

The principal told me, "I understand the whole thing. I cannot force you to leave, but you be kind enough and do one thing: leave the college. I will phone another principal of another college to admit you."

I said, "I don't want to disturb anybody." I went to the other college.

The other principal said, "My condition is that you will join this college but you should never attend any class, because whatever reports I have heard.... I don't want to disturb my professors."

I said, "That's absolutely great. That's what I wanted. What about my percentage for being present?"

He said, "That I will take care of. You will score ninety-percent attendance."

I said, "That's perfectly okay. That's what I wanted. Now I am completely free."

So two or three hours in the newspaper, and then the whole day I was free to go into the library and to read as much and as deeply as possible.

I have never felt at any point in my life that existence disappoints you if you are honest, sincere. It always helps you; it is immensely compassionate.

This whole system of hierarchy can be dissolved, and only then will the inferiority complex dissolve.

That is only a symptom.

Everybody feels inferior -- I say everybody, without exception -- in some way or other. Somebody is more beautiful than you, somebody is more healthy than you, somebody is more educated than you, somebody is in a higher post than you, somebody has a more beautiful wife than you. Life is such a complex thing, and there are so many things in life that if you start comparing, nobody, not even a man like Napoleon Bonaparte....

You would think Napoleon should not feel inferior: he is one of the biggest heroes of our mad, so-called history. But he felt very inferior because he was not very tall; he was only five feet five inches. And that was such a wound -- that his soldiers were taller, his bodyguards were taller.

One day he was fixing a picture in his room, and his bodyguard said, "Sir, you wait. I can do it, I am higher than you."

He said, "Take that word back. Say you are taller than me, not higher." He was so touchy about that point.

But I don't see any problem: whether you are six feet, seven feet, five feet, anyway your feet reach to the earth -- that's the whole purpose. It is not that when you are five feet you are hanging two feet above and everybody laughs at you. The whole thing is that your feet reach to the earth, you can walk. What does it matter? Have you noticed that nobody wants to marry a woman who is taller than him? -- for that simple reason.

I had a friend who was in love with a woman, but the trouble was that she was really tall, almost one foot taller than the man. He said, "Being in love is one thing, but she is insisting on marriage, my parents are insisting on marriage. And I am afraid that wherever I go with her I will look like a fool.

"People already ask us when we go somewhere...they ask her, not me, 'Is he your younger brother?' I'm worried about my old age: when she becomes older perhaps they may start asking, 'Is he your eldest son?' It is so embarrassing -- and nobody asks me, everybody asks her, because she's taller and bigger, and I am smaller and thinner."

It is sheer stupidity. On small counts we are continuously comparing.

I told him, "Always carry a small stool with you."

He said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "Carry a small stool, always stand on the stool. Then everybody will ask you what the problem is, nobody will ask your wife. And then you can say, 'I am the husband; that is the problem. She is my wife. Let me introduce you to her.' It is just a simple thing. Make a plastic stool, not weighing much, and carry it everywhere. Enjoy the whole game."

People who are on high posts are still in the same jam with something or other.

It is said of a great king in India, Poras, who fought with Alexander, that he was going on his chariot for a morning drive into the forest. Suddenly, he saw a beautiful girl carrying water from a well. He stopped the chariot, he stepped down, and he went to see the girl.

When he came back to the chariot he was surprised: the charioteer was kissing his wife who was also in the chariot. He was very angry, but the wife said, "If you can go to some other woman seeing that she is beautiful, I know that this man is far more beautiful than you, far stronger than you, so what is the problem? If you are the king and I am also the queen, why get jealous? I was not jealous. I really felt relieved when you went away. That was a good opportunity to have a little affair with the charioteer."

Since that day it is said Poras never looked at any other woman. But that must have been a really great repression; he was a lover of women, but he was afraid of what his wife had said.

Everybody feels inferior in some way or other, and the reason is that we don't accept that everybody is unique. There is no question of inferiority or superiority. Everybody is just one of his kind, so comparison does not arise.

