Osho – Tao says that whatsoever is beautiful in you, hide it, never act it out; whatsoever is truthful in you, valuable, hide it, because whenever a truth is hidden in the heart, it grows like a seed hidden in the earth. Don’t throw it out. If you throw a seed on the street for everybody to see, it will die, and die to no purpose. It will simply die, there will be no rebirth.
Treat all that is beautiful, good and true, just like a seed. Give it some soil, a hidden place in the heart, don’t display it. But just the opposite is done by everybody: whatsoever is wrong, you hide it, you don’t want it to be known by others. Whatsoever is ugly you hide and whatsoever is beautiful, even if it is not, you try to advertise it, you magnify it, you display it. Hence the misery – because the ugly grows and the beautiful is lost. The untrue grows, it becomes a seed, and the truth is thrown away.
The precious is thrown and the rubbish grows; you become like weeds. No flower comes to your life because you have never done the right thing – hidden the seed of the flower within. This opposite is the path, and I say this is one of the most secret keys of Tao.
A man of Tao remains ordinary, absolutely ordinary. Nobody knows who he is, nobody knows what he carries within him, what treasure. He never advertises, he never tries to display. But why do we advertise? Because of the ego. You are not satisfied with yourself, you are satisfied only when others appreciate you. KOHINOOR is not enough. You may have a valuable stone, but it is not enough; others must appreciate it. Others’ opinion is more valuable – not your being. You look into others’ eyes as if they are mirrors and if they appreciate you, applaud you, you feel good.
Ego is a false phenomenon. It is the accumulation of others’ opinions, it is not a knowledge of the self. This self, the so-called self which is really the ego, is nothing but the accumulation of reflections – and then there is always fear. Others may change their mind, you are always dependent on them.
If they say you are good you have to follow their rules to remain good, you have to follow them to remain good in their eyes, because once they change their opinion you will no longer be good. You have no direct approach to your being, it is via others. So you not only advertise, you magnify, you falsify. You may have a little truth, a little beauty, but you magnify it and it becomes ridiculous.
I remember – and I will never forget it – the first time Mulla Nasrudin was introduced to me. A mutual friend introduced us. The friend said, among other things, that Mulla Nasrudin was a great writer. And he smiled knowingly. So I asked Mulla Nasrudin: What have you written? He said: I have just finished Hamlet. I couldn’t believe my ears, so I asked him again: Have you ever heard of a guy known as William Shakespeare? Mulla Nasrudin said: This is strange, because before, when I wrote Macbeth, somebody asked the same thing. And he asked: Who is this man William Shakespeare? It seems that he keeps on copying me. Whatsoever I write, he also writes. You think that everybody is copying you and the reality is that you go on copying everybody else. You are a carbon copy, you are not a real person, because a real person never needs any display.
I have heard that it happened once at a hill station, on the lawn of a big hotel, that three elderly women were playing cards. A fourth approached and she asked if she could join them. They said: Of course, you are welcome, but there are a few rules. And they handed her a printed card, with four rules on it. The first was, never talk about mink coats, because we all have them. Second, never talk about your grandchildren, because we are all grandmothers. Third, never talk about jewelry, because we all have precious jewelry purchased from the best of places, and fourthly, never talk about sex – what was, was!
But everybody wants to talk about himself, his mink coats, his jewelry, his children, his sex. And everybody bores everybody else. And if you tolerate bores, you tolerate them only because it is a mutual understanding: if he is boring you he will allow himself to be bored by you. You are just waiting – when he stops his display, you can start your own. And the whole of life becomes a false, a continued display. What do you achieve through it? Just a false feeling that you are important, extraordinary. How can one become extraordinary by having mink coats? How can one become extraordinary by owning valuable jewelry? How can one become extraordinary by doing this or that?
Extraordinariness is not concerned with what you do, it is concerned with what you are. And you are already extraordinary, everyone is unique, there is no need to prove it. If you try to prove it, you will just prove the opposite. If something is already the case, how can you prove it? If you try to prove it you simply show that you are not aware of the uniqueness that has already happened to you.
