To be a painter, you have to drop the ego

Osho A-Z

Osho on the topic of ‘Art’: “…the extraordinary comes only through egolessness.”

painting of mountains

You can paint in two ways. You can paint to compete with other painters; you want to be the greatest painter in the world, you want to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh. Then your painting will be second-rate, because your mind is not interested in painting itself; it is interested in being the first, the greatest painter in the world. You are not going deep into the art of painting. You are not enjoying it, you are only using it as a stepping-stone. You are on an ego trip.

And the problem is: to really be a painter, you have to drop the ego completely. To really be a painter, the ego has to be put aside. Only then can God flow through you.

Only then can he use your hands and your fingers and your brush. Only then something of superb beauty can be born.

It is never by you but only through you. Existence flows; you become only a passage. You allow it to happen, that’s all; you don’t hinder, that’s all.

But if you are too interested in the result, the ultimate result – that you have to become famous, that you have to win the Nobel Prize, that you have to be the first painter in the world, that you have to defeat all other painters hitherto – then your interest is not in painting; painting is secondary. And of course, with a secondary interest in painting you can’t paint something original; it will be ordinary.

Ego cannot bring anything extraordinary into the world; the extraordinary comes only through egolessness. And so is the case with the musician and the poet and the dancer.

And so is the case with everybody.

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 8, Ch 5

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