The Individual is the Root of a Harmonious Society

The Individual is the Root of a Harmonious Society

You can read the first part of this talk here.

“There have been attempts all over the world to make a harmonious human society, but all have failed for the simple reason that nobody has bothered why it is not naturally harmonious.

“It is not harmonious because each individual inside is divided, and his divisions are projected onto the society.

Unless we dissolve the individual’s inner divisions, there is no possibility of really realizing a utopia and creating a harmonious society in the world.

“So the only way for a utopia is that your consciousness should grow more, and your unconsciousness should grow less, so finally a moment comes in your life when there is nothing left which is unconscious: you are simply a pure consciousness. Then there is no division.

“And this kind of person, who has just consciousness and nothing opposed to it, can become the very brick in creating a society which has no divisions. In other words, only a society which is enlightened enough can fulfill the demand of being harmonious – a society of enlightened people, a society of great meditators who have dropped their divisions.

Instead of thinking in terms of revolution and changing the society, its structure, we should think more of meditation and changing the individual.

“That is the only possible way that some day we can drop all divisions in the society. But first they have to be dropped in the individual – and they can be dropped there.

“It is almost like the fourfold division as Manu conceived the society. You have the conscious, you have the unconscious, you have the collective unconscious, and you have the cosmic unconscious. These are the four divisions within you; as you go deeper you go into darker spaces. Manu also divided society in four. The most conscious part is the brahmin – he makes up the topmost, the wisest part. But he starts with the society.

“When Manu first divided the society, somebody may have been a wise man, but it is not necessary that his sons and daughters will also be wise, that generation after generation the wise man will create only wise people – that is a stupid idea. So the first division may have been very accurate. He may have sorted out people correctly: the conscious people on the top, then less conscious people, then more unconscious people, then absolutely unconscious people.

“And if Manu calls absolutely unconscious people “sudras,” untouchables, there is nothing wrong in it; philosophically it is absolutely right. But practically he went wrong because he did not think that it would not always happen that the unconscious people would produce unconscious people.

“It happened that all the enlightened people came from the second class – that is from the warriors – not from the brahmins, which were the topmost class. It is very strange. Even Hindu incarnations – Rama and Krishna – they all belonged to the second class; they were not brahmins. Buddha and Mahavira – they were not brahmins.

So the brahmin class has not produced a single enlightened person, because they became very self-satisfied.

“They were on the top – what more do you need? Everybody was going to touch their feet; even the king had to touch their feet. They were the purest people, so there was no urge to find more; it was enough. It was very satisfying and gratifying to their egos.

“Why did it happen to the kshatriyas, the second class? My understanding is because they were second class, there was an immense urge for them to surpass the brahmins, and the only way they could find to surpass the brahmins was to become enlightened. Then only could they surpass the brahmins; otherwise they could not.

“The brahmins are the most learned scholars. The kshatriyas had to attain something which is higher than learning and scholarship. They had to attain something which is not given by birth, so brahmins cannot claim it. Just by birth, nobody can claim enlightenment.

And it only happened in the second class because it is part of human psychology that the closer you are to the highest class the more competitiveness is within you.

The more distant you are the less hope you have that you can manage to compete with the brahmin. The businessman cannot think he can manage to compete. The sudra of course cannot even imagine or dream that he can manage anything. He is not allowed even to read; he is not allowed to be educated. He is kept completely enslaved in his unconsciousness, so there is no question of a sudra becoming enlightened.

“The businessman has another competition, and that is of money. That is a horizontal competition amongst businessmen. He is trying to compete to have more money, and he knows he cannot compete with the warriors: a businessman is not a soldier. And he cannot compete with the priest because a businessman is not a scholar.

And the brahmins kept a complete hold on all the great ancient scriptures and literature.

“They were only to give those books to their children, to their descendants. And for thousands of years those books were not printed, although printing started in China three thousand years ago, and it could have come to India without any difficulty. People must have been aware – they were constantly coming and going to China. If Buddhism could spread all over China, it is impossible that they could not have brought back the mechanism and understanding to print.

“But brahmins were against printing. They were even against printing their scriptures when the Britishers came – three hundred years ago – and took over India from the Mohammedans. It was against their will that the scriptures were printed, because they were afraid that once they are printed, they become public property. Then anybody can read them, and anybody can become a scholar. They wanted to keep them to themselves, so there were only handwritten copies which were kept as a family tradition: so each family has its own handwritten copy of certain scriptures. The brahmins monopolized it.

“The kshatriyas, the second class, tried – and that was a great effort – to become enlightened to surpass the brahmins. But it is very significant to understand that by becoming enlightened they became divisionless, their being became one. And certainly they became higher than any human being who was divided. There was no question about their superiority.

“So even brahmins would come to the enlightened people without bothering that they came from the second class. So brahmins have touched the feet of non-brahmins – which would have been impossible. But once the non-brahmin has become enlightened then the brahmin knows that what he knows is only parrot-like. What this man knows is not parrot-like. He is not a scholar, he is really a knower. So hundreds of brahmins were disciples of Buddha, hundreds of brahmins were disciples of Mahavira.

The world can come to a harmony if meditation is spread far and wide, and people are brought to one consciousness within themselves.

“This will be a totally different dimension to work with.

Up to now it was revolution. The point was society, its structure. It has failed again and again in different ways. Now it should be the individual – and not revolution, but meditation, transformation.

“And it is not so difficult as people think. They may waste six years in getting a master’s degree in a university; and they will not think that this is wasting too much time for just a degree which means nothing.

“It is only a question of understanding the value of meditation. Then it is easily possible for millions of people to become undivided within themselves. And they will be the first group of humanity to become harmonious. And their harmoniousness, their beauty, their compassion, their love – all their qualities – are bound to resound around the world.

My effort is to make meditation almost a science so it is not something to do with religion.

“So anybody can practice it – whether he is a Hindu or a Christian or a Jew or a Mohammedan, it doesn’t matter. What his religion is, is irrelevant; he can still meditate. He may not even believe in any religion, he may be an atheist; still he can meditate.

“Meditation has to become almost like a wildfire. Then there is some hope. And people are ready: they have been thirsting for something that changes the whole flavor of the society. It is ugly as it is, it is disgusting. It is at the most, tolerable. Somehow people have been tolerating it. But to tolerate is not a very joyful thing.

It should be ecstatic. It should be enjoyable. It should bring a dance to people’s hearts.

“And once these divisions within a person disappear, he can see so clearly about everything. It is not a question of his being knowledgeable, it is a question of his clarity. He can look at every dimension, every direction with such clearness, with such deep sensitivity, perceptiveness, that he may not be knowledgeable but his clarity will give you answers which knowledge cannot give.

“This is one of the most important things – the idea of utopia – which has been following man like a shadow for thousands of years. But somehow it got mixed up with the changing of society; the individual never got looked at.

“Nobody has paid much attention to the individual – and that is the root cause of all the problems.

“But because the individual seems to be so small and the society seems so big, people think that we can change society, and then the individuals will change.

“This is not going to be so – because “society” is only a word; there are only individuals, there is no society. The society has no soul – you cannot change anything in it.

“You can change only the individual, howsoever small he appears. And once you know the science of how to change the individual, it is applicable to all the individuals everywhere.

“And my feeling is that one day we are going to attain a society which will be harmonious, which will be far better than all the ideas that utopians have been producing for thousands of years.”

“The reality will be far more beautiful.”


From Osho, Light on the Path, Talk #30 – Utopia is Possible

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