osho on who am i

Question – Beloved Osho, can you please say something about the difference between the spiritual question, “who am i” and the psychological trauma of “who am i”

Osho – Prem Shunyo, it is exactly the difference I was just talking about — the difference between the ego and the self. The ego is your false idea of who you are; it is just a fabrication of the mind. It is your own homemade mind-manufactured concept, but it has no corresponding reality to it. It is perfectly good as far as the world is concerned because there, you are dealing with other egos. The moment you go beyond your mind, you also go beyond your ego, and suddenly you realize that you are not what you have always thought yourself to be — that your reality is totally different, that it does not consist of your body or of your mind, that in fact you don’t have any word to express it.

But it is still not the ultimate reality; it is just in between, between the ultimate reality and the ultimate falsehood. It is better than the false, but it is lower than the really real. You are still carrying a certain idea of separation from existence. That separation keeps you unavailable to all the blessings which are your birthright. If you can drop those walls and open yourself to the immensity of reality, you will disappear as a separate entity.

But this is only one side. On the other side you will appear as the eternal, the immense, the vast reality — the oceanic experience, which is the only experience of enlightenment or liberation. You have to get rid of the ego first. That is your psychological trauma, or better, your psychological drama. There are religions which have accepted the false ego as the end of all, there is nothing beyond it. That is the religion of all the atheists of different trends, a communist. Or the atheist may not be a communist, but the atheist in any form stops himself at the ego; that is his ultimate reality.

He is the poorest man in the world. All other religions except atheism… because I take atheism also as a sort of religion, a lower form of religion than other religions. Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, go a step further. They all insist to drop the ego and to recognize your authentic reality, your real self.

But there are religions like Zen which go to the very end of the road. They are not satisfied just by dropping the ego. They are satisfied only when there is nothing left to drop — even the self is gone — when the house is absolutely empty, when you can say, “I am not.”

This nothingness is creating the space for the ultimate to blossom. It does not come from anywhere else. It has always been there, just cluttered with rotten furniture, with unnecessary things. As you remove all those things and your subjectivity becomes empty — just as a room becomes empty as you remove everything from it — in this emptiness of your subjectivity, blossoms the flower of ultimate experience — you are no more.

Naturally, you cannot have your old miseries, your old traumas and dramas. You cannot have any connection with your own past; you have abruptly cut yourself away from all that you used to be. Suddenly a new, totally fresh opening… in a way, you disappear. In a way your authentic essence has the first opportunity to come into its full glory, into its absolute splendor.

This is what enlightenment is. It is a negative process: negate the ego, the psychological; negate the self, the spiritual. Go on negating until nothing remains to negate — and the explosion! Suddenly you have arrived home, with the revelation that you have never been out of your home. You have always been there, your eyes were just focused on objects.

Now all those objects have disappeared. Only a witnessing, pure awareness, has remained. This witnessing is the end of all your misery and all your hell. It is also the beginning of the golden gate — the doors are open for the first time.

Two white rats were chatting through the bars of their laboratory cages. “Tell me,” said the first white rat, “how are you getting along with Dr. Smith?”
“Just fine,” replied the second rat. “It took a while, but I have finally got him trained. Now, whenever I ring the bell, he brings me my dinner.”

It is such a strange world. The psychologist, Dr. Smith, must be thinking he is training rats, and the rats are thinking they are training Dr. Smith! The games of the ego… The wife thinks she is training the husband. All wives are training their husbands their whole lives; the husbands are training their wives. It seems life is just to train and to be trained — for what?
A woman reached Pablo Picasso. She wanted a portrait; the portrait was made. She was absolutely satisfied. She said, “Just one thing, you have forgotten to put great diamonds around my neck, a great diamond ring, diamond bracelets.”

Picasso said, “But you don’t have them.” She said, “It doesn’t matter. I have cancer, and I am not going to survive more than six weeks. And I know my husband is going to marry immediately after I die. He is just waiting for my death, although he goes on saying, `My dear, without you I will not be able to live a single moment.’ I know that without me he will not be able to live a single moment. He will immediately find another woman!”
Picasso said, “I don’t understand the relationship of what you are saying and the diamonds.”

She said, “You don’t understand the woman’s mind. I want my portrait, after my death, to be seen by the woman who my husband is going to marry. Then she will torture him, `Where are these diamonds?’ I cannot leave him, even if I am dead. He has to be trained, he has to be kept under control.” Great idea!
People have forgotten completely to live. Who has time? Everybody is training everybody else, how to be — and nobody seems to be satisfactory, never.

If one wants to live, one should learn one thing, to accept things as they are, and to accept yourself as you are. Start living. Don’t start training for a life sometime in the future. All the misery in the world is created because you have completely forgotten to live; you have become engaged in an activity which has nothing to do with life.

