You emphasize playfulness, leels. But is it possible for a playful mind to be a plastic surgeon or a scientist?
The questioner is a plastic surgeon, hence the question.
Remember that all that has ever been invited in the world has been invited out of playfulness. You will be surprised to know that all that you see has been invented by playful people, not by the serious people. The serious people are too much past-oriented – they go on repeating the past, because they know it works. They are never inventive.
But there are people who are playful, who cannot be contained by the past, who always go on playing with things. And out of that playing, new combinations arise. Inventiveness is a dimension of playfulness.
And you ask me: Is it possible for a playful mind to be a plastic surgeon or a scientist?
It is only possible for a playful mind. The non-utilitarians are the discovers, the explorers. The utilitarian always asks what the profit is in it. For example, people have reached to the moon. The utilitarian, the business mind, asks ‘For what? You cannot find a market there, there is nobody – this is a sheer wastage! Why put in so much energy and so much effort and so much money? And people are starving on the earth.’ The business mind, the economist, will say that this is not right.
But there are people who are more interested in going to the moon – for no reason at all. These are the people who bring the future into the present. Right now you also cannot think of any utility, but who knows? The earth may become very inhospitable to man – it is becoming so. Man has done so much harm that the earth cannot forget and forgive it. Man has been such a disaster, he has destroyed the ecology of the earth. The earth is angry, revengeful.
The earth one day may become absolutely against humanity. It may not provide food. Then the only way to survive will be to move from this planet to some other planet. It may not be the moon – but the moon is not the end of the explorers’ playfulness, that is just a station on the way. It may be some other planet which will be more green,-more alive. The earth is dying; it is a dying planet, it is an old planet.
But only later on will people say ‘Great inventors were these people who landed on the moon.’ Right now, every practical, pragmatic person is against it. That’s how it has always been.
Ornaments came before clothes, you will be surprised – before clothes, ornaments came into the world. The first domesticated animals were pets. Art is older than production for use, and play is older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. It is the child in man that is the source of all his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.
When you don’t explore you don’t become rich, when you don’t explore you stop growing, In the East it has happened, it has happened terribly: because the so-called priests and religious people condemned all luxuries, man became uninventive. The East is poor because of the saints – because people are bound to remain poor if they don’t explore. If people are satisfied with just whatsoever is the case they become more and more poor every day, because every day more and more people are born and the place becomes more and more crowded. And they cannot find any way out of it; they take it for granted as their fate.
Man is a luxury-loving animal. Take away play, fancies and luxuries, and you will turn man into a dull sluggish creature, barely energetic enough to obtain bare subsistence. A society becomes stagnant when the people are too rational or too serious to be tempted by baubles.
When I say playfulness is the source of all discoveries, I mean it. The greatest calamity that can happen to a man is that he becomes too serious and too serious and too practical. A little bit of craziness, a little bit of eccentricity, is all for the good.
Osho, From the book ‘Ten Non-Commandments’