Osho on Selfishness
YOU HAVE TOLD US MANY TIMES: BE SELFISH. WHAT IS IT TO BE SELFISH?
Drop the self. Because that is the most beautiful thing that can happen to you. That will be the greatest contentment that can come to you. Drop the self, if you really are selfish. If you really want to be blissful, drop the self — because self is creating all your miseries and all your hells. Difficult, because it looks like a paradox. But have you watched? All miseries come to you because of your self, because of the ego. You are hurt again and again, you suffer so much because of the ego. It is like a wound which remains always alive, and anything, even a breeze, a cool breeze, hurts you. Somebody smiles and it hurts, somebody laughs and it hurts, somebody is going on his way, maybe lost in his own thoughts, not looking at you, then it hurts.
Mulla Nasrudin was saying to his wife, ‘Don’t annoy me any more! You are irritating me!’ And he was really mad.
The wife said, ‘But I have not said a single thing. I am doing my work.’
Mulla said, ‘That’s why. You are keeping so quiet, it is annoying. For god’s sake, say something!’
Now, if you keep quiet, then too somebody can get annoyed. If you speak, then there is trouble. Ego is ready to be hurt; it will find ways and means to be hurt. So a person who lives with the ego, with the self, is not really a selfish person, he is a foolish person. Because he only suffers. What type of selfless selfishness is this, if you only suffer? I show you the way: drop the self. Forget all about the ego. Be as if you are not, exist as an emptiness, and see — millions of beautiful experiences become available to you. Everything becomes a deep, satisfying experience. Everything brings a gift, a grace. Everything becomes a benediction.
The ego is always expecting and hence always being frustrated. The non-egoistic person expects nothing, hence everything is fulfilling; whatsoever happens is tremendous, whatsoever happens is fantastic. Even if he comes across a small grass flower, he is hypnotised by it. ‘So beautiful a flower! And I have not done anything, I have not deserved it, and it is there just waiting for me.’ Just looking at the sky, and he is fulfilled. Just listening to the birds, and a great song arises in his heart. Then everything fulfils him. Remember, frustration is out of expectation, and ego is always expecting. The ego is a beggar.
I have heard a beautiful sufi story.
A beggar came to an emperor and the beggar said, ‘If you are going to give me anything there is a condition.’ The emperor had seen many beggars — but beggars with conditions? And this beggar was really strange, a very powerful man. He was a Sufi mystic. He had charm, a charisma, his personality had an aura. Even the emperor felt a little jealous. And conditions?!
The emperor said, ‘What do you mean? What do you mean by your condition?’
The beggar said, ‘This is my condition: I accept only if you can fill my begging bowl absolutely.’
It was a small begging bowl. The King said, ‘What do you think I am? Am I a beggar? I cannot fill this dirty small begging bowl?’
The beggar said, ‘It is better to tell you before, because later you can get into trouble. If you think you can fill, fill.’
The King called his vizier and told him to fill it with precious stones: with diamonds and rubies, emeralds. Let this beggar know with whom he is talking! But then there was difficulty. The bowl was filled but the king was surprised — as the stone fell into it, it would disappear. It was filled many times and each time it was again empty. Now he was in a great rage, but he told the vizier, ‘Even if my whole kingdom goes, if all my treasuries are emptied, let them be — but I cannot allow this beggar to defeat me. This is too much.’
And all the treasures, it is said, disappeared. By and by the king became a beggar. It took months. And the beggar was there and the king was there and the whole capital was there and everybody was wondering what was going to happen, what would happen in the end. Everything was simply disappearing.
Finally the king had to fall at the feet of the beggar and he said, ‘Forgive me, but before you leave just tell me one thing. What is the secret of this begging bowl? All has disappeared in it.’
The beggar started laughing. He said, ‘It is made of human ego. I have made this begging bowl of a human ego: everything disappears in it, nothing ever fulfils it.’
It is a tremendously beautiful story. That’s what is happening to you. It is not a story, it is your life. You go on putting in your begging bowl houses, cars, bank balances — everything disappears. Again you are empty. Never any satisfaction, never any contentment. Again you are begging. You have been doing it for many lives. It is your story. It is literally true, it is not just symbolically true. It is a truth in everybody’s life, in every man’s life. We remain a beggar. The begging bowl remains empty. It seems it has no bottom to it. You drop anything, it simply disappears. The ego is never fulfilled. So the egoist is a person who is very unselfish. Remember this paradox: the egoist is a person who is very unselfish, because he is never fulfilled. The non-egoist is a person who is very selfish because he is fulfilled. He attains to bliss.
Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.
Discourse Series: The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 1 Chapter #10
Chapter title: Thus come, thus gone
30 August 1976 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘ego’ in His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/ discourses:
- Light On The Path
- Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
- Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
- Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
- And The Flowers Showered
- A Bird On The Wing
- The Book of Wisdom
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1
- Take It Easy, Vol 1