A word often heard and endlessly used in context with Donald Trump’s election of his new cabinet a year ago was “loyalty.” It came up in almost every current news and media report to do with his selection of people for important political government positions. It seems “loyalty” is rewarded and used as a pseudo quality replacing actual job qualifications. Here’s what Osho has to say on the concept of “loyalty.”
“One very fundamental thing has always to be remembered: man is very clever in creating pseudo-values. The real values demand your totality, demand your whole being; the pseudo-values are very cheap. They look like the real, but they don’t demand of you your totality – just a superficial formality.
In place of love, trust, we have created a false value: loyalty – the loyal person goes through all the gestures of love, but he means nothing by them.
“For example, in place of love, trust, we have created a false value: loyalty –the loyal person is only superficially concerned with love. He goes through all the gestures of love, but he means nothing by them; his heart stays out of his formal gestures.
“A slave is loyal, but do you think anybody who is a slave, who has been reduced in his humanity, whose whole pride and dignity has been taken away, can love the person who has harmed him so deeply? He hates him, and if the chance arises, he can kill him. But on the surface, he will remain loyal – he has to. It is not out of his joy, it is out of fear; it is not out of love, it is out of a conditioned mind which says that you have to be loyal to your master. It is the loyalty of the dog to his master.
“Love needs a more total response; it comes not out of duty, but out of your own heartbeats, out of your own experience of joy, out of the desire to share it.
“Loyalty is something ugly, but for thousands of years it has been a very respectable value because society has enslaved people in different ways. The wife is supposed to be loyal to the husband, to the point that in India millions of women have died with their husband’s death – jumping in the funeral pyre alive, and burning themselves to death. It was so respectable that any woman who could not do it had to live a very condemned life. She became almost an outcast; she was treated only as a servant in her own family. It was concluded that because she could not die with her husband, she was not loyal to him.
“In fact, just think of it the other way around: not a single man has jumped into the funeral pyre of his wife. Nobody has raised the question, ‘Does it mean that no husband has ever been loyal to his wife?’ But it is a society of double standards: one standard is for the master, the owner, the possessor, and the other standard is for the slave.
“Love is a dangerous experience, because you are possessed by something which is bigger than you, and it is not controllable – you cannot produce it on order. Once it is gone, there is no way to bring it back; all that you can do is to pretend, be a hypocrite.
One wonders why every soldier has to go for parades and follow stupid orders – left turn, right turn…There is a hidden purpose in it. His intelligence is being destroyed.
“Loyalty is a totally different matter; it is manufactured by your own mind, it is not something beyond you. It is a training in a particular culture – just like any other training. You start acting; and by and by, you start believing your own acting. Loyalty demands that you should be always, in life or in death, devoted to the person – whether your heart is willing for it or not. It is a psychological way of enslavement.
“Love brings freedom.
“Loyalty brings slavery.
“On the surface, they both look alike; deep down, they are just the very opposite – diametrically opposite. Loyalty is acting, you have been educated for it. Love is wild, its whole beauty is in its wildness. It comes like a breeze with great fragrance, fills your heart, and suddenly where there was a desert there is a garden full of flowers. But you don’t know from where it comes, and you don’t know that there is no way to bring it; it comes on its own and remains as long as existence wills it. And just as it had come one day as a stranger, as a guest, suddenly one day it is gone. There is no way to cling to it, no way to hold it.
“Society cannot depend on such unpredictable, unreliable experiences. It wants guarantees, securities; hence, it has removed love from life completely – it has placed marriage in its place. Marriage knows loyalty, loyalty to the husband, and because it is formal, it is within your hands… but it is nothing compared to love, it is not even a dewdrop of the ocean that love is.
“But society is very happy with it because it is reliable. The husband can trust you, can trust that tomorrow also you will be as loyal as you are today. Love cannot be trusted. And the strangest phenomenon is that love is the greatest trust – but it cannot be trusted. In the moment, it is total; but the next moment remains open. It may grow within you, it may evaporate from you. The husband wants a wife who is a slave for her whole life. He cannot depend on love; he has to create something looking like love, but manufactured by man’s mind.
I teach you the new man in whom loyalty has no place, but instead intelligence, inquiry, a capacity to say “No”…
“It is not only in the relationship of love, but in other fields of life, also. Loyalty has been given great respect because it destroys intelligence: the soldier has to be loyal to the nation…. The man who dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – you cannot call him responsible for it, he was simply fulfilling his duty. He was ordered, and he was loyal to his superiors; that is the whole training of armies.
“For years they train you, so that you become almost incapable of revolt. Even if you see that what is being asked from you is absolutely wrong, still your training has gone so deep to say, ‘Yes, sir.’ I cannot conceive that the man who dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a machine. He also had a heart just like you, he also had his wife and children, his old mother and father… he was as much a human being as you are – with a difference. He was trained to follow orders without questioning, and when the order was given, he simply followed it.
“I have thought again and again about his mind. Is it conceivable that he did not think that this bomb is going to destroy almost two hundred thousand people? Couldn’t he say, “No”? Is it not better to be shot by the general for not following the order, than to kill two hundred thousand people? Perhaps the idea never occurred to him.
