When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in questions, but remain centred.
If hate arises for someone or against someone, or love arises for someone, what do we do? We project it on the person. If you feel hate toward me, you forget yourself completely in your hate; only I become your object. If you feel love toward me, you forget yourself completely; only I become the object. You project your love or hate or whatsoever upon me. You forget completely the inner centre of your being; the other becomes the centre.
This sutra says when hate arises or love arises, or any mood for or against anyone, do not project it on the person in question. Remember, you are the source of it.
I love you — the ordinary feeling is that you are the source of my love. That is not really so. I am the source; you are just a screen on which I project my love. You are just a screen; I project my love on you and I say that you are the source of my love. This is not fact, this is fiction.
I draw my love energy and project it onto you. In that love energy projected onto you, you become loveable. You may not be loveable to someone else, you may be absolutely repulsive to someone else. Why?
If you are the source of love then everyone will feel loving toward you, but you are not the source.
I project love, then you become loveable; someone projects hate, then you become repulsive. And someone else doesn’t project anything, he is indifferent; he may not even have looked at you.
What is happening? We are projecting our own moods upon others. That is why, if you are on your honeymoon, the moon looks beautiful, miraculous, wonderful. it seems that the whole world is different. And on the same night, just for your neighbour, this miraculous night may not be in existence at all. His child has died — then the same moon is just sad, intolerable. But for you it is enchanting, fascinating; it creates passion. Why? Is the moon the source or is the moon just a screen and you are projecting yourself?
This sutra says, when a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question — or on the object in question. Remain centred.
Remember that you are the source, so do not move to the other, move to the source. When you feel hate, do not go to the object. Go to the point from where the hate is coming. Go not to the person to whom it is going, but to the centre from where it is coming.
Move to the centre, go within. Use your hate or love or anger or anything as a journey toward your inner centre, to the source. Move to the source and remain centred there. Try it! This is a very, very scientific, psychological technique.
Someone has insulted you — anger suddenly erupts, you are feverish. Anger is flowing toward the person who has insulted you. Now you will project this whole anger onto him. He has not done anything. If he has insulted you, what has he done? He has just pricked you, he has helped your anger to arise — but the anger is yours. If he goes to Buddha and insults him, he will not be able to create any anger in him. Or if he goes to Jesus, Jesus will give him the other cheek. Or if he goes to Bodhidharma, he will roar with laughter. So it depends.
The other is not the source; the source is always within you. The other is hitting the source, but if there is no anger within you it cannot come out. If you hit a Buddha, only compassion will come out because only compassion is there. Anger will not come out because anger is not there.
If you throw a bucket into a dry well, nothing comes out. In a water-filled well, you throw a bucket and water comes out, but the water is from the well. The bucket only helps to bring it out. So one who is insulting you is just throwing a bucket in you, and then the bucket will come out filled with the anger, hate, or fire that was within you.
You are the source, remember.
For this technique, remember that you are the source of everything that you go on projecting onto others. And whenever there is a mood against or for, immediately move within and go to the source from where this hate is coming. Remain centred there; do not move to the object. Someone has given you a chance to be aware of your own anger — thank him immediately and forget him. Close your eyes, move within, and now look at the source from where this love or anger is coming.
Go within, move within. You will find the source there because the anger is coming from your source. Hate or love or anything is coming from your source.
And it is easy to go to the source at the moment you are angry or in love or in hate, because then you are hot. It is easy to move in then. The wire is hot and you can take it in, you can move inward with that hotness. And when you reach a cool point within, you will suddenly realize a different dimension, a different world opening before you.
Use anger, use hate, use love to go within. We use it always to move to the other, and we feel very much frustrated if no one is there to project upon. Then we go on projecting even on inanimate objects. I have seen persons being angry at their shoes, throwing them in anger. What are they doing? I have seen angry persons pushing a door in anger, throwing their anger on the door, abusing the door, using dirty language against the door. What are they doing?
I will end with one Zen insight about this. One of the greatest of Zen masters, Lin Chi, used to say, “While I was young I was very fascinated by boating. I had one small boat, and I would go on the lake alone. For hours together I would remain there.” Once it happened that with closed eyes I was in my boat meditating on the beautiful night. One empty boat came floating downstream and struck my boat. My eyes were closed, so I thought, ‘Someone is here with his boat, and he has struck my boat.’
Anger arose. I opened my eyes and I was just going to say something to that man in anger, then I realized that the boat was empty. Then there was no way to move. To whom could I express the anger? The boat was empty. It was just floating downstream, and it had come and struck my boat. So there was nothing to do. There was no possibility to project the anger on an empty boat.”
So Lin Chi said, “I closed my eyes. The anger was there, but finding no way out, I closed my eyes and just floated backward with the anger. And that empty boat became my realization. I came to a point within myself in that silent night. That empty boat was my master. And now if someone comes and insults me, I laugh and I say, ‘This boat is also empty.’ I close my eyes and I go within.”
