Think of those people who are living in hatred — they are torturing themselves….OSHO
THERE IS SO MUCH NONSENSE ABOUT YOUR TEACHINGS AND THE ACTIVITIES OF YOUR ASHRAM IN THE PRESS RECENTLY. IT SOMEHOW INFURIATES ME BECAUSE IT SEEMS SO FAR FROM THE ACTUAL FACTS. LETTERS IN RESPONSE TO THE CONTRARY ARE NOT BEING PUBLISHED. NOW, I KNOW THIS MUST MAKE NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER TO YOU. IS THIS THEN WHAT JESUS MEANS WHEN HE SAYS TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK?
It is as it should be. A man like me cannot remain unopposed. A man like me is bound to divide people into two categories: those who are with me and those who are not with me.
Just the other day, an old friend wrote a letter to me suggesting…. Right now there are only two kinds of people: those who are devotees, who are utterly in love with me, and those who are enemies, full of hatred for me. He wants to create a third category of people who are neither devotees nor enemies, but impartial thinkers.
His idea looks logical, but it is not possible. It has never happened, and it is not going to happen. It cannot happen. In fact, he himself is finding it difficult to become a sannyasin. He has been an old friend and he feels it a little difficult to surrender now as a disciple. He cannot be a devotee and he cannot be an enemy either. He knows me, he loves me; he has been a friend of long standing. So it is really his problem.
He cannot surrender because of his ego that he was a friend to me, a colleague. He cannot be against me because he feels for me. Now he is in a jam, so he wants to find a way out; he wants to create a third force — people who are neither for nor against but impartial. Those people will be impotent. And I am not interested in impartial people.
I am not interested in the third force at all, for a certain reason: because they will be utterly cold. I am far more interested in people who have a very strong hatred for me — they are at least hot, and hot people are good people. They can be transformed; they are not ice-cold.
Those who are hotly in hate with me sooner or later will have become devotees — because you cannot live in hate long. It hurts you. By hating me you cannot love me. Zareen, you are right, it doesn't matter at all to me. If the whole world hates me, it doesn't matter, it makes no difference. I remain in my absolute bliss.
My bliss cannot be affected by people's hatred, opposition. But think of those people who are living in hatred — they are torturing themselves, they are hurting themselves, they are wounding themselves. How long can they go on doing it? Sooner or later their wounds would like to heal. And sooner or later, their very heated antagonism itself will turn into a passionate love.
I am reminded, of a beautiful story:
A Sufi mystic wrote a book on the Koran. It was opposed by all the authorities, by the official religion. They banned it, they made it a crime to read it. It was sacrilegious, they thought, dangerous, because he was interpreting the Koran in such a way as nobody had ever interpreted it. He was going against the tradition.
He called his chief disciple, gave him the book, and told him to go the chief priest and present the book to him — and watch everything. "Whatsoever happens, you have to report it correctly. So be very alert: whatsoever happens…when you give the book as a present, how he reacts, what he does, what he says, remember accurately because you have to report the whole scene. And let me tell you," the master told him, "that this is a kind of test for you. It is not only the question of giving the book to the chief priest and coming back; the whole point is reporting everything as it happens."
The man went, very alert, very cautious. Entering into the house of the chief priest, he made himself very alert, shook his body, because everything had to be observed minutely. Then he went in.
As he presented the book to the chief priest and told the name of his master, the priest threw the book out of the house, onto the road, and said, "Why didn't you tell me before that this is from that dangerous man? I would not even have touched it. I will have to wash my hands now. It is a sin to touch his book!"
The wife of the chief priest was sitting by his side. She said, "You are being unnecessarily hard on the poor man. He has not done any harm to you. Even if you wanted to throw the book, you could have thrown it later on. And I don't see the point in throwing it because you have a big library — thousands of books are there; this book can also be kept in the library. If you don't want to read it, there is no need to read it. But you could have done at least one thing: you could have thrown it afterwards, washed your hands, taken a bath, or whatsoever you wanted to do — but why are you hurting this poor man?"
The man went back, told the master the whole thing as it happened, in minute detail. The master asked, "What is your reaction, then?"
