Osho: From Robopathology to Enlightenment
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1
Najrani said, ’if you say that you can”nearly
you are talking nonsense.’
A theologian who liked this phrase asked,
’can you give us an equivalent of this in
’Certainly,’ said Najrani.
’It is equivalent to saying that something is
”almost a circle”.’
MAN is not yet man.
He can be, but he is not. The potential is there but the potential
has to be actualised. It is not yet a reality. By birth we are born
only into an opportunity to grow. Birth itself is not life. And the
person who thinks that by being born he has already become man is
That is the original sin. That is the only sin
there is – to think that you are already that which you can be.
Life has to be discovered, created, realised. If
you don’t realise it you remain more or less a machine. That is one
of the basic principles of Sufism: that man as he exists is a
The machine has deceived itself into believing
that it is conscious. Consciousness is a promise, but one has to
explore it. It is a task. Consciousness is a possibility but you
can miss it. Don’t take it for granted. It is not yet a fact.
You are a seed for it but you have to grow into it. A seed can
remain a seed and may never become a tree, may never become capable
of blooming, may never be able to release its fragrance to the
world, may never be able to offer itself to the divine. That
possibility also exists. And remember always that many miss; only a
This creates an anxiety – that man is a
promise, that man is an adventure that man is not yet. It
creates an anxiety in the wrong kind of person but it creates joy in
the right kind of person.
Whom do I call the right kind of person and whom
do I call the wrong kind?
The coward is the wrong kind of person.
In the coward it creates anxiety. At the very idea of going on an
adventure, on a pilgrimage into the unknown, the coward shrinks. He
stops breathing. His heart beats no more. He becomes stone deaf to
this call, to this challenge. This challenge becomes an enemy. He
becomes defensive against it.
And the courageous I call the right kind of
person. To him this is not an anxiety, this is thrill, this is
challenge, this is adventure. God has called him forth. He starts
moving, he starts seeking and searching. If you seek, there is a
possibility of finding if you don’t seek, there is no possibility.
If you start moving then one day or other you will reach the ocean,
as every river does.
But if you have become very, very much afraid of
movement, of dynamism, of life, of change, then you become a small
pond. By and by you die. You become more and more dirty, dull,
stale, stagnant. Then your whole life is ill. Then your whole
life is a pathology. And many – the majority – live in a kind of
modern thinker, Lewis Yablonsky, has coined the right word for this
pathology – he calls it ’robopathology’. The man who suffers
from it he calls a ’robopath’. ’Robo’ means a machine, an
automaton; one who lives a mechanical kind of life, a repetitive
kind of life; one who has no adventure; one who simply goes on
dragging himself. He fulfils the day-to-day demands but he never
fulfils the eternal demand, the eternal challenge.
He will go to the office, to the factory, he will
come home, he will look after the children and the wife, and he will
do a thousand and one things – and do them very efficiently – but he
will never be alive, you will not find aliveness in him. He will
live as if he is already dead.
’Robopath’ is a beautiful word. Sufis have
always talked about this pathology. They have called it by many
names. For example, they say that man is a machine. Gurdjieff
introduced this Sufi idea into the Western consciousness. Sufis say
that man is asleep. Sufis say that man is dead. Sufis say that
man is not yet. Sufis say that man only believes that he is but
that belief is a kind of dream.
You may remember sometimes dreaming that you are
awake. Yes, it happens in dreams. You can dream yourself awake, you
can think you are awake – and when you dream in a dream that you are
awake you feel as if you are awake. Only in the morning when you are
really awake will you be able to compare notes. Then you will laugh
at the ridiculousness of it. The dream deceived you.
Sufis say that people are not awake,
they only believe they are awake. And their very belief is a
hindrance to their awakening. If you already believe that you are
awake then what is the need of doing anything about it? It is
pointless. If a man feels he is healthy then what is the point of
going to a physician? Then what is the point of taking any medicine
or treatment? Then what is the point of having very, very painful
surgery? He believes he is healthy already.
they are healthy because they are afraid of the medicine, of the
physician, of the operation, of the surgery. They are afraid of
everything, they simply exist in fear, they go on trembling deep
inside. They are just protecting themselves. Their whole life
is a long story of protection, defending. They don’t have time to
live and they don’t have energy to grow.
This robopathology has to be understood. It is
one of the fundamentals of Sufism.
A few things.... A robopath is a person whose
pathology entails robot-like behaviour and existence. He is man only
for the name’s sake. He could have been a computer. He may be. A
robopath is a human who functions insensitively, mechanically – in
short, in a dead way. A robopath is an automaton. His existential
state is not even inhuman. he is not human, certainly he is not even
inhuman – because to be inhuman first you have to be human. His
existential state can only be described as the Sufis describe it –
they call it ’ahuman’. It has no human value, neither this way nor
that. He is neither human nor inhuman, he is ahuman.
These are the characteristics of this disease.
Ponder over them – because they are your characteristics,
everybody’s. Until you become enlightened these characteristics will
follow you like a shadow.
We can define enlightenment as getting out of
robopathology, becoming consciousness for the first time, dropping
the mechanical, no longer being identified with the mechanical,
becoming a witness, awareness, awakenedness.
The first characteristic is sleep.