By Teachings of Osho
The longest night seems to be passing away, the sorest trouble seems to be coming to an end at last, the seeming corpse appears to be awaking and a voice is coming to us away back where history and even tradition fails to peep into the gloom of the past, coming down from there, reflected as it were from peak to peak of the infinite Himalaya of knowledge, and of love, and of work, India, this motherland of ours a voice is coming unto us, gentle, firm, and yet unmistakable in its utterances, and is gaining volume as days pass by, and behold, the sleeper is awakening! Like a breeze from the Himalayas, it is bringing life into the almost dead bones and muscles, the lethargy is passing away, and only the blind cannot see, or the perverted will not see, that she is awakening, this motherland of ours, from her deep long sleep. None can desist her any more; never is she going to sleep any more; no outward powers can hold her back any more; for the infinite giant is rising to her feet.( CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD )
A nation may control the elements, develop utilitarian problems of life seemingly to the limit, and yet not realise that in the individual the highest type of civilisation is found in him who has learnt to conquer self. This condition is found in India more than in any country on earth, for there the material conditions are subservient to the spiritual, and the individual looks for the soul manifestations in everything that has life, studying nature to this end. Hence that gentle disposition to endure with indomitable patience the flings of what appears unkind fortune, the while there is a full consciousness of a spiritual strength and knowledge greater than those possessed by any other people; hence the existence of a country and a people from which flows an unending stream that attracts the attention of thinkers far and near to approach and throw from their shoulders an oppressive earthly burden. (CW8 PG.206 INDIA)
The debt which the world owes to our motherland is immense. Taking country with country there is not one race on this earth to which the world owes so much as to the patient Hindu, the mild Hindu. Like the gentle dew that falls unseen and unheard, and yet brings into blossom the fairest of roses, has been the contribution of India to the thought of the world. Silent, unperceived, yet omnipotent in its effect, it has revolutionized the thought of the world, yet nobody knows when it did so ( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
To many, Indian thought, Indian manners; Indian customs, Indian philosophy, Indian literature are repulsive at the first sight; but let them persevere, let them read, let them become familiar with the great principles underlying these ideas, and it is ninety-nine to one that the charm will come over them, and fascination will be the result. Slow and silent, as the gentle dew that falls in the morning, unseen and unheard yet producing a most tremendous result, has been the work of the calm, patient, all-suffering spiritual race upon the world of thought. ( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to which all souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and of spirituality it is India. Hence have started the founders of religions from the most ancient times, deluging the earth again and again with the pure and perennial waters of spiritual truth. Hence have proceeded the tidal waves of philosophy that have covered the earth, East or West, North or South, and hence again must start the wave which is going to spiritualise the material civilisation of the world. Here is the life-giving water with which must be quenched the burning fire of materialism which is burning the core of the hearts of millions in other lands. Believe me, my friends, this is going to be.( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
In ancient times and in modern times, great ideas have emanated from strong and great races. In ancient and in modern times, wonderful ideas have been carried forward from one race to another. In ancient and in modern times, seeds of great truth and power have been cast abroad by the advancing tides of national life; but mark you, my friends, it has been always with the blast of war trumpets and with the march of embattled cohorts. Each idea had to be soaked in a deluge of blood. Each idea had to wade through the blood of millions of our fellow-beings. Each word of power had to be followed by the groans of millions, by the wails of orphans, by the tears of widows. This, in the main, other nations has taught; but India has for thousands of years peacefully existed. Here activity prevailed when even Greece did not exist, when Rome was not thought of, when the very fathers of the modern Europeans lived in the forests and painted themselves blue. Even earlier, when history has no record, and tradition dares not peer into the gloom of that intense past, even from then until now, ideas after ideas have marched out from her, but every word has been spoken with a blessing behind it and peace before it. We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live. ( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
Let the Persian or the Greek, the Roman, the Arab, or the Englishman march his battalions, conquer the world, and link the different nations together, and the philosophy and spirituality of India is ever ready to flow along the new-made channels into the veins of the nations of the world. The Hindu's calm brain must pour out its own quota to give to the sum total of human progress. India's gift to the world is the light spiritual.( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
Those who keep their eyes open, those who understand the workings in the minds of different nations of the West, those who are thinkers and study the different nations, will find the immense change that has been produced in the tone, the procedure, in the methods, and in the literature of the world by this slow, never-ceasing permeation of Indian thought.( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
Once more history is going to repeat itself. For today, under the blasting light of modern science, when old and apparently strong and invulnerable beliefs have been shattered to their very foundations, when special claims laid to the allegiance of mankind by different sects have been all blown into atoms and have vanished into air, when the sledge-hammer blows of modern antiquarian researches are pulverising like masses of porcelain all sorts of antiquated orthodoxies, when religion in the West is only in the hands of the ignorant and the knowing ones look down with scorn upon anything belonging to religion, here comes to the fore the philosophy of India, which displays the highest religious aspirations of the Indian mind, where the grandest philosophical facts have been the practical spirituality of the people. This naturally is coming to the rescue, the idea of the oneness of all, the Infinite, the idea of the Impersonal, the wonderful idea of the eternal soul of man, of the unbroken continuity in the march of beings, and the infinity of the universe.( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
