Osho on Edmund Burke
- It happened: one English historian, Edmund Burke, was writing a world
history and he was very ambitious. He wanted to make a complete history
of the world -- from the very beginning, when life started as a fish in
the ocean -- up to now; the whole world, whatever has happened ... And
he had devoted almost his whole life to collecting all kinds of facts
One afternoon he heard a shot behind his house. He ran -- there was a crowd -- a man was lying ... he had been shot. He was not yet dead, but he would die at any moment, so much blood had gone out of his body. And there was a crowd -- they were all eyewitnesses. In front of them, the man had been shot and the murderer had escaped.
Edmund Burke enquired from different people and he found different versions of what had happened. They were all eyewitnesses, and their descriptions of the happening were so different. Many were so contradictory that he could not believe it was possible. And then a great question arose in his mind, "What am I doing? I am writing the history of the world from the times when life arose in the ocean as fish, and then all the transformations of life up to the man of today, and I cannot figure it out -- just behind my house I have heard a shot, eyewitnesses are present, and yet I cannot figure out what has happened. Of what value is my history?"
He dropped the whole project. He never looked again at all the collected material for which he had wasted almost his whole life. Many of his friends said, "This is not right -- just because of a small incident."
He said, "It is not a small incident. It shows that all that I am writing is only my prejudice, my opinion about something for which I don't have any eyewitnesses. And even if I had eyewitnesses, it would be of no use. Something happens behind my home; I hear the sound of a shot, I run there in time -- the man is dying, the crowd is standing ... and everybody has a different story to tell! Now, what can I say about Confucius? What can I say about Moses? What can I say about Krishna? -- whether these people ever existed or not?"
Source - Osho Book "The New Dawn"
Osho on Edmund Burke - That is the tendency of the negative mind. Even in paradise you will find so many wrong things that the paradise will not be a paradise with the negative mind; it will become a hell. Psychologically speaking, the negative mind is hell and the positive mind is heaven.
I have told you the story of Edmund Burke, one of the great English philosophers. He was very friendly with the archbishop of England. They had graduated together and they loved each other very much. The archbishop was waiting for some day when Edmund Burke would come to listen to him. But he never came, although the archbishop was always going to any meetings that were addressed by Edmund Burke. This was very strange.
Finally, he invited him specially: "This Sunday you
have to come. You have not heard me even once and I have been hearing
you each time you speak."
He came, sat in front. The archbishop had prepared his sermon as perfectly as he could because Edmund Burke was there and he wanted to impress him. But all the time he was becoming more and more nervous because Edmund Burke was sitting there with the same face, with no movement of any emotions, no encouragement in his eyes, no joy in listening to what was being said. The archbishop thought, "This is strange: he is sitting just like a dead man -- and I am trying my best, it is the best sermon that I have ever delivered."
Coming back home there was a long silence. Finally, as they were parting, the archbishop could not resist the temptation. He asked, "What is the matter with you? Are you sick or something? -- because I did not see a single emotion on your face. If the sermon was not good, then there should have been some emotion; if it was good, then too... But you remained almost like a stone statue. When people were laughing you did not even smile; when people were crying I did not see that your eyes were wet with tears. You behaved strangely, and I had prepared the best sermon of my life."
Edmund Burke said, "You created such contradictory
statements that it is enough that I did not hit you then and there. I
was holding myself back; that's why I looked like a stone statue. If I
had been relaxed I would have come near to you and given you a good
Edmund Burke said, "You made two statements without
realizing that they are contradictory. First you said, those who believe
in Jesus will enter into paradise. Secondly, you said, those who are
living a moral life will enter into heaven."
Edmund Burke said, "You studied philosophy with me,
but you don't understand philosophy at all. What about a man who is
living an immoral life but believes in Jesus Christ? And what about the
man who is living a moral life and does not believe in Jesus Christ?
That's where the contradiction is. It is not apparent to you or to your
listeners, but you cannot deceive me."
Edmund Burke said, "You can answer me now. A man who has lived his whole life, moral, good, but does not believe in Jesus Christ -- what is going to happen to him? What happened to Socrates? Because Jesus Christ was born five hundred years later, Socrates had no idea of Jesus Christ, and he never believed in anyone else. But he was one of the most pious, most moral, and one of the greatest human beings that the earth has produced.
"What about Gautam Buddha? -- who did not believe in any Jesus Christ, who did not believe in any Hindu gods, who did not believe even in the existence of God, but lived one of the greatest lives you can conceive. You cannot find a single fault in his life.
"Have they gone to hell? And if the law of your God sends Socrates, Gautam Buddha, Lao Tzu into hell, your God cannot be said to be just, cannot to be said to be compassionate -- seems to be absolutely ugly and cruel. All that he wants is belief in him. And I know millions of people who believe in Jesus Christ, who come to your churches, who believe in your God, who believe in your HOLY BIBLE, and live an utterly ugly, immoral life, do all kinds of crimes, commit all kinds of sins. What is your answer?"
The archbishop was taken aback. He had never thought
about the implications. Very few people think about implications. He
said, "Right now I am not able to answer, but next Sunday... Give me
seven days to think, because you have raised a very fundamental question
and I am caught in a dilemma. If I say yes, a moral man will enter
heaven even if he does not believe in Jesus, then naturally the question
arises: What is the need to believe in Jesus? And if I say a man who
believes in Jesus is bound to go to heaven, then the question arises: If
that is enough, then why bother about living a moral life? Why not enjoy
all kinds of sins and crimes? So just give me seven days to figure out
how I can come out of the dilemma."
Those seven days were the most torturous days for the
archbishop. However he tried, he was always caught in the dilemma.
Utterly tired, he could not sleep; the whole night he was thinking but
there seemed to be no answer arising.
