Osho on Death of Ego

Question – Osho, when this question arises — who am i? — i get very afraid. Is there something to be said about it?

Osho – Prem Dada, THIS QUESTION MAKES EVERYBODY AFRAID. It is nothing exceptional; it is absolutely the case with everybody. Whoever wants to go deep into the question, into the quest, of “Who am I?” is bound to feel fear at a certain point. Why? Because there comes a point where you cross the boundary of the ego and enter into the world of egolessness. That point is the point of great fear — because it looks like death. And, in fact, it is a kind of death: the ego disappears.

And up to now that has been your identity. Up to now that’s what you have been thinking you are. And suddenly it starts evaporating. A great fear grips the heart: “I am dying!” because your identity is dying. You are not really dying; in fact, you are being born. It is a rebirth, it is a true birth. It is like the seed dying into the soil. The seed must be feeling afraid, nervous, trembling. How can the seed trust that once he is gone there will be a great tree and great flowering? The seed will not be there to witness it; no seed has ever witnessed it, so how can this seed believe and trust?

And the same happens with the ego: the ego cannot trust that there is anything more than itself And the ego is dying, and the ego starts breathing its last, and you become afraid. Many people turn back from that point, rush back out.

This is going to happen to every meditator. Hence, Dada, your question is significant, very significant. Every meditator has to encounter this situation, this challenge. ManY times people come to the point from where they would have entered into God, but they could not risk, they could not gather courage. They became afraid, scared; they rushed out.

You have to take the risk. And I tell you, from my own experience, it is not death. Yes, it is a death to the ego, but the death of the ego is the birth of the soul. You will die as a drop, but you will be born as the ocean. It is worth it. You will be dying only as a limited being, as a defined being, and you will be born as undefined, undefinable.

Yes, you will disappear, with all your neurosis, psychosis. with all your tensions, anxieties, anguishes: you will disappear with all your problems, worries; you will disappear as you have known yourself up to now. But your disappearance is only a change of garments, and you will be getting closer to your reality, deeper into your reality. You will get more rooted into being. That’s the whole search!


It is natural. It is a good sign that you are coming closer to the boundary. You may be standing exactly on the boundary; that’s why whenever the question arises, immediately you become afraid. Feel blessed that you are so close to the boundary from where a totally new world and a totally new life can have a start. Just one single step… and you will be a new man, and you will be an original man. Just a single step, and all the garbage that the society has dumped on you will have dropped, and you will be just a pure consciousness. You will have wings! Now you are just crawling on the earth… and then you will be able to soar high towards the sun.

To be with a Master simply means to learn trust, to learn the art of risking, to learn the ways of adventuring into the unknown. Yes, the sea is uncharted, and it is dangerous to leave the shore, but it is only the people who leave the shore who taste something of immortality. It is only the people who take the risk of going into danger who really live; others only pass through life, but they really don’t live. Others only vegetate; others only move through empty gestures.

So now this is a very decisive moment for you. You can go back, you can cling to your identity, or you can go ahead, not looking hack at all. Be courageous! I can only say this much: that the same has happened to me, the same fear — it is human. I had also gone back and forth. To cross this line is really difficult. But sooner or later, one decides — because going and coming back does not help. And once you have come so close to the line, you cannot be satisfied with your ordinary life any more. So you can go out, but there you will find everything has become meaningless. Now you will be in a dilemma.

And this is the work of a Master: to create the dilemma. The without becomes meaningless, and the within seems to be dangerous. To live the ordinary life again becomes impossible, and to take the jump into the new also seems impossible. But sooner or later, one decides to take the jump — because what is the point of clinging to something that has become meaningless, which has lost all significance! How long can you cling to it?

The Master waits, the Master remains patient. He allows you to go back and forth, he goes on watching that you are shunting in and out. But he knows one thing: that every day the outer will go on losing its significance more and more. One day it will be utterly useless, absurd, to be there. And as the outer loses significance, the inner will become more and more magnetic — simultaneously the process happens. And one day it becomes irresistible — one has to cross the line. And that day is the greatest day in a human being’s life, when you drop your old identity and enter into the unknown — you have encountered God, you have come home.

Source – Osho Book “The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty”

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