Osho on Werner Erhard
Question - Bhagwan, when you were talking about Werner Erhard, the businessman who discovered that personal growth sells better than encyclopedias, you said that the business of growth is just an american name for god. The san francisco examiner chronicle, reporting this, noted that you did not comment on the personal growth marketing of your own Rajneesh International Meditation university here. What is the difference and what part does the university play in the life of the commune?
Osho - The difference is great. He was a door-to-door salesman of encyclopedias. Our university is not going door-to-door to sell anything to anybody. Our university is a well. Those who are thirsty can come and drink out of it. It is available, but we are not persuading anybody. On the contrary, I am making every effort to offend them, to make them angry, become our enemies. Do you think this is business tactics?
In business, the customer is always right. Here the situation is totally different: the customer is always wrong. From whatsoever source he comes, he is always wrong -- and he comes on his own, in spite of all that I go on doing continuously to prevent him from coming. Nobody in the whole world has offended so many people as I alone have done, singlehandedly.
But even after all this turmoil that I create, and offensiveness and
antagonism in their minds, a few daring people come. These people can be
relied upon. Just their coming is significant. Certainly, my university
is not part of the marketplace.
Our university is not a business. We don't have to pay any taxes for the university. The degrees that our university gives are of no use in the marketplace, because we don't want our degrees to be recognized by any government or by any university or any other institution. We refuse to be recognized by them, because just the fact that we let them recognize us means they are somebody higher than us, somebody more authoritative. We don't accept any government's recognition, because no government is worthy of it.
Our university is absolutely a free phenomenon. Those who want to come, come knowing that whatever we have to offer is of no use in the marketplace. In fact it may make their market world more difficult for them, because a person who comes here for three months or four months to do a course in the university... we are not giving him growth the way Werner Erhard was giving. He started from where you are.
Our work is first to destroy whosoever you are -- whosoever, without any condition. We destroy you first, dismantle you first, and unless we have deprogrammed you completely there is no growth possible. We don't teach you any growth. To be deprogrammed... you start growing on your own accord. Werner Erhard was teaching you techniques of growth, but if you are a monster and you are being taught techniques of growth, you will become a bigger monster.
Werner Erhard never offended anybody. That's simply the way of the businessman: never offend anybody. Everybody was happy with him. The government was happy, the churches were happy, the politicians were happy -- not only in this country, but in other countries too. He used to go to India to pay respect to the so-called Hindu mahatmas. Muktananda was his guru. He even went to pay his respects to Morarji Desai, when he was the prime minister of India. And by mistake he even came to me, thinking I also belong to the same category of mahatmas that he has known all his life. He must have been shocked.
When he was sitting in front of me, I could see how difficult it was for him just to sit there. And when I told him he can ask anything, he simply said, "No, I don't have any questions." Laxmi had given him my latest books, just as a present. He went into the hotel -- which was not far away, just a few minutes walk -- and gave those books to one sannyasin, Hridaya, without even looking at them. Some great fear must have arisen in him. Reading those books might disturb his mind. And certainly I was not the person that he had expected. I would have destroyed his whole est first.
I have to begin from scratch. First I have to demolish the old building
completely, I don't believe in renovation. Howsoever beautifully you
renovate a building, it still remains the old rotten thing; just painted
here and there, a little bit supported, but it is just the old rotten
building that you have given a facelift. No, it is better to live in an
A-frame, but new, fresh, young.
Our approach is first to deprogram the person completely, and then leave him alone to himself. Don't give him another program. Leave him alone, empty, just a pure nothingness. And out of that nothingness grows everything that existence wanted to grow in that man.
We bring the person close to existence, from where he has been taken
away. Once we see that you are communing with existence, our work is
finished. We don't give you growth, we simply take away all nonsense
that is surrounding you and which perhaps you think is growth. Growth
comes of its own accord, you just have to be utterly open and
A businessman tries to be respectable, and I have been trying my whole life to be notorious. Unless you understand me, you will not be able to see why I unnecessarily create hostility in people. I am not a businessman. I have nothing to sell to them. If they are courageous enough to come nearer to me, I am going to burn their whole personality. I'm going to take their whole skin off their body and then leave them alone so they can grow fresh from the very beginning. That growth will not be in any way a credit to me. That growth will be a credit to the person who dared to come, who dared to pass through the fire, who dared to risk his whole life. The whole credit goes to him.
Source - Osho Book "The Last Testament, Vol 1"
Osho on famous people: Annie Besant, Alan Watts, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Nijinsky, Shakuntala Devi, Somerset Maugham, Soren Kierkegaard, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vinoba Bhave