“…Don’t put anybody higher than you and don’t put anybody lower than you. We are one,” says Osho. From our series 1001 Tales, compiled by Shanti.
Two actors were out of work when they met in Lindy’s one day.
‘Say, I got an idea,’ said one. ‘Why don’t we team up? Do an act together.’
‘Sounds good,’ said the other. ‘What kind of an act you got in mind?’
‘Well, I come out and sing. The curtain comes down. Then it goes up and I come out and dance. Then it comes down.Then it goes up again and I come out and juggle. Then….’
‘Hey, where do I come in?’
‘The curtains don’t go up and down by itself!’
That’s what ego is. You are the emperor and everybody is a servant. You are the end and everybody is a means. This is the basic ingredient of the ego, the very centre – that you are the centre of the whole existence and everybody is here to serve you, to be used by you. If you are using people you are an egoist. If you think of yourself as the centre and everybody else as your periphery then you are an egoist.
If you think that everybody is an end unto himself, then the ego starts disappearing. If you don’t put yourself higher than others or lower than others then the ego disappears. Remember, you know that to put yourself higher than others is to be egoistical but I am saying that to put yourself lower than others is also egoistical. It is ego standing on its head but it is ego all the same. So don’t put anybody higher than you and don’t put anybody lower than you.
We are one. We are one existence. Nobody is lower, nobody is higher. Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior. There are not two gods so how can there be inferiority or superiority? It is one unity. Ego makes you feel separate; non-ego joins you to existence. To feel one with the cosmos is to get out of the ego; to feel separate is to be with the ego.
Osho, Tao: The Pathless Path – Talks on extracts from ‘The Book of Lieh Tzu’, Vol 2, Ch 14, Q 7