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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 10
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Chapter 10: Love Is Its Own Reward

The ego demands perfection of oneself and of others too. It asks for the impossible, and because the impossible cannot be achieved it can go on living. It is not happy with the ordinary; it wants the extraordinary, and life consists only of the ordinary. But the ordinary is beautiful, the ordinary is exquisite. There is no need of anything extraordinary. The ordinary life is sacred, but the ego condemns it as mundane. It demands extraordinary life. Hence all the religions go on inventing stories about their founders which are all untrue: Moses separating the sea, Jesus walking on the water.all these stories are inventions, lies, created by the followers just to prove that their master is extraordinary; he is not an ordinary human being.

In fact, the truth is that you cannot find a more ordinary human being than Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus, Moses, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu. They are so simple! They have accepted themselves as they are. They live in suchness, in tathata. They don’t hanker for any perfection. They are perfectly at ease with the imperfect world, utterly contented with it. And they don’t take themselves so seriously that they have to attain to great heights, great peaks, that they have to surpass everybody. They are not insane! They are beautiful people, and their beauty consists in having accepted the ordinary as the extraordinary, the mundane as sacred.

You ask, “Why do I take myself and everything so seriously?”

Everybody takes himself and others seriously. That’s the way of the ego to exist. Start being a little more playful and you will see ego evaporating. Take life nonseriously, as a joke - yes, as a cosmic joke. Laugh a little more.

Laughter is far more significant than prayer. Prayer may not destroy your ego; on the contrary, it may make it holy, pious, but laughter certainly destroys your ego. When you are really in a state of laughter, have you observed? - the ego disappears for a moment. You are again a child, giggling. Again you have forgotten that you are special. You are no longer serious; for a moment you have removed your fixation.

That’s why I love jokes - they are poison to your ego! You would like me to talk about serious things: astral planes and how many bodies men have, seven or nine, and how many chakras. And every day there are questions - esoteric, occult. These are the serious people. They have fallen in a wrong company!

I am not serious at all. I don’t laugh with you because that is part of telling a joke: the person who tells it has to be very serious, he cannot laugh with you. All my laughter I have to do alone. But my approach towards life is utterly nonserious, playful, because in my experience this is how the ego disappears.

Watch when you laugh: where is the ego? Suddenly you have melted, suddenly you are liquid, no more solid, but flowing. You are not old, experienced, knowledgeable.

Listen to this joke and try to find out whether the ego remains or not.

Shortly after arriving at their honeymoon suite, the still nervous groom became worried about the state of his bride’s innocence. Deciding on the direct approach, he quickly undressed, pointed at his exposed manhood, and asked his mate, “Do you know what that is?”

Without hesitating, she blushed and answered, “That’s a wee-wee.”

Delighted at the idea of instructing his naive wife, the husband whispered, “From now on, dearest, this will be called a prick.”

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