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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 8
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Chapter 6: I Call a Spade a Spade

How many people can be presidents, and how many people can be prime ministers, and how many people can be Fords, Rockefellers and Morgans and Birlas and Tatas? How many people? Very few. And life is short, and these are the goals to be fulfilled. If you cannot be a Rockefeller, if you cannot be the president of a country, your life is a sheer waste, you are a failure. Unless you understand that even by becoming a Rockefeller, a Morgan, you are not going to achieve anything, you will be farther away from yourself because you will be deeper in dreams.

By becoming a president or a prime minister you are not going to achieve any peace or bliss. No music is going to explode in your innermost being. In fact, you will become more and more ugly. By the time a person becomes a prime minister he becomes the ugliest possible, because the whole struggle makes him ugly. He has to be cunning, more cunning than others, otherwise he will not succeed. He has to be cruel, he has to be violent, he has to be very diplomatic. He has to say one thing, think another, do still another. By the time he reaches the highest post of his desire, he is completely destroyed. He is no longer a human being. He is hollow inside; he has no substance, no soul.

But these people are thought to be successful, these people are thought to be the makers of history. These people are thought to leave their mark on human evolution. They are the most mischievous people in the world, they are the greatest criminals: Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, are the real criminals in the world. Small criminals suffer in the prisons, big criminals become presidents and prime ministers.

But the people who have not been able to achieve these foolish desires also suffer much. They suffer from an inferiority complex, from failure. Your education creates only two kinds of people. First, those who succeed, and by succeeding they come to know that they have wasted their lives. But it is pointless to tell it to others, because then others will laugh and will think you ridiculous. It is better to go on smiling although you know deep down that you have failed, your life has not been of any significance, you have not enjoyed being here. You have not danced, no song has been sung by your heart. Your whole life has been an experiment in futility. You know it but it is too late. You cannot go back, and you cannot say the truth - that would simply reveal your utter stupidity. It is better to go on playing the role of being successful.

And then the other kind is those who see these successful people and suffer with great jealousy, envy, are greatly wounded: “We could not make it in this life.” This is politics.

My effort here is to teach you a different way of life which is not political at all. Let the mind be dropped. Don’t be a slave of your mind. Become more conscious, more alert of all the nuisance that your mind is doing to you, the mess the mind is creating in you, the chaos the mind has reduced you to. Just watch, be alert. And slowly, slowly as your watchfulness grows - Buddha calls it “right mindfulness” - you will be able to slip out of the mind. Out of the mind and you are out of politics; otherwise, whatsoever you do is politics. If you don’t do anything, that too is politics. You participate, either positively or negatively. If you vote you participate, if you don’t vote still you participate, in a negative way. There seems to be no choice. In every way you will be part of it.

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