Osho on Humbleness and Assertiveness

Osho – Deva means divine and vineet means humbleness. Humbleness is going to be your work. And when I say humbleness, I don’t mean what the word ordinarily means. Ordinarily it means a person who tries to subdue his ego, who tries to control his egoistic mind, who tries never to assert himself — a non-assertive person. That is the ordinary meaning of the word humbleness. But to me that is a sort of repression. You can repress the ego, but by repressing it you never go beyond it. By repressing it you evolve a new sort of ego which is more poisonous because it seems pious.

When a new ego arises that says, ‘I am humble,’ the ‘I’ remains there. Now it has taken the cloak of humbleness, now it is hiding behind humbleness. Now the wolf is hiding behind the sheep — but the wolf is the wolf; just the skin of the sheep cannot make any difference. So I am not saying to become a humble egoist or egoistically humble.

To me, humbleness means the understanding that the ego is non-existential; that in fact it is not. There is no need to suppress it because in suppressing, you have already accepted its existence. And once you accept the existence of the ego there is no way to get rid of it because you have taken the first wrong step. Now whatsoever you do after that step is going to be wrong. You have al ready moved in a wrong direction.

The right direction is to see that the ego does not exist. that it is a shadow. You cannot fight with it. It is an absence. Because we don’t know who we are. the ego exists. It is like darkness — because the light is not there, hence darkness. Once the light is there, darkness simply disappears. In fact to say it disappears is not right, because it was never there in the first place. When the light comes you simply know that the darkness has never existed. It was just absence.

So the ego is just absence of self-knowledge. It will look very paradoxical, but let me say it to you, because right now you are vulnerable, and this will become a seed in your heart. This is going to be a new beginning in your life. When the self is not, the ego is. When you are not, the ego is. When you are, the ego is no more there. So an egoless person is not a nonentity. The egoless person is really an authentic person, an individual. The egoless person is not non-assertive. When it is needed, he can be as assertive as anybody else — but only when it is needed.

When it is not needed he does not go exhibiting. But when it is needed, when it comes to that, a non-egoistic person can be absolutely assertive because he has no fear of the ego taking possession of him. In his humbleness, he can be assertive. That’s why Jesus is so assertive.

Christians have been continually worried about it — that on the one hand Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ He says, ‘Please your enemies.’ He teaches humbleness, humility, but he himself is very assertive — he drove the money-changers out of the temple.

He was very aggressive, almost violent. He chased them out — and they were many and he was alone. He must have been madly in anger. he must have been in a rage — but still he was humble. Even this anger came out of his humbleness. Even this rebelliousness is part of his humbleness. He is not there. It is not Jesus. son of Mary. who is chasing the money-changers out of the temple. It is God Himself. It is the boss Himself.

There is a sufi story of Jalalluddin Rumi. A lover comes to his beloved’s house. He knocks on the door and the beloved asks, ‘Who is there? Who is knocking on the door?’ The lover says, ‘I am here. Can’t you recognise me?’

There is silence and finally the beloved says, ‘This house is too small. It cannot hold you and me together. It will be very difficult. Go, and whenever you are ready, come back again.’

Disturbed, very much confused, the lover goes into the wilderness and meditates on what has happened. Why has he been rejected? Then by and by it dawns in his consciousness what has happened. Then he comes back. He knocks again on the same door and the same question’s asked, ‘.Who is there? Who is knocking on the door?’
He says, ‘No one is here. Only you are.’ Suddenly and immediately the doors open.

This is the parable… a very significant parable. Let this be my gospel for you. The moment you drop the 1, the moment you can say, ‘Only you are — I am not,’ the doors open; suddenly they are open. In fact they have always been open. Because of the ‘I’ you were incapable of seeing. Because of the 1, the eyes were not capable of seeing. The I was functioning as a dark curtain. You were blinded by your own 1. Once you say, ‘I am not,’ the curtain disappears. The doors have always been open.

There is another parable about a sufi mystic, Rabiya-el-Adavia. She heard another mystic, Hassan, crying and weeping at the front door of a mosque, and saying, IGod, when will you open your doors? I have been knocking and knocking. Years have been passing and I have become old. When will you open your door?’ And Jesus has said, ‘Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you.’

Rabiya was standing behind, and she started laughing a mad laughter. Hassan looked back and he said, ‘Why are you laughing, Rabiya? Have I done something wrong? Is my prayer somewhere erroneous?’

She said, ‘Yes, certainly, absolutely — because the doors are always open. What nonsense are you talking about! Look — the doors are always open. They have never been locked, never been closed. And you are saying, “God, open the doors!” Whom are you trying to kid? Just look!’

It is said that Hassan looked and the doors were open and he entered. The doors are always open. So this name will be a constant reminder to you that the I has to be dropped. But remember, again I would say, don’t repress it. Just understand that it is not. Just try to look into where it is, and you will never find it — and that not finding it will become a revelation. Out of that revelation arises a humbleness which is not against the ego, which is simply absence of the ego, which is not against the ego, which has no contact with the ego so the ego cannot corrupt it, which is absolutely discontinuous with the ego so the ego cannot cast a shadow on it. It is absence of the ego, and the presence of the self.

Drop the land you become really for the first time, an individual. This word individual is beautiful — it means indivisible, you cannot be divided. Right now with the I, you are a divided house because you don’t have one I, you have many I’s. People have a very erroneous notion that they have one I — people have many I’s.

Gurdjieff used to say that a man is like a house whose master is asleep or who has gone far away and has not returned for many years. The servants to whose care the house has been left, who have been appointed to take care of the house, have, by and by completely forgotten about the master. Every servant thinks himself the master. You go in the morning and you see some servant on the steps. You ask, ‘To whom does this house belong?’ He says, ‘To me.’ You go in the afternoon and you come across another servant in the garden and you ask, ‘To whom does this house belong?’ He says, ‘To me.’ In the evening you go and you see the nightguard and he says, ‘It belongs to me.’

In twenty-four hours if you watch you will see many I’s passing, coming and going, many servants claiming. Some servant sitting on the throne for a few minutes, some for a few hours, some for a few days, but nobody is the master and the master is fast asleep. That master is the self.

So try to see that the ego is a non-existential barrier, an imaginary barrier which makes us feel that we are separate from existence. Once that barrier is dropped, understood, the separation disappears. Then you are no more separated within yourself, and you are no more separated from without. Then within and without become one… in and out become one. And that’s what the goal of all religion is.

Source – Osho Book “The Great Nothing”

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