Why Doesn’t the Ego Remain Dead – Osho

Many times I feel so merged in you that it is as if I have died and only you are. But this feeling doesn’t remain constant, and always the ego returns. This happens whenever I have to again communicate with others or return to activity. Why doesn’t the ego remain dead?

If you make it a goal – egolessness – then you will always remain with the ego. Don’t make it a goal, because all goals belong to the ego. If you think that you should remain egoless, who is this “you” who should remain egoless? This is the ego. So the first thing, don’t make it a goal. Any goal will feed the ego – even the goal of egolessness.

When you are egoless enjoy it; when you feel the ego again, be alert – but don’t expect the contrary. If you start expecting you will be more entangled with the same thing. Whenever egolessness is there enjoy it, feel grateful, thank God, and when the ego comes again, be alert. Soon more and more egolessness will happen to you, less and less ego will return. And the moment will come when ego will disappear, but don’t make it a goal. All goals belong to the ego.

Secondly, don’t expect anything, because when you start expecting you have moved from the here and now into the future. When you start expecting something you have started to bring your memory, your past, into the present. This very moment you feel egoless – it is okay. Then it goes, the ego comes. You want to repeat the past again – you must be egoless. You project the past in the future and you miss the present.

And remember, egolessness is possible only if you are here and now. If you move into the past, if you move into the future, the ego will persist. So don’t ask for any constancy because constancy means you want to continue the past into the future. Remain with the moment and don’t expect anything. The ego will drop by itself, no other effort is needed. If the ego has moved it means you are not in the present. So don’t fight with the ego, simply move into the present and ego will drop.

And this is what is happening.

You say: “Many times I feel so merged in you that it is as if I have died and only you are.”

I am here and I am now. I have no past and no future. If you really relate with me you relate with my nowness and here-ness, because there is no other thing with which to relate. If you feel a love, a trust, flowing towards me, that love and trust can flow only in the present. That’s why you feel you have died. It is not because of me that your ego is dying, it is because you have moved with me in the present. Then your past is forgotten, your future is no more. You are here, totally here.

So don’t think that it is something that I am doing to you, it is something that you are doing to yourself – I am just the excuse. Try to understand this because otherwise it will become a clinging. The same can happen anywhere. Remember the secret. If you love me, if you listen to me deeply, if you are here present with me, receptive, open, you are in the present. That’s why for a few seconds the ego will disappear. Then you are not. If you can be in the present anywhere, you will not be.

You can be only either in the past or in the future – you cannot be in the present. Just think about it, how can you be in the present? There is no need. The past accumulates, becomes crystallized, and you feel ‘I’. Then the past projects in the future and says, “This should be, this should not be. I desire this, I don’t desire that.” This is your past desiring – all the bad experiences you don’t want to repeat and all the good trips you want to repeat in the future. This is past asking for something in the future – and you are missing the present, which is the only existence.

Past is no more, it is already dead; future is not yet, it is yet unborn. Both are not. And ego can exist only in non-existence, it is the most false thing possible. The present moment is, it is the only is-ness; nothing else exists. If you relate with the present you cannot exist as an ego, because the present is the real and the real never creates anything false. Out of the real nothing false is created; only out of the false, false comes.

So it can happen… it may be happening to you that for a few moments you disappear. While listening to me, while just sitting with me, you disappear. But I am not doing anything to you. If you think I am doing something then you will cling to me, you will become attached to me; a new attachment will be formed. And then through that attachment you will ask again and again for the same.

Just try to understand the basic law. Then move into the forest, sit under a tree, and be in the here and now. Then be with your friends, remain silent, and remain in the here-and-now. Listen to music, forget the past, forget the future, and be here and now. And if you can be in the present anywhere, suddenly the ego will not be found. And if you ask that this should happen again, ego has come again, because now you are asking for the future, planning for the future. This is the mechanism.

“But this feeling does not remain constant, and always the ego returns.” It will remain constant only when you don’t ask that it should remain constant. It will happen again and again every moment, it will be continued, but don’t ask for its constancy. Rather, enjoy it moment to moment and don’t project it. It will arise again and again every moment, but remember, it is never the old, it is always the new arising, every moment being born again and again. It is not the past continuing, it is the new being born every moment.

“This happens whenever I again have to communicate with others or return to activity.” Why does it happen when you communicate with others? Really you don’t communicate, that’s why. If you communicate it will not happen. While you are here with me, this is a communication. You relate with me, you become silent, you drop your past. You listen so attentively that thinking stops. This is communication.

When you communicate with somebody else you are not communicating, you are just throwing out your inner talk. You are thinking of many things. You may be saying something and thinking something else, meaning something else, doing something else. You are many while you communicate with others – then the ego enters.

In activity also the ego can enter because you become the doer. While I am speaking you are not doing anything at all, you are simply here listening. Listening is not a doing, listening is passive, it is a non-act. You need not do anything; you simply be there and it will happen. If you do something you won’t be able to listen, if you go on doing something you will only appear to be listening but you won’t be listening. When you don’t do anything, listening happens. It is a passive thing. You need not do anything to create this capacity, it is always there.

But when you return to activity the ego can return, because again the doer has come. So what is to be done? When you return to activity remain the witness and don’t become the doer. Go on doing things but remain the witness. Or if it is difficult then just leave everything to the divine and say that the divine is doing everything, you are just a vehicle, a passage, an agent. That’s what Krishna says to Arjuna in the Gita: “You leave everything to me, surrender everything to me. You become just a medium and let things happen. Don’t you be the doer, God is the doer.”

Or if you cannot think of any God then there is another technique, and that is destiny or fate, that everything that is happening is destined. You are not doing it, it was bound to be so, it was going to happen, it was predestined. These are simple things, but you feel these simple things are difficult because they have become difficult in this age.

In the past these simple techniques helped millions to attain silence, peace, egolessness, because they could trust. Fate, or what Sufis call kismet, helped millions… because then simply you say, “I am not the doer. The whole existence has predetermined everything in me and I am just following.” This is the whole secret of astrology. Astrology is not a science but a technique of religion. If a person can believe that things are settled already and one cannot change anything, then the doer cannot arise. But simple faith is needed for that.

If you feel this is difficult – and this is difficult for the modern mind – then only one thing remains, and that is, be alert and move again and again to the present. No faith, no God is needed. But then the path is very arduous because every moment you will have to pull yourself back to the present. 

It is such an old habit to move ahead, it has become such a fixation that you will have to constantly struggle.

Remember not to move in the past and not to move in the future. Then every moment egolessness will arise, it will become a continuous flow. And the more egoless you are the more moments of egolessness, the more glimpses in the divine. The more you are the less the divine is for you, the less you are the more the divine.

-Osho

From Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter 17

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from Viha Osho Book Distributors.

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