Question – Cannot people learn by Imitating others?
Osho – Ramakrishna, That’s how people learn, but that s how people remain stupid. too. The only way practiced hitherto is that of imitating others. That makes you knowledgeable but it does not make you intelligent. It makes you more informed but it does not release your wisdom. It will make you efficient as far as outer world is concerned – you will become a better mechanic, a better technician – but as far as the inner dimension is concerned you will become more and more stupid if you imitate.
There are things which are learned by imitation: for example, language you have to learn by imitation, otherwise you won’t know any language. Science has to be learned through others. But the inner world is totally different; it follows a totally different law. There imitation is a barrier not a bridge, a wall not a bridge. There you have to learn on your own.
But people go on doing the same kind of imitation in the inner world too, so they start imitating Buddha, they start imitating Jesus, they start imitating Mahavira, and they end up by being only carbon copies. They become more and more stupid. They cannot find their original face.
You can sit like a Buddha, you can close your eyes like a Buddha, you can use the same posture, you can sit under the same kind of tree, you can eat the same kind of food in the same quantity, you can sleep the way Buddha used to sleep, get up at the time Buddha used to get up – you can do everything in the minutest detail exactly like a Buddha, but it will be all acting; it won’t make you an awakened one.
A little rabbit is ready to become an adult, so his daddy says, ”Today I will show you how to behave with the ladies!” So they go and find in the garden six beautiful female rabbits.
”Look at me,” says daddy rabbit. ”Watch! Be aware!”
”Hello, madam,” says daddy as he jumps on the first female. And then some time after his jerking is over he says, ”Goodbye, madam!”
Then he jumps on the second one with a very polite, ”Hello. madam,” then ”Goodbye madam!”
And so on and so forth, very very slowly… When he is finished he goes to his son. The little rabbit seems very feverish. ”Did you get it?” asks his father.
”Oh yes, yes, yes!” says the young one. And running at full speed without a single stop he goes on jumping, ”Hello madam, goodbye madam, hello madam, goodbye madam, hello madam, goodbye madam, hello madam, goodbye madam… hello daddy, goodbye daddy!”
Imitation will make you very stupid, unintelligent. It is the way of the mediocre. Beware of it. In the inner world – and that is the world I am concerned with and that is the world you are here for – imitation won’t help not at all. You have to drop imitating completely, totally entirely, because each individual is unique, so unique that if he imitates anybody else he will miss his uniqueness, and in that uniqueness is his spirit, is his very being. In his uniqueness is hidden his god.
Cannot you observe that Jesus happened only once? And for two thousand years, how many people have tried to imitate him? Millions. And how many have become Jesus Christ? Not a single one. The same is true about Zarathustra, about Lao Tzu, about Buddha, about Mahavira, about Krishna. Not even a single person has been able to repeat, and it is not that people have not tried; people have tried in every possible way. Millions of people have tried to be like Buddha – who would not like to be like a Buddha? – but they have all failed, utterly failed. Is it not a great lesson to be learned? Just open your eyes and see that God never creates two persons exactly similar; he does not repeat. He is really a creator.
It happened once: A man purchased a Picasso painting. It was very costly, one million dollars, but he knew perfectly well that it is authentic – he knew it because he was an eye witness when Picasso was doing it. When he had purchased he was so happy – he was a friend to Picasso – he went to show him the painting and to tell him that, ”I have purchased your painting. Of course it has cost me a fortune, but I am immensely happy that I have got one of your original paintings with me.”
Picasso looked at the painting and said, ”This is not original – this is a copy.”
The man was shocked. Then he has been robbed of one million dollars! He said, ”But what are you saying? – because I have seen with my own eyes! I was staying with you in those days when you were painting this!”
And the woman who used to live in those days with Picasso also said that, ”You must be joking because I also remember. You have done this painting yourself and your friend was staying with us.”
Picasso said, ”I know perfectly well that I have painted it, but it is still not an original because I have painted the same painting before too. Whether I have made the copy or somebody else had made the copy, it makes no difference; it is a copy, it is not original. Yes, I have painted it, but it is a repetition. I will not call it original.”
God is not repetitive; he is always original. Rejoice in the fact, Ramakrishna, that he has created you an original being. You are not supposed to be anybody else but yourself It is disrespectful towards God, it is ungrateful towards God – even the effort, even the desire to be somebody else. Feel thankful and grateful that he has never created anybody like you and he will never create anybody like you. Don’t miss this opportunity by imitating. And why people imitate? – because they don’t trust their own intelligence. They are afraid that if they move on their own they may commit some mistake, so it is better to follow somebody who
knows. That is the greatest mistake in life, to follow somebody who knows, because then you will never mature. One grows by committing many mistakes.
Commit as many mistakes as possible. Commit new mistakes every day – be inventive, be creative about mistakes. Just remember one thing: don’t create the same mistake again; that is not intelligent. But if you commit the mistake for the first time it is beautiful, it is great, because that will help you to grow; that will help you to find out who you are. Just following somebody, even if you reach heaven it will not be worth reaching. You will reach like a child; you will not be able to enjoy, and you will remain foolish even there, and you will go on doing your foolish things even in heaven. It is better to fall into hell but remain unique, remain yourself; then even hell can be transformed into a heaven.
After thirty years of happy marriage, Sadie was on her deathbed. The doctor had given up all hope. Her loving husband, Saul, cried out tearfully, ”Oh Sadie, oh Sadie, just tell me if there is anything I can do!”
From her deathbed Sadie whispered, ”Oh Saul, oh Saul, I want you to do something for me you have never done in all these years.”
”Oh yes, Sadie!” cried Saul. ”I will do anything for you, my Sadie!”
”Saul, I want you to kiss me here between my legs.”
”Oh Sadie, I can’t do that!”
”Oh, but Saul, you said you would do anything!”
So bravely Saul said okay and proceeded to kiss her between her legs.
All of a sudden a great rosy glow came over Sadie. She became completely well and jumped up out of bed crying, ”Oh wonderful Saul!”
But Saul slumped back on the floor crying and beating his breast. Sadie asked, ”What is wrong, Saul?”
Saul said through his tears, ”Oh, but I could have saved my mother and my sister too!”
Ramakrishna, be a little more intelligent. In the outer world, imitate, or whatsoever you want to, do. But in the inner remain original, remain authentically your own self. I would like to see each of my sannyasin a unique peak, incomparable to anybody else. That’s why I don’t give you any discipline: I want you to discover it. I will help you to become more conscious, but I will not tell you what to do; that has to come out of your own consciousness. I will not give you ten commandments, I will not make rules and regulations for you. You all hanker for rules and regulations because that is easy: I tell you, ”Do this, don’t do that,” you need not use your own intelligence. It is perfectly good: you trust me and you go on doing whatsoever I say, but that will be only control, repression; it will not be freedom, it will not be consciousness.
And in the world of freedom the first step is the last step too. You have to begin from the first step. If the first step is taken in slavery, the last step will also be part of it. The first step has to be taken in tremendous freedom. If you are here you are here on your own accord. If you are sannyasins it is your surrender, it is your own decision, it is your own commitment. I don’t make any conditions on you and I don’t want you to make any conditions on me from your side.
Just the other day I received a letter.. . The person asked for sannyas in such an aggressive way, as if he is doing some favor to me. And the way he writes the letter is not at all that of a man who wants to surrender, it is that of demand – each word is violent. He says, ”Give me sannyas today. I cannot wait. Either say yes or no. I don’t want to follow Arup’s suggestions; I don’t want to do anything told by somebody else. You simply tell me whether you are going to give me sannyas today or not. This afternoon I want the answer!”
Now is this a way to be a sannyasin? This is for the first time in my life I have said no to any person – first time! I have given sannyas to one hundred fifty thousand people; for the first time I had to say no. Sadly I had to say no, because this is not the way. If you make conditions, if you demand… today it is sannyas, after sannyas there will be other things, that ”Today I want enlightenment, this very afternoon!”
I don’t make any demands on you; please remember not to make any demands on me. I am here just out of my joy; you are here out of your joy. We have met for no other reason. You are not here because of me, I am not here because of you. You are here because of you, I am here because of me. And it is beautiful that we have met – it is a coincidence that we have met.
We can share. I can share whatsoever I have, but it is not an imposition on you. You are not to follow it, you have only to understand it. And if out of your understanding something starts happening in you, then you are the source of that happening, I am not the source of that happening. You need not even be grateful to me.
Source – Osho Book “Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol 2”