AT THE EXPENSE OF ANOTHER MAN'S HAPPINESS,
YOU ARE FOREVER BOUND.
Osho - Naturally. 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
That's why he said to Arjuna, "Don't escape from the war... because I can see this is just an ego trip, this escape. The way you are talking simply shows that you are calculating: that you are thinking that by escaping from the war you will become a great mahatma. Rather than surrendering to God, to the whole, you are taking yourself too seriously: as if, if you are not there, there will be no war."
Krishna says to Arjuna, "Listen to me. Just be in a state of let-go. Say to God, 'Use me in whatsoever way you want to use me. Use me! I am available, unconditionally available.' Then whatsoever happens through you will have a great authenticity about it. It will have intensity, it will have depth. It will have the impact of the eternal on it. It will be signed by God, not by you. And you will rejoice because God has chosen you to be a vehicle."
Buddha says: IF YOU ARE HAPPY AT THE EXPENSE OF ANOTHER MAN'S HAPPINESS, YOU ARE FOREVER BOUND.
And happiness, pleasure, depend on exploitation. You are always at the expense of somebody else. You come first in the university -- what about those thousands of other students who were also struggling to come first? It is at their expense that you have come first. Jesus says: Remember, those who are first in this world will be the last in my kingdom of God, and those who are the last will be the first. He has given you the fundamental law -- AES DHAMMO SANANTANO -- he has given you the inexhaustible, eternal law: Stop trying to be the first.
But remember one thing which is very much possible, because the mind is so cunning it can distort every truth. You can start trying to be the last -- but then you miss the whole point. Then another competition starts: that I'm to be the last, and if somebody else says, "I am the last," then the struggle, then the conflict.
I have heard a Sufi parable: A great emperor, Nadirshah, was praying. It was early morning; the sun had not yet risen, it was still dark. Nadirshah was to start on that day a new conquest of a new country. Of course he was praying to God for his blessings to be victorious. He was saying to God, "I am nobody, I am just a servant -- a servant of your servants. Bless me. I am going on YOUR work, this is your victory. And I am nobody, remember. I am just a servant of your servants."
The priest was also by his side, helping him in prayer, functioning as a mediator between him and God.
And then suddenly they heard in the darkness another
voice. A beggar of the town was also praying, and he was saying to God,
"I am also nobody, a servant of your servants."
Now you see, the competition is still there, the same competition, the same stupidity. Nothing has changed. The same calculation: "I have to be the last. Nobody else can be allowed to be the last."
Mind can go on playing such games on you if you are not very understanding, if you are not very intelligent. One thing Buddha wants you to remember is: never try to be happy at the expense of another man's happiness. That is ugly, inhuman. That is violence in the true sense. If you are a saint by condemning others as sinners, your saintliness is nothing but a new ego trip. If you are holy because you are trying to prove others unholy... and that's what your holy people go on doing. They go on bragging about their holiness, saintliness.
Go to your so-called saints and look into their eyes. They have such condemnation for you. They are saying that you are all bound towards hell. They go on condemning. Listen to their sermons; all their sermons are condemnatory. And of course you listen silently to their condemnations because you know also that you have made many mistakes in your life, errors in your life. And they have condemned everything so it is impossible to feel that you can be good -- impossible. You love food, you are a sinner. You love your children, you are a sinner. You love your wife, you are a sinner. You don't get up early in the morning, you are a sinner. You don't go to bed early in the evening, you are a sinner.
They have arranged everything in such a way that it is
very difficult not to be a sinner.
My whole approach is: unless you ARE in the world your holiness is of no worth at all. Be in the world and be holy! Then we have to define holiness in a totally different way. Don't live at the expense of others' pleasures -- that is holiness. Don't destroy others' happiness -- that is not holiness. Help others to be happy. Create the climate in which everybody can have a little joy. And what have your saints done? They have done just the opposite. They have created a climate in which everybody is living in hell -- and they are holy. They have condemned God's world and they have taught you to renounce it.
If God is against the world he should have renounced it himself! But he has not yet renounced. Still the spring comes and the flowers bloom, the bees buzz and the birds sing... and the sun still rises, and the night is full of stars. Still new babies go on coming. God has not stopped creation.
