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Nothing spiritual about poverty

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I am not against science -- my approach is basically scientific but science has limitations, and I don't stop where science stops; I go on, I go beyond. Use science, but don't be used by it. It is good to have great technology; certainly it helps man to get rid of stupid work, certainly it helps man to get rid of many kinds of slavery. Technology can help man and animals both. Animals are also tortured; they are suffering very much because we are using them. Machines can replace them, machines can do all the work. Man and animals can both be free.

And I would like a humanity which is totally free from work, because in that state you will start growing -- in aesthetic sense, sensitivity, relaxation, meditation. You will become more artistic and you will become more spiritual because you will have time and energy available.

Religion is the ultimate in luxury. The poor man has to think about bread and butter -- he cannot even manage that. He has to think about a shelter, clothes, children, medicine, and he cannot manage these small things. His whole life is burdened by trivia; he has no space, no time to devote to god. And even if he goes to the temple or to the church, he goes to ask only for material things. His prayer is not true prayer, it is not that of gratitude; it is a demand, a desire. He wants this, he wants that -- and we cannot condemn him, he has to be forgiven. The needs are there and he is constantly under a weight. How can he find a few hours just to sit silently, doing nothing? The mind goes on thinking. He has to think about the tomorrow.

Jesus says: Look at the lilies in the field; they toil not, they don't think of the morrow. And they are far more beautiful than even Solomon, the great king, in all his grandeur, ever was.

True, the lilies toil not and they don't think of the morrow. But can you say it to a poor man? If he does not think of the morrow, then tomorrow is death. He has to prepare for it; he has to think from where he is going to get his food, where he is going to be employed. He has to think. He has children and a wife, he has an old mother and an old father. He cannot be like the lilies of the field. How can he avoid toil, labor, work? -- that will be suicidal.

The lilies are certainly beautiful and I totally agree with Jesus, but Jesus' statement is not yet applicable to the greater part of humanity. Unless humanity becomes very rich, the statement will remain just theoretical; it will not have any practical use.

I would like the world to be richer than it is. I don't believe in poverty and I don't believe that poverty has anything to do with spirituality. Down the ages it has been told that poverty is something spiritual; it was just a consolation.

Poverty is not spiritual -- poverty is the source of all crimes.

To me, spirituality has a totally different dimension. It is the ultimate luxury -- when you have all and suddenly you see that, although you have all, deep inside there is a vacuum which has to be filled, an emptiness which has to be transformed into a plenitude. One becomes aware of the inner emptiness only when one has everything on the outside. Science can do that miracle. I love science, because it can create the possibility for religion to happen.

Man has lived irreligiously: talking about God, certainly -- going to the church, to the temple, to the mosque -- yet his life showing no flavor of religion.

My vision of religion is totally different. It has nothing to do with poverty. I would like the whole earth to become as rich as paradise -- richer than paradise -- so that people can stop thinking about paradise.

The society needs science, the society needs religion. And if you ask me what should be the first priority -- science should be the first priority. First the outer, the circumference, then the inner -- because the inner is more subtle, more delicate.

Science can create the space for real religion to exist on the earth.

Excerpted from Dhammapada, the way of the Buddha, Vol 2/ Osho Times InternationalCourtesy Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com

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