In the first part of “Black Lives Matter More,” we have examined the grizzly reality of the worldwide phenomenon of genocide, and its commonest contemporary expression, racism: the insanity of judging people based on the color of their skin.
And particularly the US-American expression of this madness. “The human pyramid,” as Isabel Wilkerson describes it, “encrypted into us all” that creates “America’s untouchables: the silent power of the caste system.”
James Baldwin, in a letter to Angela Davis at the time of her incarceration by the US, captures the horror of it all as perhaps only he can:
“My dear sister Angela, some of us, white and black, know how great a price has already been paid to bring a new consciousness. If we know that, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own—which it is. We must render impassable with our own bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
We have identified two fundamental points that Osho makes about this.
Firstly, that the basic cause of conflict in society, whatever “the reason” people give, is that we humans are divided inside ourselves. The external divisions between people are simply a projection of these inner divisions. You can read how Osho explains this in detail here.
And secondly, only people who feel inferior have the need to proclaim their superiority. White supremacists or male chauvinists are simply expressing their hidden fears that they may in fact be inferior – and cover their fears by pretending to be superior. Again, in, Feminine Qualities Belong to the Future, you can read more on this.
The next key point in unraveling what Angela Davis, in her groundbreaking book, Women, Race & Class, calls “the irrational topsy-turvy logic” of racism, is that the whole ugly business is based on a myth.
In “America’s Enduring Caste System,” Isabel Wilkerson quotes geneticist, J. Craig Venter: “Race is a social concept, not a scientific one.” She continues, “Which means that an entire racial caste system, the catalyst of hatreds and civil war, was built on what anthropologist, Ashley Montagu, called ‘an arbitrary and superficial selection of traits,’ derived from a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of genes that make up a human being.
“‘The idea of race,’ Montagu wrote, ‘was, in fact, the deliberate creation of an exploiting class seeking to maintain and defend its privileges against what was profitably regarded as an inferior social caste.’”
Which means it has nothing to do with “nature,” only nurture.
Have you ever watched a litter of puppies or kittens, with a wide range of fur colorings? It is the taste of the milk which counts – fur color is important? Are you human or something?
Babies are not born with any inherent attitudes towards skin color, any more than kittens or puppies are.
As Nelson Mandela writes in Long Walk to Freedom, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate.”
Robin DiAngelo, in “White Fragility” describes how she, a white woman, had been imbued with white supremacy since birth, “When my mother was pregnant with me, who delivered me in the hospital — who owned the hospital? And who came in that night and mopped the floor?”
This means that this mythical “social construct” – that skin color is relevant to anything significant – is brainwashed into us from conception onwards.
Otherwise, it wouldn’t be there. Didn’t Jane Elliott make all this abundantly clear nearly 40 years ago?
The importance of realizing this cannot be overstated. The only intelligent conclusion is that unless we address the way we condition the minds of our newest arrivals, the children – an issue which we explore in more detail here – this madness can never end. What is really strange is that in spite of all the recent coverage of racism, this single critical issue is never placed front and center where it belongs.
As Osho explains:
“That’s my work here: to help you to become conscious again so you can be rid of all structures that have been imposed upon you, which are keeping you in slavery, in a mental slavery. The slavery is so subtle that one is not ordinarily even aware of it, that it exists. People take it for granted that they are Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Indians, Japanese, French.
“They never think, even for a single moment, that each child is born without any religion, without any nation, without any race; he is simply born as a conscious being.
“But we take away his consciousness, and instead of it, we give him poor substitutes. We take away his real identity and give him false ideas; ‘You are this, you are that,’ and then he goes on living according to those ideas. His whole life becomes a falsification.
“One has to wake up from this sleep.” 1
And specifically, Osho identifies the basic process behind this childhood brainwashing:
“When you enter into the world you enter as a beggarly slave. Why? Because a child comes into the world utterly helpless. The child cannot survive if he is not supported by others, if the parents and the family don’t support the child. He comes as a beggar.
“He is continuously begging for food, for warmth, for care. And he is so helpless that he is a slave.
“And because of this situation, parents, the society, the state, the church have exploited children down the ages. They give him food, they give him nourishment and support, but on conditions. They make many conditions on the child, and he has to accept those conditions because he is helpless. It is a question of survival. The child cannot say no. He will not be able to survive at all by saying no; he has to say yes. That is his slavery.
“And we have not yet become so human, not yet so capable that we can avoid exploiting small children.
“Children are the most exploited people of the world. Just as there is now a great movement arising in the world, women’s lib, someday children’s lib will be needed.
“Children have suffered tremendously; nobody else has suffered like that. And it is almost impossible to take them out of this structure because they are dependent, they are helpless.
“And the parents think they love, but love is not love if it is conditional. The parents try to transform the child into a Christian or a Mohammedan or a Hindu…. This is a game of politics you are playing on your poor child. You condition his mind. You tell him what is right and what is wrong; you yourself don’t know. You condition his mind about whether God exists or not; you yourself have not inquired. You go on pouring all kinds of your rubbish knowledge into the child’s head. Before he becomes aware, all these things will have taken root in him. They will create confusion in him, neurosis in him. He will suffer his whole life – because of your so-called love.
“It was not love in the first place. The child was helpless, and you enjoyed helping him because when you help somebody you feel great. The helpless person gives you, comparatively, the idea that you are strong.” 2
“The child comes into the world without any ambition, without any lust for power, without any idea that he is higher, holier, superior. Certainly, he cannot be responsible.
