Question – Can the common man acquire the capability of Egolessness?
Osho – From his question it seems it is not possible for an ordinary person, whereas the fact is, it is very difficult for an un-ordinary person to attain egolessness. The very meaning of un-ordinary is egoistic. But it is not attained by the ordinary ordinary. It is attained by the extraordinary ordinary. The ordinary ordinary, I call him, who is looked upon as ordinary generally but who does not consider himself ordinary. The extraordinarily ordinary I call him who even though the world looks upon him as extraordinary, considers himself to be ordinary.
I travelled all over the country for 10-12 years and met thousands of people. Many of them would come and tell me that what I said would not be understood by ordinary people. I would then ask the person if he understood and he invariably said he did but he was sure the ordinary man would not. I would then tell him that it was years that I had been going about and not once has the ordinary man come along who would say he did not understand, that he was an ordinary person. I would ask him to bring the ordinary man so that I may see him!
No man considers himself ordinary. Everyone considers himself extraordinary. This is Ego. If man knows and accepts himself to be ordinary, Ego will leave him. All men are ordinary. All men are ordinary, no one is extraordinary. Only one person can be termed extraordinary — the one who becomes aware or his ordinariness. Our mind refuses to believe that we are ordinary. In a thousand ways we try to assure ourselves that there is no one like us, there never can be. We never try to explain to ourselves, how we reached this conclusion. What is the qualification, what is so special, so distinctive about us? Nothing — but the mind refuses to believe for as soon as I accept this fact, the journey upwards stops.
There is a reason behind my considering myself extraordinary. When I consider myself extraordinary then my place, my position and surroundings all become unworthy of me. My rightful place is above and not where I am. The world does not know this and creates barricades or else I would reach the place where I belong. I shall not rest content till I reach my rightful place. But I shall never attain this rightful place for the simple reason that wherever I reach, that place will become ordinary and my extraordinary place will shift yet further up! Ego can rise only when it believes that its place is further up and not down. This is the chemistry of the flight of the ego.
Lao Tzu says that if you were to know for certain and accept the fact that you are ordinary you are nobody. nothing, you will not try to rise up as soon as the thought of ordinariness spreads over the mind. You will begin to feel that perhaps you are not worthy of the place you are standing upon, perhaps you are committing an excess. You then begin to step back and back till you reach a place where you can go no further back. You will reach a place that no one wants to occupy, where there is no one to be jealous of your position and no one to push you out of it. Lao Tzu says, “Then that very day you attain the extraordinary life.”
If God is not attained by even such a one who has become so humble then all talk of God is nothing but trash. If even such a person who has become so empty does not behold perfection then perfection can never be beheld. Do not think how an ordinary person can attempt to become egoless. Every man is ordinary and every man can do it. But each of us is under the illusion that he is extraordinary. This illusion has to be broken.
And Lao Tzu does not exhort you to break this illusion. He only says if you do not break it, you shall suffer. You do not want to suffer but you take good care of your maladies lest they leave you. Then you suffer and then you go about wailing how miserable you are! We are not prepared to leave the things that trouble us. The knot of the ego is the root cause of all our woes. To know oneself as the most ordinary of ordinaries is the cure of all ills.
Try out this experiment. Become ordinary for twenty-four hours. Let only one thought be within you for those twenty-four hours that I am an ordinary person. I am nothing. After these twenty-four hours you will never want to be extraordinary again. The glimpse of bliss that you will get in this ordinariness would be one beyond your imagination. This glimpse is always available to us but we are so stiff with our arrogance of being extraordinary, special! How can we experience this flash of joy when we sit with all the doors and windows closed? Get down from your throne. The mystery of life cannot be unfolded on the gilded throne of the ego. What is attained on the ordinary rough and dusty path of humility can never be attained on the gilded peaks of the ego.
Enough for today.
Nobody must leave. Today is the last day. Drown yourself in kirtan for ten minutes. Perhaps you may become ordinary. You sit apart fearing what people will say — such an extraordinary man and he is clapping! Those who feel like dancing may stand up. If you feel like dancing any time during the kirtan, get up and dance! Be absolutely ordinary for fifteen minutes and see for yourself that anyone can be ordinary.
Source – Osho Book “The Way of Tao, Vol 1”