If you are happy at the expense of another man’s happiness — and that is how you can be happy, there is no other way. If you find a beautiful woman and somehow manage to possess her, you have snatched her away from others’ hands. We make things look as beautiful as possible, but that is only the appearance. Now the others who have lost in the game, they are angry, they are in a rage. They will wait for their opportunity to take revenge, and sooner or later the opportunity will be there.

Whatsoever you possess in this world you possess at somebody else’s expense, at the cost of somebody else’s pleasure. There is no other way. If you really want not to be inimical to anybody in the world, you have to drop the whole idea of possessiveness. Use whatsoever happens to be with you in the moment, but don’t be possessive. Don’t try to claim that it is yours. Nothing is yours, all is God’s.

We come with empty hands and we will go with empty hands, so what is the point of claiming so much in the meantime?

But this is what we know, what the world is: possess, dominate, have more than the others have. And it may be money or it may be virtue; it does not matter in what kind of coins you deal — they may be worldly, they may be otherworldly. But be very clever, otherwise you will be exploited. Exploit and don’t be exploited — that is the subtle message given to you with your mother’s milk. And every school, college, university, is rooted in the idea: compete.

A real education will not teach you to compete; it will teach you to cooperate. It will not teach you to fight and come first. It will teach you to be creative, to be loving, to be blissful, without any comparison with the other. It will not teach you that you can be happy only when you are the first. That is sheer nonsense. You can’t be happy just by being first. And in trying to be first you go through such misery that you become habituated to misery by the time you become the first.

By the time you become the president or the prime minister of a country you have gone through such misery that now misery is your second nature. You don’t know now any other way to exist; you remain miserable. Tension has become ingrained, anxiety has become your way of life. You don’t know any other way; this is your very style. So even though you have become the first you remain cautious, anxious, afraid. It does not change your inner quality at all.

A real education will not teach you to be the first. It will tell you to enjoy whatsoever you are doing, not for the result but for the act itself. Just like a painter or a dancer or a musician….

You can paint in two ways. You can paint to compete with other painters; you want to be the greatest painter in the world, you want to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh. Then your painting will be second-rate, because your mind is not interested in painting itself; it is interested in being the first, the greatest painter in the world. You are not going deep into the art of painting. You are not enjoying it, you are only using it as a stepping-stone. You are on an ego trip.

And the problem is: to really be a painter, you have to drop the ego completely. To really be a painter, the ego has to be put aside. Only then can God flow through you. Only then can he use your hands and your fingers and your brush. Only then something of superb beauty can be born.

It is never BY you but only THROUGH you. Existence flows; you become only a passage. You allow it to happen, that’s all; you don’t hinder, that’s all.

But if you are too interested in the result, the ultimate result — that you have to become famous, that you have to win the Nobel Prize, that you have to be the first painter in the world, that you have to defeat all other painters hitherto — then your interest is not in painting; painting is secondary. And of course, with a secondary interest in painting you can’t paint something original; it will be ordinary.

Ego cannot bring anything extraordinary into the world; the extraordinary comes only through egolessness. And so is the case with the musician and the poet and the dancer. And so is the case with everybody. – OSHO


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