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Osho on Drug Addiction

Question : I would like you to Comment on the Drug Problem.
: It is nothing new, it is as ancient as man. There has never been a time when man was not in search of escape. The most ancient book in the world is the RIGVEDA, and it is full of drug use. The name of the drug is soma. Since those ancient times all the religions have tried to get people not to use drugs. All the governments have been against drugs. Yet drugs have proved more powerful than governments or religions, because nobody has looked into the very psychology of the drug user.

Man is miserable. He lives in anxiety, anguish and frustration. There seems to be no way out except drugs. The only way to prevent the use of drugs will be to make man joyful, happy, blissful. I am also against drugs, for the simple reason that they help you to forget your misery for a time. They do not prepare you to fight misery and suffering; rather they weaken you.

But the reasons of religions and governments for being against drugs and my reasons for being against drugs are totally different. They want man to remain miserable and frustrated, because the man in suffering is never rebellious; he is tortured in his own being, he is falling apart. He cannot conceive of a better society, of a better culture, of a better man. Because of his misery he becomes an easy victim of the priests because they console him, because they say to him, "Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who suffer, because
they shall inherit the kingdom of God."

The suffering humanity is also in the hands of the politicians, because the suffering humanity needs some hope -- hope of a classless society somewhere in the future, hope of a society where there will be no poverty, no hunger, no misery. In short, they can manage and be patient with their sufferings if they have a utopia just close to the horizon. And you must note down the meaning of the word utopia. It means that which never happens.

It is just like the horizon; it is so close that you think you can run and meet the place where earth and sky meet. But you can go on running your whole life and never meet the place, because there is no such place. It is a hallucination. The politician lives on promise, the priest lives on promise. In the last ten thousand years nobody has delivered the goods. Their reason for being against drugs is that drugs destroy their whole business.

If people start taking opium, hashish, LSD, they don't care about communism, and they don't care about what is going to happen tomorrow; they don't care about life after death, they don't care about God, paradise. They are fulfilled in the moment. Here my reasons are different. I am also against drugs, not because they cut the roots of the religions and the politicians, but because they destroy your inner growth towards spirituality.

They prevent you from reaching the promised land. You remain hanging around the hallucinations, while you are capable of reaching the real. They give you a toy. But since drugs are not going to disappear, I would like every government, every scientific lab, to purify drugs, to make them healthier without any side effects, which is possible now. We can create a drug like the one which Aldous Huxley, in memory of Rig Veda, called soma, which will be without any bad effects, which will not be addictive, which will be a joy, a happiness, a dance, a song.

If we cannot make it possible for everybody to become a Gautam Buddha, we have no right to prevent people from at least having illusory glimpses of the aesthetic state which Gautam Buddha must have had. Perhaps these small experiences will lead the person to explore more. Sooner or later he is going to be fed up with the drug, because it will go on repeating the same scene again and again. Howsoever beautiful a scene is, repetition makes it a boredom.

So first purify the drug from all bad effects. Second, let people who want to enjoy, enjoy. They will become bored by it. And then their only path will be to seek some method of meditation to find the ultimate bliss. Your question is basically concerned with the new age people. The generation gap is the world's very latest phenomenon; it never used to exist. In the past, children of six and seven started using their hands, their minds, with their fathers in their traditional professions. By the time they were fourteen they were already craftsmen, workers, they were married, they had responsibilities.

By the time they were twenty or twenty-four they had their own children, so there was never a gap between the generations. Each generation overlapped the other generation. For the first time in the history of humanity the generation gap has happened. It is of tremendous importance. Now, for the first time, up to the age of twenty-five or twenty-six when you come back from the university you have no responsibility, no children, no worries, and you have the whole world before you to dream about -- how to better it, how to make it richer, how to create a race of supermen.

These are the years, between fourteen and twenty-four, when one is a dreamer, because his sexuality is maturing, and with sexuality dreams are maturing. One's sexuality is repressed by the schools and colleges, so his whole energy is available to dream. He becomes a communist, he becomes a socialist, he becomes a Fabian, all sorts of things. And this is the time when he starts feeling frustrated, because the way the world works, the bureaucracy, the government, the politicians, the society, the religion, it does not seem that he will be able to create a reality out of his dream.

He comes home from the university full of ideas, and every idea is going to be crushed by the society. Soon he forgets about the new man and the new age. He cannot even find employment, he cannot feed himself. How can he think of a classless society where there will be no rich and no poor? It is this moment when he turns towards drugs; they give him a temporary relief; but all drugs as they are right now are addictive, so you have to go on increasing the dose.

And they are destructive to the body, to the brain; soon you are absolutely helpless. You cannot live without drugs, and with drugs there is no space in life for you. But I don't say that the younger people are responsible for it, and to punish them and put them in jail is sheer stupidity. They are not criminals, they are victims. My idea is that education should be divided into two parts: one intellectual and the other practical.

From the very beginning, a child enters school not just to learn the three R's, but also to learn to create something -- some craftsmanship, some skill. Half of the time should be given to his intellectual pursuits, and half of the time should be given to life's real necessities; that will keep the balance. And by the time he comes out of the university, he will not be a utopian, and he will not be in need of employment by others.

He will be able to create things on his own. And for students who feel any kind of frustration, from the very beginning things should be changed. If they are frustrated perhaps they are not studying the right stuff. Perhaps they want to become a carpenter and you are making them a doctor; they want to become a gardener and you are making them an engineer.

Great psychological understanding will be needed so that each child is sent in the direction where he will learn something. And in every school, every college, every university at least one hour of meditation for everybody must be compulsory, so that whenever one feels frustrated or depressed one has a space within himself that he can move to, and immediately can get rid of all the depression and frustration. He need not turn to drugs. Meditation is the answer.

But rather then doing all these things, the people who are in power go on doing idiotic things -- prohibition, punishment. They know that for ten thousand years we have been prohibiting, and we have not succeeded. If you prohibit alcohol more people become alcoholic, and a dangerous kind of alcohol becomes available. Thousands of people die by poisoning, and who is responsible? Now they are punishing young people for years in jail without even understanding that if a person has taken a drug or has been addicted to a drug he needs treatment, not punishment. He should be sent to a psychiatric home where he can be taken care of, where he can be taught meditation, and slowly, slowly, can be directed from the drugs towards something better.

Instead they are forcing them into jails -- ten years in jail. They don't value human life at all. If you give ten years in jail to a young man of twenty you have wasted his most precious time and without any benefit, because in jail every drug is more easily available than anywhere else.

The inmates are all highly skilled drug users, who become teachers for those who are amateurs. After ten years the person will come out perfectly trained. One thing only your jails teach: anything you do is not wrong unless you are caught; just don't be caught. And there are masters who can teach you how not to be caught again. So this whole thing is absolutely absurd. I am also against drugs, but in a totally different way. I think you have got the point.

Related Osho Links:

  1. Osho on How to Quit Smoking
  2. Osho Meditation for Quitting Smoking
  3. Osho on LSD as an help in Meditation
  4. Osho on Drugs Deaddiction with Meditation and Hypnosis
  5. Osho on How to Deal with Drug Addiction with Meditation
  6. Osho on How to Drop an Obsession with the help of Meditation
  7. Osho on Habit of Chain Smoking and Quit Smoking Dropping Consciously

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Osho on Drug Addiction