• Home
  • Osho
  • Sannyas Belgium
  • More Masters
  • Links
  • Contact

You Are The World


J. Krishnamurti′s statement that "You are the world" is very simple; just a little intelligence is needed to understand it. We can try to approach the statement from a few different directions.

The world is only a name; the individual is the reality. You can go on trying to find the world all over the world, and you will not find it; you will always find the individual. Words like the ′world′, the ′society′, the ′religion′, the ′nation′, are mere words with no content behind them - empty containers.

Except you, there is no world.

This is one way of understanding the statement: that the individual is the only reality. And the world is nothing but the collectivity of individuals, so whatever it is, it is a contribution of individuals. If it is ugly, you have contributed to its ugliness. If it is full of hate, jealousy, anger, greed, ambition, you have contributed to this whole hell in which we are living. You cannot throw the responsibility on somebody else; you have to accept the responsibility on your own shoulders. That is another way of understanding the statement, "You are the world."

We are continuously shifting the responsibility. If there is war, if there is an Adolf Hitler, a Ronald Reagan, it becomes easy for us to point to these people and say that they are responsible. But who creates them?

Adolf Hitler is our contribution. Without us, he is nobody. Ronald Reagan is nothing but our opinion. It is our vote, it is our support. So the moment you condemn anybody, remember: you are condemning yourself. However indirect your contribution may be, your contribution is there.

It is possible to live like a Jaina monk or a Buddhist monk or a Catholic monk in a monastery, completely closed as far as the world is concerned. There are monasteries in Tibet... there used to be many in China before the communist revolution. There are a few in Europe with a strange and long history.

The monastery at Athos in Europe is one thousand years old. In one thousand years, whoever has entered the monastery has not come out living. You only enter: once a monk, forever a monk. And the monastery does not allow its inmates to come out into the world; they are brought out only when they are dead.

Do you think they are not responsible for Adolf Hitler? they are not responsible for world wars? Apparently it looks... How can you make these people responsible? - who have left the world, who have never looked back, who have disconnected themselves with the world. But still I say to you they are responsible. They are responsible by escaping - they escaped their responsibility. It does not make any difference.

The Buddhist monks, the Jaina monks, the Hindu monks are not participating in worldly activities. But you can contribute in a positive way or you can contribute in a negative way. You can set fire to this house - that is the positive way, the active way. You can stand by the side of the road and not do anything to put the fire out - that is the negative way. But both are responsible.

The negative person does not look so responsible, but his responsibility is absolutely equal - because in life there is a balance.

You may be against war, you may be a pacifist, you may be a chronic protestant - always with a flag protesting against war, against violence. Naturally you can say, "How can I be held responsible?" But life is a complex phenomenon. Your protests, your pacifism, your fight against warmongers is still part of war; you are not a man of peace. And you can see it when people protest - their anger, their violence is so obvious that one wonders why these people are protesting against war. They should join some camp in the war - they are full of anger, rage. They have just chosen to have a third camp behind a beautiful name - "peace". A good mask, but inside is the same anger, the same rage, the same violence, the same destructiveness against anybody who does not agree with them. They are contributing as much violence to the atmosphere as anybody else. They may be talking about love, but they are also saying that you have to fight for love. You can choose beautiful words, but you cannot hide the reality.

J. Krishnamurti′s statement that "You are the world" simply emphasizes the fact that every individual, wherever he is, whatever he is, should accept the responsibility of creating this world that exists around us. If it is insane, you have contributed to that insanity in your own way. If it is sick, you are also a partner in making it sick.

And the emphasis is important - because unless you understand that "I am also responsible for this miserable and insane world," there is no possibility of change. Who is going to change? Everybody thinks somebody else is responsible.

One of India′s great emperors was Akbar.

