Question was asked to Osho – YOU HAVE SAID WE MUST MOVE TO THE OPPOSITE POLE; WE MUST CHOOSE BOTH SCIENCE AND RELIGION.

RATIONALITY AND IRRATIONALITY, WEST AND EAST, TECHNOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY.

CAN I CHOOSE BOTH POLITICS AND MEDITATION?

CAN I CHOOSE TO CHANGE THE WORLD AND TO CHANGE MYSELF AT THE SAME TIME?

CAN I BE A REVOLUTIONARY AND A SANNYASIN AT ONCE?

Osho Replied – Yes, I have said again and again that one has to accept the polarities. But meditation is not a pole. Meditation is the acceptance of the polarities, and through that acceptance one transcends beyond the polarities. So there is no opposite to meditation. Try to understand.

You are sitting in your room full of darkness. Is darkness the opposite of light, or just the absence of light? If it is opposite to light, then it has its own existence.

Does darkness have its own existence? Is it real in its own way, or is it Just the absence of light? If it has a reality of its own, then when you light a candle it will resist. It will try to put the candle off. It will fight for its own existence; it will resist. But it gives no resistance. It never fights, it can never put a small candle….

Vast darkness and a small candle, but the candle cannot be defeated by that vast darkness. The darkness may have ruled in that house for centuries, but you bring a small candle: the darkness cannot say, “I am centuries old and I will give a good fight.” It simply disappears.

Darkness has no positive reality, it is simply the absence of light, so when you bring light it disappears. When you put the light off, it appears. In fact it never goes out and never comes in, because it cannot go out and cannot come in.

Darkness is nothing but the absence of light. Light present, it is not there; light absent, it is there. It is an absence.

Meditation is the inner light. It has no opposite, only absence.

The whole life is an absence of meditation, as you live it, the worldly life – the life of power, prestige, ego, ambition, greed. And that is what politics is.

Politics is a very big word. It does not include only the so-called politicians, it includes all the worldly people, because whosoever is ambitious is a politician, and whosoever is struggling to reach somewhere is a politician. Wherever there is competition there is politics. Thirty students studying in the same class and calling themselves class fellows – they are class enemies, because they are all competing, not fellows. They are all trying to overtake the other. They are all trying to get the gold medal, to come first. The ambition is there: they are already politicians.

Wherever there is competition and struggle there is politics. So the whole ordinary life is politics-oriented.

Meditation is like light when meditation comes, politics disappears. So you cannot be meditative and political. That is impossible: you are asking for the impossible. Meditation is not one pole: it is absence of all conflict, all ambition, all ego-trips.

Let me tell you a very famous Sufi story. It happened A Sufi said, “None can understand man until he realizes the connection between greed, obligement, and impossibility.”

“This,” said his disciple, “is a conundrum which I cannot understand.”

The Sufi said, “Never look for understanding through conundrums when you can attain it through experience directly.”

He took the disciple to a shop in the nearby market where robes were sold.

“Show me your very best robe,” said the Sufi to the shopkeeper, “for I am in a mood to spend excessively.”

A most beautiful garment was produced, and an extremely high price was asked for it. “It is very much the kind of thing I would like,” said the Sufi. “but I would like some sequins around the collar and a touch of fur trimming.”

“Nothing easier,” said the seller of the robes, “for I have just such a garment in the workroom of my shop.” He disappeared for a few moments and then returned having added the fur and the sequins to the selfsame garment.

“And how much is this one?” asked the Sufi.

“Twenty times the price of the first one,” said the shop-keeper.

“Excellent,” said the Sufi. “I shall take both of them.”

Now, the impossibility, because it is the selfsame garment. The Sufi was showing that greed has a certain impossibility in it impossibility is intrinsic to greed.

Now don’t be too greedy, because this is the greatest greed there is to ask to be a politician and a meditator together, simultaneously. That is the greatest greed possible. You are asking to be ambitious and non-tense. You are asking to fight, to be violent, to be greedy, and yet peaceful and relaxed. If it were possible then there would have been no need for sannyas, then there would have been no need for meditation.

You cannot have both. Once you start meditating, politics starts disappearing.

With politics all the effects of it also disappear. The tense state, the worry, the anxiety, the anguish, the violence, the greed – they all disappear. They are by – products of a political mind.