“Those who bring him up – the parents, the society, the educational system, the politicians, the priests – the same gang goes on spoiling every child. Of course, in his own turn, he will spoil… but it is a vicious circle. From where to break it?
“I insist on condemning the priests and the politicians, because that is the place from where it can be broken. Condemning the small children coming into the world is not going to help. Condemning the common masses is also not going to help, because they have been already conditioned – they are being exploited. They are suffering, they are miserable. But nothing wakes them up – they are fast asleep. The only point where our condemnations should be concentrated is on those who have the power, because they have the power to contaminate the future generations. If they can be stopped, we can have a new man.” 3
“The politician, knowingly or unknowingly, makes his thoughts and ideas enter into the minds of children through the teacher. The priest is also doing the same thing. In the name of religious education this is going on, and every religion goes on trying to make their beliefs and tenets, right or wrong, enter into the minds of children. This is being done at such an unripe age when the children cannot think.
“There is no greater crime perpetrated on humanity.” 4
And further, Osho adds:
“I know that everybody is responsible. Whatever happens, in some way or other, everybody has his own part in it. But to me what is important is whom to hit, so that for the new generation of children the vicious circle can be avoided. Humanity has been revolving in it for centuries. That’s why I don’t condemn the common masses, I don’t condemn you. I condemn those who are now in a position that if they just relax a little bit as far as their vested interests are concerned, and look at the miserable mass of humanity, a transformation is possible – the circle can be broken.
“I purposely choose the politicians and the priests. There are many other things to be remembered. The priest knows perfectly well that there is no God. In this world, the priest is the only person who knows there is no God, but his whole profession depends on this non-existential God. He cannot say the truth because all his vested interests will be lost – not only his, but for generations to come he will be spoiling the whole game. He knows the rituals are just hocus-pocus, that the mantras carry no power, that his theology is just a cover-up.” 3
As a result of this criminal enterprise – and here is a good example – how does anyone make it through in one piece? Or only many pieces? – exactly the inner divisions that create all the outer divisiveness of the world around us.
So, whatever else we do to attempt to expose the myth of “race” and end the appalling pain and suffering of racism, nothing will be effective without also addressing the root of the problem: the universal brainwashing of children.
Meanwhile – and who is holding their breath waiting for that fundamental point to sink in – what about those of us who are already brainwashed?
Naturally, we struggle to compensate for what is broken inside, by struggling to find some love and acceptance. Given the Western world’s almost exclusive embrace of “the outer” as the only reality, we seek out others who might fill that void of our unworthiness.
Which exposes probably the greatest misunderstanding that underlies racism, or any of the other ways we humans end up in conflict over our superficial differences.
As Osho explains in detail here, we are all different on the periphery. In fact, it is those differences that provide the beauty of our diversity. The exact opposite of the fascist notion that we should all be the same, or that any one color, or gender, or religion, or nation, or whatever is superior to any other.
“All men are the same. Yes, there may be superficial differences – which is good. It will be very sad if those superficial differences disappear. They make life more enchanting; they give life variety, color. They make life a garden, full of different colors and different perfumes. Small differences are beautiful; they have to be cherished, they have not to be destroyed. Man has not to be made into a single kind of humanity…. But these are superficial things.” 5
By contrast with our diverse circumferences, the only place where can ever really meet is at our centers.
“This whole existence is so deeply one at the center. Only on the circumference are we different….
So when I say go to your center, I am not only sending you to your center, it is the center of the whole existence. There, we all meet. There, it is only one oceanic consciousness.” 6
And the only way we can reach that center, the one place we all meet, is through meditation, the inner search for our true reality.
“But at the center, everybody is the same. When you meditate you move toward the center. In the deepest moments of meditation, all differences disappear. You are universal there, not individual.” 7
Meditate? Are you joking? We are revolutionaries, right? Remember “psychobabble”? — that well-worn phrase from dinosaur journalists – almost always white males of course.
Seems that at last, at least non-white revolutionary women are not buying this.
As Ericka Huggins, a former Black Panther Party leader explains the role of meditation in social justice work: “It is a tool for change because of what it does for the person who practices meditation.” And, “Meditation brings freedom on the inside. It brings me clarity. It stokes the fire of compassion.”
“So, in the lifetime of each of you, the decisive moment is going to come. Either man commits suicide or seeing that this is an absolute absurdity, man changes his consciousness. It often happens that under pressure people change, and there will never again be a greater pressure than is present today.
“It is most probable that man will go through a transformation. In that sense, my message is exactly at the right time. Nations should disappear because it is nations who fight. Religions should disappear because it is religions who fight. The idea of races, of superiority and inferiority, should disappear because that has been one of the causes of wars. It is a time either to destroy the whole earth or to destroy all these arbitrary conceptions of nation, race, religion, and make the whole earth one humanity.” 8
Part 1 of this article is here.
To continue reading and see all available formats of these OSHO Talks:
1 Osho, The Imprisoned Splendor, Talk #24 (Out of print in the original format at Osho’s Request.)
2 Osho, The Secret. Talk #21 – The Secret
3 Osho, Beyond Psychology, Talk #26 – The Circle Can Be Broken
4 Osho, Revolution in Education, Talk #1 – Teacher, Society and Revolution
5 Osho, The Dhammapada: The way of the Buddha, Vol. 4, Talk #7 – See Yourself in Others
6 Osho, God Is Dead, Now Zen Is the Only Living Truth, Talk #3 – God Is Just like Tomorrow
7 Osho, Ah, This!, Talk #4 – Turning Inward
8 Osho, The Rebellious Spirit, Talk #12 – Aloneness Is Not Lonely