Chapter 4: Buddhas and Fools
The first question:
Osho, Sometimes you call us “you fools” and sometimes you call us “you buddhas.” Are fools and buddhas the same to you?
They are not the same to me but they are both meeting in you right now, shaking hands within you. Your past is the fool, your future is the buddha, and at this moment they are both within you.
The buddha is your destiny, the fool is your reality; something is actual in you and something is potential. When I talk about your actuality I call you “the fools,” when I talk about your potentiality I call you “the buddhas” - they are not the same but they can exist in the same person. In fact the fool is nothing but the buddha confused, and the buddha is nothing but the fool integrated, rooted, centered. The fool can become the buddha - the possibility is there but a rearrangement is needed; nothing is lacking, just a rearrangement is needed. You have all that is needed within you but it is in a deeply disarranged state, a chaos; a crowd of noises exists. The harmony has not happened.
The crowd of noises I call “the fool”; but when the crowd of noises has disappeared and the notes, different and even opposite, have fallen into a deep pattern, the chaos becomes a cosmos, the disorder, an order, the crowd is no longer there, only one exists. The harmony has happened, you have become a buddha.
The fool and the buddha are not the same, they are two phases of your growth. The fool is the lowest rung of the ladder and the buddha is the highest rung of the ladder. The ladder is the same, but the dimensions are totally different, and unless you become aware of the fool you will never become a buddha.
In India we have very parallel terms for both: the fool is called the buddhu and the enlightened man is called the buddha. The word buddhu comes from Buddha himself, they have the same roots. A buddhu is an inverted buddha, standing on his head; a buddha is one who has come back home.
Sometimes I call you “you fools” to make you aware of your actuality, but immediately I contradict myself and I call you “you buddhas” so that you do not get identified - you might get identified with the actuality. No, you are a potential being, you have to grow, you have to become that which in the innermost core of your being you are already.
Your center is the buddha, your periphery is the fool, and I have to talk to both - the fool has to be persuaded to go, the buddha has to be persuaded to come. So when I call you “fools” don’t get hurt, and when I call you “buddhas” don’t get high. When I call you “the fools” remember that I also call you “the buddhas”; and when I call you “the buddhas” never forget that I also call you “the fools.” Between these two remembrances something will crystallize within you.