Excerpted from: From Unconsciousness to Consciousness, #2
Jesus says, 'come follow me.' You're against this statement. What would you like to say about it?
"Jesus says, 'Come follow me.' It is not only Jesus who says it: Krishna says it too, Buddha says it too. All the old religions of the world are based on that statement. But that statement is a psychological exploitation of man. I cannot say, 'Come follow me.'
"First, those who have said it have crippled humanity, have made humanity helpless. They certainly fulfilled a certain need. People don't want to be on their own. They don't have the guts to create their own path, to walk and create it. They want to be led. But they don't know that if you are being led, slowly slowly, even if you have eyes, you will lose them. You will be seeing through the eyes of Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed. Your eyes will not be needed; in fact your eyes will cause a disturbance.
"The leader wants you to surrender your eyes and see through his eyes; surrender your legs and walk with his legs; to not believe in yourself but believe in him. To me it is a crime; it is crippling you, paralyzing you, destroying you. And you can see it all over the world. The whole of humanity is destroyed by such statements and such people.
"I can say to you, 'Come and share me,' but I cannot say, 'Follow me.' Who am I that you have to follow?
"And you have to understand also that each individual is so unique that if you start following somebody you will be automatically imitating. You will lose your identity. You will start becoming phony, a hypocrite. You will not be yourself, but somebody else. You will become split.
"You will have a mask: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist. That will be just the mask that you and the person you have been following have created it is not your authentic face. You are going against yourself, and you will be in suffering... and the whole of humanity is in suffering.
"It sounds very strange to say that such statements are criminal, because they come from nice people like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius. You can understand my difficulty too. I have to say it the way it is.
"Every child is trying to imitate his parents, his neighbors, his school friends, his teachers... and they are all trying to enforce it.
"I remember in my own childhood. It was just an accident that I was born in a Jaina family. That is a very ancient religion in India, perhaps the ancient most religion in the world. But my father was certainly a human being. He used to take me to the temple, but he told me that I need not imitate him. He had followed the ways of his forefathers and he had not found anything. He said to me, 'I cannot force you to follow my ways. I can make you acquainted that this is the way I have followed, these are the gods I have been bowing down to, these are the prayers I have been doing, but nothing has happened to me. I will not insist that you do it; on the contrary, I will insist that unless you feel to do something, never do it.'
"I have never followed anybody and it has paid me tremendously.
"It has been the greatest benediction to me that can be possible for a human being: not following.
"I have tried to remain just myself.
"You will need courage. You will need intelligence. You will need a true search and seeking; then only can you risk. Otherwise there are people all around you, they are all salesmen...." Osho