OSHO ON CROWD AND PERSONALITY THE SOLITARY LION AND HIS TREMENDOUSLY BEAUTIFUL ROAR
Every crowd is a motley crowd, but no individual is motley. Every individual is an authentic consciousness. The moment he becomes a part of the crowd, he loses his consciousness; then he is dominated by the collective, mechanical mind. You are asking me what I am doing? I am doing a simple thing - bringing out individuals from the motley crowds, giving them their individuality and dignity. I don’t want any crowds in the world. Whether they have gathered in the name of religion, or in the name of nationality, or in the name of race, it does not matter. The crowd as such is ugly, and the crowd has committed the greatest crimes in the world, because the crowd has no consciousness. It is a collective unconsciousness. Consciousness makes one an individual - a solitary pine tree dancing in the wind, a solitary sunlit mountain peak in its utter glory and beauty, a solitary lion and his tremendously beautiful roar that goes on echoing for miles in the valleys. The crowd is always of sheep; and all the efforts of the past have been to convert every individual into a cog in the wheel, into a dead part of a dead crowd. The more unconscious he is and the more his behavior is dominated by the collectivity, the less dangerous he is. In fact, he becomes almost harmless. He cannot destroy even his own slavery. On the contrary, he starts glorifying his own slavery - his religion, his nation, his race, his color. These are his slaveries, but he starts glorifying them. As an individual he belongs to no crowd. Every child is born as an individual, but rarely does a man die as an individual. My work is to help you meet your death with the same innocence, with the same integrity, with the same individuality as you have met your birth. Between your birth and your death your dance should remain a conscious, solitary reaching to the stars; alone, uncompromising - a rebellious spirit. Unless you have a rebellious spirit, you don’t have a spirit at all. There is no other kind of spirit available. And you can rest assured that I am not going to stop! That’s my only joy - to make as many people as possible free from their bondages, dark cells, their handcuffs, their chains; to bring them into light, so they can also know the beauties of this planet, the beauty of this sky, the beauties of this existence. Other than that, there is no God, and no God’s temple. In freedom you can enter the temple. In a collectivity, in a crowd, you simply go on clinging to the corpses of the past. A man living according to the crowd has stopped living. He is simply following like a robot.
Perhaps robots are also a little bit more individual than the so-called individual in the crowd.because just now in Japan there are one hundred thousand robots - mechanical men - working in the factories. Suddenly, within these two months, a strange phenomenon is happening. The government is worried, the scientists are worried, and they have not been able to find any explanation. Up to now the robots have been working silently; nobody had ever thought that they would suddenly start a rebellion. But ten people have been killed within two months. A robot is working - and a robot works according to a computer, according to a pre-programmed plan; he cannot go in any way that is different from the program that has been fed into it. But, strangely enough, these ten robots suddenly stopped working, got hold of some man who was around, and just killed him. The figure of ten men being killed is from the government - it cannot be true. No government speaks the truth. My own experience is that it is always good to multiply all the figures given by the government by at least ten. If they are saying ten persons have died, one hundred persons must have died, or more. They are trying to pacify the masses - “Don’t be worried, we will find what went wrong.” But they have no idea. In fact, any act that is not programmed into the computer, the robot is not capable of doing - and these were not the programs. The robots showed some sign of freedom, they showed some sign of individuality, some indication of rebellion. Computers cannot answer any new questions. They can answer only questions for which information has already been given to them. Naturally they don’t have any intelligence, they have only a memory system, a filing system which records. Of course, they are perfect in their efficiency. No man can be that perfect, once in a while you forget. And it is absolutely necessary, for life to go on, to forget most of the unnecessary things that are happening every day - otherwise your memory system will be too loaded. But the computer is a mechanism. You cannot load it too much, it has no life. I have heard.a man was asking a computer, “Can you tell me where my father is?” He was just joking with the scientist who was working on that great computer, and the computer said, “Your father? He went fishing just three hours ago.” The man laughed and said to the scientist, “You are creating a stupid computer. My father has been dead for three years.” And he was shocked that the computer laughed - for which it was never programmed - and said, “Don’t be gullible. It was not your father who died three years ago, it was only the husband of your mother. Your father has gone fishing three hours ago; you can go to the beach and you will meet him.” Right now this is only a story, but looking at the actual facts happening in Japan, the story takes on a certain reality. But man in the crowd has always behaved blindly. If you pull the same man out of the crowd and ask him, “What were you doing? Can you do it alone, on your own?” he will feel embarrassed. And you will be surprised to hear his answer: “On my own I cannot do such a stupid thing, but when I am in a crowd something strange happens.”
