The tenth sutra:
Desire power ardently.
And that power which the disciples shall covet is that which shall make him appear as nothing in the eyes of men.
We will be moving more and more in contradictions. The language of religion is bound to be contradictory. On the face, it looks irrational. In a way it is, because it goes beyond reason, it transcends reason. This sutra says Desire power ardently – but that power which makes you nothing. You become a non-being.
We desire power in order to become something. The power that wealth can give, the power that politics can give, the power that prestige can give. We desire power to be something, and this sutra says Desire power ardently – but that power which makes you nobody, nothing.
There are two types of power. One, that power that you can accumulate from others – that which can be given to you by others or can be taken by you from others. It depends on others. The power that depends on others will make you somebody in the eyes of others. You will remain the same as you were, but in the eyes of others you will become somebody. This somebody-ness is what is meant by the ego. And ego is the barrier.
Desire that power – the second type – that allows you to feel that you are nobody. It is difficult to feel that “I am nobody.” Everyone thinks that he is somebody, whether others agree or not. Everyone thinks that he is somebody! This is ordinariness; every ordinary mind thinks that he is somebody.
The moment you come to realize that you are nobody, you have become extraordinary, rare, a unique flower, incomparable.
This feeling of nobodyness creates a space within you.
The ego dissolves, your false center is no longer there. You have become roomy. Now the eternal can enter in you. This space, this emptiness, can allow the existence to flower in you.
You are filled with your somebodyness. You are this and that. The mind is so cunning that you can even create this somebodyness through nobodyness. I will tell you one anecdote:
An emperor, a Mohammedan emperor, was praying in the mosque on some religious day. He was talking to the divine and saying, “I am nobody. I am nothing. Have mercy on me.”
Then suddenly he heard a beggar who was also praying nearby. He was also saying, “I am nobody. Have mercy on me.”
The emperor felt offended! He looked at the beggar and said, “Listen, who is trying to compete with me? When I say, ’I am nobody,’ who else dares to say, ‘I am nobody’? Who is trying to compete with me?”
Even in nobodyness you can be a competitor. Then the whole point is missed. The emperor could not tolerate someone else claiming nobodyness for himself in front of him. When he is saying to God that he is nobody, he doesn’t mean that he is nobody. Through nobodyness he is creating somebodyness. You can create ego out of nothing also. Remember that ego is power in the world and impotence as far as the divine is concerned. Everything that seems to be power in the world is impotence in the divine dimension. There, powerlessness is power.
Jesus goes on saying to his disciples, “Be poor in spirit.” Not only poor, because you can be poor without being poor in spirit. Then even poverty will become a sort of richness. If you feel egoistic about it, then your poverty is not poverty. It is not poverty in spirit.
So Jesus goes on repeating, “Be poor, poor in spirit.” Otherwise, you can be a beggar on the street – you have left everything – but now you cling to having left everything; you cling to your renunciation. You have made a richness out of your poverty; you are arrogant about it.
Look at sannyasins, monks, bhikkhus. Look in their eyes. They have a deep arrogance that comes from having left the world, from having renounced. They have renounced the world, but now their renunciation has become a bank balance. They are arrogant about it; they feel superior because of it. When Jesus says, “Be poor in spirit,” he means: don’t be superior to anyone. He doesn’t mean to be inferior, remember. This is the problem. He doesn’t mean be inferior because if you are inferior – if you feel that you are inferior – it is again superiority standing on its head, nothing else. Superiority that is standing on its head becomes inferiority. If you feel yourself to be inferior, the longing to be superior is there.
So when Jesus says, “Be poor in spirit,” he doesn’t only mean don’t be superior. He means that, but he also means don’t be inferior: just be yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others; just be at ease with yourself.
Then you will be nobody, because somebodyness needs comparison. How can you be somebody if there is no comparison? You are more beautiful, never simply beautiful. You can never be simply beautiful; you are always more beautiful in comparison to someone else. You are rich in comparison to someone else, you are more knowledgeable in comparison to someone else. Superiority and inferiority are always comparisons. You are somebody when compared to others. If there is no comparison then who are you? You cannot be just beautiful. can you? You cannot be just wise, can you?
Think about this: you are alone on earth; the whole humanity has disappeared. What will you be? Wise or foolish? Beautiful or ugly? A great man or just an ordinary man? What will you be? Alone on the earth – the whole humanity has disappeared – you will just be yourself. You will not be able to say, “I am this or that.” You will not be anybody. You will be nobody.
Real sannyas real renunciation, means that it is as if the whole universe, the whole humanity, has disappeared and you are alone. There is no possibility to compare. Then who are you? Nobody. This nobodyness is power – power in the world of the divine.
Jesus says, “Those who are first in this world will be last in the kingdom of God, and those who are last here will be first in the kingdom of God.” That which is power in the world is powerlessness in the divine journey, and that which is powerlessness in the world is power in the divine journey.
This sutra says Desire power ardently but remember the meaning of ‘power’. It is powerlessness. It is a feeling of nobodyness, nothingness, of emptiness. And that power which the disciple shall covet is that which shall appear as nothing in the eyes of men.
From The New Alchemy: To Turn You On, Discourse #6
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3 thoughts on “The Power that Shall Make you Nothing – Osho”
beloved purushottama this does not seem to be discourse #5 with love …nirada
My bad. Thanks for keeping me honest. It’s from discourse #6.
🙏🌹🙏 i am so grateful for these postings anyway i’m listening to Osho every day but it’s lovely to be steered this way and that too…
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