The politicians are the worst sufferers from inferiority complex.

They want to prove to the world that they are great, they have power over millions -- they are presidents, prime ministers. But if you look at their lives, that inferiority complex has not left them, it is still there.

India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru was also five feet five inches, and when he took the oath for the prime ministership, and the transfer of the government from British hands back to Indian hands, Mountbatten was the British viceroy. He was a tall man.... If you look in books you can find the picture: Jawaharlal is standing -- exactly on my suggestion although I had not given the suggestion to him -- on a step, and Mountbatten is standing on the floor, so they look alike, the same height.

But you will be surprised that Mountbatten's wife fell in love with Jawaharlal. Mountbatten was such a beautiful man that he was sent to Burma, from England -- he was from the royal family -- just because he was such a playboy. He was creating too many scandals, and a royal family does not do that -- particularly the British royal family, it is too orthodox! They sent him far away to Burma saying, "Do anything that you want to do there." He was a beautiful man, but his wife fell in love with Jawaharlal. Jawaharlal was also a beautiful man, but not so royal. She was writing such love letters as teenagers write.

The strange thing was that after that many women in India wanted to marry him. His wife had died long ago, and he had only one child, Indira. There were a few women that I know personally who remained unmarried for their whole lives just because they had decided they would marry Jawaharlal; otherwise they would not marry.

Mountbatten's wife was not beautiful at all; in fact she was not even homely. She had a certain disease over her skin. Her skin was what you would call leatherlike; it was so ugly, disgusting. But perhaps because she was British and she was the wife of the viceroy, that gave some superiority to Jawaharlal's inferiority complex.

The women who remained their whole life unmarried -- two of them I know -- were really beauties, of great heart. But Jawaharlal refused, and he fell into the hands of this leathery woman -- whom I cannot see anybody could think was beautiful, and not even a blind man would find that she was.

But this is how things go on working. And for centuries we have been creating the disease; we have not allowed people to accept themselves as they are.

The moment you accept yourself as you are, without any comparison,
all inferiority, all superiority disappears.

I don't feel any inferiority, any superiority.

I am simply myself.

Why should I compare with anybody else?

Existence wanted me to be just the way I am. Existence wants you to be just as you are. You are fulfilling some empty space in existence; without you there will be something missing.

Hence, one of my basic teachings is total acceptance of yourself without any conditions. In the total acceptance of yourself you will be free from these complexes -- inferiority, superiority; otherwise you will suffer for your whole life.

We are in a situation where we cannot have everything; nobody can. So there will always be something you don't have and that will give you the feeling of being inferior: "Somebody else has it...." And I cannot conceive of a person who can have everything in this world. People have tried, and failed utterly.

You know the ancient parable of King Midas. He prayed to God; his only wish was that whatever he touched became gold. His wish was fulfilled, and he was immensely happy. He thought he had found it. Now there was no way for him to feel inferior: nobody has that quality that he has; he is the superior-most in the whole existence, before and after.

But soon he found he was wrong. His friends started deserting him, even his wife and children would not come close to him. And he died because whatever he would touch would turn into gold. He could not eat anything -- you cannot eat gold; you cannot drink gold.

But it was too late. For years he had been praying and the wish was fulfilled; now there was no time to ask for years, "Take away this blessing which has turned out to be a curse."

Don't ask for anything. Whatever you have, existence is wiser than you think. It has given you everything that you need. Just explore your own treasures and bring them to their fulfillment. Bring every potentiality to actuality.

Once this disease disappears, politics will disappear automatically. Politics is an outcome of inferiority complex. People want power to prove to themselves and to others that they are not just nobodies.

I teach you just to be yourself, and that's enough. You are accepted by the sun, you are accepted by the moon, you are accepted by the trees; you are accepted by the ocean, you are accepted by the earth... What more do you want?

You are accepted by this whole universe.

Rejoice in it!

OSHO : Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Chapter 12
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