Prime minister’s coat

But the misfortune is that power is in the hands of the wrong people, and the people of intelligence are devoid of power. I will tell you a small story to make it clear….

A great mystic heard that one of his friends, a childhood friend — they had played together, studied together — had become the prime minister of the country. Just to congratulate him, the mystic came down from the mountains. It was a long journey, tiring. By the time he reached the prime minister’s palace, the prime minister was getting ready to go somewhere.
He recognized the mystic, but he said, “I’m sorry, I have some appointments. I have to go to three places, and I would love it if you can come with me. On the way we can talk and remember the golden old days.”
The mystic said, “I would love to come with you, but you can see my rags are full of dust. It would not look right to sit by your side on a golden chariot.”

The prime minister said, “Don’t be worried. The king has presented me with a very costly overcoat. I have never used it; I have been keeping it for some special occasion. I will give you the coat. You just put it on; it will cover your clothes, the dust and everything.” The coat was given to him.
They reached the first house. They entered the house. The prime minister introduced his friend: “He is a great mystic. He lives in the mountains.
Everything that he has is his own, except the coat — that is mine.”
The mystic could not believe it: “What kind of stupidity is this?”
Even the family was shocked, to insult the mystic in such a way.
Outside the house the mystic said, “It is better I do not accompany you. You insulted me. What was the need to say that it is your coat? They were not asking.”

He said, “I am sorry, forgive me. And if you don’t come with me to the next appointment, I will think you have not forgiven me.”
The mystic was a simple-hearted man. He said, “Then it is okay, I am coming.”
Entering the second house, the prime minister introduced him: “He is a great mystic who lives in the mountains. Everything is his — even the coat is his!”
The mystic could not believe that this man had any intelligence at all. Outside he simply refused: “I cannot go to your third appointment. This is too much.”

But the politician said, “I have said that the coat is yours!” The mystic said, “It is unbelievable how unintelligent a man can be. Your assertion, emphasis, that the coat is mine, creates suspicion: there is something you are hiding. What is the need to mention the coat at all? I don’t see the point that in any introduction coats need to be introduced.”
And the politician said, “Forgive me, but if you don’t come to the third appointment I will never forget that I have hurt you. Please, there is only one more appointment, and I will not say that the coat is yours or the coat is mine. Don’t be worried about it.”
The simple mystic, innocent, agreed to go with him. At the third house he introduced the mystic in the same way, “He is a great mystic from the mountains. All the clothes are his, but as far as the coat is concerned, it is better not to say anything!”

The politician is not the most intelligent part of humanity. Otherwise there would not have been five thousand wars in three thousand years. The politician has destroyed, but has not created anything. It is the politician who is creating the atomic weapons, the nuclear missiles. With what face can he make the people of the world aware that the future is dark, dismal?

Osho, The Sword and the Lotus, Talk #3

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