Utterly tired, when he was praying he fell asleep at the feet of Jesus Christ and he saw a dream. He was in a train, a very fast train, and he inquired, "Where are we going?" Somebody said, "You don't know where we are going? We are going to heaven." He felt very relaxed, because this was a great chance to see whether Gautam Buddha, Socrates, Chuang Tzu, people like that were in heaven or not. He was immensely happy.
When the train stopped at the railway station of heaven, he looked out of the window and he could not believe his eyes. It was just a desert -- no greenery, no flowers, dead trees without leaves, and under those dead trees were sitting even more dead saints, with no juice. The dust had gathered on them, because they had been sitting there for centuries. He said, "My God, if this is heaven, what will be the situation in hell?" never heard of these people here." He inquired his eyes, and who he said, "We have never heard of these people here." He inquired of another man who said, "Gautam Buddha? Socrates? Lao Tzu? From where did you get these names? These fellows are not here." He was shocked because even though he was an archbishop, a fanatic Christian, still, to put Gautam Buddha in hell seemed to be too cruel.
He rushed to the railway station to inquire, "Is there any train going to hell?" The train was ready, so he jumped in. As they started coming closer to hell, strangely, the air became cooler, there was beautiful greenery all around, beautiful lakes and so many flowers, and everybody looked so happy. People were playing on their musical instruments, a few people were dancing.
He said, "This is hell?" He got down, inquired of the
stationmaster, "Are you certain this is hell?" The stationmaster said,
"Absolutely certain. What is your problem?" The archbishop said, "My
problem is, I want to know whether Gautam Buddha, Socrates, Lao Tzu,
Chuang Tzu, all these people who never believed in God, who never
believed in Jesus -- are they here?"
This was even more shocking, and the very shock of it woke him up. The early members of the congregation had started coming. Edmund Burke had arrived. The archbishop must have been a very sincere man; that day he did not deliver any sermon, he simply told his whole dream. And he said, "I don't have to conclude. You can draw the conclusion yourself.
"My own simple understanding now is that wherever there are good people, there is heaven. I used to think that heaven was a certain place; now I think heaven is a certain spirituality, a certain flowering of your being. Wherever these people are -- whether they believe in Jesus or not, whether they believe in THE BIBLE or not, that is irrelevant. I have seen both: I have seen the believers, and heaven seems to be completely a graveyard; and hell seems to be such an oasis that even I am wondering what to do -- to continue to believe in Jesus Christ, or start living like a Gautam Buddha."
It all depends whether you are paying too much attention and allowing your consciousness to go to the negative. All your saints are negative; condemning everything is their whole profession. There are millions of people who are not sensitive, but continuously negative. They cannot see anything good anywhere. If by chance they come across something good they pass it by with absolute indifference. They don't count the roses, they only count the thorns. They are so accustomed to viewing things negatively that it is almost impossible for them to see any beauty anywhere. All is wrong. Naturally, a person who thinks all is wrong is going to live in a world which is all wrong, in suffering, in misery, in pain, in agony.
A sannyasin has to change his gestalt. Try to find the positive, the beautiful, and you will be surrounded with the positive, the beautiful, and the blissful. I am not saying that there are not wrong things in the world; I am not saying that there are not thorns in the rosebush. It is a question of your emphasis. If you look at the roses you will be so ecstatic that who cares about the thorns. But if you look only at the thorns -- and not only look, but count them -- you are going to have bloody fingers, and in that pain you will forget all about roses.
Life is absolutely balanced between the positive and the negative. Now it is your choice which side you want to be -- in heaven or in hell. Wherever you want to be, try to find it in your life every moment. And whenever you have found something positive, pour all your attention and all your love on it. That will make it grow; that will make it more and more important in your life, more and more taking the space of your being.
Remain absolutely indifferent about the negative. I am not saying it is not there; it is there because a few people need it. A few people are so much in love with the negative that if there is no negative they will die out of sheer agony: now there are roses and no thorns, what am I going to do? Everybody looks so beautiful, nothing ugly, everything seems to be so right, nothing is wrong.... They will lose all interest in existence. Their only interest was in the negative.
But they are both there. There are positivist thinkers
in the world -- particularly in America -- who say, "Go on thinking
about the positive, because the negative does not exist. It is always
the positive; the negative is your imagination."
I have heard about a young man meeting an old lady. That old lady belonged to a positivist group which was very prominent fifty years ago in America, Christian Scientists. They believe there is no negative, everything is divine; there is nothing wrong, everything is right. They forget completely that if there is nothing wrong, how are you going to define right? If there is nothing negative, how are you going to define positive? If there is no darkness, how are you going to define light? But it was a very interesting, attractive philosophy.
The old woman asked the young man, "I have not seen
your father coming to our weekly meetings."
Three weeks passed and the old man still did not turn
up. Again the woman encountered the young boy and asked him, "Did you
convey my message?"
He could not say that he is dead because that woman will immediately jump upon him with all kinds of positive philosophy -- how can he be dead? So he managed to say that now he imagines himself to be dead, what can we do?
"We had to put him in a grave. He is so certain that he does not speak, he does not breathe; he believes so much that he is dead that his pulse is gone, his heartbeat is gone. We tried hard your way. I told him, I whispered in his ear, 'It is all imagination; remember your positivist philosophy' -- but his imagination is so strong..."
You live in a world, in an existence which has both. Out of sheer necessity it needs balance in opposite polarities. But you need not be worried about that which makes you miserable. Choose the flowers and leave the thorns.
Source - Osho Book "Satyam Shivam Sundram"
Osho on famous people: Annie Besant, Alan Watts, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Shakuntala Devi, Somerset Maugham, Soren Kierkegaard, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vincent van Gogh, Vinoba Bhave