Question – Beloved Osho, you say we are responsible for ourselves, and that there is no god. What part do fate and destiny have in our lives? or are they just excuses to avoid our responsibilities by pinning hope on something outside ourselves?
Osho – They are just excuses and nothing more. There is no fate, no destiny. You are just trying to dump your responsibility on something which does not exist. And because it does not exist, it cannot resist you; it cannot say, Please don’t dump your responsibility on me!” God is silent, you can dump anything on him – no resistance, because there is nobody to resist.
Fate is again the same. You fail in love, you fail in other matters. It hurts, that ”I have failed.” You need some kind of ointment for your wounded heart. Fate is a beautiful ointment, and freely available, you don’t have to pay for it. You say, ”What can I do? – everything is decided by fate.” Success or failure, richness or poverty, sickness or health, life or death – everything is in the hands of an unknown power called fate. ”I am doing my best, still I go on failing. I am following all the moral principles preached to me, still I am poor. And I see all kinds of immoral people becoming richer, getting higher, becoming famous. It is all fate.”
It gives you solace. It gives you solace that you are not reaching your goals. It also gives you solace that if others have reached, there is nothing much in it; it is just decided by fate. So on the one hand, you are saved from feeling inferior; on the other hand, your jealousy enjoys the idea that the successful is successful only because fate has determined it that way: ”It has nothing to do with him, he’s not superior to me.”
God, fate, destiny – they all come in the same category: throwing your responsibility onto something which does not exist. If God existed he would not remain silent. I am continually saying he does not exist. If he existed, it is time – he should have appeared in Rajneeshpuram and announced, ”I am here! Why do you go on saying that I don’t exist?” But he will never come. There have always been people who have denied the existence of God, but he has never made any effort to prove himself.
Simple things…. Edmund Burke, one of the philosophers of the West, stood in the church and said to the priest, ”This is my watch. If God exists – I don’t want big proof, just a simple proof – my watch should stop moving. You pray, your congregation can pray, you do anything that you want to do. Persuade your God to stop my watch, and that will be enough to convert me.”
They prayed – it was a question of the prestige of the whole of Christianity, a single man challenging God. And he was not asking for a big miracle, just a small miracle: ”Stop my watch moving.” And God could not do that. Edmund Burke has proved that there is no God. What an argument! – but simple, clear, relevant. You go on dumping – all over the world – anything that you want to get rid of on God, on fate, on destiny. They are just different names of non-existential things. Certainly you cannot throw your garbage on somebody who is there. There is a limit to patience.
You just try throwing your garbage into the compound of your neighbor. Perhaps for one day he may not say anything; perhaps for two days he may wait – but how long? Sooner or later he is going to grab you by the neck and prove that ”I exist. You cannot go on throwing your garbage in my compound.” But if there is nobody in the house, you can continue to throw the garbage as long as you want. Nobody will resist, nobody will come out and say, ”What is going on? Don’t you have any sense of humanity in you?”
God, fate, destiny – these are bogus words, mumbo jumbo, nothing more than that. Drop them completely, because dropping them will make you an individual, fully responsible for your acts. And unless you take the responsibility on yourself, you will never become strong, you will never become independent, you will never have the taste of freedom.
You can have freedom. But the cost is to accept responsibility in its totality. I have felt such immense freedom that looking at you I feel sad. You have the same opportunity, the same potentiality to blossom into a free individual, but you go on remaining a slave. And the way you manage it is by never being responsible. You think not being responsible makes you free? Not feeling responsible for your actions, for your thoughts, for your being, do you think you are freed from all the consequences? No, absolutely no.
It makes you a slave, it makes you something subhuman. It takes all glory away from you. You cannot walk straight, you become a hunchback. Your intelligence cannot grow because you have not accepted the challenge. You are waiting for fate, for destiny, for God. You are thinking, ”When the time comes – the right time, God willing – I will be blissful too.” There is no God who can will your blissfulness. You are alone in existence.
You come alone, you die alone. Between birth and death, of course you can deceive yourself that someone is with you – your wife, your father, your mother, your husband, your friend – but this is just make-believe. You come alone, you go alone; you are alone between birth and death.
And I am not saying that you cannot love a man or a woman. In fact, when two independent, free people, who take responsibility on their own shoulders, meet, there is immense beauty in it. Nobody is a burden to the other. Nobody is dumping anything onto the other’ you have stopped the very idea of dumping anything. You can be together, but your aloneness remains untouched, pure, crystalclear, virgin. You never trespass each other’s territories. You can enjoy each other just because you are separate.
The more separate you are – the more clearly it is understood that you are alone, she is alone – the more there is a possibility of a great meeting of two alonenesses, two purities, two individuals. Forget words like destiny, fate, kismet, God. And don’t allow yourself to be cheated by astrologers, mind readers, palmists, predictors of your future. There is no future if you don’t create it! And whatsoever is going to be tomorrow is going to be your creation. And it has to be done today, now – because out of today, today’s womb, tomorrow will be born.
Take the responsibility totally on yourselves – that’s my message to you. That’s why I am continuously destroying the God in your mind. I have nothing against him. How can I have anything against him? – he does not exist! Do you think I am wasting my time fighting with something which does not exist? No, I am fighting with your conditionings; they exist. God does not exist, but an idea of God exists in you, and I am fighting with that idea, telling you to drop it, be clean, and take the whole responsibility.
This is my experience: the day I took my whole responsibility on myself, I found the doors of freedom opening to me. They go together. Everybody wants freedom. Nobody wants responsibility. You will never have freedom, you will remain a slave. Remember, remaining a slave is also your responsibility. You have chosen it, it has not been forced upon you.
