Creativity, Genius and Rebellion


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“The bohemian life is the only life worth living! All other kinds of lives are only lukewarm; they are more ways of committing slow suicide than ways of living passionately and intensely. In the past it was inevitable that the artist had to live in rebellion, because creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. If you want to create you have to get rid of all conditionings, otherwise your creativity will be nothing but copying, it will be just a carbon copy. You can be creative only if you are an individual, you cannot create as a part of the mob psychology. The mob psychology is uncreative: it lives a life which drags – it knows no dance, no song, no joy, it is mechanical.

“Of course, there are a few things you will get from the society only if you are mechanical: you will get respectability, you will get honors. Universities will confer D. Litts on you, countries will give you gold medals, you may finally become a Nobel laureate – but this whole thing is ugly.

“A real man of genius will discard all this nonsense, because this is bribery. Giving the Nobel prize to a person simply means that your services to the establishment are respected, that you are honored because you have been a good slave, obedient, that you have not gone astray, that you have followed the well-trodden path.

“The creator cannot follow the well-trodden path, he has to search out his own way, he has to inquire in the jungles of life, he has to go alone, he has to be a dropout from the mob mind, from the collective psychology. The collective mind is the lowest mind in the world; even the so-called idiots are a little superior to the collective idiocy. But the collectivity has its own bribes: it respects people, honors people, if they go on insisting that the way of the collective mind is the only right way.

“It was out of sheer necessity that in the past, creators of all kinds – the painters, the dancers, the musicians, the poets, the sculptors – had to renounce respectability. They had to live a kind of bohemian life, the life of a vagabond; that was the only possibility for them to be creative. This need not be so in the future. If you understand me, if you feel what I am saying has truth in it, then in the future everybody should live individually and there will be no need for a bohemian life. The bohemian life is the by-product of a fixed, orthodox, conventional, respectable life.

“My effort is to destroy the collective mind and to make each individual free to be himself or herself. Then there is no problem; then you can live as you want to live. In fact, humanity will really only be born the day the individual is respected in his rebellion. Humanity has still not been born; it is still in the womb. What you see as humanity is only a very hocus-pocus phenomenon. Unless we give individual freedom to each person, absolute freedom to each person to be himself, to exist in his own way. And, of course, he has not to interfere with anybody – that is part of freedom. Nobody should interfere with anybody.”

Osho, The Goose Is Out, Talk #9