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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself
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Chapter 9: Small Intervals of Light

Christianity clearly defines itself as a militant religion. Then it becomes a question of growing in numbers - not growing toward heights, but widening the empire. It becomes politics, it is no longer religion. All the so-called religions are just political strategies.

The enlightened man cannot be enslaved - that is the difficulty - and he cannot be imprisoned. His individuality and his rebellion make the vested interests - the priests and the politicians and the pedagogues. “It is better to finish people like Socrates - they are creating a disturbance in the mind of people.”

Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; he is going to be an upsetting force. The masses don’t want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery; they are in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery. And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger.

The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world, he does not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines him, no community, no society, no nation. His rebellion is so total that it makes the unconscious crowd antagonistic. Such a man cannot be tolerated alive; he can be worshipped when dead.

You can worship a Buddha when dead. You can worship a Jesus when dead. But not even a single enlightened person has been respected, loved, by the blind and the deaf and the unconscious masses. This has become a barrier. That’s why you don’t find so many enlightened people.

But if you are ready to take the risk, you are capable of becoming a buddha any moment you decide, because it is not a question of going anywhere, it is simply looking inward.

The Hindu mythology about the history of consciousness is worth mentioning:

The first age of humanity, the very beginning, is called satyuga, the age of truth. Every man is naturally a buddha, just like a child - no fear, no greed, a perfect balance. To describe the balance, they say that the first age is like a table which has four legs, perfectly balanced.

The second age - one leg falls away. Still there is some balance, but that old certainty is no longer there. Because of the three legs, the second age is called treta; treta means three.

And the third - another leg falls away, man is becoming poorer and poorer. The third age is called dwapar; dwapar means two legs.

And we are in the fourth stage. It is a beautiful symbology: we have lost all balance, we are only standing on one leg. How long can you stand on one leg? And life has become inwardly poorer.

This metaphor of describing ages is not just a metaphor. It certainly has significance and meaning. It shows that man has become less and less alive, less and less connected with the totality, less and less joyful. Sadness has gathered all around, and the night seems to be unending.

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