Osho on Being Oneself

Question – Beloved Master, How can I be myself?
Osho – That should be the easiest thing in the world, but it is not. To be oneself one need not do anything; one already is. How can you be otherwise? How can you be anybody else? But I can understand the problem. The problem arises because the society corrupts everybody. The society up to now has been a great corruption. It corrupts the mind, the being. It enforces things on you and you lose contact with yourself. It tries to make something else out of you than that which you were meant to be. It puts you off your center. It drags you away from yourself. It teaches you to be like a Christ or to be like a Buddha or to be like this and that; it never says to you to be yourself. It never allows you freedom to be. It enforces foreign outside images on your mind.

Then the problem arises. You can pretend at the most, and when you pretend you are never satisfied. You always want to be yourself — that is natural — and the society does not allow it. It wants you to be somebody else. It wants you to be phoney. It does not want you to be real, because real people are dangerous people, real people are rebellious people. Real people cannot be controlled so easily, real people cannot be regimented. Real people will live their reality in their own way — they will do their thing; they won’t bother about other things. You cannot sacrifice them. In the name of religion, in the name of the state, nation, race, you cannot sacrifice them. It is impossible to seduce them for any sacrifice. Real people are always for their own happiness. Their happiness is ultimate: they are not ready to sacrifice it for anything else. That’s the problem.

So the society distracts every child: it teaches the child to be somebody else. And by and by the child learns the ways of pretension, hypocrisy. And one day — this is the irony — the same society starts talking to you in this way, starts saying to you: What has happened to you? Why are you not happy? Why do you look miserable? Why are you sad? And then come the priests. First they corrupt you, the distract you from the path of happiness — because there is only one happiness possible and that is to be yourself — then they come and say to you: Why are you unhappy? Why are you miserable? And then they teach you ways to be happy. First they make you ill and then they sell medicines. It is a great conspiracy.

I have heard…
A little old Jewish lady sits down on a plane next to a big Norwegian. She keeps staring and staring at him. Finally she turns to him and says, “Pardon me, are you Jewish?”
He replies, “No.”
A few minutes go by, and she looks at him again and asks, “You can tell me — you are Jewish, aren’t you?”
He answers, “Definitely not.”
She keeps studying him and says again, “I can tell you are Jewish.”
In order to get her to stop annoying him the gentleman replies, “Okay, I’m Jewish.”
She looks at him and shakes her head back and forth, and says, “You don’t look it.”

That’s how things are. You as me, “How can I be myself?” Just drop the pretensions, just drop this urge to be somebody else, just drop this desire to look like Christ, Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, to look like your neighbor. Drop competition and drop comparison and you will be yourself. Comparison is the poison. You are always thinking in terms of how the other is doing. He has got a big house and a big car and you are miserable. He has got a beautiful woman and you are miserable. And he is climbing up on the staircase of power and politics and you are miserable. Compare, and you will imitate. If you compare yourself with the rich people, you will start running in the same direction. If you compare yourself with the learned people, you will start accumulating knowledge. If you compare yourself with the so-called saints, you will start accumulating virtue — and you will be imitative. And to be imitative is to miss the whole opportunity to be oneself.

Drop comparison. You are unique. Nobody else is like you, nobody else has ever been like you, and nobody else is ever going to be like you. You are simply unique — and when I am saying you are unique, I am not saying you are better than others, remember. I am simply saying they are also unique. To be unique is an ordinary quality of every being. To be unique is not a comparison, to be unique is as natural as breathing. Everybody is breathing and everybody is unique. While you are alive, you are unique. Only corpses are all alike; alive persons are unique. They are never similar — they cannot be. Life never follows any repetitive course. God never repeats: he goes on singing a new song every day, he paints something new every day.

Respect your uniqueness, and drop comparison. Comparison is the culprit. Once you compare, you are on the track. Don’t compare with anybody — he is not you, you are not he. You are going to be yourself, he is going to be himself: let him be, and you relax into your being. Start enjoying whatsoever you are. Delight in the moments that are available to you. Comparison brings future, comparison brings ambition, and comparison brings violence. You start fighting, struggling, you become hostile.

Life is not something like a commodity. Happiness is not something like a commodity, that if others have it, you cannot — “how can you have it, if others have happiness?” — happiness is not a commodity at all. You can have as much as you want. It simply depends on you. Nobody is competitive about it, nobody is a competitor to you. Just as the garden is beautiful — you can look and appreciate, somebody else can look and appreciate. Because somebody else is appreciating the garden and saying it is beautiful, you are not hindered; he is not exploiting you. The garden is not less because he has appreciated it; because he is enthralled by its beauty the garden is not less. In fact, the garden is more so — because he has appreciated it he has added a new dimension to the garden.

People who are happy are in fact adding some quality to existence — just by being happy they are creating vibes of happiness. You can appreciate this world more and more if more and more people are happy. Don’t think in terms of competition. It is not that if they are happy how can you be happy? — you have to jump on them and snatch happiness away, you have to compete. Remember, if people are unhappy it will be very difficult for you to be happy. Happiness is available to everybody — whosoever opens his heart, happiness is always available. This happiness I call God.

It is not that somebody has achieved; it is not like a political post — one person has become the president of a country, now everybody cannot become the president, true. But one person has become enlightened: that does not hinder anybody else from becoming enlightened — in fact, it helps. Because Buddha became enlightened it has become easier for you to become enlightened. Because Christ became enlightened it has become easier for you to become enlightened. Somebody has walked on the path: footprints are there, he has left subtle hints for you; you can go more easily, in deeper confidence, with less hesitation. The whole earth can become enlightened, each single being can become enlightened. But everybody cannot become a president. This country has six hundred million people — only one person can become the president. Of course it is a competitive thing. But all six hundred million people can become enlightened — that’s not a problem.

All that is divine is noncompetitive — and your being is divine. So just sort it out. The society has muddled your head; it has taught you the competitive way of life. Religion is a noncompetitive way of life. Society is ambition, religion is nonambitious. And when you are nonambitious, only then can you be yourself. This is simple.

Source – from Osho Book “The Divine Melody”

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