You will find the robopath always asleep. He walks but he walks in
sleep. He talks but he talks in sleep. He does many things, he has
become perfectly efficient in doing the ordinary things of life. But
watch yourself and watch people. You go on doing the same thing
again and again. By and by there is no need to be alert about those
things, you can simply do them. You need not be there.
When you first start learning to drive you have
to be there for a few days. That’s why it is so troublesome to learn
anything – because to learn anything you will have to come out of
your sleep a little bit at least. Otherwise how will you learn?
Robopaths are never interested in new things.
Once they have learned a few things they go on moving in that
vicious circle. Every morning is the same, every evening is the
same. Every time they eat or they talk or they make love, it is the
same. They are not needed there at all. They don’t do anything
through consciousness, they go on making empty gestures. That’s
why there is so much boredom in life. How can you remain thrilled by
constantly repeating the old? This is the first characteristic –
The second characteristic is dreaming
– part of sleep. A robopath continuously dreams – not only in the
night, even in the day. He has day-dreams, reveries. Even while he
is doing something, deep inside he is dreaming. You can find that
any time. Close your eyes any time and look inside and you will find
a dream unfolding. It is constantly there. It is like the stars – in
the day they don’t disappear, they only become invisible because the
light of the sun is too bright. But the stars are there, the full
sky is there as it is in the night – exactly as it is in the night.
When the sun is gone you will see those stars appearing again. They
have not gone anywhere, they were there just waiting for the sun to
In the night you start seeing dreams. Those
dreams don’t disappear in the day. Because you become involved in a
thousand and one things in daily routine life, they go on lurking
deep in the unconscious. You can find them any moment. Close your
eyes, wait a single moment, and the dream is there. Sleep is
constantly there. Your eyes are full of sleep and your mind is full
And the third characteristic is ritualism.
A robopath remains in rituals, he never does anything through his
heart. He will say ’hello’ because he has to say it or because
he has always been saying it. His ’hello’ will not have any heart in
it. He will kiss his wife but it will be just repeating an empty
gesture. There is no kiss in his kiss. He will embrace somebody but
only bones will touch and skin will touch – he will remain as far
away as ever. He is not there. You can be certain about one thing –
he is not there.
But robopaths are great ritualists. They depend
on ritual. They do everything as it should be done.
A ritual is by its very nature uncreative.
A ritualistic person is never spontaneous, he cannot afford to be
spontaneous. If you want to be spontaneous you will have to be
alert. Spontaneity has one necessary ingredient, and that is
alertness. If you are not alert you cannot be spontaneous.
of course, how can you be creative? You are repetitive, how
can you be creative? Even great creators are rarely creative. Even
great painters go on repeating their won painting, and great poets
go on repeating the same poem again and again.
Only very rarely does a person sometimes create
something – and those moments when creativity is there are
moments of spiritual joy. That’s why creativity brings so much joy.
A creative person is a happy person; an uncreative person is a
Many people come to me and they ask how to be
happy, where to find happiness. They cannot find it unless they
become creative. Happiness cannot happen to them, it happens only
to creative souls. Create something. Become more spontaneous.
Drop repetitions. Let every morning be a new morning and let every
experience be a new experience. Don’t think that all is old.
Robopaths think there is nothing new under the sun – it is all the
same so why bother?
than living life a robopath creates a ritual.
For example, if he prays he prays as a ritual. He has learned a
certain prayer, he goes and repeats it. He goes to the church, he
has learned a ritual. There may be a temple by the side of the
church but he will not go to the temple. And the temple may be more
silent. Or there may be a mosque and the mosque may be more silent.
It is Sunday, all the Christians are in the church – if you really
want to pray, the church is the last place. If you want to pray you
should find a temple or a mosque where there will be silence and
more of God. But a Christian cannot go there. He is not interested
in prayer and he is not interested in God, he is only interested in
a certain kind of ritual. That makes him feel that he is a
These ritualists create great problems in the
world. They go on fighting, they go on
debating whose ritual is the best. All rituals are just rituals;
there is no question of there being a good ritual or a bad ritual. A
ritual as such is bad, ugly. Spontaneity is good, ritualism is
Just the other day I was reading a story....
Sedgewick, the eldest son of a respectable Boston family, walked
into his father’s study one evening and made a shocking
announcement. He intended to live openly with his boyfriend on
’Damn it!’ exclaimed the parent. ’Our
family came here with the pilgrims and we have never had a scandal
such as this.’
’I can’t help it,’ said Sedgewick, ’I
love him. ’
’But for God’s sake!’ shouted his
father. ’He’s a Catholic!’
Now that is the real problem. That is the
scandal. That’s what is heavy for the parent.
The ritualistic mind is always like that. It
goes on missing the real problem. It never faces a real problem,
it creates an unreal problem because it is easy to solve an unreal
problem. Remember it. It gives you a good feeling that you have
That’s why people love to solve puzzles,
crossword puzzles, and things like that.
