I first met Osho on Valentine’s Day in 1973 at a meditation camp in the Indian desert. At night, I slept on the ground just outside the room where He was staying, and, as I recall, the mosquitoes that kept me company were bigger than my consciousness. How I got there is a strange story. In fact, you could say I got there courtesy of the US Army. I’d just arrived in India after a five-year fight with the army about Vietnam.
I did not want to fight the Vietnamese, the army wanted me to fight, and the only fight I was willing to fight was against my own army. So we went through the whole process called Court Martial and it was very difficult. It took five years for the army to give me an honorable discharge, and to this day I am proud of what my walking papers say: Michael Mogul is unable to adjust to the military lifestyle. You got that right, guys!
I took my discharge and went to London, England, where the only job I could get was as a bartender. Many of my costumers were beautiful people – guys I had a lot of respect for, guys who had fought in World War II and had half their faces blown off. You could still see the burn marks all over their bodies. I was jealous that they were willing to fight for their country, and the secret of my own discharge went deeper and deeper, the misery went deeper and deeper, and one day I couldn’t handle it anymore.
I got really drunk and got on the first plane that was available. That plane took me, on a one-way ticket, to Mumbai, India. It wasn’t quite as accidental as that, however. When you work in England until two o’clock in the morning and you still want a bite to eat, the only restaurants that are open are Indian restaurants. So I ended up making friends with Indians and loving the food. That’s how I chose Mumbai. That’s how I got to be sleeping outside Osho’s door.
In the morning, Osho sat in a chair just in front of me, dressed in a simple white robe. My first thought was: how can a man have such so much strength and lightness at the same time? I remember instantly falling in love with Him while not exactly feeling great about myself. My dark side, my inner secret, was killing me. Out of the blue, Osho looked at me and said, “The revolution is inside yourself.”
Up until that moment the revolution had been outside. The enemy was outside, the army was outside, my girlfriends were outside, life was outside, and I hated it all. And when Osho said that, it was like something went off in my head. I knew that I could work on myself, that I could drop the hate I had toward life. I could drop the hate I had for myself.
A man of peace is not a pacifist, a man of peace is simply a pool of silence. He pulsates a new kind of energy into the world, he sings a new song. He lives in a totally new way his very way of live is that of grace, that of prayer, that of compassion. Whomsoever he touches, he creates more love-energy. The man of peace is creative. He is not against war, because to be against anything is to be at war. He is not against war, he simply understands why war exists. And out of that understanding he becomes peaceful. Only when there are many people who are pools of peace, silence, understanding, will the war disappear.
(My War with Me was first published in the Osho Viha Connection)