So if you want to prove something it shows that you are doubtful about it. You want to destroy your doubt through others’ eyes, through their opinions. You are not really convinced of your beautiful person, you would like others to say that you are beautiful.
In a small village it was the custom of the village priest that whenever he married somebody he would kiss the bride. It was an old tradition. One woman who was going to be married was very concerned. She thought herself very beautiful, as every woman does. It is womanly, it is nothing new. Really, every woman thinks so – even the ugliest. She thought herself very beautiful and she was very concerned and worried. She said again and again to the would-be husband, to the groom: Go and tell the priest that I don’t want to be kissed after the marriage.
Just before the marriage, she again asked the groom: Have you been to the priest and told him? The groom very sadly said: Yes. The bride asked: Why are you so sad? The groom said: I told the priest and he was very happy. He said: ’In that case I will charge only half the usual fee.’
You may go on thinking yourself a beautiful person but nobody thinks that way about you because everybody is concerned with his own beauty, not with yours. And if anybody nods and says, ’Yes, you are beautiful’, he or she is just waiting for you to nod about his or her beauty. It is a mutual bargain: You fulfill my ego, I fulfill yours. I know well that you are not beautiful, you know well that I am not beautiful, but I fulfill your ego, so you fulfill mine.
And everybody seems to have such a need to feel unique. That means you have not come upon your own being which is unique without any need of proof. Proofs are needed only for lies – remember. That is why you cannot prove God – because he is the ultimate truth. Proofs are needed only for lies, truth needs no proof; it is – simply it is.
And I tell you that you are unique, extraordinary. Don’t try to be so, it is ridiculous, you simply become a laughing stock and everybody smiles when you turn your back. If you are not convinced about your uniqueness who is going to be convinced about it? Conviction is beyond proof. And how does it come? It comes through self knowledge.
So there are two ways; Knowledge – direct, knowing oneself directly, immediately – this is the right way. And the wrong way is knowing oneself through others, what they say. And if you don’t know yourself, how can they know you? They are very far away. You are the nearest person to know yourself. If you don’t know your reality, how can others know?
But because we lack self knowledge we need a substitute: ego is the substitute and ego is on constant display. You are just like a display window in a market. You have become a commodity, you have made yourself a commodity on display, always on display, always begging for somebody to say: You are good, beautiful, you are saintly, you are great, extraordinary. Tao is against this, because Tao says that this is how you waste your life. The same energy can move directly towards your being and when the being is revealed it is extraordinary.
So a man who is in search of self knowledge will remain ordinary in the eyes of others. He will not bother, he will hide himself, he will not display. He will not be on exhibition, he will not be a stageshow. He will remain silent, live silently, enjoy life silently. He would like nobody to bother about him, because whenever somebody bothers about you, thinks about you, it is going to be difficult and complex – self knowledge becomes more and more difficult.
You have to go there alone, and if you are looking at the crowd, and if you think that the crowd has to follow you, you will never reach it. If you are an exhibitionist then you will remain a commodity, a thing. You can never become a person, because ’person’ is hidden deep in the recesses of being. It is the deepest possibility in the whole of existence. You are the greatest abyss. Nobody else can go there with you. You will have to go alone. And if you are too concerned about others, what they say, what they think, you will remain on the periphery. That is one thing.
The second thing is: just to be on display you hide whatsoever is ugly. In clothes, in words, in gestures, in masks, in actions, you try to hide whatsoever is ugly and wrong. What are you doing? This wrong will become a seed inside and it will grow. And the more you push it in, the more you are throwing it towards the source of all energy; it will be strengthened. And the beautiful you throw out – it will never become a seed.
Just do the opposite. If you have something ugly, show it to others: it disperses. If you are an angry man, tell everybody: I am an angry man, don’t love me, don’t be a friend to me. I am a very bad man. I am ugly, I am immoral, I am greedy, I am sexual. Say whatsoever is ugly about you, not only say it but authentically act it out. And you will be surprised that whenever something is thrown out, it disperses. And hide the beautiful; let it go deeper so that it can get roots in your being, and it will grow. But you have been doing just the opposite.
Source – Osho Book “When the Shoe Fits”