There is an incident in his life recorded in Akbar Namaz - "the biography of Akbar."
One day he was just chit-chatting with his friends.... And he had around him the very best, wisest, most creative people chosen from every part of the country. His court jester was standing just by his side....
By the way, you should understand it: in all the courts of all great emperors there used to be a jester, whose whole function was to keep the court from becoming too serious, to keep the court light, playful - once in a while, an explosion of laughter. It was a great insight to have a court jester, and he used to be one of the wisest men of those days - because it was not an easy phenomenon. Birbal was Akbar′s court jester. And as they were discussing, Akbar slapped Birbal - for no reason at all. Now you cannot slap the emperor back, but the slap has to go somewhere - so he slapped the person who was standing next to him.
Everybody thought, "This is strange!" There was no reason in the first place. Suddenly, as if a madness had got hold of Akbar, he slapped poor Birbal. And that man is also strange. Rather than asking, "Why have you slapped me?" he simply slapped the man who was standing by his side! And that man, thinking perhaps this was the rule of the court, slapped the next person. In a chain, it went all over the court.
And you will be surprised: that night, Akbar′s wife slapped him! And he said, "Why are slapping me?"
She said, "That is not the question; a game is a game."
He said, "Who told you that this is a game?"
She said, "We have been hearing the whole day long that a great game has started in the court. The only rule is you cannot hit the person back, you have to find somebody else to hit. And somebody has hit me - so your slap has come back to you, the game is complete!"

In this big world, thousands of insane games are going on, and you are all participants - of course in very small measures, according to your capacity. But remember, the slap is going to come back to you sooner or later. Where else will it go?

Whatever comes to you, remember, it is your doing.

Perhaps you have forgotten when you started it. The world is big, it takes time. But everything comes back to its source - that is one of the fundamental rules of life, not a rule of a game.

So if you are suffering, if you are miserable, if you are tense, full of anxieties, anguish, don′t just console yourself that this whole world is ugly, that everybody else is ugly, that you are a victim. J. Krishnamurti is saying you are not a victim, you are a creator of this insane world; and naturally, you have to participate in the outcome of whatever you have contributed to it. You are participating in sowing the seeds, you will have to participate in reaping the crop too; you cannot escape.

To make the individual aware so that he stops throwing responsibilities on others - on the contrary, he starts looking inwards to see in what way he is contributing to this whole madness - there is a possibility he may stop contributing. Because he has to suffer too. If he comes to know that the whole world is nothing but his projection on a wider scale...

Because millions of individuals have contributed the same anger, the same hatred, the same competitiveness, the same violence, it has become mountainous. You cannot conceive that you can be responsible for it: "I may have contributed just a small piece..." But an ocean is nothing except millions and millions of dewdrops. A dewdrop cannot think that it is responsible for the ocean - but the dewdrop is responsible. Without the dewdrop there is going to be no ocean at all. The ocean is only a name; the reality is in the dewdrop.

To accept your responsibility will change you, and your change is the beginning of the change of the world - because you are the world. However small, a miniature world, but you carry all the seeds.

If revolution comes to you, it heralds the revolution for the whole world.

And when J. Krishnamurti says "You are the world" he is not saying it only to you; he is saying it to everybody:

You are the world.

If you want to change the world, don′t start by changing the world - that is the wrong way humanity has followed up to now:
Change the society, change the economic structure.
Change this, change that.
But don′t change the individual.
That′s why all revolutions have failed. Only one revolution can succeed, which has not been tried up to now - and that is the revolution of the individual.
You change yourself.
Be alert not to contribute anything that makes the world a hell. And remember to contribute to the world something that makes it a paradise.
This is the whole secret of a religious man.
And if every individual starts doing it, there will be a revolution without any bloodshed.

In Akbar′s life there is another incident...

He had built a very beautiful marble pond. He was bringing swans from Mansarovar, from the Himalayas. And he decided that in the pond there should not be water. This is the emperor′s pond - instead of water, there should be milk. Everybody in the capital was to be informed that just one bucket of milk, not much, from every house had to reach the palace early the next morning, before sunrise.
Birbal told Akbar, "You don′t understand human mind at all. Your pond will be full of water."
He said, "What nonsense...? It is my order!"
Birbal said, "Your order, or anybody′s order - I understand human mind."
Akbar said, "Let us wait; tomorrow morning it will be decided who is right."
And the next morning both went to the garden, and the pond was full of water.
Akbar said, "This is strange. How did it happen? Catch a few people from the street, whoever is available, and ask how it happened." And the people were threatened: if they spoke any lie, their life would be at risk; if they said the truth, they would be set free. They said, "The truth is, we thought the whole capital would bring buckets of milk. One bucket of water would be completely overlooked, nobody would ever know. But now I see that the pond is full of water; it seems that everybody had the same thought - the whole capital! Not a single man was different."