I am reminded of Diogenes, a beautiful Greek philosopher, mystic – and a mystic of a rare quality. He was a contemporary of Aristotle, and he was as much against Aristotle as I am, so I have a certain friendship with Diogenes.
Aristotle defined man as an animal who walks on two legs. What did Diogenes do? He caught one animal – and there are many animals who walk on two legs, but they have feathers also, they can fly also – a peacock. He took out all the feathers – because men have no feathers. Take out all the feathers of the peacock… the peacock walks on two legs. And he sent the peacock to Aristotle with the message: ”Please receive the gift of a human being.”
This man Diogenes used to live naked, because he said, ”Man is born naked, and he becomes weaker because he is protected by clothes.” All around the world no animal has clothes – except a few dogs in England. England is a mysterious country. Dogs have clothes because a naked dog is un-Christian. You will be surprised to know that in the Middle Ages in England even chair legs were covered with clothes, because they are legs and it is not gentlemanly to see naked legs.
Diogenes lived naked. He was a strong man. Four people who were doing the business of hijacking people and selling them as slaves in the market thought, ”This is a great catch, this man can bring us great money. We have sold many slaves, but not so strong, beautiful, young. We can have as high a price as we demand; and there is going to be a great competition in the marketplace when we put this man on the pedestal for sale. But,” they thought, ”four are not enough to catch him. He alone could kill us all.”
Diogenes was hearing what they were saying about him. He was sitting by the side of the river, just enjoying the cool breeze of the evening, underneath a tree; and behind the tree, those four were planning what to do. He said, ”Don’t be worried. Come here! You need not worry that I will kill you, I never kill anything. And you need not worry that I will fight, resist you – no. I don’t fight anybody, I don’t resist anything. You want to sell me as a slave?”
Embarrassed, afraid, those four people said, ”That’s what we were thinking. We are poor… if you are willing?”
He said, ”Of course I am. If I can help you in your poverty in some way, it is beautiful.” So they brought out chains. He said, ”Throw them in the river; you need not chain me. I will walk ahead of you. I don’t believe in escaping from anything. In fact, I am getting excited about the idea of being sold, standing on a high pedestal, and hundreds of people trying to get me. I am excited about this auction – I am coming!”
Those four people became a little more afraid: this man is not only strong, beautiful, he seems to be mad also; he is dangerous. But now there was no way for them to escape. He said, ”If you try to escape, you will be risking your own life. Just follow me, all four of you. Put me on the pedestal.”
Unwillingly they followed him. They wanted to take him, but he went! You see the point? Even in such a situation, he was taking the responsibility on himself. He was a free man even in such a situation, where these people are conspiring and trying to sell him in the marketplace, which is the ugliest thing that can happen to a man – to be sold like a commodity, auctioned like a commodity.
But he told those people, ”Don’t be afraid, and don’t try to escape. You have given me a great idea, I am grateful to you. This is my responsibility, I am going to the marketplace. You put me up for auction.”
They could not believe… what type of man was this? But there was no way to escape, so they followed him. And when he was put on a high pedestal so that everybody could see, there was almost silence, pindrop silence. People had never seen such a proportionate body, so beautiful – as if made of steel, so strong.
Before the auctioneer said anything, Diogenes declared, ”Listen, people! Here is a master to be sold to any slave, because these four poor people need money. So start the auction; but remember, you are purchasing a master.”
A king purchased him. Of course, he could do it – more and more money he offered at the auction. Many people were interested, but finally a sum, larger than any which had ever been heard of, was given to those four people. Diogenes said to them, ”Are you happy now? You can go, and I will go with this slave.”
On the way, when they were moving to the palace in the chariot, the king said to Diogenes, ”Are you crazy or something? You think yourself a master? I am a king, and you think me a slave?”
Diogenes said, ”Yes, and I am not crazy, you are crazy. I can prove it right now.” At the back of the chariot was the queen. Diogenes said, ”Your queen is already interested in me, she is finished with you. It is dangerous to purchase a master.”
The king was shocked. Of course, he was nothing in comparison to Diogenes. He took out his sword and asked his queen, ”What he is saying, is it true? If you say the truth, your life will be saved – that is my promise. But if you say an untruth, and I find it out later on, I will behead you.”
Fearful, afraid, still the queen said, ”It is true. Before him, you are nothing. I am enchanted, allured; the man has some magic. You are just a poor guy compared to him. This is the truth.”
Of course, the king stopped the chariot and told Diogenes, ”Get out of the chariot. I make you free; I don’t want to take such risks in my palace.”
Diogenes said, ”Thank you. I am a man who cannot be made a slave, for the simple reason that every responsibility I take on myself. I have not left those four people feeling guilty – they had not brought me there, I had come of my own accord. They must be feeling obliged. And it is your chariot, if you want me to get out, that is perfectly good. I am not accustomed to chariots at all, my legs are strong enough. And I am a naked man, a golden chariot does not fit with me.”
Take responsibility! And then even in utter poverty, suffering, imprisoned in a jail, you will remain completely a master of yourself. You will have a freedom which comes with responsibility. All these religions have been making you dependent on God, on fate, on destiny. Those are just different names of something non-existential. What is true is your slavery or your freedom. Choose. If you choose freedom, then you have to destroy all the strategies of religions which make you a slave. That’s what I am doing here: cutting all your chains, making you free from everything, so that you can be yourself. And the moment you are yourself, you start growing, you become greener. Flowers start opening up, and there is great fragrance around you.
Source – Osho Book “From the False to the Truth”