The great principles underlying all this wonderful, infinite, ennobling, expansive view of man and God and the world have been produced in India. In India alone man has not stood up to fight for a little tribal God, saying "My God is true and yours is not true; let us have a good fight over it." It was only here that such ideas did not occur as fighting for little gods. These great underlying principles, being based upon the eternal nature of man, are as potent today for working for the good of the human race as they were thousands of years ago, and they will remain so, so tong as this earth remains, so long as the law of Karma remains, so long as we are born as individuals and have to work out our own destiny by our individual power. ( CW3 FIRST PUBLIC LECTURE IN THE EAST )
This is the motherland of philosophy, of spirituality, and of ethics, of sweetness, gentleness, and love. These still exist, and my experience of the world leads me to stand on firm ground and make the bold statement that India is still the first and foremost of all the nations of the world in these respects.( CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD )
My friends, the way out is that first and foremost we must keep a firm hold on spirituality - that inestimable gift handed down to us by our ancient forefathers. Did you ever hear of a country where the greatest kings tried to trace their descent not to kings, not to robber-barons living in old castles who plundered poor travellers, but to semi-naked sages who lived in the forest? Did you ever hear of such a land? This is the land. In other countries great priests try to trace their descent to some king, but here the greatest kings would trace their descent to some ancient priest. Therefore, whether you believe in spirituality or not, for the sake of the national life, you have to get a hold on spirituality and keep to it. Then stretch the other hand out and gain all you can from other races, but everything must be subordinated to that one ideal of life; and out of that a wonderful, glorious, future India will come I am sure it is coming a greater India than ever was. Sages will spring up greater than all the ancient sages; and your ancestors will not only be satisfied, but I am sure, they will be proud from their positions in other worlds to look down upon their descendants, so glorious, and so great.(CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD )
Let us all work hard, my brethren; this is no time for sleep. On our work depends the coming of the India of the future. She is there ready waiting. She is only sleeping. Arise and awake and see her seated here on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was this motherland of ours.( CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD )
I have said, gentlemen that we have yet something to teach to the world. This is the very reason, the raison d'tre, that this nation has lived on, in spite of hundreds of years of persecution, in spite of nearly a thousand year of foreign rule and foreign oppression. This nation still lives; the raison d'tre is it still holds to God, to the treasure-house of religion and spirituality.( CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD)
But mark you, if you give up that spirituality, leaving it aside to go after the materialising civilisation of the West, the result will be that in three generations you will be an extinct race; because the backbone of the nation will be broken, the foundation upon which the national edifice has been built will be undermined, and the result will be annihilation all round.( CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD )
Yet, perhaps, some sort of materialism, toned down to our own requirements, would be a blessing to many of our brothers who are not yet ripe for the highest truths. This is the mistake made in every country and in every society, and it is a greatly regrettable thing that in India, where it was always understood, the same mistake of forcing the highest truths on people who are not ready for them has been made of late.( CW3 REPLY TO THE ADDRESS OF WELCOME AT RAMNAD )
I love my nation, I cannot see you degraded, weakened any more than you are now. Therefore I am bound for your sake and for truth's sake to cry, "Hold!" and to raise my voice against this degradation of my race. Give up these weakening mysticisms and be strong. Go back to your Upanishads the shining, the strengthening, the bright philosophy and part from all these mysterious things, all these weakening things. Take up this philosophy; the greatest truths are the simplest things in the world, simple as your own existence. The truths of the Upanishads are before you. Take them up, live up to them, and the salvation of India will be at hand.( CW3 MY PLAN OF CAMPAIGN )
In India, religious life forms the centre, the keynote of the whole music of national life; and if any nation attempts to throw off its national vitality the direction which has become its own through the transmission of centuries that nation dies if it succeeds in the attempt. And, therefore, if you succeed in the attempt to throw off your religion and take up either politics, or society, or any other things as your centre, as the vitality of your national life, the result will be that you will become extinct. To prevent this you must make all and everything work through that vitality of your religion. Let all your nerves vibrate through the backbone of your religion. ( CW3 MY PLAN OF CAMPAIGN )
Gifts of secular knowledge and social knowledge can be made with fire and sword. But spiritual knowledge can only be given in silence like the dew that falls unseen and unheard, yet bringing into bloom masses of roses. This has been the gift of India to the world again and again. Whenever there has been a great conquering race, bringing the nations of the world together, making roads and transit possible, immediately India arose and gave her quota of spiritual power to the sum total of the progress of the world. This happened ages before Buddha was born, and remnants of it are still left in China, in Asia Minor, and in the heart of the Malayan Archipelago. This was the case when the great Greek conqueror united the four corners of the then known world; then rushed out Indian spirituality, and the boasted civilisation of the West is but the remnant of that deluge. Now the same opportunity has again come; the power of England has linked the nations of the world together as was never done before. English roads and channels of communication rush from one end of the world to the other. Owing to English genius, the world today has been linked in such a fashion as has never before been done. Today trade centres have been formed such as have never been before in the history of mankind. And immediately, consciously or unconsciously, India rises up and pours forth her gifts of spirituality; and they will rush through these roads till they have reached the very ends of the world. That I went to America was not my doing or your doing; but the God of India who is guiding her destiny sent me, and will send hundreds of such to all the nations of the world. No power on earth can resist it. This also has to be done. You must go out to preach your religion, preach it to every nation under the sun, preach it to every people. This is the first thing to do. And after preaching spiritual knowledge, along with it will come that secular knowledge and every other knowledge that you want; but if you attempt to get the secular knowledge without religion, I tell you plainly, vain is your attempt in India, it will never have a hold on the people. Even the great Buddhistic movement was a failure, partially on account of that.( CW3 MY PLAN OF CAMPAIGN )