The human mind functions exactly the same.

So if the world is such a tragedy, it is our human minds which are creating it; we are contributing our bucketful of misery.

No revolution can be successful unless the human mind is understood by human beings and they start behaving in a different way - not hoping that "My bucketful of water is not going to be noticed at all." If everybody understands that this idea is what will come to every human mind, and decides, "At least I should bring a bucketful of milk. I should not behave in such an unconscious way as all human beings are behaving...."

It is possible to have the pond full of milk.

"You are the World" simply means: whatever it is, we cannot save ourselves from responsibility.

Our monks, our saints have tried only this. What they were trying to do, if you go deep into their psychology, was to say that, "We are no longer responsible for all this nonsense that is going on in the world." But they depended on the same world. For their food they were dependent on the same people; for their clothes they were dependent on the same people. They were not in any way separate from the world; they had only stopped being active in the world. They were silent partners in the whole insanity that is going on.

And they should be condemned more, because they were more intelligent people, wiser people. Still they could not see the point that just standing aside is not enough; you have to do something against the normal human mind. Escaping to the Himalayas is not going to help, because even in the Himalayas your mind will remain the same, just you will not have the opportunity to know it. And it is better to know the enemy than not to know it, because by knowing there is a possibility to change.

Not knowing is very dangerous.

When a disease is diagnosed, it is half cured. When a disease is not diagnosed, then comes the real problem. Medicine is not the problem; diagnosis is the problem.

One man lived for thirty years in the Himalayas...

His problem was anger, and he wanted to get rid of it. In the Himalayas for thirty years he was not angry for a single moment - there was no reason. The wife was not there, the children were not there, the parents were not there, the society was not there - there was no provocation.
His name became famous by and by, and people started coming to worship him. Now it was even more difficult to be aware that the anger was still there. When people are worshipping you, there is no question of anger.
Then came the Kumbha Mela in Allahabad. People said, "You are such a great saint. Without you, the Kumbha Mela, the greatest gathering of people on the earth in one place, will be missing something. You have to go." And by now he was convinced that he had become a great saint. People were coming from far away to make the difficult, arduous journey through the mountains just to pay respects to him.
He went to Kumbha Mela, but there were millions of people - nobody knew him. Somebody stepped on his foot, and immediately he slapped the man, took hold of his neck and said, "What do you think you′re doing?"
Suddenly he remembered that he was a saint. He said, "My God, what am I doing? What happened to thirty years? The anger came in such a flash, so instantaneously, not even a single moment of thought." He was going to kill the man.
That was the reason he had gone to the Himalayas - because he was afraid he would murder somebody and would be crucified or have to live for his whole life in jail. Even his family had said, "It will be good if you go to the Himalayas because you will kill somebody, and that means you have killed yourself too. This way two lives are saved. You go."

But thirty years... What happened?

It is simple fact: the people who have escaped from the world are not to think that they are not responsible for this world. By escaping, they have not changed the world. By escaping, they have not contributed anything to make it more beautiful, more human, more intelligent, more meditative. Neither have they changed the world nor have they gone through any inner change themselves.

Hence I am against renouncing the world.

Be in the world, however difficult it is - because it is only in the world that you will be reminded on every step what kind of mind you are carrying within. And that mind is projected on the outside, and it becomes huge because so many minds are projecting in the same way.

"You are the world" is not a mathematical statement.

"You are the world" is a psychological insight.

And it can become the very key for the only revolution that can succeed.

(Osho - Sermons in Stones #2)

Read also: