Nobody is born to be a machine

Nobody is born to be a machine

The world treats human beings as machines. No individual is born here to be a machine, but the world robs him of his spiritual being and reduces him into a mechanical entity.
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One of the problems that every human being has to face is the world in which he is born. His being and the intentions of the world don’t go together. The world wants him to serve, to be a slave, to be used by those who are in power. And naturally he resents it. He wants to be himself. The world does not allow anybody to be what he is by nature supposed to be.

The world tries to mold every person into a commodity: useful, efficient, obedient — never rebellious, never asserting itself, never declaring its own individuality, but always being subservient, almost like a robot. The world does not want you to be human beings. It wants you to be efficient machines. The more efficient you are, the more respectable, the more honored.

And this is what creates the problem. No individual is born here to be a machine. It is a humiliation, a degradation; it is taking away his pride and dignity, destroying him as a spiritual being and reducing him into a mechanical entity.

Hence, every child, from the very beginning, as he becomes aware of the intentions of the society, of the parents, of the family, of the educational system, of the nation, of the religion – as he becomes aware, he starts closing himself. He starts becoming defensive, just out of fear, because he has to encounter a tremendous force. And he is so small and so fragile, so vulnerable, so helpless, so dependent on the same people against whom he has to protect himself.

And the problem becomes more complicated because the people he has to protect himself against are the people, who think that they love him. And perhaps they are not lying. Their intentions are good, but their consciousness is missing, they are fast asleep. They don’t know that they are being puppets in the hands of a blind force called the society, the establishment – all the vested interests are together.

The child faces a dilemma. He has to fight against those whom he loves, and he thinks they love him too. But it is strange that the people who love him don’t love him as he is. They say to him, “We will love you, we do love you, but only if you follow the way we are following, if you follow the religion we are following, if you become obedient the way we are obedient.”

If you become part of this vast mechanism, in which you are going to live your whole life fighting against it is simply meaningless, you will be crushed. It is wiser just to surrender and just to learn to say yes, whether you want to or not. Repress your no. In all conditions, in all situations, you are expected to be a yea-sayer. The no is prohibited. The no is the original sin. Disobedience is the original sin – and then the society takes revenge with a great vengeance.

This creates great fear in the child. His whole being wants to assert its potentiality. He wants to be himself because other than that he cannot see any meaning in life. Other than that, he will never be happy, joyous, fulfilled, contented. He will never feel at ease, he will always be in a split. A part, the most intrinsic part of his being, will always feel hungry, thirsty, unfulfilled, incomplete.

But the forces are too big and to fight against them is too risky. Naturally every child, slowly, starts learning to defend himself, to protect himself. He closes all the doors of his being. He does not expose himself to anybody, he simply starts pretending. He starts being an actor. He acts according to the orders given to him. Doubts arise in him, he represses them. His nature wants to assert itself, he represses it. His intelligence wants to say, “This is not right, what are you doing?” He drops being intelligent. It is safer to be retarded, it is safer to be unintelligent.

Anything that brings you in conflict with the vested interests is dangerous. And to open yourself, even to people who are very close, is risky.

Machiavelli, one of the most intelligent persons who has ever walked on the earth, but who misused his intelligence, misused his genius — says in his masterpiece, The Prince, “Don’t say anything, even to your friend, unless you are willing to say it to your enemy; because nobody knows, tomorrow the friend can turn into your enemy. Never say anything against the enemy that you are not ready to say against the friend; because who knows? Tomorrow the enemy may become your friend. Then you will feel embarrassed. So be alert and cautious, take every step thinking of all the pros and cons.”

But this kind of life cannot be a joyous life; it will be cunning, it will be clever. It may achieve comfortable living, luxurious living, it may become successful in the world, but it will not achieve any at-easeness. It will not find any peace with existence, with oneself. Deep down there will remain the child — crushed, crippled, doing everything against his will.

Excerpted from The Rebel by Osho

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.

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