Rebel or Revolutionary?
Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO
A revolutionary is part of the political world; his approach
is through politics. His understanding is that changing the social
structure is enough to change the human being.
A rebel, as I use the term, is a spiritual phenomenon.
His approach is absolutely individual.
His vision is that if we want to change the society, we have
to change the individual.The individual has a soul, has
a possibility of evolution, of change,of transformation.
Hence, the difference is tremendous.
A rebel is an individualist.
A revolutionary is again trying to control the society,
and whenever a revolutionary succeeds, again another orthodoxy
succeeds.Whenever a revolutionary comes into power he is no
more a revolutionary.
The rebel can never come into power because the rebel never
The rebel is the very essence of religion. He brings into
the world a change of consciousness and if the consciousness
changes, then the structure of the society is bound to follow it.
But vice versa is not the case, and it has been proved by all
the revolutions because they have failed.
No revolution has yet succeeded in changing human beings;
but it seems we are not aware of the fact.
We still go on thinking in terms of revolution, of changing
society,of changing the government, of changing
the bureaucracy,of changing laws,political systems.
Feudalism, capitalism,communism, socialism, fascism -
they were all in their own way revolutionary.
They all have failed, and failed utterly, because
man has remained the same.
We have to be rebels, not revolutionaries. The revolutionary
belongs to a very mundane sphere; the rebel and his
rebelliousness are sacred. The revolutionary cannot stand
alone; he needs a crowd, a political party,a government.
He needs power - and power corrupts, and absolute power
Human consciousness has not grown for centuries. Only once
in a while someone blossoms - but in millions of people,
the blossoming of one person is not a rule, it is the exception.
And because that person is alone,the crowd cannot tolerate him.
His existence becomes a kind of humiliation;his very presence
feels insulting because he opens your eyes, makes you aware
of your potential and your future.
And it hurts your ego that you have done nothing to grow, to be
more conscious, to be more loving, more ecstatic,
more creative,more silent -to create a beautiful world around you.
We have to change our consciousness, create more meditative
energy in the world, create more lovingness.
We have to destroy the old - its ugliness, its rotten ideologies,
its stupid discriminations, idiotic superstitions -and create
a new human being with fresh eyes, with new values.
A discontintuity with the past - that's the meaning of rebelliousness.
These three words will help you to understand:
Reform means a modification. The old remains and you give it
a new form,a new shape - it is a kind of renovation to
an old building.The original structure remains; you whitewash
it, you clean it, you create a few windows, a few new doors.
Revolution goes deeper than reform. The old remains, but
more changes are introduced, changes even in its basic
You are not only changing its color and opening a few new
windows and doors, but perhaps building new stories, taking
it higher into the sky. But the old is notdestroyed,
it remains hidden behind the new; in fact, it remains
the very foundation of the new.
Revolution is a continuity with the old.
Rebellion is a discontinuity. It is not reform, it is not
revolution;it is simply disconnecting yourself from all that
is old. The old religions, the old political ideologies,
the old human being -all that is old, you disconnect yourself
from it. You start life afresh, from scratch.
The revolutionary tries to change the old; the rebel simply
comes out of the old, just as a snake slips out of the old skin
and never looks back.
The future needs no more revolutions. The future needs a new
experiment,which has not been tried yet.