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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol. 2
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Chapter 4: Slipping Lazily into Divinity

I am a realist. I am very down-to-earth. I want you to be grounded in the earth, it is your home. It is the way God is - God is very earthly. There is no other world, this is the only world. And there is no other way to be, this is the only way to be. This acceptance, this utter joy in being oneself - that’s what I call the man of reality or the woman of reality. Utter joy in being oneself, as one is - with no guilt surrounding it, with no condemnation arising, with no idea how you should be. This is the way you are; this is the only way you can be. So you don’t bring any opposition - you don’t create a conflict, you don’t create a friction between your reality and the ideal.

Out of friction, only ego is born and nothing else. The ego exists through friction. Have an ideal, and you will become an egoist. The idealist is an egoist. Have a bigger ideal, and you will be a bigger egoist. The greater the ideal, the greater the ego, because the greater is the friction. The ego is created by friction between the real and the ideal. Now you may have the ideal of egolessness - that doesn’t matter. You may say, “But I have the ideal of being egoless” - it does not matter, the ideal brings the ego. Now your idea of egolessness will bring great ego. So the real egoists are those who think they are humble people, who pretend that they are egoless.

The man who is egoless is the man who has no ideals. Let this be the criterion, and you have stumbled upon a fundamental. The man of no ego is the man of no ideals. Then how can the ego be created? - the very energy is missing. The energy comes out of friction, conflict, struggle, will.

When you accept your life - when you take your breakfast, and when you sleep and when you walk and when you take your bath - how can you create an ego out of these things? Sleeping when feeling sleepy, eating when feeling hungry, how can you create your ego? No - if you fast, you can create ego. If you are on a vigilance for the whole night, and you say, “I am not going to sleep,” you can create the ego.

By the morning, the person who has slept well will have no ego, you will have a great ego. You were awake the whole night, and the sleep tried and tried and tried but you fought it. You are a warrior. You proved to your body, “Mind over matter.” You proved that “I am the master. Sleep cannot overtake me.” Then you can have the ego. Somebody is eating well - how can he have the ego? You are fasting. You are a Jaina monk, you are fasting, a twenty-one days’ fast. Every day, the ego is becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. And with the ego, obviously, everybody else becomes a sinner. All those people who are eating and enjoying their food are sinners. You condemn them. Only condemning them can you feel good. Only through condemnation can you feel the ego arising in you.

So first conflict, friction, brings ego. And ego brings condemnation of others, and you start feeling “holier than thou.”

A man who has understood that the ideal brings the ego will drop all ideals. He will live a very natural life. Yes, natural, I say - not religious. To me, to be natural is to be religious. If your religion goes against nature it is not religion, you are simply in the service of the ego - you can call it whatsoever you like.

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