Alexander going with empty hands

1001 Tales Discourses

Osho says, “Either you can become a man of being, or you can become a man of having.”

Statue Alexander dying
Dying Alexander, copy of the 2nd century BC sculpture,
National Art Museum of Azerbaijan

You can live your life in two ways. Either you can become a man of being, or you can become a man of having. Either you can have yourself or you can have many worldly things instead. Either you can possess many things and be possessed by them, or you can possess yourself and be not possessed by anything. The man of having has a totally different direction. That’s what Bauls call ‘the worldly man’. He thinks in terms of money, in terms of commodities, in terms of bank balances; he thinks in terms of things. And he thinks that the more he has, the more he is. That is one of the most fundamental fallacies. You can have the whole world and you can remain a beggar. You can have all that the world can give and yet remain empty.

The great Alexander died. He is the very symbol of the worldly man. He wanted to conquer the whole world, and he had done it, almost.

But before he died he told his generals, “Then let both my hands hang out of the coffin.”

They said, “We have never heard. It is not traditionally done. And why do you want to do such an absurd thing?”

Alexander said, “It is not absurd. It has a certain relevance with my life. I want people to see that I am going with empty hands. So let both my hands hang out of the coffin, so everybody can see that even Alexander is going with empty hands. I came with empty hands, I am going with empty hands, and the whole life has been a wastage.”

He must have been very perceptive, because many more die still clinging, still not aware that their hands are empty, still not aware that their hearts are empty, still not aware that they have wasted their whole lives, that it has been just a nightmare. […]

The man of having continues to accumulate more and more. What he accumulates is not the point; his emphasis is on accumulation. His soul exists in his accumulations. What he accumulates is not important. He may accumulate money, he may accumulate knowledge; he may accumulate ego, he may accumulate humility; he may accumulate things of this world, or he may start accumulating virtues, things of the other world, but he accumulates. He exists through things. […]

What about the man of being? –
he has a direction,
but he has no destination

The man of being, ‘the novel man’, is spontaneous. He lives in the moment, he lives here-now. He knows no other way to live, he is unpredictable. You can predict a man of competition. You can predict, because the mind of the competitor runs like a mathematical formula.  It has a logical syllogism in it.

But the mind of one who is moving inwards, the man of being, is almost dissolving. The mind of the inward traveller is dissolving; you cannot predict him. He has no mathematical formula about him – he simply lives in the moment, he responds to the moment.

Now let me tell you one thing: the man of having is very clear.  The man of having has a destination, very clear-cut.  If he wants to become the president of the United States or the premier of India, he has a clear-cut destination.

What about the man of being? – he has a direction, but he has no destination. He has a very subtle direction, but no destination.  He has a quality: he has a light inside, and wherever he moves, that light falls on his path. He has eyes to see, a direction, but no destination.
Going into right direction

He is enjoying and he is moving, but his movement is not prefabricated. He has no plan. He is like a river, not like a railway train. Direction is there, but not like a railway train, not running in a fixed pattern. Zig-zag his life will be. Sometimes he will be moving towards the north and sometimes he will be moving towards the south. He cannot be very consistent, because consistency is part of the logical mind, it is not part of the being. He will be found many times to be inconsistent, even contradictory; but those contradictions are just on the surface.  If you look deep you will find a subtle direction. Even in contradictions the direction is there. […]

The Bauls call this spontaneous man, Sahaja Manush. The novel man, he’s the new man. He is the man as everyone should be.  And unless you become the novel man, you will miss – you will miss treasures, blessings, benedictions which were showering all around you, but you were blind and you could not see it.

Osho, The Beloved – Songs of the Baul Mystics, Vol 1, Ch 5 (excerpt)

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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