Osho - A Philosopher and Spiritual Teacher

Is It Possible To Be Honest, Intelligent, Religious, And Yet Be In Politics?

Osho contends that being honest, intelligent, religious, and in politics simultaneously is implausible.

It is impossible. It is absolutely impossible, categorically impossible. If you are intelligent, why should you be in politics? It is for the stupid, for the mediocre.

The intelligent person will have much more important things to do. The intelligent person will not be interested in dominating others. His whole interest will be in knowing himself. To dominate the other is a way of escaping from one’s own inner meaninglessness, inner emptiness, inner hollowness. It is an escape from oneself. The intelligent person is not an escapist.

Politics is an escape, a great escape. It keeps you so occupied, day in, day out, that you cannot find even a few minutes for yourself. Even when you sleep you think politics; it continues in your dreams. To be a politician is a twenty-four hour job. You cannot relax because if you relax you will be left behind. It is a tooth-and-nail struggle, it is a cut-throat competition. It is pure violence.

Why should an intelligent person be in politics? And how can an honest person ever be in politics? Honesty does not pay in politics. And even if sometimes a politician is honest, he is honest only if it pays, not for honesty’s sake. The proverb that ‘honesty is the best policy’ must have been invented by a politician. Even honesty becomes a policy! How can honesty be a policy?

Honesty is religion, not a policy. Honesty is your heart, not a policy. It is not that you are honest to gain something; you are honest for the sheer joy of being honest. You are honest even if you have to lose everything; it is worth losing everything. Honesty can never be a policy, but politics makes everything a policy. An honest person and in politics? Impossible!

The politician named Strange lay on his deathbed. His lawyer was summoned.

“As an epitaph, on my tombstone,” he gasped, “I only want to have the words, ‘Here lies an honest politician’.”

The lawyer protested, “How will people know who’s buried under that stone?”

The old man nodded wisely. “Don’t worry,” he advised. “Folks will take one look at those words and they’ll all say, ‘That’s strange!'”

Strange was the name of the politician….

Honesty needs guts. It needs you to expose yourself as you are. It needs the courage to be naked. The politician cannot do that. He has to wear masks, he cannot be naked. He has to fulfill the expectations of the masses, so whatsoever you want he pretends to be that. Whatsoever you want, he is ready-to promise it. He goes on promising contradictory things to different people; his promise means nothing. He goes on pretending different games and different roles.

If he goes to the Mohammedans he starts reciting the Koran. If he goes to the Hindus he quotes the Gita. If he goes to the Christians he pretends to be a lover of the Bible. And all this is just pseudo: neither does he love the Gita nor the Vedas nor the Bible nor the Koran — he loves only his ego, and he is ready to do anything, whatsoever is required, to fulfill his ego. And you know it, and the whole  world knows it.

And the whole world complains about these politicians, but somehow man is so stupid that if he gets out of the clutches of one politician, immediately he enters into the cage of another. People go on complaining, but still they go on falling victims to the same type of people — not a bit of difference.

Man has to be freed from his stupid mind; only then will he be free of the politicians. Hence politicians don’t want you to be intelligent. They are very much against creating intelligence in people. For thousands of years they did not allow people to be educated because that was dangerous. Now they allow people to be educated, but the education is such that it does not make you intelligent. On the contrary, it makes you less intelligent.

When the child enters the school he is far more intelligent than when he comes back from the university. Those twenty years will destroy much that was immensely valuable. The real diamonds will be lost and he will carry just words, jargon, theories, knowledge. He will have sold his intelligence and he will have brought home just dead knowledge, dead weight, dead wood, and he will live with that knowledge his whole life. Still, we don’t have an educational system which helps people to become intelligent.

That’s why all over the world in all the universities there is great ferment, great rebellion. It is a good sign: it simply indicates that the young people of the world are becoming more and more alert that what is called education is not education but a kind of conditioning, a hypnosis. The older generation tries to mould the mind of the new generation. The teacher is just an agent of the older generation. The teacher is respected by the older generation because he is the agent: he corrupts the minds of the new, but the corruption is done with such skill that you will not become aware unless you are really alert, watchful.

Excerpted from The Guest/Courtesy Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com




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