It is all nonsense that in six days he created the world and since then he has retired -- it is all nonsense! He can't have a single holiday, because if God goes for a single holiday we will all be dead. Then who will breathe life into us? Then who will be the color in the flowers and the wings of the birds? And who will be the light in the sun and the greenness of the grass? If for twenty-four hours he goes on a holiday, if he has a Sunday, finished -- everything is finished! He can't have a holiday -- and he need not have.
He loves the world; it is his creation. It is not work, it is creativity. It is his joy, it is his play. Do you think on Sunday morning birds don't sing because it is Sunday and they are not going to do any work? Sunday or Monday, it makes no difference. The birds sing and the trees grow and you breathe and existence continues in its celebration without any gap, without any discontinuity.
God has not renounced the world -- and your saints are bigger than God, higher than God, holier than God himself! My own feeling is: God must be afraid of your saints. That's why he never appears before them -- because they will condemn him. They will tell him how many mistakes and how many sins he has committed, and they will ask him how many fasts he has done and how many prayers he is doing every day. And of course he will be at a loss -- he does not pray and he does not fast and he does not read the holy scriptures! He will look very irreligious.
But these saints had to create this idea: that your life is a sin. You are conceived in sin and you live in sin, and in death you will be dying as a sinner. You are doomed! That gives them great joy. They feel holier-than-thou, they feel they are saved -- the chosen few. I tell you, there is no difference between a sinner and a saint. All are chosen and all will be saved -- all ARE saved. God is always surrounding you. What more do you need? Everybody is saved.
But if this is the truth, then your saints will start disappearing -- with their big egos. It will be very difficult for them to exist. They are living at your expense. The worse sinner they prove you to be, the more saintly they look; hence they have invented many things. Catholics have confession. It is a great joy to the priest to listen to everybody's sins. The more you talk about your sin, the more he feels holy.
IF YOU ARE HAPPY AT THE EXPENSE
OF ANOTHER MAN'S HAPPINESS, YOU ARE FOREVER BOUND.
That's what everybody is doing, whether you know mathematics or you don't. Everybody is exploiting everybody else. Everybody's hand is in somebody else's pocket; and he may not be able to detect it because his own hand is in somebody else's pocket. But then you will depend on the others, YOU ARE FOREVER BOUND. Whomsoever you exploit, on the surface you seem to be the master of the situation, but really you are a slave.
The new neighbor joined the mah-jongg group for the
first time, and all the ladies gaped at the huge diamond she wore. "It
is the third most famous diamond in the world," she told the women.
"First is the Kohinoor diamond, then the Hope diamond, and then this one
-- the Horowitz diamond."
That's how it is: if you depend on someone for your happiness you are becoming a slave, you are becoming dependent, you are creating a bondage. And you depend on so many people; they all become subtle masters and they all exploit you in return. It is a mutual arrangement, remember. Exploitation is never a one-way traffic. The husband thinks he is the master, and the wife smiles because she knows better who is the master.
Nasruddin's wife was running after him with a stick. To save himself
he slipped underneath the bed. The wife is a fat woman and she could not
Mulla said, "Let them come! Let everybody know once
and for all who is the master of this house! I am the master, and
wherever I want to sit I will sit!"
But every husband thinks that he is the master and every wife thinks that she is the master. Even small children... parents think they are the masters; they are wrong. The children know how to manipulate you, they know how to create trouble for you -- in the right moment. When the neighbors are in the house they start exploiting you, they start demanding this and that. When you are in the marketplace, in the shopping center, they create a tantrum, and you have to purchase the toy they want. If others were not there you would have given them a good beating -- but when others are there you are very polite, very cultured. Let the neighbors come, then they will see! They have their own times, opportunities, when to manipulate you.
Every child knows -- even a small child knows -- how to exploit the mother, the father, and when. When the father starts reading his newspaper, he starts asking questions. He won't allow the father to read the newspaper unless his demands are fulfilled. Everybody in his own way tries to be the master of the other. And in fact, it is a strange situation: everybody has become in a sense the master of others, and also a slave of others. It is a double-bind situation. We are all interdependent; we are both jailors and prisoners.
Source - Osho Dhammapada Vol 8