Solving a crossword puzzle gives you a feeling that you are solving
something. It is stupid. Nothing is solved by solving a crossword
puzzle. Your life remains as unsolved and as complicated and
confused as ever, but it gives you a feeling that at least you have
been able to solve something. Otherwise there is no need. Life is
such a great puzzle, if you want to solve it, solve it. Why create
small, tiny, petty troubles and puzzles and then solve them? They
give you a good feeling. They make you avoid life itself. Life is
too big and dangerous. Solving a crossword puzzle has no danger in
it. If you solve it, good. If you don’t solve it, nothing is wrong
go on watching other people live. They
go to a movie to see other people love; they go to see a dance,
other people dancing; they go to see wrestling, other people
wrestling. People have become spectators. It gives them a
false feeling, as if they are part of the dance or part of the love
affair that is going on. And they go on just watching,
spectators, dead and dull. Their life is nil. And if you look
into their life you will find them repeating the same motions again
I have heard....
Rabbi Greenberg died and went to heaven. He saw
only three people there reading by a dim light. One of them was
reading ’Playboy’, another ’Penthouse’ and the other ’Hustler’.
Then he decided to see what hell was like. He got
to the Devil’s domain and it turned out to be a big night club with
every kind of music being played. There was an eight-piece Dixieland
band, a thirty-piece swing band, and all the people were dancing.
Rabbi Greenberg went back into heaven and asked
for an audience with God. ’I don’t understand it, Lord,’ he said.
’There are only three people here in heaven and they are all
reading. Down in hell everybody is dancing and having a good time.
Why can’t we have that in heaven?’
The Lord said, ’I cannot hire a band for just
If your so-called saints are going to heaven,
heaven is going to be a really dull kind of place.
Avoid it. If by chance you enter it, escape from
there! If your mahatmas are all going to heaven then it is better to
choose hell. There you will find people who are a little more alive
– dancing, singing, living. If you want to read ’Playboy’ you can do
it here; what is the point of going to heaven and reading ’Playboy’?
But that ’Playboy’ is also significant –
significant of the robopath. He is not interested in real women;
real women are dangerous. He is interested in pornography. Even
while making love to his woman he will be thinking of other women –
actresses, playboy mates, unreal things, false things, plastic
things. Even while making love to a real woman he avoids. People go
on avoiding the real.
And the pornographers and the people who are
obsessed with pornography are not different from the churchgoers. It
is the same is there you will worship him. This is pornography,
spiritual pornography. People worship the dead and avoid the
alive – because with the alive you have to become alive, that is the
problem. With the dead you are perfectly happy; you are also
dead, there is a communion between the dead and the dead. With the
alive you start feeling guilty, with the alive you start feeling
you are missing, with the alive you start feeling jealous.
With the alive you start feeling that you have to do something now –
and you don’t want to do it. You want to somehow kill time, pass
time. People are passing time.
people are very much interested in rituals. A real prayer is going
inwards; a ritualistic prayer is just lip-service. To face a real
Master is to face death and to face life – they are both together,
always together. To worship a dead Master – a Jesus, a Buddha –
requires nothing from you. You can bow down at the feet of an
image and you remain the same. Bowing down at the feet of a real
Master your ego has to be put aside. Your ego will create a thousand
and one difficulties for you to bow down and surrender. That’s why
people become Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans – these are all
Robopaths live a life of formality.
Even their so-called intimate and emotional behaviour is
ritualistic and programmed. Their activities are all pre
packaged. They never do anything on the spur of the moment. Coming
home they think about what they are going to say to their wife.
Going to the office they prepare what they are going to say to the
boss. They are always rehearsing. It is always a rehearsal. They are
always getting ready. And naturally, when you are too prepared, you
miss the moment. You don’t hear what is being said, you don’t see
what is present. You go on seeing things in the light of what you
I was a teacher in a University for many years.
I was surprised that students used to answer a question that had
not been asked at all. Something had been asked but they had
prepared something else, they were expecting something else. And
they would answer whatsoever they had prepared.
It was not that they were doing it knowingly, no.
Because their answer was ready, they would read the question in such
a way that the answer fitted with it. They would interpret the
question in such a way that it fitted with the answer. They could
not afford to read the question as it was – that would be dangerous.
It might not fit and they knew only a certain answer for which they
were ready. They would immediately start writing the answer; they
would not even bother to go into the question. Just a slight change
in the question and their whole answer would be wrong, but they
would not see that slight change.
And that’s how it goes on in your whole life.
robopath is very dogmatic. He is
always pretending to be certain about everything. He cannot
allow doubt. Doubt creates trembling. He believes, he never suspects
– because if you doubt then you have to enquire. And who knows where
your doubt will lead? That’s why you see so many believers on the
earth and no religion at all. So many believers? Everybody seems to
be a believer – believing in his Christianity, in his Mohammedanism,
in his Hinduism. Everybody is a believer.
And the world is so utterly irreligious – what
is the matter? With so many believers the world should be blooming
in religion. But this belief is not trust, not faith; it is pure
dogmatism. It is just an effort to
crush the doubt, it is just an effort to repress the doubt. If you
talk to a robopath you have to be very alert; you must not touch his
belief otherwise he gets mad. He is not getting mad at you. He
simply becomes afraid – you are taking the ground from underneath
his feet. He has been believing that he knows and now you are here
to disturb him. People don’t like being disturbed. It creates
People are very fixed in their ideas.
Life goes on changing but their ideas never change. Just look....
You are still carrying the ideas that were given to you in your
childhood – and that life is no longer there. Life has moved, the
Ganges has flowed, much water has passed, and you still go on
believing in your childhood beliefs, childish, juvenile concepts.
