Question – Beloved Osho, Please talk about the Misuse of Power.

Osho – Shantam Divyama, there is the famous statement of an English philosopher: “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I do not agree with him. My analysis is totally different. Everybody is full of violence, greed, anger, passion — but has no power; so he remains a saint. To be violent you need to be powerful. To fulfill your greed you need to be powerful. To satisfy your passions you need to be powerful.

So when power happens into your hands, all your sleeping dogs start barking. Power becomes a nourishment to you, an opportunity. It is not that power corrupts, you are corrupted. Power only brings your corruption into the open. You wanted to kill somebody, but you had not the power to kill; but if you have the power, you will kill.

It is not power that corrupts you, corruption you carry within yourself; power simply gives you the opportunity to do whatever you want to do. Power in the hands of a man like Gautam Buddha will not corrupt; on the contrary, it will help humanity to raise its consciousness. Power in the hands of Genghis Khan destroys people, rapes women, burns people alive. Whole villages are burnt — people are not allowed to get out. It is not power… this man Genghis Khan must have been carrying all these desires in him.

It is almost like when rain comes, different plants start growing; but different plants have different flowers. Whatever is hidden in your seeds, whatever is your potentiality, power gives you a chance — because most human beings are living so unconsciously that when they come to power all their unconscious instincts have a chance to be fulfilled. Then they don’t care whether it kills people, whether it poisons people…. You are asking me about the misuse of power. Power is misused because you have desires which are ugly, which are an inheritance from the animals.

In a better world the first things should be…. We waste almost one third of life in educating our children. In that one third of life, some time should be given to cleanse their unconscious; so by the time they graduate from their university, and they have some power somewhere — somebody will become a police commissioner, somebody will become a governor, somebody will become a prime minister — if they do not have anything in their unconscious that is poisonous, destructive, then power cannot be misused. Who is going to misuse it? Power is neutral.

My sannyasins in Italy have been trying for one year for a tourist visa for me, just for three weeks. And it has taken one year for the authorities, and they still have not been able to decide. Finally, a few days ago, a letter came: after one year the old application has become useless, a new application is needed.

They had filled in the application, I had signed the application, and just yesterday the Italian ambassador informed me that I have been given a ten day tourist visa — but there are conditions. I have never heard that tourist visas are given with conditions. The conditions are: “To report on what date, at what time, from which airport you will leave India and on what date, at what time, at what airport you will land in Italy; and the same for the return.

“In Italy, whichever city you are in, you should appear at the police station first, and inform them how long you are going to stay in the city. And before leaving the city you should go again to the police station, to inform them that you are leaving the city. Next city, again you have to go to the police station.”
I have told Anando to write a letter to the prime minister of Italy: “Just a few months ago you were in India. How many conditions were put on you? And in how many police stations did you appear? And do you think I am a murderer, or a terrorist, or I am carrying bombs and dynamite?

“Let us know when you are coming back to India, so that we can give you a really good welcome. And I refuse to step in your land unless you apologize for making these conditions. It took you one year to figure out all these conditions; and then too you have not given the visa for three weeks, just for ten days. Ordinarily the visa is given for three months — and nobody has ever heard that such conditions have to be followed.”

I have told Anando to write to him that, “It seems Benito Mussolini has not died yet. Your country is not a democratic country, it is still fascist. These conditions indicate, without any doubt, a fascist mind.

“So I will come to Italy if you apologize publicly; or I will come to Italy when you are no longer in power. And my people in Italy will try in every way to ensure that you are no longer in power. Just let the new election come, because I have thousands of sannyasins in Italy; and this is an insult to my thousands of sannyasins in Italy.

“The pope comes to India, and the president the prime minister go to receive him at the airport; and he is not asked to appear at the police station in every city. And he himself has been here. But next time, if you come here as prime minister, then just inform us at what time and at what airport you are landing, so that we can reply to you about your conditions.”

These people are not corrupted by power. These people are corrupted; power simply brings their corruption into action. Power in itself is neutral. In a good man’s hand it will be a blessing. In an unconscious man’s hand it is going to be a curse. But for thousands of years we have condemned power, without thinking that power has not to be condemned; people have to be cleaned of all the ugly instincts that are hiding within them, because everybody is going to have some kind of power or other.

It does not have to be great power. You may be just sitting in a railway station selling tickets, but that too gives you power. You are standing at the window, and the man does not even look at you. He goes on turning his file — and you can see that he is not concerned with the file, he simply wants to show you your place. Even the peon sitting outside the collector’s office behaves as if he is the president of the country — so it is not a question of where you are. Wherever you are, you will have some kind of power.

Aurangzeb, one of India’s Mohammedan emperors, was so impatient that he could not wait for his father to die, or to become old, so that he could succeed him. He imprisoned his own father, and became the emperor of the country. His father had remained busy all his life. Now, sitting in the prison cell, he sent a message to his son: “At least arrange thirty boys, so that I can teach them the holy KORAN.”

And the comment that Aurangzeb made to his courtiers is very significant. He said, “That old man does not want to lose power. Now he is no longer the emperor. But thirty students… teaching them the holy KORAN, he will again have the power over those small children.”

Psychologists say that people who are afraid of competing in life and becoming powerful, choose a simpler way: they become teachers in schools. Small children… and you can harass them, beat them, although it is illegal — but it happens all over the country.

Just the other day I was reading a report that there are cases found… but the government goes on hiding those facts. For the first time it has been accepted, because it has become too much, that teachers have hit the children so hard that they have become deaf for their whole lives. One boy… his own father chained him; almost for ten years he remained chained, tied to a pillar in the house. He has almost become like an animal. He cannot stand up, he can only move on all fours; and because he was forced to live in darkness, he has lost his eyesight.

Even parents use power. Teachers use power, husbands use power, wives use power. It does not matter where you are. If mankind comes to understand the deep psychological roots and changes man’s unconscious so that there are no seeds, power can go on raining but there will be no flowers of corruption. Otherwise power is going to be misused always. And you cannot take power from people’s hands; somebody must be a mother, somebody must be a father, somebody must be a teacher.

The only way is, to cleanse people’s unconscious with meditation, fill their inner being with light. It is only meditation that gives you a clean heart, which cannot be corrupted. Then power can never be misused, then power can be a blessing — it is going to be creative. Then you are going to do something to make life more lovable, more livable; to make existence a little more beautiful. But that great day has not yet arrived, and to make an effort for that great day to arrive, all the power — addicted people are going to be against you. It has been again and again asked of me, “Why is the whole world against you?”

They are all power-addicted people, and I am trying to make man a pool of serenity — peace and silence and love and ecstasy.

Source – Osho Book “The Razor’s Edge”

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