Chapter 5: Laughter - As Sacred as Prayer
I, like many of your disciples, tried many ways to change myself, to give to others and serve the planet.
I was a missionary in Africa, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, marched against Vietnam, did groups and yoga, joined various save-the-world efforts, and it was all like pissing in the ocean. I had a good time, but it was fairly insignificant compared to the rapidly accelerating dangers of nuclear weapons, over-population and warring nations.
One day it occurred to me that you were the only one who was outrageous and radical enough to perhaps make a difference. I hitched my wagon to a star - you - and that was the smartest and most loving thing I ever did.
But Osho, am I - are we - so much more brilliant than other people? Why are people so threatened by what I see is your love and compassion? Why are people willing to remain dinosaurs, risk extinction, prefer dying and destroying each other? Why do they cling to outdated nations, religions and armies even though it’s obviously not working?
If Ronald Reagan had really paid attention and really cared about peace, he would have invited you to be his special advisor - not conspired to have you ousted from America.
Why are most people afraid to drop the past and come to something or someone who could help peel away conditioning, so that unleashed energy can really change us and the world? And why don’t more people who spout, “one planet, one people!” drop their ineffectual efforts and align with you. In my opinion, if we were to rally around something that could make a difference, it would not be an idea, but you, who has the vastness to create real transformation. Is this right?
And are you also working through us, your disciples?
Kahlil Gibran has a small story.
One full moon night, a few people came to his small pub and drank and drank. He was very happy, earning great. And when they were leaving, he asked the man who was paying: “Will you be coming again? We will do everything better.”
The man said, “We are happy as things are, you have done them as beautifully as possible. Just pray for my business to run well and we will be coming every night.”
He said, “There is no problem in it. I will pray for you every morning, every evening, every night. But just out of curiosity, I want to ask, what is your business?”
He said, “It is better if you don’t ask. But I can understand, it will be difficult for you to resist the temptation. My business is to sell wood for funeral pyres. So when more people die, my business goes well; when less people die, of course it is unfortunate and I have to suffer it. So if you want your business to go well, you have to pray for my business to go well - our interests are the same.”
In this whole society, as an intelligent and alert person, you are bound to be surprised: Why do things go on happening the way they should not? Wars are not needed, riots are not needed, bloodshed is not needed, nuclear weapons are not needed. Half of the earth is dying from starvation and you are preparing more destructive weapons. It is simply insane.
But the trouble is that all these insane people have the same interest. The presidents and the prime ministers of all the nations, all the countries have the same interest. If nations disappear, they will disappear - what about their power trip?
The head priests of all religions are worried that if all religions disappear and there is only a religiousness, priests will not be needed, churches will not be needed. They have the same interest, that this society should remain as it is - miserable, in anxiety, in continuous fear, in deep anguish.a meaningless existence, carrying one’s own dead bodies on one’s shoulders from cradle to grave. And it is all desert - flowers appear only in dreams; in reality it is burning sun and hot sand, nothing green grows.
If we see this, why don’t we change? Why do we go on and on in the same rut for thousands of years? The same misery, the same anguish, the same war - nothing seems to change. It seems as if we are caught in a wheel and the wheel goes on moving, fast - again and again the same thing.