You carry them. That’s why people don’t grow.
robopath is always past-oriented or future-oriented.
He is never in the present. The past is good because you cannot
do anything with the past. The past is finished and complete.
The robopath feels very at ease with the past. The past is dead,
things have happened, now there is no way to change and alter them.
With the past the robopath feels in tune, with
the future he can desire and hope – but with the present he is very
uneasy, with the present he is very restless. The present brings
problems. The past is finished, there is no problem about it – it is
And with the future you can hope and you can
settle according to the hopes in your mind. The future will not
create any trouble for you. The future will not say that this is not
possible. You can dream about it.
But the present is the most dangerous space to
be. You want one thing and life gives
something else. There is always a clash. You wanted somebody to
welcome you and he didn’t welcome you. If you had been hoping about
the future there would have been no problem. The future cannot come
and say no. The past is settled, you know it is settled. Everything
has happened. It is no more relevant. The past can be classified
easily, the future can be projected easily... the only problem
arises with the present.
The present does not listen to you. It has its
own being. That’s why the robopath goes on avoiding the present. And
the best way to avoid the present is either to remain past-oriented
or to become future-oriented.
There are two kinds of robopaths
– the older type remains with the past and the newer type remains
with the future; the catholic remains with the past and the
communist remains with the future. The so-called orthodox religious
people think that the golden age was in the past – somewhere far
away, pre-history; and the communists and the fascists think that
the future is going to bring the utopia – somewhere far away are
those golden peaks. But they are not very different. These are two
aspects of the same robopathology. One thing is similar – both
want to avoid the present. Nobody wants to deal with it, nobody is
ready to encounter it.
life happens only when you start encountering the present. You
become aware. Your life starts being new when you respond to the
present. And the response has to be
completely pure of past and future.
The robopath lives out of the past.
The present does not exist for him. There is nothing new. The
response of the robopath is never adequate, cannot be. It is not a
response to the present situation so how can it be adequate? It is
always inadequate. He reacts on cue. He suffers a cultural lag. He
is never contemporary.
Remember well, if one thousand people are sitting
here, don’t think they are all living in the same moment, don’t
think they are contemporary. A few may be still struggling in the
caves ten thousand years back – cultural lag. Or a few may be
dreaming of the future. Either you lag behind or you jump ahead –
and both are wrong.
The only way to be authentic and alive is to
be here-now. This is the only moment and this is the only
space. Reality is here-now. All else is mind. Mind lives in the
memory or in the imagination. The robopath lives memory, lives
imagination, but never lives reality.
robopath is a conformist. Conformity
is a virtue for the robopath, the highest value. His whole idea
is how to conform with people, how to become part of the mob and the
crowd. And whatsoever value the crowd gives, he follows it. He is a
follower, he is an imitator. He never asserts his individuality, he
is never a rebel. He is orthodox in his very blood. He trusts
the crowd, he does not trust his consciousness. He has none. When
you have consciousness you trust your consciousness, then you are
not a blind follower of the crowd.
The crowd is the lowest consciousness. To
follow the crowd simply means a blind man following other blind men
who are far more blind than you are.
An individual has some possibility of awakening, the crowd has none.
Sometimes an individual has become awakened – a Buddha, a Krishna, a
Christ, a Mohammed, a Mansoor – have you ever heard of a crowd
becoming enlightened? It has not happened and it is not going to
happen. The crowd has no soul. The crowd is absolutely dead.
Only individuals live, but the conformist puts
his individuality below the crowd. The conformist has only one idea
– how to convince people that he is living according to their ideas
and ideals, how to have the good opinion of the people. The good
opinion of others is his whole virtue, his whole morality.
’New or different behaviour is viewed by the
robopath as strange and bizarre. Freaks are feared; originality is
suspect. Tradition is truth. Obeying is his religion. To be part of
the crowd is his goal. He wants to be anonymous in the crowd.’
does not want the responsibility of being an individual – because to
have responsibility you will have to have consciousness. It is very
easy to drop all responsibilities when you become part of a crowd.
A Mohammedan crowd burning a temple, or a Hindu crowd killing
Mohammedans or a Catholic crowd murdering.... If you become part of
the crowd you don’t have any responsibility. You can always say, ’I
am not responsible. Hindus were going there to destroy the mosque
and I followed them because I am a Hindu. But I have no individual
responsibility. I did not decide to do it. It was already happening.
I was just there and I became part of it.’
And when so many people are burning the mosque or
murdering people, you can always say, ’They are doing it. Even if I
am not doing it, it is going to happen – so what. I can be with
them.’ And you don’t feel any prick in your conscience.
Just think... can you do the same thing
individually, all alone, on your own? You will think a thousand
times before you decide to do such a stupid act as burning a mosque,
or killing a person. But crowds are known to do any kind of thing.
It has been one of the observations down the centuries that
individuals only rarely go mad, crowds are always mad. For
individuals madness is a rare phenomenon, it is accidental, but
mobs – madness is the rule for mobs. The crimes that have been
committed by the crowd are many; individuals have committed only a
few crimes here and there.