With all my love for India, and with all my patriotism and veneration for the ancients, I cannot but think that we have to learn many things from other nations. We must be always ready to sit at the feet of all, for, mark you, every one can teach us great lessons. Says our great law-giver, Manu: "Receive some good knowledge even from the low-born, and even from the man of lowest birth learn by service the road to heaven." We, therefore, as true children of Manu, must obey his commands and be ready to learn the lessons of this life or the life hereafter from any one who can teach us. At the same time we must not forget that we have also to teach a great lesson to the world. We cannot do without the world outside India; it was our foolishness that we thought we could, and we have paid the penalty by about a thousand years of slavery. That we did not go out to compare things with other nations, did not mark the workings that have been all around us, has been the one great cause of this degradation of the Indian mind. We have paid the penalty; let us do it no more. All such foolish ideas that Indians must not go out of India are childish. They must be knocked on the head; the more you go out and travel among the nations of the world, the better for you and for your country. If you had done that for hundreds of years past, you would not be here today at the feet of every nation that wants to rule India. The first manifest effect of life is expansion. You must expand if you want to live. The moment you have ceased to expand, death is upon you, danger is ahead. ( CW3 THE WORK BEFORE US )
This is the great ideal before us, and every one must be ready for it the Conquest of the whole world by India nothing less than that, and we must all get ready for it, strain every nerve for it. Let foreigners come and flood the land with their armies, never mind. Up, India, and conquer the world with your spirituality! Ay, as has been declared on this soil first, love must conquer hatred, hatred cannot conquer itself. Materialism and all its miseries can never be conquered by materialism. Armies when they attempt to conquer armies only multiply and make brutes of humanity. Spirituality must conquer the West. Slowly they are finding out that what they want is spirituality to preserve them as nations. They are waiting for it, they are eager for it. Where is the supply to come from? Where are the men ready to go out to every country in the world with the messages of the great sages of India? Where are the men who are ready to sacrifice everything, so that this message shall reach every corner of the world? Such heroic spurs are wanted to help the spread of truth. Such heroic workers are wanted to go abroad and help to disseminate the great truths of the Vedanta. The world wants it; without it the world will be destroyed. The whole of the Western world is on a volcano which may burst tomorrow, go to pieces tomorrow. They have searched every corner of the world and have found no respite. They have drunk deep of the cup of pleasure and found it vanity. Now is the time to work so that India's spiritual ideas may penetrate deep into the West. Therefore young men of India, I specially ask you to remember this. We must go out, we must conquer the world through our spirituality and philosophy. There is no other alternative, we must do it or die. The only condition of national life, of awakened and vigorous national life, is the conquest of the world by Indian thought. ( CW3 THE WORK BEFORE US )
Religion and religion alone is the life of India, and when that goes, India will die, in spite of politics, in spite of social reforms, in spite of Kubera's wealth poured upon the head of every one of her children.
Swami Vivekananda defined religion in such away that it would be equally acceptable to people professing any religion or belonging to any country. His definition of religion was divested of dogmas and creeds, and external aids like sacred books, rituals and ceremonials, some of his famous and cryptic definitions of religion are:
- Religion is the struggle to transcend the limitation of the senses.
- Religion is the idea of raising the brute unto man and man unto God.
- Religion is the eternal relationship between the eternal soul and eternal God.
- Religion is the idea of evolution of the individual soul towards the infinite.
- Religion is the manifestation of divinity that is already in man.
- Religion is realisation
Swamiji said that in essence, the concepts of spirituality in different religions do not differ from one another. He Pointed out that whatever be the mode of practice in whichever religion, the following four disciplines alone form the basis of all spirituality.
- Control of the mind.
- Dispassion towards the things of the world.
- Company of holy men
- Love for fellow beings.
Religion lead one by hand and shows him the way to realisation of the Self. That is, not only how to live the life but also how to give up the life (mundane) and achive the eternal life. Yad gatva na nivartante tat dhama paramam mama - Gita.
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih.
Nearly a hundred years ago Swami Vivekananda showed the close connection between culture and education. Wherever there is a great culture, you will find behind it, a highly developed system of education. Ancient India could produce a great culture because it developed a wonderful system of education. In those days, people took education seriously. In the Taittiriya Upanishad, we find a discussion on what true tapas is. The opinion of the Vedic Rishi is: "swadhyaya pravacana eva-eti" - "study and teaching alone" constitute true tapas. Education itself is the best tapas, that is, the best form of human effort.
According to Swami Vivekananda, the basic purpose of education is the total development of human personality. Everyone is endowed with certain capacities, which remain dormant, although in a potential form, in childhood. Swami Vivekananda believed education is the process by which these inherent potentialities in human personality manifest themselves in completing his or her total development.
This total development of human personality includes intellectual and moral development. Most of the present day school and college curriculum only aim at intellectual development. It is in this field that western science, technology and commerce have attained tremendous success.
Science is systematic pursuit of knowledge at empirical level. The scientific method gives a very good training to the mind. It was by applying the scientific method that western countries made tremendous advancement in technology and acquired great wealth and power.
Swami Vivekananda was one of the first among religious teachers to understand the importance of science and technology. In the first place, Swamiji saw that poor countries like India would be able to overcome poverty and backwardness only by mastering technology. Secondly, Swamiji saw that science is not contradictory to the eternal spiritual principles, which is the foundation of Indian culture. Both Science and eternal religion are concerned with truth. Science seeks truth in the physical world, whereas religion seeks truth in the spiritual realm. Thus, religion and science are complementary.
