You are teaching us to believe in nothing. But why should I try to drop my ego without believing that life is better without an ego? Before I drop my ego I cannot know how life is without an ego. Therefore I have to believe that life is better without an ego before I try to drop the ego. But I can’t believe it, because I suppose that life without an ego is life without a will of my own. The idea of giving up my own will is horrible to me. I cannot imagine that anybody would do this of his own free will, because my ego is all I have. Osho, Please talk to us about this.
Bernd Schweiger. It happens all the time that I say one thing and you understand something else for the simple reason that I am talking from a state of no-mind and you are listening through the mind. It is as if a person who is awake is talking to a person who is fast asleep. Yes, even in sleep you can hear a few words, fragments of words, maybe even fragments of sentences. But you will not be able to understand exactly what is being said to you. You are bound to misunderstand.
That is one of the problems faced by all those people who have experienced something of the beyond. The beyond cannot he put into words. It remains inexpressible for the simple reason that you can understand only that which you have experienced.
I am not saying drop the ego; that is impossible. Even if you want to drop it you cannot drop it. It is impossible because the ego does not exist. How can you drop something which does not exist? You can only drop something which exists in the first place. But the ego is a false phenomenon; nobody has ever been able to drop it.
Then what do I mean when I say learn the secret of being egoless? I do not mean that you have to drop it but that you have to understand it. There is no question of belief.
Now the whole question has come out of your misunderstanding, but you are making it look so logical that anybody looking at your question will think, “Of course, how can you drop the ego without believing that life will be better without the ego?” And I say don’t believe in anything. I repeat again: don’t believe in anything. I am not saying that you should believe me and become egoless, I am simply saying – sharing my own experience – that the more I tried to understand the ego the more I became aware that it is non-existential. When I became fully conscious of it, it disappeared.
It disappears of its own accord. You don’t drop it. If you drop it, then who will drop it? Then the ego will survive; then it will be the ego dropping another ego, dropping the gross ego. And the gross is not dangerous; the subtle ego is more dangerous. Then you will become a pious egoist, you will become a humble egoist, you will become a spiritual egoist. Then you will become an “egoless” egoist. And that is getting into more trouble because that is getting into more contradictions.
All that I am saying to you is very simple. Try to understand what this ego is. Just look at it, watch it. Become aware of all its subtle ways, how it comes in. And there are moments when it is not – watch those moments also. Even you have those moments when it is not. It needs constant pedaling – it is like a bicycle. If you go on pedaling it, it can go on moving; if you stop pedaling it… how far can it go without pedaling? Maybe a few feet, maybe one furlong, two furlongs, but then it is bound to fall.
The ego needs to be constantly nourished. There are moments when you forget to nourish it and it disappears. For example, seeing a beautiful sunset it disappears because the sunset possesses you so totally. It is so beautiful, it is so extraordinary, so exquisite, it fills you with wonder and awe; for a moment you forget completely that you are, only the sunset is, and the clouds and the luminous colors on the clouds, and the birds coming back to their nests, and the day ending, entering into a silent night; as the sun starts disappearing below the horizon, something in you stops.
It happened to Ramakrishna – his first experience of egolessness. He was only thirteen. He was coming home from the field – he was a poor man’s son and he lived in a small village. He was passing by the lake. A silent evening, the sunset, and there was nobody on the lake; his coming to the lake… There was a big crowd of white cranes sitting by the side of the lake. They suddenly flew up – it was so sudden, as if out of nowhere – and against the backdrop of a black cloud which was shining like velvet against the setting sun, those white cranes in a row flashed before his eyes like lightning. It was a moment, a tremendous moment!
He fell on the ground. He was so possessed by the beauty of it he became unconscious. He had to be carried home by others. After one hour somebody found him Lying down there on the shore of the lake. It took six hours for him to be brought back to consciousness. When he came back to consciousness he started crying. And they asked, “Why are you crying? You should be happy – you have come back to consciousness.”
He said, “No, I am crying because I have come back to the ordinary world. I was not unconscious. I had moved to a higher plane of consciousness, I had moved to some new plane. I don’t know what it was, but I was not there and still there was great joy. I have never tasted such joy!”
That was his first experience, his first satori: a moment of egolessness. Then he started seeking and searching for it deliberately, consciously. He would go to the lake again and again in the morning, in the evening, in the night, and it started happening again and again more easily.
It happens to you too; it has happened to everybody. God comes to everybody. You may have forgotten him; he has not forgotten you – he cannot. It is not only that you are searching for him; he is also groping for you, he is also searching for you.
I am not telling you to drop the ego, I am telling you to understand it, to see it. Seeing it, it disappears. And see and become aware of those moments when it disappears of its own accord. Making love, it disappears. In a deep orgasm, it disappears; you melt, merge into existence. The wave again becomes the ocean; it is no more separate, it falls back into the ocean. It is only for a moment. Remain conscious of that moment and you will see the beauty of it. Once you have seen the beauty of egoless moments, then it will be easy for you to see the ugliness of the ego, the misery of the ego.
You need not believe me; I am simply inviting you to experience it. I am utterly against belief – belief is the cause of destroying religion on the earth. It is belief that has made religions false and pseudo.
Now listen to your question again, Schweiger.
You say: You are teaching us to believe in nothing.
But why should I try to drop my ego…?
Who has said this? You must have heard it, that I can understand, but I have not said it.
A young man went to a sex therapist for advice about his staying power. “Ah yes, ” said the therapist. “Premature ejaculation is quite a common problem for many young men. It is entirely due to over-eagerness and there is a definite cure.”
“What is that, doctor?” asked the young man.
“Next time you go to bed with a woman, imagine that you are about to eat a delicious meal in a gourmet restaurant. Imagine every aspect of the meal, from the soup to the coffee.
“Begin with the soup… imagine it steaming in the bowl… taste each spoonful. Next, order the wine, perhaps a rose’. Smell the bouquet of the wine, look at it sparkling with each sip. Imagine the main course… perhaps a mushroom-garnished steak with a baked potato, sour cream and chives and a fresh green salad. Eat it very slowly, tasting each bite. After the main course order dessert… perhaps a chocolate mousse or a pecan pie with whipped cream. And then… you are ready for your coffee… Brazilian, French roast, or maybe cappuccino. Then you can relax and feel the contentment of having enjoyed a very satisfying meal.
“By the time you have enjoyed such a banquet in your imagination your problem will disappear. You will have such an orgasm, such fulfillment – together! ”
The young man thanked the therapist and went away, delighted. That same evening in bed with his woman friend, they began making love. So he started to fantasize. He pictured the restaurant in his mind, sat down at the table, and called out, “Hey, waiter, we’ll have the tomato soup… and a cup of coffee!”
You may have heard it, but I have not said it!
You say: Before I drop my ego I cannot know how life is without an ego.
You have known it many times already. Nobody is so poor… I have never come across a man who has never known a few moments of it. Just try to remember. Or now, if you cannot remember, just try every day to watch. Soon you will be able to see a few moments which are without ego. Even this moment, if you are not too concerned about your question, this moment can be without ego; it is so for everybody else. It may not be for you because you will be so disturbed that I am destroying such a logical question of yours, that I am avoiding the real question, that I am trying to evade it, that I am not being logical. I never am, because what I am trying to indicate is basically supra-logical.
If you just try to listen to me as if this were not Schweiger’s question but some other fool’s – some idiot has asked this, not you – then even this moment can be of tremendous beauty and you can experience egolessness. And then you can compare. Only your own experience and comparison will make it possible for you to decide. Who am I to decide for you? I never decide for anybody else.
From Tao: the Golden Gate, V.1, Chapter Eight
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