Remember it, a robopath lives through the
crowd so that he cannot be bothered by any responsibility. He can
always say ’they’. He can drop his ’I’ into the ’they’. He can lose
himself in the crowd, become faceless, anonymous. Nobody can catch
hold of him.
But you are responsible.
The robopath lives in image involvement. He is
always concerned about how his image is, what people are thinking
about him – whether they think him good, saintly, this and that.
He is not really worried about transforming his life. If people
believe in stupid things he will follow them. You can go and
see. If people believe that fasting is good, you will find a few
stupid people fasting – because only through fasting will they
become saints. If people believe that killing oneself is spiritual,
you will find people killing themselves.
In Jainism suicide is permitted. If somebody
wants to kill himself he is allowed to – and he becomes a great
saint. Why? Because they say the world is just sin. The man who
wants to get out of this world fast and soon is a great saint. Many
people have committed suicide.
There have been many sects whose members used to
whip themselves – the idea was that one who whips himself every
morning is a great saint. And he who was the greater was decided by
how many times he whipped himself in a day. Stupid, neurotic things,
but they have happened. They still go on happening.
They live through the ideal, they live for the
image they don’t have any inner direction.
’They have no interior definition of their behaviour. It is decided
by others. Public opinion is the ultimate deciding factor. Their
behaviour is thus dominated by image or status requirements set by
the surrounding society.’
Watch these characteristics in you and in others.
Robopaths are idealists, they are never realists. They avoid
reality. They have great ideas in their mind about how man
should be. They never listen to the fact of how man is; ’should’ is
far more important for them than ’is’. And ’is’ is real and ’should’
is just imagination. They live in the ’ought’ and they have
impossible ideals in their minds which cannot be fulfilled, which
are inhuman – but they try to fulfil them. And in that very effort
they start becoming more and more hard, more and more dead.
A robopath is always a perfectionist. He is
never satisfied. He will always be finding faults.
He will try to be as faultless as possible and he will look always
at others’ faults. Now, if you want to be faultless you cannot be
original. With the original comes the error. If you want to
do something new you have to accept that sometimes you may commit
mistakes. If you want to be faultless you have to have a very small
routine repeated so many times that it has become absolutely rigid
and you can do it perfectly.
That’s why many people live at the minimum,
they cannot go to the maximum. With the minimum they can remain
perfect but the maximum is a danger – error may enter in. People
live a very limited kind of life. They choose a small life and life
has to be multi-dimensional, only then is it rich.
A robopath is really poor.
He may have as much wealth as one can have, but he is poor. His
life is one-dimensional. He always lives to the minimum, close to
the minimum. Do as few things as possible because then you
remain more perfect. If you do many more things, naturally you can’t
A real man is rich.
He commits many errors – of course, he never commits the same error
twice – but he always goes on new adventures, seeking and
searching for the new. He is ready to go astray. The
perfectionist is not ready to go astray. He cannot learn because
learning creates trouble – that’s why you see that children can
learn very much, grown-ups cannot. Grown-ups become perfectionists,
they become robopaths. Children are still not trained for it; they
are ready to learn.
And children learn fast. Psychologists
have come to observe that a child learns as much in seven years as
he will learn in the rest of his life. Fifty per cent of his whole
life is learned by the age of seven. If you are going to live for
seventy years more, you will learn only fifty per cent more. This
seems to be a sheer wastage of life. But why is the child so
ready to learn? He is ready to commit mistakes, he is not worried
about his image. He can try. If he fails he is ready to fail. A
person who is not ready to fail will never try.
A robopath is necessarily anti-joy, anti-life.
Not only is he anti-joy, he is a joy-killer.
If somebody else is celebrating he will look with eyes of
condemnation. If somebody is singing and dancing he will look as if
somebody is committing a sin, a grave sin. He cannot accept
laughter. Laughter looks to him like a sacrilege. He wants everybody
to be serious and have long faces. He wants everybody to be
miserably serious. That is his idea of a grown-up man. This is not
the grown-up man, this is really the pathological state, ill.
A real man has the capacity to laugh as much
as the capacity to cry. The real man has the capacity to be happy
and to be miserable. His misery also has a certain life. These
robopaths are miserable but even their misery is dull and dead and
mechanical. Even in their misery there is no throb.
Remember this, and avoid any ideas that make you
One of the greatest problems before therapists
is how to help people to become more life-loving, life-affirmative
again – because when you affirm life you are relaxed, when you start
enjoying life you start becoming alive. Again your feet have a dance
and again your heart has a song; again things start happening.
come to me – these anti-life people – they say, ’What kind of ashram
is this? People dancing, singing, women and men holding hands – what
kind of ashram is this?’ Their problem
I can understand. They may have gone to Vinoba’s ashram or to
Shivananda’s ashram. Ashrams have existed in India for centuries –
life-negative ashrams where only dull and dead people gather
together, old, on the verge of death, tired, bored, finished, just
somehow pulling themselves along, against life, against every kind
of celebration. So they have a certain idea about an ashram – that
an ashram has to look serious. They have a certain idea about an
ashram – that an ashram has to look like a hospital.
This is not a hospital, this is not for full and
dead people, this is not a cemetery, this is not a graveyard.