The other primary purpose of education is to build character and to enable people to lead moral lives. However, this is precisely the field where most of the modern systems of education have failed. Swami Vivekananda has given a new definition of morality. To quote his words, "The only definition that can be given of morality is this: that which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unselfish is moral". For Swamiji unselfishness and service are not mere matters of rules and regulations but of reality. If God dwells in all beings as the Supreme Self, if every man is potentially divine, then to serve God in man or man as God is the best form of worship. To quote Swamiji's own words: "It is a privilege to serve mankind, for this is the worship of God. God is here in all these human souls. He is the soul of man." (C.W.I. 424)
[Above is the excerpt taken from address by Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj delivered/read out during the inauguration of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute at Belur Math. Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj served as 14th President of the Ramakrishna Order]
The first thing to be understood is what ego is. A child is born. A child is born without any knowledge, any consciousness of his own self. And when a child is born the first thing he becomes aware of is not himself; the first thing he becomes aware of is the other. It is natural, because the eyes open outwards, the hands touch others, the ears listen to others, the tongue tastes food and the nose smells the outside. All these senses open outwards.
That is what birth means. Birth means coming into this world, the world of the outside. So when a child is born, he is born into this world. He opens his eyes, sees others. 'Other' means the thou. He becomes aware of the mother first. Then, by and by, he becomes aware of his own body. That too is the other, that too belongs to the world. He is hungry and he feels the body; his need is satisfied, he forgets the body.
This is how a child grows. First he becomes aware of you, thou, other, and then by and by, in contrast to you, thou, he becomes aware of himself.
This awareness is a reflected awareness. He is not aware of who he is. He is simply aware of the mother and what she thinks about him. If she smiles, if she appreciates the child, if she says, "You are beautiful," if she hugs and kisses him, the child feels good about himself. Now an ego is born.
Through appreciation, love, care, he feels he is good, he feels he is valuable, he feels he has some significance.
A center is born.
But this center is a reflected center. It is not his real being. He does not know who he is; he simply knows what others think about him. And this is the ego: the reflection, what others think. If nobody thinks that he is of any use, nobody appreciates him, nobody smiles, then too an ego is born: an ill ego; sad, rejected, like a wound; feeling inferior, worthless. This too is the ego. This too is a reflection.
First the mother - and mother means the world in the beginning. Then others will join the mother, and the world goes on growing. And the more the world grows, the more complex the ego becomes, because many others' opinions are reflected.
The ego is an accumulated phenomenon, a by-product of living with others. If a child lives totally alone, he will never come to grow an ego. But that is not going to help. He will remain like an animal. That doesn't mean that he will come to know the real self, no.
The real can be known only through the false, so the ego is a must. One has to pass through it. It is a discipline. The real can be known only through the illusion. You cannot know the truth directly. First you have to know that which is not true. First you have to encounter the untrue. Through that encounter you become capable of knowing the truth. If you know the false as the false, truth will dawn upon you.
Ego is a need; it is a social need, it is a social by-product. The society means all that is around you - not you, but all that is around you. All, minus you, is the society. And everybody reflects. You will go to school and the teacher will reflect who you are. You will be in friendship with other children and they will reflect who you are. By and by, everybody is adding to your ego, and everybody is trying to modify it in such a way that you don't become a problem to the society.
They are not concerned with you.
They are concerned with the society.
Society is concerned with itself, and that's how it should be.
They are not concerned that you should become a self-knower. They are concerned that you should become an efficient part in the mechanism of the society. You should fit into the pattern. So they are trying to give you an ego that fits with the society. They teach you morality. Morality means giving you an ego which will fit with the society. If you are immoral, you will always be a misfit somewhere or other. That's why we put criminals in the prisons - not that they have done something wrong, not that by putting them in the prisons we are going to improve them, no. They simply don't fit. They are troublemakers. They have certain types of egos of which the society doesn't approve. If the society approves, everything is good.
One man kills somebody - he is a murderer.
And the same man in wartime kills thousands - he becomes a great hero. The society is not bothered by a murder, but the murder should be commited for the society - then it is okay. The society doesn't bother about morality.
Morality means only that you should fit with the society.
If the society is at war, then the morality changes.
If the society is at peace, then there is a different morality.
Morality is a social politics. It is diplomacy. And each child has to be brought up in such a way that he fits into the society, that's all. Because society is interested in efficient members. Society is not interested that you should attain to self-knowledge.
The society creates an ego because the ego can be controlled and manipulated. The self can never be controlled or manipulated. Nobody has ever heard of the society controlling a self - not possible.
And the child needs a center; the child is completely unaware of his own center. The society gives him a center and the child is by and by convinced that this is his center, the ego that society gives.
A child comes back to his home - if he has come first in his class, the whole family is happy. You hug and kiss him, and you take the child on your shoulders and dance and you say, "What a beautiful child! You are a pride to us." You are giving him an ego, a subtle ego. And if the child comes home dejected, unsuccessful, a failure - he couldn't pass, or he has just been on the back bench - then nobody appreciates him and the child feels rejected. He will try harder next time, because the center feels shaken.
Ego is always shaken, always in search of food, that somebody should appreciate it. That's why you continuously ask for attention.
You get the idea of who you are from others.
It is not a direct experience.
