Osho – All arrangements of life, like for instance our own life, is all based on a trance. We live in a trance; and the centre of this unconsciousness, is our ego.
Lao Tzu says, ”Nature is eternal for it lives not for itself.” He who has no thought about himself, will not live for himself. We all live for our own selves. There is an astonishing statement in the Upanishads: ”The husband does not love the wife; through her, he loves his own self. The father does not love the son; through him, he loves his own self. The mother does not love her daughter; through her, she loves her own self”.
The Upanishads say that when we say we love someone then too, it is our own self that we love through that medium. Even when we say we live for others, our statement is not authentic. It is erroneous; for the one we allege we live for, today we might feel to kill tomorrow.
I say, ”I live for my son”. If tomorrow this son disobeys me, displeases me, goes against my wishes, I will create a thousand obstructions in his way. I will see that I cause him all kinds of hardships in life – and I used to say I live only for him! As long as he gratified my desires, obeyed all my commands, nourished my ego, he was an extension of my ego and I professed to live only for him.
If I say, ”I live for my wife”. I can only do so when she satisfies my desires; when she is an instrument for the gratification of my passions, my very shadow. Let not this delude you though. I only live for her as long as she is useful to me. The day she is no longer useful, she becomes redundant for my ego. I will then throw her out as we throw away articles that have outlived their use. She becomes so much trash for me.
But we swear we live for others. As long as there is even a vestige of the ego within us, we cannot live for others. Then no matter how much we proclaim, we live for ourselves alone. One person says, ”I live for my country, I shall die for my country.” This is absolutely false. No man lives or dies for a country. He dies for ’my country’. In that too, is the fulfillment of his own ego. If I am
a Hindu, I can die for the Hindu religion.
But supposing in the last moments before I am executed, I am told I am not a Hindu and that I was actually a Muslim brought up in a Hindu family, all sacrifice on my part becomes useless. That very moment my whole attitude will change. I was not going to the gallows for the sake of Hinduism, but because I was under the illusion that I was a Hindu, my ego was Hindu, and in dying for Hinduism, I was only gratifying my ego. Now today, this gratification is gone. The matter finishes. Now I shall curse myself for my foolishness.
As long as ego persists, whatever we do, ego will be the master. Try to understand this well: We do many things, thinking the ego has nothing to do with it. But as long as there is ego within us, whatever we do will be related to the ego. We can implant humility on ourselves. It will only become an ornament for our ego and remain as such. I may fall at your feet and feel myself to be the dust on your feet. The ego within however, will keep reminding me that there is no one more humble than myself. My ego will exploit this humility and strengthen itself on it.
Ego can even renounce. It can renounce everything but it will always save itself. It never dies. A man like Lao Tzu says, ”Life eternal can only be attained when you begin to live for others”. But I can live for others only when there is no ’I’ within me; or when I begin to see my own self in others. These two happenings are the same. If I begin to see my own self in others it is the same as when my ’I’ is annihilated. The happening is the same whether I begin to see myself in others or the ’I’ within me becomes extinct.
Though this statement seems paradoxical, I repeat: I can exist for others only when the other is no longer ’the other’ to me. As long as the other is ’the other’ to me, I cannot live for others; till then I live only for myself. The very feeling of the other being the other, is a feeling of the ego within me. Or else, how will I know the other to be the other? Only when the other does not feel as the other to me, can I live for him.
We can express it this way also: I should spread out so, that everything and everybody becomes my own self. If I live in this manner, my existence becomes free, without anxiety, it is without any burden; it is an existence of freedom in which our bonds with the eternal are cemented. Till then all our relationships are with the temporal. There is nothing more transitory than the ego and hence all its connections are with the momentary.
Source: from Osho Book “The Way of Tao, Volume 1”