The Osho Life Essentials series focuses on questions specific to our inner life and quality of existence, for example: Is it possible to have an authentic spirituality without a belief in God? What is meditation and how does it work? What can I do as an individual to make the world a better place?
Each volume contains timeless and always-contemporary investigations and discussions into questions vital to our personal search for meaning and purpose.
Osho Life Essentials
Power, Politics, and Change takes on the conventional wisdom that “power corrupts” and proposes instead that those who seek power are already corrupt: Once they attain their goal, their corruption simply has the opportunity to express itself. That’s why even those who seek power in order to bring about radical change so often fail, despite their best intentions.
Osho looks at where this “will to power” comes from, how it expresses itself not only in political institutions, but in our everyday relationships. In the process, he offers a vision of relationships and society based not on power over others, but on a recognition of the uniqueness of every individual.
‘Change yourself, and in this very change you have changed a part of the world.’
1 The Varieties of Power
2. Now or Never
3. The Power of Politics and Religion
4. The Challenge of Change
5 What can I do?
Excerpt from Power, Politics, and Change
The real man of intelligence will not cling to any ideology -- for what? He will not carry a load of readymade answers. He knows that he has enough intelligence so that whatever situation arises, he will be able to respond to it. Why carry an unnecessary load from the past? What is the point of carrying it?
And in fact the more you carry from the past, the less you will be able to respond to the present, because the present is not a repetition of the past, it is always new, always always new. It is never the old; it may sometimes appear like the old, but it is not old, there are basic differences.
Life never repeats itself. It is always fresh, always new, always growing, always exploring, always moving into new adventures. Your old readymade answers are not going to help you. In fact they will hinder you; they will not allow you to see the new situation.
In these times of uncertainty, the best - and the worst - seem to come out in people. Would you comment on this?
There are no "times of uncertainty" because time is always uncertain. It is the difficulty with the mind: mind wants certainty -- and time is always uncertain.
So when just by coincidence mind finds a small space of certainty, it feels settled: a kind of illusory permanence surrounds it. It tends to forget the real nature of existence and life, it starts living in a kind of dream world; it starts mistaking appearance for reality. It feels good to the mind because mind is always afraid of change for the simple reason: who knows what change will bring -- good or bad? One thing is certain, that change will unsettle your world of illusions, expectations, dreams.
Mind is just like a child playing on the seashore, making palaces in the sand. For a moment it seems that the palace is ready -- but it is made of shifting sands. Any moment just a small breeze, and it will be shattered to pieces. But we start living in that dream palace. We start feeling that we have found something which is going to remain with us always.
But time continuously goes on disturbing the mind. It looks hard but it is really very compassionate of existence to always remain with you. It does not allow you to make realities out of appearances. It does not give you a chance to accept masks as your real face, your original face.
So whenever time strikes one of your cherished illusions, it feels that it brings out the worst and the best in peoples' lives. It simply brings out what was hidden behind the false permanence, behind a dream that you had taken for granted to be real. It simply takes away your mask. It has nothing to do with good or bad, better or worse -- it simply takes away your mask. It simply exposes you, it brings you to face yourself, so whatever you have been repressing starts surfacing. It can be the worst, it can be the best.
Time has nothing to do with these categories. It simply allows your repressed to surface, it brings you to yourself.
Most of the people are hiding the worst. It is very rare to find a person who is hiding the best -- why should he hide the best? People are even pretending to show themselves in the best of colors -- why should they hide the best? People simply hide the worst, thinking that it is ugly.
A change -- and your mask slips. A change -- and you are for a moment... suddenly you find yourself naked. You have lost your clothes and the whole reality becomes a mirror: from everywhere your nudity, your nakedness is reflected.
Yes, very rarely, very exceptionally it also happens that the best comes out. But the best comes out only in those people who don't have a mask, who are already naked, and who have already accepted their nudity as beautiful and natural. So the change in time cannot destroy anything in them; on the contrary, it enhances. It brings to light something which they may have forgotten, others may have forgotten. We tend to take things for granted.
So, only in a few exceptional cases where a person has been living innocently, without any hypocrisy, where a person is living knowing perfectly that nothing is certain here, and nothing is permanent.... And to expect these things is to create grounds for your own frustrations in the future -- it is sowing seeds of despair, of anguish, of anxiety.
If you accept that change is the nature of reality, and everything is going to change; if you know it moment to moment, that the next moment may bring something totally new and whatever is so real in this moment will disperse like a cloud -- which was here a moment ago and now is no longer here.... If this awareness is there, then any change does not create difficulty, then every change is acceptable.
You do not resist it, you do not want it to be otherwise. Even if it takes you and your beautiful dreams, your cherished desires, your half-finished palaces, there is no frustration because it was accepted from the very beginning that this can happen at any moment. So there is no conflict, there is no frustration in reality. You are at ease.
Hence I say there are no times of difficulties, no times of uncertainties. Time is change, is always changing. It is just that we go on making permanent things. Against time, we are going to be defeated -- and we are at fault. And when we are defeated, naturally we are angry, we are frustrated with existence itself. We lose our trust. It seems that everything is against us, and we start living in paranoia, in fear -- a certain spiritual trembling enters into our being.
But this happens because we have been expecting something which is not part of reality. Existence has no obligation to fulfill our expectations. And then mostly the worst comes out, because that is what we had hidden behind a certain idea of permanency. We were living with the idea that this was going to last forever; now there is no need to change. And then suddenly the whole earth disappears from under our feet -- and naturally the worst comes out in people.
The best is also possible, but it is possible only if you have been living in tune with life, existence, without asking any favors. And we are always asking favors. If we are not asking any favors then there is no frustration, no anger.
For example, many who have been with me have felt great frustration with life itself because they worked hard, they put their whole energy into creating a beautiful dream, and as they were almost getting it finished -- just the finishing touches were to be done -- suddenly the whole thing disappears. They will feel angry, disgusted, against the whole of existence -- but it is simply our own doing.
I am not frustrated -- I have not even looked back for a single moment. Those were beautiful years, we lived beautifully, and it is the nature of existence: things change. What can we do? So we are trying to make something else -- that will also change. Nothing is permanent here. Except change, everything changes. ...
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