Osho discourse on Ambition, Ambition is misery

Osho : Unless Ambition is Killed, you will remain in misery. Ambition is the source of all miseries. What is ambition? ’A’ wants to be ’B’, the poor wants to be rich, the ugly wants to be beautiful. Everyone longs to be someone else, something other than what he is. No one is content with himself. That’s what ambition is.

Whatsoever you are, you are not content with it. This is ambition. Then you are bound to be in misery, because you cannot be anything else. You can only be yourself; nothing else is possible. All else is just futile, harmful, dangerous. You can waste your whole life, your whole existence. Whatsoever you are, you are. Accept it; don’t desire it to be otherwise. This is what non – ambition means.

Non ambitiousness is basic to all spiritual transformation, because once you accept yourself,
many things start happening. But the first thing…. If you accept yourself totally, the first thing that happens to you is a nontense life. There is no tension. You don’t want to be anything else; there is nowhere else to go. Then you can be here and now. There is no comparison. You yourself are unique. You no longer think in terms of others.

Then there is no future. Ambition needs future, it needs space to grow. It cannot grow here and now; there is no space. This moment is so small, so atomic. Ambition needs the future; and the greater the ambition, the greater the future that is needed.

If your ambition is so great that it cannot be fulfilled in this life, then you will create an afterlife. You will create heaven, you will create moksha, you will create the concept of rebirth. I am not saying that there is no rebirth. I am saying that you believe in rebirth not because it is there but because your ambitions are so great that they cannot be fulfilled in one lifetime. Your belief in rebirth, reincarnation, is not because it is a fact.

It is because of ambition and desire. Reincarnation may be a fact, but for you it is just a fiction. For you it is just a matter of the future, of more space to move in. Remember, you cannot be ambitious in the present moment. It is impossible. There is no space.

The present moment is so atomic, so small, that you cannot move in it. You can be in it, but you cannot desire in it. It is long enough to be, but it is not long enough for desiring. To desire you need future, time. Really, time exists because of desire. For the trees here, there is no time. For the birds singing here, there is no time. For the stars and for the sun and for the earth, there is no time. Time exists because of human desire. If humanity was not on this earth, there would be no time; there would be no past and no future.

Your desire creates the future. Your memory creates the past. They are both parts of your mind. Don’t desire, and the future disappears. And when there is no future, how can you be tense? How? There is no possibility of being tense if there is no future And if there is no past – if you know that it is simply memory, the dust collected on the way – how can there be any anxiety? With the past, anxiety enters. And with the future – plans, imaginations, projections – tension exists. When the past drops and the future is not open, you are here, now.

No anxiety, no tension, no anguish. Nonambition means to accept yourself as you are. But that doesn’t mean that there is no possibility of growth. On the contrary, when you accept yourself as you are the transformation sets in. You start growing, but the dimension differs.

Then the dimension is not in the future but in the eternal. Know this distinction well. You can move in two ways. If you move in the future, you are moving in the mind: a fiction, a dream world. If you don’t move in the future, then a different dimension becomes open for you from this very moment You are moving in the eternal. The eternal is hidden in the moment. If you can be here right now, in the moment, you have entered the eternal.

If you go on thinking of the future and the past, you are living in the temporal. The temporal is the world, and the eternal is nirvana. Buddha is reported to have said again and again that if you can be in the now, there is no need of any technique to meditate. It is enough. It will do all that is needed. But how can you be in the now if you are ambitious?

The ambitious mind cannot be in the now. It can be anywhere else but it cannot be in the now. The ambitious mind always moves away from the present. It is thinking of that which is to come; it is thinking of tomorrow. It is thinking of an afterlife; it is not interested in the life that is here. It is interested in something that should be. It is not interested in the ’is’; it is always interested in the ’ought’, in the ’should’. That interest is nonreligious.

A religious mind, a religious consciousness, is interested in existence as it is. The first sutra is KILL OUT ambition totally so that you can be here and now, so that you can enter the eternal.

Source: from Osho Book “The New Alchemy To Turn You On”

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