The moment you are married to a man, you start training him to be faithful. Live while he is faithful — it will not be more than two weeks; two weeks is the human limit! Live as deeply as possible — perhaps your living and loving deeply may help him to remain faithful the third week also. And never project too much; three weeks is enough.

My own experience is that if you have lived three weeks lovingly, the fourth week will follow. But you start disturbing things from the first moment. Before you start living, training is needed; you spoil the time by training, and a man who could have loved you for at least two weeks becomes bored within two days.

One woman never married. And when she was dying, a friend asked, “Why have you never married? You are so beautiful.”
She said, “What is the need? As far as training is concerned I train my dog, and he never learns! Every day I am training and he still comes home late in the night. I have a parrot who tells me everything a husband is expected to say. In the morning he says, “Hello darling!” I have a servant who steals, who continuously lies. What need have I for a husband? Everything is being fulfilled.” A husband is needed for these things?

A wife is needed, not to have an experience of intimacy and love, but to make an exhibition of her; just to show around the neighborhood and make everybody jealous that you have such a beautiful woman. Load her with all the ornaments and make everybody jealous of your richness; otherwise, how are you going to show your richness? A wife is a show-window; she shows your achievements, your power. Naturally, you have to train her how to become more social, how to help you in your businesses. The saying seems to be perfect that behind the success of every great man there is a woman — in many different senses. Sometimes just to escape from her, one becomes madly engaged in earning money.

When Henry Ford was asked, “Why did you go on earning and earning, when you have earned so much? It was time to enjoy and relax.”
He said, “That was not the reason for earning. I was engaged in earning first to escape from my wife, and secondly, I became interested in whether I can earn more or she can spend more.” A competition, a lifelong competition!

People get involved in strange dramas. Very few people live authentically — they just act.

A man is sitting in a cinema, and the wife is continually reminding him how the hero is showing his love so deeply to his wife. Finally, the husband says, “Stop all this nonsense! You don’t know how much he’s paid for it! And moreover, it is only acting; it is not reality. I will certainly say he is a good actor.”
The wife said, “Perhaps you are not aware that in actual life also they are wife and husband.”
He said, “My God! If that is true, then he is the greatest actor I have ever seen; otherwise, even on the stage, to show so much love to your own wife is simply beyond human capacity. He is almost a genius as far as acting is concerned.”

People think love is only for actors. It has been noted by psychoanalysts that people are sitting in front of their TV’s for hours. An American watches TV six hours per day on average — that is the average. There may be few maniacs watching nine hours, ten hours, twelve hours. Slowly slowly, watching movies, watching television, watching a football match, watching a tournament, people have simply become observers; they don’t love. Some actor loves — they simply watch. They don’t play; some professional players play — they watch. They don’t do anything; they are glued to their chairs and are just watching everything. But watching and doing are totally different. They feel completely satisfied that they have seen a beautiful film on love. They are completely satisfied that they have seen a great boxing tournament. And they themselves are just onlookers.

It is something of a great calamity that has reduced millions of people to onlookers. And the people who are being watched are actors. They are not in real love, they are being paid for it. They are experts in deceiving people, pretending that what they are doing is real. Their tears are false, their smiles are false, their love is false, their anger is false. What kind of world have we created? The doers are all acting because they are paid for it, and the remaining nondoing world is simply watching.

You are here to live.
You are here to dance.
You are here to experience life.

Others are doing it for you. On your behalf people are loving, people are playing, people are doing all kinds of things. And what is left for you? — just to watch. Death will not be able to take much from you — only your television, because you don’t have anything else. This is the false ego that has created a false life pattern and lifestyle.

Drop everything false. Be authentic and true; that is the first step. And once you are authentic and true, you will see how beautiful it is. And that will create the longing to go beyond, in search of the ultimate truth, the final statement and the final experience, beyond which nothing else exists.

A famous surgeon went on safari to Africa. When he came back his colleagues asked him how it had been. “Ah, it was very disappointing,” he said, “I didn’t kill a thing. I would have been better off staying here in the hospital!”

Fifteen minutes after the Titanic sank, Morie and Louis find themselves on the same overturned raft. The water is freezing, sharks are cruising by, and the raft is slowly sinking. “Ah well,” said Louis, “it could have been worse.”
“Worse? How could it be worse?” screamed Morie.
“Well, we could have bought return tickets!”

People are almost crazy — a tremendous cleansing is needed — and most of their insanity is because of their false life; it is not satisfying. False food cannot be nourishment, false water cannot quench your thirst, and false ego cannot give you real life. It is simple arithmetics.

Source – Osho Book “The Invitation”

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