Why Are We Rushing toward Oblivion?

OSHO International
12 min readFeb 20, 2024
Why Are We Rushing toward Oblivion?

Life today is one big rush! Everything has to happen now, or better yesterday.

Exactly where does everyone think they are rushing to? Modern humans have caught some frenetic disease that causes them to run around in circles like chickens with no heads.

Everyone seems to be desperately racing against everyone else in a competition that always ends with us all coming first equal in our graves!

With an unfinished to-do list as our epitaph.

What happened?

Our ancestors took about 7 million years to travel from their previous habitat up in the trees to the point where our particular species, Homo sapiens, appeared, about 300,000 years ago.

Just to get some perspective, let’s imagine this journey — since we separated from our nearest relatives, the bonobos and the chimps — as happening over one year. We are standing at midnight on the last day of the year, looking backward at that moment on January 1st when we branched out on our own. So, we came down from the trees on January 1st, but it is not until mid-December that Homo sapiens turns up. Agriculture and the beginning of fixed settlements start about noon on New Year’s Eve.

Buddha, Lao Tzu, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Socrates, Pythagoras, Patanjali, and the other members of the Axial Age arrived around 9 o’clock in the evening of New Year’s Eve. Jesus arrives around 9.30 pm. Descartes, Leibniz, and Newton, Shakespeare, Milton, and Bach all turn up around 11.25 pm.

And here we are at exactly midnight on the last day of this very long year, constantly saying there is not enough time!

It seems we didn’t always live like this.

Farm laborers from pre-capitalist times, who were offered an increase in hourly wages on the assumption that they would then work longer hours on the harvest, often did the opposite. Now they could earn the same as before but more quickly, so they decided to work fewer hours!

Osho tells a funny story making the same point.

“They were making a railway line, the first railway line — from Calcutta to Bombay, joining the two biggest cities — and a man was resting under a tree, looking at all the work that was going on… an