Question – Beloved Osho, What is the goal of Life? Why is there a desire to continue to Live forever?
Osho – There is no goal of life, for the simple reason that life is its own goal. The goal is intrinsic, not something outside; not there, far away, but herenow, in this very moment. The very idea of goal is future-oriented.
The moment you start living for a goal you stop living in the present, in the immediate. The goal becomes more important. Tomorrow becomes more important, and you have to sacrifice today for tomorrow; and the trouble is, tomorrow never comes, has never come, is not going to come ever.
But you go on sacrificing your today — which is your only treasure, which is all that you have got. You risk that which you have for that which is only a mind desire. But the society, culture, civilization, religions — they have all conditioned the mind of human beings to live for ideals, goals, to go on sacrificing the real for some imaginary paradise, future life, eternity, God. All these names mean only one thing: Don’t live now.
All the cultures and all the civilizations and all the religions are against the “now” — and now is the only reality. Wherever you are, whenever you are, it is always now. Except “now” there is nothing existential. The word “goal” is very dangerous. It is suicidal to have a goal. Without your awareness you are being sacrificed for something which is never going to happen.
Life in itself is enough — it needs no goals. That’s why there is this urge, this desire, this tremendous lust to live and to live forever. It has nothing to do with you; it is your very life. This is not being taught to you; you are born with this desire. This desire is your gift from existence itself.
If you listen to this desire and if you stop listening to all kinds of religious nonsense, you will be a new man, really alive. Yes, life has a tremendous power, and it wants to expand. It wants to live as intensely and totally as possible. And this is not going to happen some other day. If it is going to happen it can happen only now: Now or never.
But it is not happening now because your minds are tethered to some future goal: you have to achieve heaven and you have to achieve the realization of God. All bogus words, meaningless jargon, but because they have been repeated so often for thousand of years it sounds as if those words have some content in them.
You cannot find a more hollow word than “God” — with no content in it at all, with no meaning in it at all. When I was reading the book, WAITING FOR GODOT, I thought perhaps Godot is a German word for God. I asked Haridas; Haridas said, “No, Godot is not German for `god’; the German is GOTT.”
I said, “My God! that is even worse. `Godot’ is far better!”
But Godot or God or Gott, one thing is certain, you are never going to get it. And these Germans are thinking they have gott! Nobody has ever found God. People have been lying, and in the name of God lying becomes easier because the name of God becomes a protective umbrella.
In the court you have to take the oath in the name of God — this world is certainly insane — in the name of the greatest lie. The oath is being taken all over the world, in all the courts: “I am going to speak truth.”
When I was in a court I simply refused; I said, “I can take the oath in anybody’s name — in the name of the furniture, in the name of electricity — but I cannot take the oath in the name of God because God is the greatest lie. And you are making me tell a lie at the very beginning.”
But people are conditioned to live for hypothetical things. It is a strategy of all those people who want to exploit you. The priest cannot exploit you if God is not the goal of life. The politician cannot exploit you if the classless society is not the goal of life. If democracy, freedom, if these are not the goals of life then how is the politician going to manipulate you?
You simply say, “My goal is to live, and to live joyously, and to live today — because tomorrow is uncertain. It may come, it may not come; and I am not a gambler. And life is so valuable that I cannot postpone it.” If the whole of humanity decides to live herenow then the second thing will disappear: the desire to live forever.
Let me explain it to you, why there is this second thing, to live forever. It is because you are missing life, you are not living it. You are thirsty for it, you are hungry for it, you are starved. Naturally, in this starving, hungry and thirsty state, life starts thinking of living forever — because for what is not happening today you have to create a tomorrow.
And you see that it is not happening. Even tomorrows come and go; tomorrows go on becoming yesterdays and it is not happening, not happening. Childhood becomes youth, youth becomes old age — and it has not happened.
When I was a small child, one of my father’s friends was very loving towards me. He was a very well-known scholar, and I used to ask him all kinds of questions because my father used to refer me to him: “You ask Pandit Dada.” Pandit means a great scholar, dada means big brother. He was older than my father so he used to call him dada; he was known all over the area as Pandit Dada.
So I would ask him all kinds of questions, and essentially his answer was always the same: “When you become a little older then you will know; you are too young.”
I said, “Remember, because one day I am going to become older. How long can you deceive me? I know that you don’t have the answer. If you have the answer, please give me the answer. Whether I understand or not, that is my problem, not your problem. Your problem is to give me the answer. Even if it takes years for me to understand it, I will wait, but please give me the answer.”
He would say, “You will not understand — you just wait. First you have to be at least mature.”
I said, “Okay.”
Every year I went on asking the same question. I went from the school to the college, but whenever I would come in the holidays to my home, I would repeat the questions; and now he started becoming shaky. I said, “Now how long do I have to wait?”
I graduated from the university; I won the gold medal for the whole state. I came to him and said, “Now what do you want? I have come first class — first in the whole state — in my postgraduation. Is the time right?”
He said to me, “Please forgive me, I was lying all the time. But you are stubborn! I have done this to many people; they forget. They become so much involved in so many things — who bothers about childhood questions? “You are strange — the same questions you go on persisting in year after year, and I have been hoping that you will forget, but it doesn’t seem to happen.”
I said, “Now you tell me the truth: Do you have any answers? — because now you are almost beyond eighty; death is not far away. Do you have the answers?”
He said, “I don’t have any answers. I have been deceiving myself by deceiving others. People believed in me, and because so many people believed in me I started believing in myself.”
It is a reciprocal thing. When so many people believe in you, it results in a very strange conclusion: you start believing in yourself, for the simple reason that if you are not right, then how can so many people believe in you?
Each leader needs thousands of people in order to be convinced that he is a capable leader. Just take the followers away and you will see the leader disappearing; you will see just an ordinary person — perhaps below average or retarded. But when thousands of people are behind you, believing that you have eyes — they are all blind — you start believing that you have eyes because so many people believe in you.
You forget completely that you don’t know. And these people go on conditioning other people. Parents go on giving their diseases as an inheritance to their children, teachers to their students, professors to their scholars.
I was continually insisting to my teachers, to my professors, to my vice-chancellors, “I don’t want a bookish answer. That I can find in the library, I don’t need you for that. I want your personal experience. Have you experienced anything that you can go on teaching?”
And I have seen their embarrassed faces, their empty eyes, their empty souls. Yes, they are full of rubbish, all kinds of doctrines, creeds, cults. If you want them to give you a sermon then they can give you a sermon, a beautiful sermon, on the ultimate goal of life.
And the truth is, life is only immediate; there is nothing ultimate. But the vested interests cannot live without the ultimate. They have to convince you to sacrifice your life for some imaginary idea. The idea can be democracy, the idea can be communism, the idea can be fascism, the idea can be Christianity, the idea can be Hinduism; it does not matter.
But something far away …. All along the way you have to go on sacrificing that which is real for something unreal; and in the end comes death, no goal. Because of this situation — that you have been told to sacrifice your life — there is a hunger for eternal life. Otherwise each single moment is so blissful — who cares to live forever? For what? If this moment is fulfilled, if you are contented, you don’t need even a next moment.
If it comes, good; if it does not come, even better — because you have lived, you have tasted the nectar of life. Now what more can the next moment give to you? You have squeezed the juice of life so totally, you have not left anything for the moment that is going to follow. Yes, you will live it too; you will squeeze again, you will have another drink, but the desire for life to continue forever will disappear absolutely.