In America I see signs that the overall consciousness is evolving. There's some hope that we're not going to self-destruct in the near future. Would you please comment?
Man is coming to a very unique point from where a quantum leap will be possible. The human consciousness has not changed for many centuries – it has remained the same. Some individuals, few and far between, have evolved: a buddha, a christ, a krishna, a zarathustra, but they are exceptions; they are not the rule.
Very rarely has a human being taken the quantum leap – jumped beyond humanity, surpassed humanity – but they have paved the way. By and by, slowly... the work has been hard, the work has been slow. For at least ten thousand years, many pathfinders have been trying to create a possibility for a breakthrough – not for individuals but as a human consciousness as such, so that the whole humanity can have a quantum leap.
The moment is coming closer, because for the first time, particularly in the west, the society has come to such a state where it is feasible, it is practical. Otherwise in the east people have lived in such starvation – how to think about consciousness?
People have been so poor that the very idea of consciousness seems to be very far away – a fiction, luxurious, aristocratic. Maybe a few rich people can talk about it, can sit and argue about it, but the greater mass cannot even understand the word; it has no connection with them.
For that quantum leap a certain affluence was needed, and it has happened in America. That affluence has happened and society has created a stage where poverty is no more the rule and people can afford to think of higher things.
People can become starry-eyed, can become lotus-eaters, can close their eyes and gaze upon their navels. The possibility has come and the frustration also....
The society has evolved materially. The more material affluence has come, the more spiritual poverty has become clear in contrast. So, on one hand richness – on another hand an inner poverty. It hurts! When you are poor outside and inside too, it doesn't hurt – because the contrast is missing; you cannot compare. Poverty just seems to be the fate.
But when one becomes rich outside, then the idea arises, "Why can I not become rich in the inside too? Why not? If society can come to such a rich, beautiful status, why can consciousness not come to the same?" Hence the great exploration. The new generation is throbbing, and the momentum will grow more and more. By the end of this century a great door is going to open. It is not absolutely certain that man may not miss it – man may miss it. It is just an opportunity, a possibility, but it has never been greater than it is today.
The coming twenty years are going to be of constantly accelerating momentum.
They will drive many people crazy because no one will be able to live comfortably because a great longing will arise in every soul. It will be almost like fire – it will burn people.
Many will go astray. Just trying to find out some way, many will find wrong ways, will follow wrong people – that's natural. When people start exploring they explore in all directions. They will explore in all directions. They will explore in meditation, they will explore in drugs too – because one never knows from where the door is going to open.
Many will go crazy, because when people live in a normal way and no great desire hangs over them, nothing can drive them crazy – but when a great desire arises, it is maddening.
Very few will be able to long for it that deeply and yet remain sane – it will be a turmoil, such a chaos. But the days are going to be very thrilling. It is going to happen more and more every day – more and more people will be coming to recognise that something remains unfulfilled and has to be fulfilled.
They will seek all sorts of methods and possibilities and all sorts of gurus and pseudo-gurus will be there. But that is natural – it cannot be prevented. And even those pseudo gurus help, because sooner or later you get fed-up with them and you start looking for the real. So even the pseudo has some function, some purpose to. But America is going to be the focal point of that quantum leap. Right... your observation is right – prepare yourself for it!
Osho, What Is, Is, What Ain't, Ain't