For twenty years I lived in a city which was proportionately divided, half and half, into Hindus and Mohammedans. They were equally powerful, and almost every year riots happened. I used to know a professor in the university where I was teaching. I could never have dreamed that this man could put fire to a Hindu temple; he was such a gentleman - nice, well educated, well cultured. When there was a riot between the Hindus and the Mohammedans I was watching, standing by the roadside. Mohammedans were burning a Hindu temple, Hindus were burning a Mohammedan mosque. I saw this professor engaged in burning the Hindu temple. I pulled him out and I asked, “Professor Farid, what are you doing?”. He became very embarrassed. He said, “I’m sorry, I got lost in the crowd. Because everybody else was doing it, I forgot my own responsibility - everybody else was responsible. I felt for the first time a tremendous freedom from responsibility. Nobody can blame me. It was a Mohammedan crowd, and I was just part of it.” On another occasion, a Mohammedan’s watch shop was being looted. It was the most precious collection of watches. An old Hindu priest.The people who were taking away those watches and destroying the shop - they had killed the shop owner - were all Hindus. An old priest I was acquainted with was standing on the steps and shouting very angrily at the people, “What are you doing? This is against our religion, against our morality, against our culture. This is not right.” I was seeing the whole scene from a bookstore, on the first story in a building just in front of the shop on the other side of the road. The greatest surprise was yet to come. When people had taken every valuable article from the shop.there was only an old grandfather clock left - very big, very antique. Seeing that people were leaving, the old man took that clock on his shoulders. It was difficult for him to carry because it was too heavy. I could not believe my eyes! He had been preventing people, and this was the last item in the shop. I had to come down from the bookstore and stop the priest. I said to him, “This is strange. The whole time you were shouting, ‘This is against our morality! This is against our religion, don’t do it!’ And now you are taking the biggest clock in the shop.” He said, “I shouted enough, but nobody listened. And then finally the idea arose in me that I am simply shouting and wasting my time, and everybody else is getting something. So it is better to take this clock before somebody else gets it, because it was the only item left.” I asked, “But what happened to religion, morality, culture?”
He said this with an ashamed face - but he said it: “When nobody bothers about religion, culture and morality, why should I be the only victim? I am also part of the same crowd. I tried my best to convince them, but if nobody is going to follow the religious and the moral and the right way, then I am not going to be just a loser and look stupid standing there. Nobody even listened to me, nobody took any notice of me.” He carried that clock away. I have seen at least a dozen riots in that city, and I have asked individuals who have participated in arson, in murder, in rape, “Can you do it alone, on your own?” And they all said, without any exception, “On our own we could not do it. It was because so many people were doing it, and there was no responsibility left. We were not answerable, the crowd was answerable.” Man loses his small consciousness so easily into the collective ocean of unconsciousness. That is the cause of all wars, all riots, all crusades, all murders. Individuals have committed very few crimes compared to the crowd. And the individuals who have committed crimes, their reasons are totally different - they are born with a criminal mind, they are born with a criminal chemistry, they need treatment. But the man who commits a crime because he is part of a crowd has nothing that needs to be treated.. All that is needed is that he should be taken out of the crowd. He should be cleaned - he should be cleaned from all bondages, from any kind of collectivity. He should be made an individual again - just as he had come into the world. The crowds must disappear from the world. Only individuals should be left. Then individuals can have meetings, individuals can have communions, individuals can have dialogues. Right now, being part of a crowd, they are not free, not even conscious enough to have a dialogue or a communion. My work is to take individuals out from any crowd, Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, Jew; any political crowd, any racial crowd, any national crowd, Indian, Chinese, Japanese. I am against the crowd and absolutely for the individual, because only the individual can save the world. Only the individual can be the rebel and the new man, the foundation for the future humanity. The teacher is asking three boys in her class, “What was your mother doing when you left for school this morning?” “Doing the washing,” says Tom. “Cleaning the bedroom,” says Dick. “Getting ready to go out and shoot ducks,” says Harry. “What! What are you talking about, Harry?” asked the teacher. “Well miss,” says Harry, “my dad has left home, and she threw her knickers on the fire and said she was going back to the game.” People are imitators. People are not acting on their own grounds; they are reacting. The husband has left her; that brings a reaction in her, a revenge - she is going back to the game. It is not an action out of consciousness, it is not an indication of individuality.
This is how the collective mind functions - always according to somebody else. Either for or against, it does not matter; either conformist or nonconformist, it does not matter. But it always is directed, motivated, dictated by others. Left to himself, he will find himself utterly lost - what to do? I am teaching my people to be meditators, to be people who can enjoy aloneness, to be people who can respect themselves without belonging to any crowd; who are not going to sell their souls for any awards and honors and respectability or prestige that the society can give to them. Their honor, their prestige and their power is within their own being - in their freedom, in their silence, in their love, in their creative action - not in their reaction. What others do is not determinative of their life. Their life springs from within themselves. It has its own roots in the earth and its own branches in the sky. It has its own longing to reach to the stars. Only such a man has beauty, grace. Only such a man has fulfilled the desire of existence to give him birth, to give him an opportunity. Those who remain part of the crowd have missed the train. Osho, The other night during darshan, listening to your answer to Nivedano’s question, I had tears running down my face. For the first time in the seven years I’ve been with you, I could not only intellectually understand, but really feel that to look inside oneself is the only way to find the real treasures of life. Even though I am feeling this so strongly, it doesn’t make it easier to meditate, to look inside. In the past my favorite subject for you to talk about has always been love and relationships. Now, I can’t get enough of hearing you talk about meditation. Beloved Osho, could you please speak about Vipassana meditation? There are hundreds of methods of meditation, but perhaps Vipassana has a unique status; just the same way as there have been thousands of mystics, but Gautam Buddha has a uniqueness of his own. In many ways he is incomparable, in many ways he has done more for humanity than anybody else. In many ways his search for truth was more sincere, more authentic than anybody else’s. Why am I reminded of Gautam Buddha? I am reminded of Gautam Buddha because you have asked a question about Vipassana meditation. That is the meditation through which Gautam Buddha became enlightened. The very wordvipassanain Pali, the language in which Gautam Buddha spoke.he was perfectly acquainted with Sanskrit; as a prince he was well educated in the highest literature of those days. But when he started speaking he never used Sanskrit because Sanskrit was the language of the intellectuals, of the brahmins, of the priests, not of the people. READ MORE