It is from others that you get the idea of who you are. They shape your center. This center is false, because you carry your real center. That is nobody's business. Nobody shapes it.
You come with it.
You are born with it.
So you have two centers. One center you come with, which is given by existence itself. That is the self. And the other center, which is created by the society, is the ego. It is a false thing - and it is a very great trick. Through the ego the society is controlling you. You have to behave in a certain way, because only then does the society appreciate you. You have to walk in a certain way; you have to laugh in a certain way; you have to follow certain manners, a morality, a code. Only then will the society appreciate you, and if it doesn't, you ego will be shaken. And when the ego is shaken, you don't know where you are, who you are.
The others have given you the idea.
That idea is the ego.
Try to understand it as deeply as possible, because this has to be thrown. And unless you throw it you will never be able to attain to the self. Because you are addicted to the center, you cannot move, and you cannot look at the self.
And remember, there is going to be an interim period, an interval, when the ego will be shattered, when you will not know who you are, when you will not know where you are going, when all boundaries will melt.
You will simply be confused, a chaos.
Because of this chaos, you are afraid to lose the ego. But it has to be so. One has to pass through the chaos before one attains to the real center.
And if you are daring, the period will be small.
If you are afraid, and you again fall back to the ego, and you again start arranging it, then it can be very, very long; many lives can be wasted.
I have heard: One small child was visiting his grandparents. He was just four years old. In the night when the grandmother was putting him to sleep, he suddenly started crying and weeping and said, "I want to go home. I am afraid of darkness." But the grandmother said, "I know well that at home also you sleep in the dark; I have never seen a light on. So why are you afraid here?" The boy said, "Yes, that's right - but that is MY darkness." This darkness is completely unknown.
Even with darkness you feel, "This is MINE."
Outside - an unknown darkness.
With the ego you feel, "This is MY darkness."
It may be troublesome, maybe it creates many miseries, but still mine. Something to hold to, something to cling to, something underneath the feet; you are not in a vacuum, not in an emptiness. You may be miserable, but at least you ARE. Even being miserable gives you a feeling of 'I am'. Moving from it, fear takes over; you start feeling afraid of the unknown darkness and chaos - because society has managed to clear a small part of your being.
It is just like going to a forest. You make a little clearing, you clear a little ground; you make fencing, you make a small hut; you make a small garden, a lawn, and you are okay. Beyond your fence - the forest, the wild. Here everything is okay; you have planned everything. This is how it has happened.
Society has made a little clearing in your consciousness. It has cleaned just a little part completely, fenced it. Everything is okay there. That's what all your universities are doing. The whole culture and conditioning is just to clear a part so that you can feel at home there.
And then you become afraid.
Beyond the fence there is danger.
Beyond the fence you are, as within the fence you are - and your conscious mind is just one part, one-tenth of your whole being. Nine-tenths is waiting in the darkness. And in that nine-tenths, somewhere your real center is hidden.
One has to be daring, courageous.
One has to take a step into the unknown.
For a while all boundaries will be lost.
For a while you will feel dizzy.
For a while, you will feel very afraid and shaken, as if an earthquake has happened. But if you are courageous and you don't go backwards, if you don't fall back to the ego and you go on and on, there is a hidden center within you that you have been carrying for many lives.
That is your soul, the self.
Once you come near it, everything changes, everything settles again. But now this settling is not done by the society. Now everything becomes a cosmos, not a chaos; a new order arises.
But this is no longer the order of the society - it is the very order of existence itself.
It is what Buddha calls Dhamma, Lao Tzu calls Tao, Heraclitus calls Logos. It is not man-made. It is the VERY order of existence itself. Then everything is suddenly beautiful again, and for the first time really beautiful, because man-made things cannot be beautiful. At the most you can hide the ugliness of them, that's all. You can decorate them, but they can never be beautiful.
The difference is just like the difference between a real flower and a plastic or paper flower. The ego is a plastic flower - dead. It just looks like a flower, it is not a flower. You cannot really call it a flower. Even linguistically to call it a flower is wrong, because a flower is something which flowers. And this plastic thing is just a thing, not a flowering. It is dead. There is no life in it.
You have a flowering center within. That's why Hindus call it a lotus - it is a flowering. They call it the one-thousand-petaled-lotus. One thousand means infinite petals. And it goes on flowering, it never stops, it never dies.
But you are satisfied with a plastic ego.
There are some reasons why you are satisfied. With a dead thing, there are many conveniences. One is that a dead thing never dies. It cannot - it was never alive. So you can have plastic flowers, they are good in a way. They are permanent; they are not eternal, but they are permanent.
The real flower outside in the garden is eternal, but not permanent. And the eternal has its own way of being eternal. The way of the eternal is to be born again and again and to die. Through death it refreshes itself, rejuvenates itself.
To us it appears that the flower has died - it never dies.
It simply changes bodies, so it is ever fresh.
It leaves the old body, it enters a new body. It flowers somewhere else; it goes on flowering.
But we cannot see the continuity because the continuity is invisible. We see only one flower, another flower; we never see the continuity.
It is the same flower which flowered yesterday.
It is the same sun, but in a different garb.
The ego has a certain quality - it is dead. It is a plastic thing. And it is very easy to get it, because others give it. You need not seek it, there is no search involved.
That's why unless you become a seeker after the unknown, you have not yet become an individual. You are just a part of the crowd. You are just a mob.
