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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 11
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Chapter 9: What Mischief!

Man lives almost in a kind of deep sleep. He is not aware who he is, what he is doing, what he is thinking, where he is going, why he is going. His whole life is the life of a somnambulist, a sleepwalker. He is utterly unconscious. Out of this unconsciousness arise a thousand and one mischiefs; not that he knowingly wants to do them, he cannot avoid them. It is not a question of his decision to stop being mischievous; it is a question of his awareness. If he is aware, mischiefs disappear as darkness disappears when you bring light in. If he is not aware he may think he is doing something good, he may believe with his whole heart that he is doing something good, but he will be doing something mischievous. The total outcome of his life is going to be more chaos in the world.

You can watch the do-gooders: they all try to help, they all try to serve; they make it a point that their whole life should be one of service. So many public servants in the world, so many missionaries, so many social reformers, so many great revolutionaries - and look at the shape the world is in. Can it be more in a mess? This is the outcome of all your great efforts, of all your great saints. The tree is known by the fruit, and all your religions and all your saints and holy men can only be known by the world that they have helped to create. It is the most ugly world possible.

Not that God is responsible - God has made a beautiful world. His world is immensely beautiful: the trees, the flowers, the rivers, the mountains, the stars. But the world that man has made, the social structures that man has created are all ugly, violent, utterly mischievous. But everything bad can be done in the name of good.

Adolf Hitler was not consciously trying to do evil, remember it. He was not knowingly destructive; he was thinking he was trying to help humanity. He was thinking he was trying to bring a better human being into the world - the superman. He believed deeply in Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy of the superman and he also believed that the Germans were the really superhuman beings, that they were entitled to rule the world.

And it was not that he was deceiving anybody; he was utterly convinced of the fact. It was not a fiction for him, it was a fact that the German race is the real Aryan race, that the Nordics are the purest people in the world. He could influence millions of very intelligent people for the simple reason that he was convinced of what he was saying and doing. His conviction was hypnotizing. He was not a man of great intelligence, he was utterly mediocre, but one thing was there: he was convinced that only through him could the world be made a better place to live in. By murdering millions of Jews, he was not thinking that he was doing any violence - he was serving humanity, he was getting rid of the enemies of humanity. And it was not a question of his befooling anybody - he was so unconscious that he himself was befooled by his own convictions.

Adolf Hitler did great mischief - all the politicians do. And they always do it behind beautiful slogans: socialism, democracy, freedom, equality and whatnot. They are all trying to improve upon the world, but the total result is more and more confusion and chaos. The world would be a far better place if we could be alert enough not to listen to these lunatics. But we are also asleep. What they say appeals to us; it has a great magnetic quality in it.

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