Osho on Watching Mind and Ego

Osho – A meditator enters into his mind and starts watching how the mind functions. Just the very fact of watching the mind makes him aware that he is not the mind, and he is not anything that belongs to the mind. He is a faraway entity, qualitatively different, just a pure watching… in other words: just a pure mirror which only reflects the reality but is not imprinted by any reality.

If the ugly face comes in front of it, without any judgment it shows the ugly face in its full detail, without any condemnation. And when the beautiful face appears, there is no appreciation and no evaluation either. It shows the ugly face and the beautiful face with the same detached, faraway reflective witnessing.

The moment you become a witness there will be no need to leave your ego outside the gate. In fact, the ego will have left you; even if you run after it you cannot catch hold of it. So the right process has to be understood. The ego is not something like your umbrella and your shoes and your raincoats that you leave outside the gate.

The ego is hidden inside your mind. Of course you cannot leave your head outside, and the ego comes along wherever you go. The ego has to be understood. In that understanding it disappears. Only a witness knows that the ego is a false entity and you need not fight with any false entity.

Do you ever fight with darkness? When you find darkness in your room, do you struggle with it to throw it out? Do you wrestle with it? Do you start taking out your sword to cut off the head of darkness? If you do any of these stupid things, you will simply show your unintelligence. You will not be able even to touch it – the darkness that is in your room. You cannot put it into bags and take the bags our and throw them into the neighbor’s yard.

With the negative nothing can be done directly. If you want to do anything with the negative, do something for the positive. When you don’t want darkness in the room you bring the light, you don’t bother about the darkness. Your whole approach is totally different. You bring the light in and the moment the light is in you don’t find any darkness.

The same is true about your ego. It has no existence of its own; it is a false substitute that has been given to you so that you can go on playing with it and completely forget the search for the real self. And the demands of this false ego are immense, never fulfilled. It will demand money, it will demand respect, it will demand power, and you go on fulfilling it but it will always remain empty.

You cannot make an egoist contented. The ego is always like an open wound; It goes on growing bigger. The more you try to fill it the more you find it is empty and the more demanding it becomes. You become almost a slave to a false entity. Your whole life is wasted in ambitions created by the ego.

The ego is the most dangerous invention that society has managed to create. So when you want to drop… don’t think in terms of dropping it, because even the word ‘drop’ gives you the idea that it is something. It is nothing. You cannot drop it, you cannot put it out of doors. You have to look into the reality of it.

In deep meditations you have to become a witness of all the functioning of the mind, because the ego is the combined by-product of your mind’s functioning. Its thoughts, its desires, its ideologies, its prejudices, its politics, its philosophy, its religion – everything contributes in some way to create a certain ego in you.

I had a professor, Doctor Das, a very famous philosopher not only in India but in almost every country. He had been teaching around the world, and he had come back to India to his home just to retire. He was my teacher for only three months; after those three months he went into retirement. But those three months were of great revelation to me and to him.

The first day when he entered the classroom I was sitting in his chair. He looked so embarrassed standing by my side and I was so relaxed in the chair – the students started laughing and he said, ”What is going on?”

I said, ”Nothing is going on. I find this chair more comfortable than the other chairs; and I am not a stupid person, I can choose what is right for me.”

He said, ”You seem to be a very strange person. This chair is for the teacher.”
I said, ”Then there is no problem. I will teach. What is the problem? – if this chair is for the teacher, then the teacher is sitting in it. You can find some other chair and sit down.”

He was an old man, a world-famous philosopher, and his ego was immensely hurt. He said, ”You don’t understand with whom you are talking.”
I said, ”I understand perfectly well. You don’t understand with whom you are talking.”

But I did not leave the chair. I told him that whatever he wants to do, he can do. He can go to the vice-chancellor, he can bring the vice-chancellor… ”I am going to remain in this chair.”
He said, ”What is the purpose of all this mess?”

I said, ”The purpose is to show you that it is not my sitting in the chair that is hurting you, it is your ego. If you accept it I will leave the chair. If you don’t accept, then you can bring anybody to help you… but as far as I know the students, nobody is going to help.”

He waited a minute. There was utter silence in the class. Everybody was afraid that if the vice-chancellor came and the proctor came, there was going to be trouble for me. They would immediately expel me. I had already been expelled from so many places, but I always continued to do strange things. What was the need to sit in his chair?

But Doctor Das was certainly an intelligent man. He did not go out. He said, ”Perhaps you are right. It is my ego that is hurting, it is not a question of the chair.”

I said, ”Then I can leave it. But remember, before you retire you have only three months more in this university. It will be good if you retire but don’t take your ego away with you. Leave it here in this chair for somebody else to use.”

I left the chair, and he was in such confusion that he told the students, ”Today it will not be possible for me to teach.” And to me he said, ”I would like you to come with me to my home. I want to discuss some important matters with you.”

He was an unmarried man. He had written many beautiful books, and before encountering him I had read everything that he had written. He took me in his car to his home. On the way he said, ”I am sorry that I did not understand your purpose. You are the first man in my life who has pointed out my ego. I certainly have a very big ego and it went on becoming bigger and bigger as I became more and more respected in the world of philosophy. You will have to help me to get rid of it. I am also feeling the torture of it, I am also feeling the burden of it, but I don’t know what to do with it.”

He had never thought about meditation. Philosophers never meditate; their whole approach to life is intellectual. They think about and about everything, but never become a witness of any experience – particularly the experience of their inner thought processes.

Shantideva, if you really want to get rid of the ego, you will have to go so deep into your meditations that you can create a distance between you and your mind. Immediately you will see the phoniness of your ego, and the moment you have seen it, it is dropped. Not that you can drop it – but your seeing it, your understanding it, your witnessing it… and it drops on its own accord.

Source – Osho Book “Satyam Shivam Sundram”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *