The bohemian life is the only life worth living. All other kinds of lives are only lukewarm; they are ways of committing slow suicide than ways of living life passionately and intensely. In the past, it was inevitable that the artist had to live in rebellion, because creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. If you want to create you have to get rid of all conditionings, otherwise your creativity will be nothing but copying, it will be just a carbon copy. You can be creative only if you are an individual, you cannot create as a part of the mob psychology. The mob psychology is uncreative; it lives a life of drag, it knows no dance, no song, no joy; it is mechanical.
Of course, there are a few things you will get from the society only if you are mechanical: respectability you will get, honours you will get. Universities will confer titles on you, countries will give you gold medals, you may finally become a Nobel laureate, but this whole thing is ugly.
A real man of genius will discard all this nonsense, because this is bribery. Giving the Nobel prize to a person simply means that your services to the establishment are respected, that you are honoured because you have been a good slave, obedient, that you have not gone astray, that you have followed the well-trodden path.
The creator cannot follow the well-trodden path, he has to search out his own way, he has to inquire in the jungles of life, he has to go alone, he has to be a dropout from the mob mind, from the collective psychology. The collective mind is the lowest mind in the world; even the so-called idiots are a little more superior to the collective idiocy. But the collectivity has its own bribes: it respects people, honours people, if they go on insisting that the way of the collective mind is the only right way. It was out of sheer necessity that in the past, creators of all kinds—the painters, the dancers, the musicians, the poets, the sculptors—had to renounce respectability. They had to live a kind of bohemian life, the life of a vagabond; that was the only possibility for them to be creative. This need not be so in the future. If you understand me, if you feel what I am saying has truth in it, then in the future everybody should live individually and there will be no need for a bohemian life. The bohemian life is the by-product of a fixed, orthodox, conventional, respectable life.
My effort is to destroy the collective mind and to make each individual free to be himself or herself. Then there is no problem; then you can live as you want to live. In fact, humanity will really only be born the day the individual is respected in his rebellion. Humanity has still not been born; it is still in the womb. What you see as humanity is only a very hocus-pocus phenomenon, which will exist unless we give individual freedom to each person, absolute freedom to each person to be himself, to exist in his own way.
Of course, he has not to interfere with anybody… that is part of freedom. But in the past everybody has been poking his nose into everybody else’s affairs—even into things which are absolutely private, which have nothing to do with society. For example, you fall in love with a woman—what has that got to do with the society? It is purely a personal phenomenon, it is not of the marketplace. If two persons are agreeing to commune in love, the society should not come into it, but the society comes into it with all its paraphernalia, in direct ways, in indirect ways. The policeman will stand between the lovers; the magistrate will stand between the lovers; and if that is not enough then the societies have created a super-policeman, God, who will take care of you. The idea of God is that of a peeping Tom who does not even allow you privacy in your bathroom, who goes on looking through the keyhole, watching what you are doing. This is ugly. All the religions of the world say God continuously watches you—this is ugly. What kind of God is this? Has he got no other business but to watch everybody, follow everybody? Seems to be the supreme-most detective!
Humanity needs a new soil—the soil of freedom. Bohemianism was a reaction, a necessary reaction, but if my vision succeeds, then there will be no bohemianism because there will be no so-called collective mind trying to dominate people. Then everybody will be at ease with himself. Of course, you have not to interfere with anybody, but as far as your life is concerned, you have to live it on your own terms. Then only is there creativity. Creativity is the fragrance of individual freedom.
Excerpted from Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within/Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com