When you don't have a real center, how can you be an individual?
The ego is not individual. Ego is a social phenomenon - it is society, its not you.
But it gives you a function in the society, a hierarchy in the society. And if you remain satisfied with it, you will miss the whole opportunity of finding the self.
And that's why you are so miserable.
With a plastic life, how can you be happy?
With a false life, how can you be ecstatic and blissful? And then this ego creates many miseries, millions of them.
You cannot see, because it is your own darkness. You are attuned to it.
Have you ever noticed that all types of miseries enter through the ego? It cannot make you blissful; it can only make you miserable.
Ego is hell.
Whenever you suffer, just try to watch and analyze, and you will find, somewhere the ego is the cause of it. And the ego goes on finding causes to suffer.
You are an egoist, as everyone is. Some are very gross, just on the surface, and they are not so difficult. Some are very subtle, deep down, and they are the real problems.
This ego comes continuously in conflict with others because every ego is so unconfident about itself. Is has to be - it is a false thing. When you don't have anything in your hand and you just think that something is there, then there will be a problem.
If somebody says, "There is nothing," immediately the fight will start, because you also feel that there is nothing. The other makes you aware of the fact.
Ego is false, it is nothing.
That you also know.
How can you miss knowing it? It is impossible! A conscious being - how can he miss knowing that this ego is just false? And then others say that there is nothing - and whenever the others say that there is nothing they hit a wound, they say a truth - and nothing hits like the truth.
You have to defend, because if you don't defend, if you don't become defensive, then where will you be?
You will be lost.
The identity will be broken.
So you have to defend and fight - that is the clash.
A man who attains to the self is never in any clash. Others may come and clash with him, but he is never in clash with anybody.
It happened that one Zen master was passing through a street. A man came running and hit him hard. The master fell down. Then he got up and started to walk in the same direction in which he was going before, not even looking back.
A disciple was with the master. He was simply shocked. He said, "Who is this man? What is this? If one lives in such a way, then anybody can come and kill you. And you have not even looked at that person, who he is, and why he did it."
The master said, "That is his problem, not mine."
You can clash with an enlightened man, but that is your problem, not his. And if you are hurt in that clash, that too is your own problem. He cannot hurt you. And it is like knocking against a wall - you will be hurt, but the wall has not hurt you.
The ego is always looking for some trouble. Why? Because if nobody pays attention to you, the ego feels hungry.
It lives on attention.
So even if somebody is fighting and angry with you, that too is good because at least the attention is paid. If somebody loves, it is okay. If somebody is not loving you, then even anger will be good. At least the attention will come to you. But if nobody is paying any attention to you, nobody thinks that you are somebody important, significant, then how will you feed your ego?
Other's attention is needed.
In millions of ways you attract the attention of others; you dress in a certain way, you try to look beautiful, you behave, you become very polite, you change. When you feel what type of situation is there, you immediately change so that people pay attention to you.
This is a deep begging.
A real beggar is one who asks for and demands attention. And a real emperor is one who lives in himself; he has a center of his own, he doesn't depend on anybody else.
Buddha sitting under his bodhi tree...if the whole world suddenly disappears, will it make any difference to Buddha? -none. It will not make any difference at all. If the whole world disappears, it will not make any difference because he has attained to the center.
But you, if the wife escapes, divorces you, goes to somebody else, you are completely shattered - because she had been paying attention to you, caring, loving, moving around you, helping you to feel that you were somebody. Your whole empire is lost, you are simply shattered. You start thinking about suicide. Why? Why, if a wife leaves you, should you commit suicide? Why, if a husband leaves you, should you commit suicide? Because you don't have any center of your own. The wife was giving you the center; the husband was giving you the center.
This is how people exist. This is how people become dependent on others. It is a deep slavery. Ego HAS to be a slave. It depends on others. And only a person who has no ego is for the first time a master; he is no longer a slave. Try to understand this.
And start looking for the ego - not in others, that is not your business, but in yourself. Whenever you feel miserable, immediately close you eyes and try to find out from where the misery is coming and you will always find it is the false center which has clashed with someone.
You expected something, and it didn't happen.
You expected something, and just the contrary happened - your ego is shaken, you are in misery. Just look, whenever you are miserable, try to find out why.
Causes are not outside you. The basic cause is within you - but you always look outside, you always ask:
Who is making me miserable?
Who is the cause of my anger?
Who is the cause of my anguish?
And if you look outside you will miss.
Just close the eyes and always look within.
The source of all misery, anger, anguish, is hidden in you, your ego.
And if you find the source, it will be easy to move beyond it. If you can see that it is your own ego that gives you trouble, you will prefer to drop it - because nobody can carry the source of misery if he understands it.
And remember, there is no need to drop the ego.
You cannot drop it.
If you try to drop it, you will attain to a certain subtle ego again which says, "I have become humble."
Don't try to be humble. That's again ego in hiding - but it's not dead.
Don't try to be humble.
Nobody can try humility, and nobody can create humility through any effort of his own - no. When the ego is no more, a humbleness comes to you. It is not a creation. It is a shadow of the real center.
And a really humble man is neither humble nor egoistic.
He is simply simple.
He's not even aware that he is humble.
If you are aware that you are humble, the ego is there.
