Sunday, August 21, 2005

imitation as the ultimate crime

The following is an excerpt from
"Krishna, The Man and His Philosophy"
by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (aka osho)

"... Imitation in itself is unnatural and ugly and wrong.
In this whole world no two persons are alike, the same; they cannot be.
Each person is different, unique, and incomparable. There is no way to compare you with any other person in the whole world. You are like you; you are you.
Never a person like you has happened in the long past of mankind, and never one like you is going to happen again in the future.
God is a creator; he is creativity itself; he is always original, and whatever he creates is original.
He never makes a carbon copy; he has no use for carbon papers in the whole process of creation.
He never repeats; you cannot accuse him of repetition.
And therefore,
if you deny your individuality and try to follow and be like somebody else, you are violating the fundamental law of life.
Imitation is a crime against God.

He made you an individual and you are trying to be somebody's copy.
he gave you individuality, and you are trying to impose somebody else's personality on yourself, an alien personality.
This is the basic fear and fundamental problem of our life.

Up to now all religions of the world have taught imitation.
Parents and teachers all over the world exhort young men and women from their early childhood to be like others; they never ask them to be like themselves, to be themselves.
They insist to you, "Be like Krishna, Christ or Buddha, but never commit the mistake of being like yourself."
Why?
How is it that all educational institutions in the world teach you to be imitators and they never ask you to be yourself?

There are good reasons for it.
The most important reason is that if everyone becomes himself, he will be a free individual, a rebel - not a conformist, a camp follower.
He will be a danger to the institutions of parents, teachers, priests, managers of society, and to society itself.
Every society is afraid of non-conformists and rebels. It honors the conformists, the yes-sayers.
That is why everybody, from the president down to the parents pressures children, with one voice, to be followers, imitators.
Otherwise they can't be certain who will turn into what.

There is no danger if you become like Rama, because everything about Rama is known, what he does and what he does not do. He is predictable.
And if you become another Rama you will be as predictable, and society will know what you are going to do. And if you deviate from the outlined path they will declare you an outlaw and punish you.

If everyone is allowed to be himself, then it will be difficult to say what is right and what is wrong, what is virtue and what is sin.
Therefore the society wants you to fit into its well-defined patterns and clear-cut molds.
It does not care if by this effort your individuality is destroyed, your life is ruined, and your soul is impoverished.
Its sole concern is to turn men into machines so that the status quo is maintained at any cost.

It seems man lives for society, society does not exist for man.
The individual has no importance; he is just a cog in the societal machine.
It seems education is not meant for man; on the contrary, man is meant for education, for being educated the way the society wants.
It seems tenets and doctrines are not made to serve man; on the contrary, man is born in the service of tenets and doctrines.
It seems religion is not for man; man is for religion.
It is ironic that man is not an end unto himself, he is just a means.
And things that are meant to be means have become ends unto themselves.
This is the danger. This is the curse of imitation, that man has been reduced into a thing, a non-entity.

Imitation is destructive, it kills the individual.
And this danger is inner, spiritual; it is not circumstantial.
It is a kind of slow poisoning.
Whether you imitate Krishna or Buddha, it makes no difference; all imitation is suicidal.

There is no mold, no pattern, no type into which man can be fitted.
Every person is a unique and different individual, and he is meant to be himself.
It is his freedom, his birthright."

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