This is a temple where we celebrate – and through celebration we
grow tremendously – where we celebrate the very fact that God has
given us birth; where we are grateful for these few utterly precious
moments that God has given to us, for this baraka, for this
prasad. What can we do except thank God through dance,
through singing, through being more loving? God has showered so much
love on us, what can we do in return? How can we pay the debt? We
can shower this love on other human beings, on trees, on birds, on
animals, on the world. Whatsoever God has given to us we have to
give and share.
robopath has no compassion. He is hard. He is hard on himself, he is
hard on others. And sometimes when
robopathology goes to its very extreme he not only lacks compassion,
he becomes acompassionate. That value simply disappears. He is
neither compassionate nor not compassionate – that value simply does
not exist for him. He only does his role – properly, of course;
he follows orders – blindly, of course. His great value is
’The robopath’s enactments are generally neither
against other people nor for other people in terms of a sense of
personal moral values or principles. He acts essentially in terms
of what is the most expedient behaviour to further or confirm with
his expected status or image in the social system.’
That’s what the people who served Adolf Hitler
said in the courts – that they were simply following orders, they
were not responsible. Their only duty was to obey and they did their
work as efficiently as possible. They were not concerned with what
the work was.
The man who dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima
was asked the next morning by a journalist how he felt. He said,
’There was nothing to feel. I dropped the bomb, I fulfilled my duty,
then I ate my dinner and I went to sleep. And I had a perfect
sleep.’ Now what kind of man is this? One hundred thousand people
have died by his bomb, by his act – one hundred thousand people and
he could sleep the whole night perfectly well without even a
nightmare disturbing him? What kind of man is he? And he could
eat his dinner that night?
But try to understand. He is the perfect
robopath. He says, ’I did my duty’ – as you do your duty. You go
to the office and you do your duty. You are a clerk and you have to
issue an order for somebody to be crucified, sentenced to death –
you don’t feel anything. You simply type the order, you send it to
the right person to sign, you come back home, you take your dinner,
you love your wife, you talk to your children, you watch the TV, and
you go to sleep. It is none of your concern.
The same were the answers of the German officials
who followed such orders that it seems impossible that a human
mind could do that, that a human being could do that. Burning
thousands of Jews.... But they did it perfectly and they did it
robopath has no compassion, he has no feeling, he has no heart. The
robopath lives in constant hostility because he goes on repressing
anger, hatred; he goes on repressing every kind of emotion. He goes
on repressing all the negative kinds of emotions, then by and by a
moment comes of such accumulated anger that he is simply angry – not
at anyone in particular, he is just angry. He becomes antagonistic
to everybody. and he has no reason, just antagonism. It seeps into
his blood and bones, it becomes part of his marrow.
unable to act out their spontaneity and creativity develop repressed
venomous pockets of hostility. They become hard, thick and dense.’
Never repress, otherwise you are on the way to
becoming a robopath.
Robopaths are self-righteous, they always feel
holier than thou. Their whole effort is how to look holier than
others, how to be at the top. Their ego is very subtle. These people
become saints, monks, mahatmas, and all kinds of neuroses are born
in them. These people become politicians, puritans, moralists. They
are ready to throw the whole world into hell. These are the people
who have invented hell.
the last thing that a robopath is, is alienated. ’The robopath is
alienated from self, from other selves, and from nature.
He is alienated from self in the sense that his ego is only a
function of ritualistic demands. It has no intrinsic
self-definition.’ He does not know who he is, he knows only what
others say about him. So he is alienated from himself. He has never
encountered himself. He has never looked into his own being. He has
always been looking into other people’s eyes – looking for his
image, for how he looks in other people’s eyes. He has never come
home. He is alienated from himself.
He is alienated from other selves because
others don’t exist for him as persons, others exist as things. His
world is the world of ’I-it’, it is not the world of ’I-thou’.
He never calls anybody ’thou’, he never falls in love, he never
melts his ego into somebody else’s being, he never comes close
enough to overlap anybody. He remains aloof, distant. He remains
higher than others.
And naturally, when you are not in tune with
yourself and with other people, how can you be in tune with nature?
These robopaths have been destroying nature. They are the enemies of
ecology. They go on destroying nature. They have wiped almost half
of nature off the earth. They are very destructive people. They are
destructive of themselves, of others, of nature – how can they know
God? How can they feel God? They have not even felt a rose flower,
they have not even felt the cry of the cuckoo, they have not even
felt the river passing by, they have not even felt a child smiling
and they have not seen a woman’s tears. They have not even felt
their own existence.
This creates alienation. ’They are alienated
from other people because their interaction is usually in terms of
others as objects, not as human beings.
They are role objects, like servants, bosses, employees, employers,
doctors, patients etc.’
When a doctor comes to see a patient he is not
interested in the patient as a person, just in his role as a
patient. And the patient is not interested in the doctor as a
person, just in his role as a doctor. The wife, the husband, the
son, the father, the mother – they are all roles. People are not
interested in each other’s person, in each other’s living reality.
This is the robopathology that man has lived
up to now, and man can go on living in it.
You can jump out of it. That jump makes you
religious. That jump brings you to understanding, that jump makes
you wise, that jump makes you enlightened.
Now this small story.
Najrani said, ’if you say that you can”nearly
you are talking nonsense.’
A theologian who liked this phrase asked,
’can you give us an equivalent of this in
’Certainly,’ said Najrani.
’It is equivalent to saying that something is
”almost a circle”.’
There are people who think they can understand
– maybe not perfectly but they can understand approximately. This is
not possible. Understanding is not gradual, understanding is a
sudden flash. Understanding is always total, it is never partial.
It is not that you can have it in little chunks, in little bits and
pieces. No, understanding is not accumulative. Understanding cannot
be divided into parts. When it comes, it comes as a totality.
Either it is or it is not. Either you are awake or you are asleep.
Either you are enlightened or you are a robopath. From robopathology
to enlightenment there is a quantum leap, a jump.
But the robopath believes that although he may
not be as enlightened as Buddha, he is also a little bit
enlightened. That belief helps him to go on sleeping. Yes, he may
not be such a great meditator but he is doing a little bit of
meditation. He may not have known God but he has had a few glimpses.
This is not possible. Najrani’s statement is of
tremendous importance. ’If you say that you can ”nearly
understand”, you are talking nonsense.’ There is no way to
have a ”nearly understanding” state of mind. Nobody can know
truth approximately. An approximate truth is still a lie. It is as
if you are heating water – at ninety degrees it is still water, at
ninety-five degrees it is still water, at ninety-nine degrees it is
still water. You cannot say that it is less water now. It is still
the same water – heated, but the same water. Then at a hundred
degrees suddenly there is a jump. The water evaporates. It is a
quantum leap, discontinuous.
It is not that at first the water becomes a
little bit of vapour and then a little bit more and then a little
bit more, no. At one point it is still water, coming closer and
closer to a hundred degrees. At ninety-nine point nine it is still
water and then in a split second it is no longer water, it has
become vapour. In fact, to say ’in a split second’ is not right – it
happens in no time. That moment is almost timeless. When I say
’timeless’ I mean it exactly. No time passes, it is sudden. That
is the meaning of a quantum leap. Either you understand or you
So be clear about it. Understanding is
indivisible; it is not possible to divide it; you cannot have little
or more of it. Preparation for it is gradual but the happening is a
sudden happening, like lightning. One moment all was dark, another
moment all is light – like that. Understanding has no continuity
with non-understanding, it is discontinuous.
That’s why I say to you that by accumulating
knowledge you will not become wise.
Knowledge can be accumulated; you can be less of a knower or more of
a knower. You can go on accumulating knowledge; you can become more
and more of a knower. But wisdom is non-accumulative. It is
radical. It is a revolution. It is an explosion – from the known
into the unknown, from the visible into the invisible, from the
material into the spiritual, from the temporary into the
non-temporal, from time into eternity, from robopathology into
enlightenment. It is a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn without
taking any time – because time brings degrees, gradualness.
The moment of enlightenment is a timeless moment
– we should not even call it a moment because it is not. But we have
to because of linguistic limitations.
Knowledge is one thing, understanding is
totally another. Understanding is as
free of knowledge as ignorance is – it is more similar to ignorance
than knowledge. It is as empty as ignorance. But in ignorance there
is a hankering for knowledge; in enlightenment there is no hankering
any more – that is the only difference. The ignorant person will
become knowledgeable sooner or later, because there is a hankering.
He wants to have knowledge. He suffers because of his ignorance. He
feels hurt that he does not know. He wants to know.
man of enlightenment has come to know that there is no way to know,
that the mystery is absolute, that the desire to know is
meaningless. Nothing can be known. Not a thing is ever known. In
that moment he becomes innocent.
Ignorance is there no more because ignorance can only be there if
you hanker for knowledge. Only the desire for knowledge creates the
idea of ignorance. When the desire for knowledge has disappeared,
ignorance has disappeared too – one is absolutely empty of both
ignorance and knowledge. One is in utter silence, awe. All has
stopped, all has disappeared, and for the first time there is
consciousness, total consciousness.
That total consciousness is what Najrani means by
understanding. That’s why he says you cannot have approximate
A theologian who liked this phrase asked...
Theologians are people who are always hankering
for more knowledge. He said:
’Can you give us an equivalent of this in
’Certainly,’ said Najrani. ’It is equivalent
to saying that something is ”almost a circle”.’
circle is either a circle or is not a circle. You cannot have a
half-circle. A half-circle is not a circle at all. The arc is only a
curve, it is not circle. A circle is a circle only when it is
complete. The very idea of a circle has completion intrinsic to it.
Only a complete circle is a circle and only absolute understanding
That’s why there is no way to compare Buddha,
Mohammed, Mansoor, Christ, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra – there is no way.
You cannot compare; they are all circles and all are complete. You
cannot say that Buddha is more of a circle than Zarathustra, or
Zarathustra is more of a circle than Lao Tzu. You cannot use the
words ’more’ and ’less’ as far as enlightenment is concerned.
Enlightenment is never more or less.
People come to me sometimes and they ask who is
more enlightened – Buddha or Mahavira? They are asking an absolutely
stupid question. Nobody is more enlightened. One is enlightened
when more and less have disappeared. One is enlightened when
all comparisons have disappeared. One is enlightened when one has
Egos can be more or less; egolessness cannot be
more OF less. Remember it. It is a tremendously important statement.
is lightning. You can prepare for it,
but while you are preparing you remain ignorant. You go on remaining
ignorant to the very last moment. And then suddenly all has
disappeared. And it happens without any process, without any time
passing by. It is utterly timeless.
