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Ego vs Dignity

Ego has no dignity

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Don’t get confused between dignity and ego. Dignity is very humble, very simple, very innocent; it belongs to the trees. When they blossom in spring, you just look and watch their pride, their dignity. Just watch when a peacock is dancing. Those psychedelic colours, and the beautiful dance … do you think there is any ego? But there is certainly dignity.

Dignity is a totally different phenomenon, it is self-respect. Ego is domination over others. Dignity is just standing on your own feet, independence, freedom; it is not domination over others. The moment you start thinking of dominating, you are falling into the trap of the ego. And God is the greatest ego because he created everything, he dominates everything. He is present everywhere, he is all-powerful. And his reflection in the priests … The pope claims that he is infallible. Now, this is ego.

A man of dignity, a man of self-respect will not say such things. Certainly, he will walk straight with his head raised in dignity. He will not walk like a slave, surrendered, subdued. He will walk like a lion and roar like a lion. But that is your intrinsic energy, your intrinsic power. The power that depends on others creates the ego. The power that comes from within your own sources of life creates dignity. Meditation brings tremendous dignity, a great grace, but not even a shadow of ego is found in it.

If you are capable of murdering God, you will certainly be capable of murdering his image in you. In fact, the moment God is no longer there, you will suddenly be surprised. Where has the ego gone? If the moon is not there, the reflection in the lake of the moon will disappear.

To me, egos are reflections of one moon in different ponds, in different lakes, in different oceans, in different rivers—millions of reflections. But just remove the moon and all the reflections are removed. You don’t have to remove every reflection. It will take millennia to remove all those reflections. And in fact, if the moon remains, you cannot remove the reflections.

Existence is trying in every possible way to create a Buddha in your very innermost being. The moment you are a Buddha, there is dignity without any superiority.


So I am hitting directly on God’s head. Zen masters have been hitting on poor disciples’ heads. I am hitting to the very source from where your ego is arising. God removed, you will not find the ego at all, it is a reflection.

The Bible says God created man in his own image. This causes ego. You are the highest creature in existence because God created you in his own image, and he created all the animals for you to eat. These are your religions, scriptures which are telling you to destroy the ecology of existence, which are telling you to destroy beautiful animals which bring grace and joy all around you. But God himself says in your holy scriptures, “I have created everything for your use.” He is giving you the first incentive for the ego.

Once God is removed, you will simply find your ego is gone. It was the shadow, the reflection of God. And then you will find a totally new phenomenon, a dignity which does not dominate over others, which is not superiority over others. It is simply the joy that existence loves you, that existence creates you, that existence needs you, that you are not accidental. This gives you dignity, this gives you honour, and it is not dependent on others. It comes from your own innermost experience of your being.

The moment you find yourself existential, that you belong to the whole cosmos, and the whole cosmos belongs to you, there arises a tremendous splendour in your being—Himalayan peaks of consciousness, Pacific depths of consciousness. That brings you the lion’s roar. You realise for the first time you are not a slave. You realise for the first time you are not a created creature. You realise for the first time that existence is your home, you are not an outsider, and existence is nourishing you every moment.

There must be a certain purpose, a certain destiny that existence is seeking through you to reach, a certain height of consciousness, a certain height of love, a certain height of compassion, understanding, wisdom, enlightenment. Existence is trying in every possible way to create a Buddha in your very innermost being. The moment you are a Buddha, there is dignity without any superiority.

There is dignity in a rose flower. Do you think it has any power over anybody? It is so delicate, so vulnerable, but it has tremendous dignity. When it is dancing in the sun, in the rain, in the wind, it knows existence has created in him one of the most beautiful things.

Dignity arises out of meditation. Ego arises out of mind.

Abridged from I Celebrate Myself: God Is Nowhere, Life Is Now Here by Osho

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.

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