Osho : Hope is the thread with which we live. It is a very thin thread. It can break at any moment, but it does not break. It has become a very strong shackle. If it breaks from one end we hold it from the other. If it breaks from the world we start hoping for heaven, for liberation.
Hope continues. Hope is bigger than the world. When the agony of the world is realized and one becomes detached from the world, then one starts hoping for heaven. Hope drags you on even when you are tired and fall down. Many times this question must have arisen in you. When you see a beggar on the roadside who is without hands, feet, eyes – whose whole body is wasted, you also start wondering why he is living.
What is he living for? But he is not the only one who is making the mistake. If you were in his place what would you do? You will also continue to live. You will hope that tomorrow everything will be alright on account of some miracle.
Man goes on living in spite of suffering any amount of misery and anguish. I want to tell you a unique thing: man does not give up hope even in great misery. Logically it seems that anguish will kill hope. But no, anguish cannot destroy hope. The greater the anguish, the greater the hope man has. Anguish does not destroy hope, it kindles it. Yes, sometimes hope is destroyed in happiness, but not in misery.
That is why the hope of princes like Mahavira and Buddha was destroyed but the hope of beggars is never destroyed. All the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas were princes, all twenty-four buddhas of the Buddhists were princes, all the avataras of the Hindus were princes. What can be the reason?
The irony is that hope can disappear in happiness but it does not disappear in unhappiness. Hope should disappear in unhappiness, hope should disappear in misery, but the fact is that as the misery increases the mind goes on creating more and more hope. Hope sprouts in misery, hope blossoms in misery, but is destroyed in happiness.
That is why the society which is happy becomes religious. The society which is unhappy can become communist but cannot become religious. There is a possibility of America becoming religious but India cannot. India was religious when it was happy, when the country was happy; when its people were satisfied and contented hope disappeared.
When you have everything then you realize that it is all futile. And this is right, because how can you see the futility of something which you do not have? The person who has money can see the futility of money. But the person who does not have money, how can he see its futility? To realize the futility of anything one has to have it first.
A person who has knowledge can see the futility of knowledge, but a person not having knowledge cannot see the futility of it. If you have the Kohinoor diamond in your hand you realize its futility – you cannot eat it or drink it. But if you do not have it, then you can go on dreaming about it. Dreams never seems futile – you have no way of discovering their worth.
You cannot see the uselessness of anything until you possess it. Hope lives in unhappiness, gets nurtured by it, but is destroyed in happiness. That is why a man on the roadside may be suffering and going through hell, yet he goes on hoping. If you ever visit hell you will find there the most hopeful people in this world. In spite of their agonies they go on hoping that they will be free of this tomorrow.