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How powerful is the ego?


You don’t know the power of emptiness. You don’t know the power of being totally absent within. You know only the poverty of the ego. But try to understand. With ego have you ever felt really powerful? With ego, you always feel impotent. That’s why the ego says, ‘Make your empire a little bigger so that you can feel you are powerful: no, this house won’t do, a bigger house is needed; no, this much bank balance won’t do, a bigger bank balance is needed; no, this much fame won’t do, a little more.’

The ego always asks for more. Why? If it is powerful, why go on asking for more? The very craving for more says, shows, that the ego feels impotent. You have a million rupees and you are impotent. The ego says, ‘No, one million won’t do, have ten million rupees.’ And I tell you—with ten million rupees you will be tenfold more impotent, that’s all. And then the ego will say, ‘No, this won’t do….’

Nothing will do with ego. Everything proves only that you are impotent, powerless. The more power you gain the more powerless you feel in contrast. The richer you become the poorer you feel. The more healthy you are, the more afraid of death; the younger, the more you feel old age is coming nearer. The opposite is just around the corner, and if you have a little understanding, the opposite is just reaching you—around your neck. The more beautiful you are, the more you feel the inner ugliness.

Ego has never felt powerful. It only dreams of power, it thinks of power, it contemplates on power—but those are simply dreams and nothing else. And dreams are there just to hide the impotence that is within you. But dreams cannot hide reality. Whatsoever you do, from here or from there, from a loophole, again the reality comes in and shatters all dreams.

Always the goal is somewhere near the horizon. And it is so near you think, by the evening I will reach.

Ego is the most impotent thing in the world. But nobody realises it, because it goes on asking for more, it never gives you a space to look at the situation. Before you become aware, it pushes you further and further somewhere. Always the goal is somewhere near the horizon. And it is so near you think, by the evening I will reach.

The evening never comes; the horizon remains always at the same distance. The horizon is an illusion; all the goals of ego are just illusions. But they give hope, and you go on feeling, ‘Someday or other I will become powerful.’ Right now you remain powerless, impotent, inferior, but in the future, in the hope, in the dream, you become powerful. You must be aware that many times, just sitting on your chair, you start daydreaming: you have become the emperor of the whole world or the president of the United States, and immediately you start enjoying it. Everybody looks at you, you have become the focal point of everyone’s attention. Even that dream gives you exhilaration, intoxication. If you dream that way, you will walk in a different way.

This is how it is happening to everybody: your potency remains in the dreams, you remain impotent. The truth is just the opposite: when you don’t seek, it comes; when you don’t ask it is given; when you don’t hanker it is there; when you don’t go to the horizon, suddenly you realise that it has been always yours—you never lived it. It is there inside, and you seek it outside. It is there within you and you go without. You are carrying it: the supreme most power, the divine itself, is in you. And you are looking here and there like a beggar.

Excerpted from And Flowers Showered 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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