Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, United States
When asked whether Rajneeshees and their neighbors in Oregon could ever coexist peacefully, your reply was, “Never.”
What do you mean by never? What do you mean by coexistence?
The word coexistence has a very bad political connotation. Coexistence simply means that the two parties remain hostile, that there is no other way for reconciliation, for meeting, for merging. Coexistence is the least that can be done.
For example, the Soviet Union and America are in coexistence. Coexistence actually means a cold war: full of hostility, ready to fight, waiting for the right moment when you are more powerful, yet on the surface playing the game, “We are human beings, peace-loving people, we can coexist.”
I hate the word coexistence. The journalist who asked the question did not wait even to inquire why I simply denied it in a single word, never. She thought that she had understood it.
I want one existence, not coexistence. Truth knows no compromise. Lies are always ready to compromise because they have nothing to lose; they have nothing in them. But truth cannot compromise. By compromising, it becomes untrue. If we are true, then those who are wrong should merge with us. If they are true, we are ready to merge with them. The question of coexistence does not arise.
I believe in one existence, but I don’t think the journalist would have come to this conclusion from a single word when I said, “Never.” I am open; my commune is open. We are ready to discuss intellectually, humanly, everything that the neighbors may have against us. If they are right, we will change ourselves; but if we are right, they have to change themselves. The question of coexistence does not arise.
Truth has to be victorious. From which side it comes does not matter. If they have the truth, then we will naturally become part of them. And that is something to be understood because it means dropping all hostility, dropping all anger, hatred, fear.
In coexistence you don’t drop anything, you simply accept the fact, there is no way – they are here, we are here – and somehow we have to manage to exist together.” But what kind of existence will that be – somehow? There is no joy, there is no friendship, there is no love. In the sentence it was asked, “Is there any possibility of a peaceful coexistence?” For that, too, my answer is, “Never.”