The man said, "My reaction is that the wife of the chief priest is a very religious woman. I felt much respect for her. And the chief priest is simply ugly — I wanted to cut his throat!"
The master said, "Now listen: I am more interested in the chief priest — he can be converted because he is hot. If he can be so full of hate, he can also be so full of love, because it is the same energy that becomes hate or love. Love standing upside-down is hate — love doing shirshasana, a headstand, is hate. But it is very easy to put a man back on his feet. As far as the wife is concerned, she is cold, ice-cold. I have no hope for her; she cannot be converted."
I totally agree with the Sufi master. Those who are against me, why are they against me? Their hearts are stirred. Something has started happening to them, and they don't want it to happen. It is risky. I have started influencing their lives and they don't want to go with me.
Their whole investment is against it. They want to avoid me, and they see that they cannot avoid me — they are becoming heated up. Hence the hatred; hence they are inventing all kinds of lies. But I have great hope for these people — in fact, I love these people. Sooner or later they are going to end up with me.
The real problem is with those people who are indifferent, ice-cold, neither for nor against. I would like to divide the whole humanity into two camps: the friends and the enemies. And the more friends I have the more enemies are bound to be there. There is a certain balance in it; in life everything balances. If you have so many friends, you are bound to have so many enemies; otherwise the balance will be lost. If you have more friends, you will have more enemies; the balance has to be kept. Life continuously balances itself.
I watch the whole scene and enjoy it.
You need not be worried about it. But I can understand your concern.
You say, "There is so much nonsense about your teachings and the activities of your ashram in the press recently…."
There will be more and more every day, because more and more people are going to come to me. Millions are on the way. And the more people become interested in me and the work that is going on here, the more and more people become involved in it, the more and more people will be against it — a kind of balance. It is how things happen in the world; it is a natural phenomenon.
And all kinds of nonsense is bound to be told, because the people who are against have never been here. If they had been here they would have not been against, so they live on rumors. And negative things have a way of their own: they spread more easily, faster, quicker, because the whole of humanity lives in negativity.
For example, just the other day I received a letter from Canada saying that the Canadian government is becoming concerned, very much concerned, about my sannyasins and the people coming to me from Canada. And they are seriously inquiring into the whole phenomenon, because they are afraid that my commune may turn into another Jonestown. Now, I feel happy, because when governments become concerned that means something is happening. When a faraway country becomes so much concerned that they are thinking of sending a team to investigate the whole phenomenon, that mean things are on the way, that I am becoming some kind of disturbance to them. I must be popping up in their dreams.
And on what grounds are they becoming so much afraid? Because one American sannyasin committed suicide, another American sannyasin went mad. These two instances are enough…. Now, Americans are all mad! And have you seen an American who has never pondered the possibility of committing suicide? The psychologists say that every American, at least four times in his life, thinks of committing suicide. The greatest rate of suicide is in America.
Out of one hundred thousand sannyasins, one sannyasin commits suicide — that is enough! And that too an American sannyasin. What else were you expecting from an American sannyasin? Another American goes mad…it is absolutely normal! But the negative catches our attention immediately. How many Americans have gone sane, nobody bothers. And how many Americans have been prevented from committing suicide, nobody counts. They will never be counted.
And journalists, the press, and other media, they are also only interested in the negative things. Unless you do something wrong, you are not news. George Bernard Shaw says: If a dog bites a man, it is not news. But if a man bites a dog, it is news.
Something is newsworthy only if it is outlandish, if it is eye-catching.
You can go on doing a thousand and one things and nobody will take any note. Do only one thing wrong and the whole world suddenly becomes interested in you.
And then people are very inventive. When you tell a rumor to a person you add something to it. People are creative! And when that person shares the rumor with somebody else, do you think he will share it exactly as you told him? He will give it a new color, a little more depth, a little larger dimension. He will make it more attractive, he will exaggerate it. And it goes on and on from mouth to mouth.
Rumors have a way of spreading, and everybody contributes to them. They don't have anything that relates to the facts. But this is how it always happens. And then it continues…. I will be gone and the rumors will continue, and they will go on increasing. They become independent forces; they go on growing.
I have heard:
God has the blues. Saint Peter suggests a trip to Earth to pick up a nice Greek girl, possibly in the old swan suit. God says, "No. As long as I stuck to those Greek girls it was alright. But once I made the mistake of knocking up a Jewish girl, two thousand years ago, and I'll be damned if they aren't still talking about it!"
Rumors go on and on…. And what they are doing to me is nothing uncommon; it is expected. They have always done such things to Jesus, to Socrates, to Mansoor, to Buddha, to Kabir. If they don't do these things to me, that will be a surprise. In fact, I will not feel good if they don't do these things to me. I would like to be counted with the buddhas — and that is the only way!
Jesus decided to return to earth. He had seen that in America there was a resurgence of Jesus freaks and born-again baptists, so he thought it was a good time to come. He brought Peter along with him.
When he came to Earth he made the announcement that he was Jesus, the Son of God. No one would believe him; they thought he was some kind of nut. So Jesus asked Peter, "How can I get them to believe me, to convince them that I am the true savior?"
Peter said, "Remember that trick you did in Galilee, when you walked across the water? I bet that would work."
So they made a press announcement that tomorrow Jesus would walk on water. On the next day, the television and newspapers were at the lake to watch Jesus walk on water. Jesus and Peter arrived and rowed out to the middle of the lake, then Jesus climbed over the side of the boat and immediately sank. When he came back up, Peter, in shock, asked, "What happened? Why did you sink?"
"Shut up, you fool!" said Jesus. "The last time I did this I didn't have these damned holes in my feet!"
Things are more difficult than they were in the time of Jesus and Buddha! But I am enjoying, I am having a good time. Zareen, don't be worried at all. My suggestion is: you should enjoy it.
You say, "It somehow infuriates me because it seems so far from the actual facts."
Don't feel infuriated, don't feel angry — that won't help. My people have to learn to laugh at all these stupid things that are bound to become more and more intense. As my work deepens, more and more nonsense rumors will go around — which will have nothing to do with the facts. Or, even if they have something to do with the facts, they will distort them.
People are going to invent many kinds of stories. If you become infuriated, in a way you help them. That's what they want. That's what they want! — that if my people become infuriated, angry, then they can crush, destroy you. And, certainly, they can crush and they can destroy you. My people are very few, a chosen few.
Don't feel infuriated; otherwise you will be playing into their hands. When such things come to your notice, have a good laugh. Learn to laugh — respond with laughter! Laughter has to be your protection. And your laughter will make them look stupid. When somebody says something against me, have a good laugh. Pat him on the back, hug him! Give him a good kiss!
That's what Jesus means, really: love your enemies. But I know, it is easy to love your enemies — it is more difficult to love your neighbors. So I say, just as Jesus says, again: Love your neighbors. They are the same people! Hug your neighbors; don't just go on loving them spiritually — express it. When somebody is saying some nonsense thing about me, express your love. Let him feel puzzled — let him feel either he is mad or you are mad. He will never be able to figure it out, what happened — why you hugged him. He was not saying such nice things about your master…why did you hug him? That might give him a longing to come and see the master too. When the disciple is doing such a thing it is worth taking the trouble to go and see what is happening there.
No need to be angry.
And you say, "Letters in response to the contrary are not being published."
They will not be published, because the newspapers, the television, the radio, they are in the hands of the vested interests. They will publish everything that is against me, because some newspaper is owned by a Hindu, some newspaper is owned by a Jaina, some newspaper is owned by a Mohammedan, some newspaper is owned by a Christian — and all the newspapers are owned by different kinds of politicians. Your letters will not be published. These things have to be taken for granted.
You say, "Now, I know this must make no difference whatsoever to you. Is this then what Jesus means when he says to turn the other cheek?"
Yes, that's exactly what Jesus means. That's the best way to transform people, to convert people. The best possible way to convert people to your own way is to give the other cheek. Love them. Laugh at their nonsensical statements. Enjoy their rumors. Make jokes out of them, and make them puzzled.
If you can do that much, you are doing my work,
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1