The Last Testament (Vol 1) ~ 15

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event type interview
date & time 1 Aug 1985 pm
location Jesus Grove, Rajneeshpuram
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 41min. Quality: good.
Live music after the interview.
online audio
video Available, duration 1h 58min. Quality: good.
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle LAST115
Most of the 166 interviews Osho gave during the Ranch era and World Tour (see The Last Testament (series)) have never been published in book form. They have been published on the CD-ROM though; there they appear under the titles The Last Testament (Vol 1) to (Vol 6).
CD-ROM on this chapter: This discourse is published in The Last Testament, Vol 1, chapter 26. See The Last Testament, Vol 1#Correspondence between this Book and the CD-ROM.
Interview. Announcements by Ma Prem Savita : Christopher Reed, The Guardian newspaper, England
CD-ROM on this chapter: Christopher Reed, The Guardian, London, England.
Question 1
Good evening. Yes, the Guardian newspaper in England. If you don't know it, it's a liberal, serious -- as opposed to tabloid -- daily newspaper. And I also do work for a similar paper in Australia, the Melbourne Age, and a similar paper in Canada called the Global Mail in Toronto. I've been here once before, three years ago, and I'm absolutely amazed with the difference I find today. Astonishing, absolutely astonishing! -- so much so that I could hardly recognize any landmarks because everything was so different. And you've been living here all this time. Does it give you a lot of joy to see the place flowering? Or don't you interest yourself a lot in that?
Question 2
Do you think it will? You have your troubles, eh?
Question 3
With the neighbors...?
Question 4
In your press conference, I read in your paper here that you only gave a one-word answer when you were asked if you and the neighbors would ever coexist peacefully. You said: "Never." That's a long time.
Question 5
Edited excerpt: 5min 57sec, a part of question 1 **
I see you use the word coexistence. It has become political, indeed, but you are saying that you coexist in the sense that you have to live with these people, so you tolerate it; and you're saying that you would rather enjoy living with these people. Do I interpret you correctly?
Question 6
But don't you think that a lot of people would misunderstand what you've said about tolerance, who haven't the benefit of sitting here and thinking it over, and discussing it and exploring the idea? They see it, if you like, in print, and they have been taught all their lives, in this country at least -- it seems to me -- in democracies, that tolerance is a good thing, that one should tolerate because otherwise the alternative is in fact hostility, possibly leading to violence.
Question 7
There are people, though, in the world, that we've never met and probably never will meet who just start out life pursuing completely different goals with a totally different attitude, a different set of values from ourselves. And who's to say which is the better set of values? When you say, "Live and let live," that also, does it not, means tolerance, and therefore, in order for these two ideas to live and let live with each other, you have to adopt this ugly word tolerance and tolerate each other?
Question 8
So that's your use of the word never, then, because you mean infinity?
Question 9
I see. Sure. When you mentioned different ideologies -- again referring to some of the answers you gave -- you said that you didn't really... I don't think you said, "believe," that you didn't approve... Don't get institutionalized. You say you fight that. And don't become an organization, remain an organism. In other words, you don't really approve of institutionalized religion. I read that and then I look at the sign on my hotel wall -- your hotel here -- and it says "Rajneeshism." I would have thought that -- again it's semantics, perhaps -- but ism would tend to suggest a structure, an ideology which would tend to suggest also an organization. So that if you have Rajneeshism, you're bound to become organized.
Question 10
Well, Rajneeshism has been described as a cult. Do you disagree with that?
Question 11
Why would you disagree?
Question 12
I don't see that happening, to be quite honest. I don't see your adherents here, your disciples, followers, fellows in your community -- however you want to describe them -- I can't really see them just dispersing like that, sort of the day after....
Question 13
So your final wishes will be disobeyed, then...?
Question 14
Well, you're on the record! When you talk about no organization and discipline, I must say, looking around coming back three years later, I see people -- I thought they were chauffeurs, everyone wearing these sort of plumcolored peaked caps. They appeared to be uniforms, in fact, and a lot of people do appear -- I don't mean just the choice of the colors, but actually wearing identical clothes -- I mean this would strike me instantly as organization of a quite extreme kind.
Question 15
I take the point, but I meant not really the choice of a certain color -- fair enough, or variations on it -- no, these people that I saw were wearing identical clothes. They were cut the same way, the same shirts. They matched, in other words, identical... Like an army.
Question 16
Do you think they do? Have you asked them?
Question 17
Then the police don't mind if they wear red?
Question 18
I don't think you'll have to worry about that very much. Talking about not wearing red, it would be true, of course, wouldn't it, that by your not wearing red, everybody looks at you because you're the only person not wearing red? And you did say that you're the great showman, and that would be part of the showmanship, would it?
Question 19
Very good! And your robes, they are also part of the showmanship?
Question 20
Do you design them yourself or do you have people...?
Question 21
Oh, it's not your creation, then? I thought you chose them yourself.
Question 22
Glass, cut glass?
Question 23
Does it tell the time as well then?
Question 24
And you wear silk. Is that your preference? I think when I was here last, you were wearing more woven, sort of natural -- looking fabric.
Question 25
Have you gone up in the world, to silk?
Question 26
And I also read that your cars -- you don't own these, of course; that you are a guest here, in fact; and that... So really, you don't own anything.
Question 27
It strikes me that it's costing your followers a fortune to keep you in poverty.
Question 28
I was wondering -- all the discussion that has taken place in the media about you and this place and sort of agonized appraisals of the spirituality and the religion and its content, and how religious it is or is not... And you say, well, you're a showman. It struck me that perhaps people ought to take you at your word.
Question 29
But why do you think they have to be showmen? Why do all the religious masters have to be showmen?
Question 30
Immense work? Would you like to elaborate on that? Would you explain to me the immense work... You don't mean in a practical way?
Question 31
Oh, yeah. Miracles, that's pretty....
Question 32
I would absolutely agree. I personally am an atheist, so this is music to my ears. But then, you're saying you are the first one who is not?
Question 33
I believe you, but would you like to explain the validity of the claim?
Question 34
Well, that's not quite true, is it, because... I mean the original mormons were polygamous, weren't they? And so they made a virtue, the men at least, out of many wives -- and much sex, I presume. So not all religions -- I mean many, but not quite all, surely...?
Question 35
But you're special too, aren't you?
Question 36
I mean, you're the only man or woman here who enters a building on a path strewn with rose leaves. I thought that was fairly special.
Question 37
Showmanship, yes! I don't see how you could say that you're not special in these circumstances.
Question 38
You are the only person who doesn't wear red, or a shade of red....
Question 39
No, but in this context, that's another special thing isn't it?
Question 40
Two of us! Yes, well indeed I am special for some of those same reasons -- because I am not a sannyasin, I'm not dressed in red, in working....
Question 41
In Wasco county, eh?
Question 42
Sure, but I mean as I say, you may not actually seek being special, but nevertheless that's the case, isn't it?
Question 43
I don't see how you can deny that, given the circumstances. Even just an eyewitness would look at the crowd and say, "He's special, he's wearing blue."
Question 44
I am reminded of another class of people, very select and small class of people, who don't carry money, like yourself, and that's royalty. The queen never carries money, and that is a sort of mark of being special, because other people have to do it for her, which elevates her in importance, doesn't it? -- so it makes her special. She's a great show woman as well.
Question 45
They don't have to, do they? I don't know; I mean, I've never gone into it but they wish to do so, presumably.
Question 46
Oh, absolutely! I know, shocking, shocking, national disgrace. A national disgrace -- her son as well, awful, isn't it?
Question 47
No, I'm afraid not. Well Karl Marx thought there would be, actually. He thought Germany and Britain would be the places where there would be communist revolution.
Question 48
On a lot of things... Right, sure, right -- another ism. You've said some really critical things about communism. Do you mean communism as the system in the Soviet Union at the moment, or do you mean the communism envisaged by Karl Marx and Engels?
Question 49
Maybe he meditated too much... Lapsed into the unconscious.
Question 50
With your belief in the individual and the supremacy of that, then the USA would be the place for you to be, of course, wouldn't it? -- and here you are. Because it's almost the national philosophy, almost the cult -- it's been called the cult of the individual, hasn't it? But there are critics who say that it leads to lack of compassion, a lack of civic sense, a lack of social community in this country. And that's why, when you said there are very few poor people, that may be so, compared with starving people in Ethiopia. But in America's own terms, the government itself lists thirty million people who are officially poor -- in other words, don't have enough money for the roof over their heads, the basic needs, three square meals a day and so on.
As you well know, I'm sure, the reason for this has been given as the emphasis on individuality to the point that the community is neglected, and you've got private wealth and public squalor. Do you accept that? Is that a consequence that you are able to live with?
Question 51
You mean you, here?
Question 52
Well, if I may say, I wouldn't agree with that, because it's like the caged bird, isn't it? -- born in the cage is a different matter than catching a bird and putting it in a cage -- and I agree with you that the poor person in America might be rich compared with the peasant in Bangladesh. But the peasant in Bangladesh is not necessarily being exposed every day to incredible riches. Or certainly not the way they are here. Here, it's the constant taunting, almost, the contrast of the two, that makes for a lot of violence and dissatisfaction, does it not?
Question 53
What you just said there, in just this recent answer that you gave to my question -- I believe that if I wrote that out verbatim and showed it to someone when I leave this place tomorrow and said that an American conservative politician told me this last night, they would read it and say, "Yes, of course, that's the thing they usually do say." It sounds to me very much like the words of a conservative republican American politician. There's nothing wrong in this, of course, but I'm a bit surprised that, with your emphasis of compassion, humanity, love of individual, you could sound so much like people who are, in fact, accused of having none of those things.