It is good for the kings and for the generals that armies should be loyal to the point that they function like machines, not like men.
“The army works in such a way as to create loyalty – it starts with small things. One wonders why every soldier for years has to go for parades and follow stupid orders – left turn, right turn, go backwards, go forwards – for hours, for no purpose at all. There is a hidden purpose in it. His intelligence is being destroyed. He is being turned into an automaton, into a robot. So when the order comes, ‘Left turn,’ the mind does not ask, ‘Why?’ If somebody else says to you, ‘Left turn,’ you are going to ask, ‘What nonsense is this? Why should I left turn? I’m going right!’ But the soldier is not supposed to doubt, to inquire; he has simply to follow. This is his basic conditioning for loyalty.
“It is good for the kings and for the generals that armies should be loyal to the point that they function like machines, not like men. It is comfortable for parents that their children are loyal, because a child who is a rebel is a problem. The parents may be wrong, and the child may be right, but he has to be obedient to the parents—that is part of the training of the old man that has existed up to now.
“I teach you the new man in whom loyalty has no place, but instead intelligence, inquiry, a capacity to say ‘No.’ To me, unless you are capable of saying ‘No’ your ‘Yes’ is meaningless – your ‘Yes’ is just recorded on a gramophone record. You cannot do anything; you have to say ‘Yes’; the ‘No’ simply does not arise in you.
[B]elief, duty, respectability. They all are nourishment for your ego. They are all against your spiritual growth, but they are in favour of the vested interests.
“Life and civilisation would have been totally different if we had trained people to have more intelligence. So many wars would not have happened because people would have asked, ‘What is the reason? Why should we kill people – people who are innocent?’ But they are loyal to one country and you are loyal to another country, and both the countries’ politicians are fighting and sacrificing their people. If the politicians love to fight so much they can have a wrestling match, and people can enjoy it just like any football match.
“But the kings and the politicians, the presidents and the prime ministers don’t go to war. The simple people, who have nothing to do with killing others, go to war to kill and to be killed. They are rewarded for their loyalty; they are given the Victoria Cross or other kinds of awards – for being inhuman, for being unintelligent, for being mechanical.
“You asked me, ‘To me, the concept of loyalty has overtones of duty, and honour and belief.’
“It has not only overtones. It is nothing but the combination of all these diseases – belief, duty, respectability. They all are nourishment for your ego. They are all against your spiritual growth, but they are in favour of the vested interests.
“The priests don’t want you to ask any question about their belief system because they know that they have no answers to give. All belief systems are so false that if questioned they will fall down. Unquestioned, they create great religions with millions of people in their folds.
Life and civilisation would have been totally different if we had trained people to have more intelligence. So many wars would not have happened because people would have asked, “Why?”
“Now the Catholic pope has over a billion people under him, and out of these billions of people, not a single one inquires, “How can a virgin girl give birth to a child?” That would be sacrilegious! Out of billions of people, not a single one asks, ‘What is the evidence that Jesus is the only begotten son of God?’ – anybody can claim it. ‘What is the evidence that Jesus has saved people from misery?’ – he could not save himself. But questions like this are embarrassing, and they are simply not raised. Even God is nothing but a hypothesis which religious people have been trying to prove for thousands of years, all kinds of proofs – but all bogus, with no substance, no support from existence. But nobody asks the question.
“From the very first day of life, people are being trained to be loyal to the belief system in which they were born. It is convenient for the priests to exploit you, it is convenient for the politicians to exploit you, it is convenient for husbands to exploit wives, for parents to exploit children, for teachers to exploit students. For every vested interest, loyalty is simply a necessity. But it reduces the whole of humanity into retardedness.
“It does not allow questioning, it does not allow doubt, it does not allow people to be intelligent. And a man who is not capable of doubting, of questioning, of saying, ‘No,’ when he feels that the thing is wrong, has fallen below humanity – he has become a subhuman animal….
“If love is asked, then it becomes loyalty. If love is given without being asked, if it is your free gift. Then it raises your consciousness.
Asked or ordered, love and trust both become false. When they arise on their own, they have immense intrinsic value.
“If trust is asked you are being enslaved but if a trust arises in you, something superhuman is growing within your heart.
“The difference is very small, but of tremendous importance. Asked or ordered, love and trust both become false. When they arise on their own, they have immense intrinsic value. They do not make you a slave, they make you a master of yourself, because it is your love, it is your trust. You are following your own heart. You are not following somebody else, you are not being forced to follow. Out of your freedom is your love, out of your dignity is your trust, and they are both going to make you richer human beings.
“That is my idea of the new man. He will love, but he will not allow love to be ordered. He will trust, but he will trust according to himself – not according to any scriptures, not according to any social structure, not according to any priest, not according to any politician.
“To live your life according to your own heart, following its beat, going into the unknown just like an eagle flying across the sun in utter freedom, knowing no limits… it is not ordered. It is its own joy. It is the exercise of one’s own spirituality….
“This is a totally different approach, but this is the way of the new man. And the new man is the only hope for the future.”
Excerpted from Osho, The Golden Future, Talk #25