You will have to decide either you can be a politician or you can be a meditator.

You cannot be both, because when meditation comes, the darkness disappears.

This world, your world, is an absence of meditation. And when meditation comes, this world simply disappears like darkness.

That’s why Patanjali, Shankara, and others who have known, go on saying that this world is illusory, not real. Illusory like darkness: appears to be real, when it is there, but once you bring light in, suddenly you become aware it was not real, it was unreal. Just look into darkness. How real it is. How real it looks. It is there surrounding you from everywhere. Not only that – you are feeling afraid. The unreal creating fear. It can kill you, and it is not there!

Bring light. Keep somebody by the door to see whether or not he comes to see the darkness going out. Nobody ever sees darkness going out; nobody ever sees darkness coming in, It appears to be and it is not.

The so-called world of desire and ambition, politics, only appears to be and it is not. Once you meditate you start laughing about the whole nonsense, the whole nightmare that has disappeared.

But please don’t try to do this impossible thing. If you try you will be in much conflict; you will become a split personality. “Can I choose both politics and meditation? Can I choose to change the world and to change myself at the same time?” Not possible.

In fact, you are the world. When you change yourself you have started to change the world – and there is no other way. If you start changing others you will not be able to change yourself, and one who is not able to change himself cannot change anybody. He can only go on believing that he is doing great work, as your politicians go on believing.

Your so-called revolutionaries are all ill people, tense people, mad people – insane – but their insanity is such that if they are left to themselves they will go completely mad, so they put their insanity in some occupation. Either they start changing the society, reforming the society, doing this and that… changing the whole world. And their madness is such that they cannot see the stupidity of it. You have not changed yourself – how can you change anybody else?

Start closer at home. First change yourself, first bring the light within yourself, then you will be capable…. In fact to say then there will be any capacity to change others is not right. In fact once you change yourself you become a source of infinite energy, and that energy changes others on its own accord. Not that you go on and work hard and become a martyr in changing people, no, nothing of that sort. You simply remain in yourself, but the very energy, the purity of it, the innocence of it, the fragrance of it, goes on spreading in ripples. It reaches to all the shores of the world. Without any effort on your side, an effortless revolution starts. And the revolution is beautiful when it is effortless. When it is with effort it is violent, then you are forcing your ideas on somebody else.

Stalin killed millions of people because he was a revolutionary. He wanted to change the society, and whosoever was obstructing in any way had to be killed and removed From the way. Sometimes it happens that those who are trying to help you, they start helping even against you. They don’t bother whether you want to be changed or not; they have an idea to change you. They will change – you in spite of you. They won’t listen to you. This type of revolution is going to be violent, bloody.

And a revolution cannot be violent, cannot be bloody, because a revolution has to be a revolution of love and heart. A real revolutionary never goes anywhere to change anybody. He remains rooted in himself; and people who want to be changed, they come to him. They travel from faraway lands. They come to him.

The fragrance reaches to them. In subtle ways, in unknown ways, whosoever wants to change himself comes and seeks a revolutionary. The real revolutionary remains in himself, available. Like a pool of cool water. Whosoever is thirsty will seek. The pool is not going to search for you; the pool is not going to run after you. And the pool is not going to drown you because you are thirsty – that if you don’t listen then the pool will drown you.

Stalin killed so many people. Revolutionaries have been as violent as reactionaries – and sometimes even more so.

Please don’t try to do the impossible. Just change yourself. In fact that too is such an impossibility that if you can change yourself in this life, you can feel grateful.

You can say, “Enough, more than enough has happened.”

Don’t be worried about others. They are also beings, they have consciousness, they have souls. If they want to change, nobody is hindering the path. Remain a pool of cool water. If they are thirsty they will come. Just your coolness will be the invitation, your purity of water will be the attraction.

“Can I be a revolutionary and a sannyasin at once?” No. If you are a sannyasin you are a revolution, not a revolutionary. You need not be a revolutionary if you are a sannyasin you are a revolution. Try to understand what I am saying. Then you don’t go to change people, don’t go to create any revolution anywhere. You don’t plan it – you live it. Your very style of life is revolution. Wherever you will look, wherever you will touch, there will be revolution. Revolution will become just like breathing – spontaneous.

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