“The very framework of science is to conquer nature. That is the very terminology of science – conquest of nature. We have to overpower nature and we have to destroy all mysteries of nature, and we have to find all the keys of power, wherever it is. But the very idea takes you away from nature, makes you antagonistic to it and becomes destructive. The ecology of the earth has been destroyed by this power seeking. In the outside, in the inside – both – the natural rhythm of life is disturbed.
“I have heard…
“A very unusual idea occurred one day to Frederick of Prussia. He was in the country when he saw some sparrows eating some grains of wheat. He started to think and reached the conclusion that these small birds consumed a million pecks of wheat a year in his kingdom. This cannot be allowed. They have to be either conquered or destroyed.
“Since it was difficult to exterminate them, he promised a price for each dead sparrow. All Prussians became hunters and soon there were no more sparrows in the country. What a great victory.
“Frederick of Prussia was very happy. He celebrated the event as a great conquest over nature. The king was very happy until the following year when he was told that caterpillars and locusts had eaten the crops because without sparrows the whole rhythm of life was destroyed. Sparrows go on eating caterpillars and locusts. There being no sparrows, the whole crop was destroyed by caterpillars. Then it was necessary to bring in sparrows from abroad. And the king said, ‘I certainly have made a mistake. God knows what he is doing.’
“The great scientific minds of this century are coming, by and by, slowly, reluctantly, to recognize that a great mistake has been done.
“The very desire to be powerful is against nature, because the very desire to be powerful is antagonistic. Why do you need to be powerful? You must be thinking in terms of destroying somebody. Power is needed to destroy. Power is needed to dominate. Power is needed to conquer.
“The monk must have asked, ‘What is the most powerful thing in the world?’ In fact the actual word must have been siddhi. The monk must have asked, ‘What is siddhi, what is power?’
“Science tries to penetrate nature to get more power, and there are many systems which penetrate your innermost being – but again the goal is to get more power. Whether you become powerful in a scientific way, or you become powerful in a psychic way, it makes no difference. Now the West is becoming interested in psychic sciences, but the urge is the same – to be more powerful.”
Excerpted from Osho, Moving Into the Unknown, Talk #5
Osho Times International/Courtesy Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com