Look at humble persons.... There are millions who think that they are very humble. They bow down very low, but watch them - they are the subtlest egoists. Now humility is their source of food. They say, "I am humble," and then they look at you and they wait for you to appreciate them.
"You are really humble," they would like you to say. "In fact, you are the most humble man in the world; nobody is as humble as you are." Then see the smile that comes on their faces.
What is ego? Ego is a hierarchy that says, "No one is like me." It can feed on humbleness - "Nobody is like me, I am the most humble man."
It happened once:
A fakir, a beggar, was praying in a mosque, just early in the morning when it was still dark. It was a certain religious day for Mohammedians, and he was praying, and he was saying, "I am nobody. I am the poorest of the poor, the greatest sinner of sinners."
Suddenly there was one more person who was praying. He was the emperor of that country, and he was not aware that there was somebody else there who was praying - it was dark, and the emperor was also saying:
"I am nobody. I am nothing. I am just empty, a beggar at our door." When he heard that somebody else was saying the same thing, he said, "Stop! Who is trying to overtake me? Who are you? How dare you say before the emperor that you are nobody when he is saying that he is nobody?"
This is how the ego goes. It is so subtle. Its ways are so subtle and cunning; you have to be very, very alert, only then will you see it. Don't try to be humble. Just try to see that all misery, all anguish comes through it.
Just watch! No need to drop it.
You cannot drop it. Who will drop it? Then the DROPPER will become the ego. It always comes back.
Whatsoever you do, stand out of it, and look and watch.
Whatsoever you do - humbleness, humility, simplicity - nothing will help. Only one thing is possible, and that is just to watch and see that it is the source of all misery. Don't say it. Don't repeat it - WATCH. Because if I say it is the source of all misery and you repeat it, then it is useless. YOU have to come to that understanding. Whenever you are miserable, just close the eyes and don't try to find some cause outside. Try to see from where this misery is coming.
It is your own ego.
If you continuously feel and understand, and the understanding that the ego is the cause becomes so deep-rooted, one day you will suddenly see that it has disappeared. Nobody drops it - nobody can drop it. You simply see; it has simply disappeared, because the very understanding that ego causes all misery becomes the dropping. THE VERY UNDERSTANDING IS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE EGO.
And you are so clever in seeing the ego in others. Anybody can see someone else's ego. When it comes to your own, then the problem arises - because you don't know the territory, you have never traveled on it.
The whole path towards the divine, the ultimate, has to pass through this territory of the ego. The false has to be understood as false. The source of misery has to be understood as the source of misery - then it simply drops.
When you know it is poison, it drops. When you know it is fire, it drops. When you know this is the hell, it drops.
And then you never say, "I have dropped the ego." Then you simply laugh at the whole thing, the joke that you were the creator of all misery.
I was just looking at a few cartoons of Charlie Brown. In one cartoon he is playing with blocks, making a house out of children's blocks. He is sitting in the middle of the blocks building the walls. Then a moment comes when he is enclosed; all around he has made a wall. Then he cries, "Help, help!"
He has done the whole thing! Now he is enclosed, imprisoned. This is childish, but this is all that you have done also. You have made a house all around yourself, and now you are crying, "Help, help!" And the misery becomes a millionfold - because there are helpers who are also in the same boat.
It happened that one very beautiful woman went to see her psychiatrist for the first time. The psychiatrist said, "Come closer please." When she came closer, he simply jumped and hugged and kissed the woman. She was shocked. Then he said, "Now sit down. This takes care of my problem, now what is your problem?"
The problem becomes multifold, because there are helpers who are in the same boat. And they would like to help, because when you help somebody the ego feels very good, very, very good - because you are a great helper, a great guru, a master; you are helping so many people. The greater the crowd of your followers, the better you feel.
But you are in the same boat - you cannot help.
Rather, you will harm.
People who still have their own problems cannot be of much help. Only someone who has no problems of his own can help you. Only then is there the clarity to see, to see through you. A mind that has no problems of its own can see you, you become transparent.
A mind that has no problems of its own can see through itself; that's why it becomes capable of seeing through others.
In the West, there are many schools of psychoanalysis, many schools, and no help is reaching people, but rather, harm. Because the people who are helping others, or trying to help, or posing as helpers, are in the same boat.
...It is difficult to see one's own ego.
It is very easy to see other's egos. But that is not the point, you cannot help them.
Try to see your own ego.
Just watch it.
Don't be in a hurry to drop it, just watch it. The more you watch, the more capable you will become. Suddenly one day, you simply see that it has dropped. And when it drops by itself, only then does it drop. There is no other way. Prematurely you cannot drop it.
It drops just like a dead leaf.
The tree is not doing anything - just a breeze, a situation, and the dead leaf simply drops. The tree is not even aware that the dead leaf has dropped. It makes no noise, it makes no claim - nothing.
The dead leaf simply drops and shatters on the ground, just like that.
When you are mature through understanding, awareness, and you have felt totally that ego is the cause of all your misery, simply one day you see the dead leaf dropping.
It settles into the ground, dies of its own accord. You have not done anything so you cannot claim that you have dropped it. You see that it has simply disappeared, and then the real center arises.
And that real center is the soul, the self, the god, the truth, or whatsoever you want to call it.
It is nameless, so all names are good.
You can give it any name of your own liking.
From Beyond the Frontier of the Mind by Osho
- ► June 2013 (2)