Question 54
And you believe if I read your message correctly, in the quotation from your book -- you believe this is inevitable, then, the way things are going, that there will be a holocaust nuclear style. Does this include the nuclear holocaust about 1990? You gave a date that between now and -- did you say 1990, was it?
Question 55
I can thoroughly accept and see your reasoning about the nuclear threat and the inevitability of a holocaust, but did you not also say that you thought there would be cataclysmic events -- I think you said in California, particularly, and elsewhere -- of the kind associated with nature, geography: catastrophes, floods, earthquakes? How do you know this?
Question 56
In fact, the weather in California has been different, I know through my own experience. In the last three or four years the usual pattern has gone awry. Is that why you selected California as the scene of the worst disasters that you fear?
Question 57
It seems I'm getting all my information out of my hotel room; but I saw in my bathroom a notice that said that AIDS will kill two thirds of the world....
Question 58
That's amazing... I think that's an exaggeration, isn't it? I've never heard anybody say anything approaching that number.
Question 59
Two thirds?
Question 60
Well, how?
Question 61
Doctors disagree with you. They say absolutely the opposite.
Question 62
Have you mentioned that to...?
Question 63
Well, you take a very pessimistic view, but may I put this to you: Going back to the idea of cults -- and you said this is not a cult, and your reasoning is different, I know, from a psychologist, but there is a psychologist who studied cults in the USA and elsewhere called Dr. Margaret Singer. Have you heard of her? She's eminent and has impeccable academic credentials and so on, and she has studied a lot of the cults. And she says they have things in common, and some of the things she mentions could apply here.
One of the things she mentions in particular is the creation of what she calls "group paranoia." And that is, that it's in the interests of the people who are leading or are prominent in the cult to create the sense of group paranoia, because by doing so they achieve greater loyalty, greater commitment from the faithful.
When I see the guns and the search, and I sign five documents as a visitor, and when I hear you on the subject of AIDS and nuclear war -- well many others have dealt with that -- but your fatalistic words on the subject of AIDS... It sort of adds up.
Question 64
But she has devoted many years of her life to the study of religious cults.
Question 65
Oh, yes. I mean, she deals... She discusses that.
Question 66
Well, as I say, I don't object to it, and I agreed before I came; but I have been searched, my luggage has been searched, and a dog has sniffed over the hired car that I.... And that doesn't even happen to me when I go to the White House.
Question 67
Oh, sure. I'll bet there are a couple of FBI people sitting here, right now. No, that could be possible, I agree.
Question 68
But all the attorney general of Oregon has done to you, it seems to me, is harass you with lawsuits. He hasn't sent any people with guns. I mean, he hasn't shot at you. I mean, the man who blew up the hotel may have been a random madman....
Question 69
Well, mad people can run away as well as sane people.
Question 70
But I don't see, personally, that there's need for such weaponry because the threat hasn't been of that magnitude.
Question 71
I mean, I might ask for proof. The document itself, if it was on a document. Then I would accept it.
Question 72
But that sounds to me like what they call a contingency plan, isn't it?
Question 73
Why do they want to do this?
Question 74
Well, they deny it. They say, as far as I understand it, that some various legal matters they feel you may have contravened in the opinions of some lawyers.
Question 75
But you don't think that will be the end of the matter, it seems?
Question 76
But supposing they exhaust all the legal possibilities to the Supreme court in Washington, and you win every single case, do you then think that will be the end of it?
Question 77
Why not?
Question 78
Oh, come on! I know the police did in Philadelphia, but so I suppose, you know, it's been done....
Question 79
I have to say that I think Dr. Margaret Singer would be very interested in that comment you just made. I absolutely accept what you are saying about the suicide, but you do have one thing in common with reverend Jim Jones. He also said, "We'll ask the Soviets for help, if we need it." And he was referring to the American government. Does that bother you in any way that you share that same...?
Question 80
Except that appeal to the Soviet Union.
Question 81
Well, as I say, I'm really sorry that you take such a gloomy view of the intentions of the Oregon state government, but I find it very difficult to believe that anybody plans the death of you or your followers because that strikes me as hyperbole, to say the very least.
Question 82
But isn't there a world of difference between someone attempting to murder a political or religious leader -- and after all, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, was he not? -- isn't there a world of difference between that and the planned bombing of an entire community such as you have here? What were your marigold and a rose again? -- incomparable.
Question 83
Oh, I have no doubts about your resolve; it's your reason that bothers me a little bit. Why do you think that they hate you so much that they want to murder five thousand people here?
Question 84
Shall we change the subject? Or do you wish to go?
Question 85
I was going to ask you one thing more. I admired your comment as quoted here on the subject of women and your ardent support of what some people will call feminism or equality. I also see a lot of your people organizing here are women. Is that another of the things they probably have against you?
Question 86
Edited excerpt: 2min 52sec, question 86 **
To someone observing the various views that you have -- it is quite a mixture, because some of your views appear conservative, some appear quite radical, others appear reformist/liberal, if you like -- how are you able to encompass so many things which some people would say disagree with each other? How can you be all those things all at once?


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