The real thing to talk about is the ultimate –
when it happens it happens in a total way. It simply wipes you out
completely. You disappear, and then there is understanding.’
Najrani said this to the theologian because
theologians are the people who belong to the world of knowledge,
are the people who always think of accumulation, of having more
knowledge, of having more virtue, of having more this and that –
their minds are always greedy. They think in terms of degrees.
Mind functions in terms of degrees, and understanding is a state of
I talked long to you about robopathology for a
certain reason – because that is where you are. And unless you
get out of your robopathology you will never know that benediction
called understanding, enlightenment, nirvana.
From Osho Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1
17 August 1977 am in Buddha Hal
34 years later (August 2011).
consumer robots of today are only seeing the world through their screens
Looking at what is happening now in this world now I see that, after 34 years,
the robopathology, has become even more actual. Manipulated and
conditioned by a constant stream of commercials and glued to their screens
(computer, mobiles, tablet pc's and cameras), it looks like many (especially the
young people) have lost contact with reality. These new consumer robots see
the world almost only through their screens. In the Netherlands they text
even while riding their bicycles!
Even the deep urge to be one with everyone is exploited by being always
connected with your so-called friends through your mobile phone. Social networks like
Twitter and Facebook, with 500 friends and no one in reality, contribute
strongly to this illusion.
Several publications and research clearly show all these negative effects.
In her annual Christmas 2009 address, the Dutch monarch warned about the
dangers of the Internet. According to the queen, even though social
networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter appear to bring people closer
together, people remain "at a distance, safely ensconced behind their
screens". Briefly summarized, people are spending more and more time
with vague Internet friends and less time with real people.
A recent article in
Magazine November 2010 (as pdf) states the same: This trend toward being
connected is actually a trend toward being isolated. Yeah, you are connected
to a limited number of people who you constantly communicate with, but you
are isolated from the world at large. Get rid of these devices. Now!
It also mention several other dangers like becoming deaf and
I feel things intuitively and I never felt good about Facebook and Twitter.
When I started to publish about this phenomenon I suddenly got so many signs
of confirmation: yes this is the right thing to do and the right articles
appeared without even looking for them. I am really happy
that so many people see it the same way and even much stronger.
That’s according to Larry Rosen, a psychologist at Cal State Dominguez Hills
who’s been studying the effect of technology on people for more than 25
years. Recently, he’s done several studies on how the social networking site
Some of his most important observations:
• Teens who use more technology, like video games or the Internet,
tended to have more stomach aches, sleeping problems, anxiety and
depression, and they often missed more school, he found.
• Teens and young adults who logged onto Facebook constantly were more
narcissistic. The social network feeds into a narcissist’s M.O. perfectly by
allowing people to broadcast themselves 24/7 on their own terms. Rosen says.
Among users of all ages, the more people used Facebook, the more likely they
were to have antisocial personality disorder, paranoia, anxiety and alcohol
• When Rosen and his colleagues observed middle school, high school
and college students for 15 minutes while they studied for an exam, they
found that most students were only able to focus for two to three minutes
before turning their attention to less scholarly matters, like text messages
or mobile phone aps. Not surprisingly, the students who checked Facebook
while studying did worse on their exams than those who didn’t.
• The average teenager sends out more than 2,000 texts per month. This
is an overwhelming amount of information that can lead not only to problems
with sleep and concentration, but also physical stress, according to
Facebook co-founder Time's man of the year comments (as pdf).
And this one about Twitter:
THE TRUTH ABOUT TWITTER:
Half Of Twitter Users Never Listen To A Word Anyone
Gadgets go on accumulating and the soul goes on
machines go on growing and man goes on disappearing.
Osho Zen tarot illustrations by Ma
Being in Osho’s commune in 1979 in India I made a movie for the astrology
department (Kabir). Then I met Padma and used some of her wonderful
paintings in this movie. Now 31 years later I am using again some parts of
her amazing Tarot paintings for this article. They are so much in perfect
harmony with everything Osho speaks about. Thank you Padma for your great work of
Osho’s birthday Dec 11th.
The ones who have read more Osho articles on this website know that Osho is
always guiding and inspiring me. The Osho part of spiritual journeys is now
with 200 important Osho keywords (search terms) at the top 5 of the search
engines. In this way it has become one of the major sources of information
In my morning mediation I asked Osho which article He wanted for his
birthday and I got as answer: “From Robopathology to Enlightenment, you
will find it in Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1 CHAPTER 7”. I took
the book and even a bookmarker was there at the right place.
Going on the Internet I immediately got a confirmation (it always happens
like that) I looked at the recent keywords in my statcounter and see
nr.1 with Osho of 742.000.
(click to enlarge)
many pages of this web site you can find examples of how the screensaver of
my computer reacts on the energy of the article. It is really amazing, but
it happens all the time. This is the image the screensaver created now.
It is completely disharmonious and many parts are isolated. The ones which
seem to be connected are again distorted without any flowering or growth
coming out of it. It looks like a cancer, destroying all the beauty and
This is what the robopaths are doing to this magnificent blue planet.
Osho, as a great visionary, warned us already 33 years ago for it and has
given us his remedy with his vision of the new man.