Chapter 2: And a Perfect Liar at That
And they say you have to prove your extraordinariness - become rich, become a Rockefeller; or become powerful in terms of power politics, become a Nixon or a Ford; or at least become a great poet, an Ezra Pound or Cummings; become a painter, a Picasso, a van Gogh; an actor. Prove yourself! Become somebody in some direction; prove your talent and genius and your mettle. And, then those who have not proved in any way are the common mass. You are exceptional.
But I want to tell you that everybody is born exceptional, there is no need to prove it. And those who prove, they simply prove that they are uncertain about their uniqueness. Try to understand it: only inferior people, who have an idea of deep inferiority, try to prove themselves to be superior. Inferiority complex helps you to compete and prove so that you can prove you are superior. But basically, you are born unique and there is no need to prove it.
Enjoy if you enjoy creating poetry, but don’t make it an ego trip. Enjoy if you enjoy painting, but don’t make it an ego trip. Look at your painters, poets; they are so egoistic, almost crazy. What has happened? They are not enjoying their painting, their poetry. They are using their poetry and painting as steps to come to the top so that they can declare, “I am unique, and you are not.”
Because of these ill people.they are pathological; they need psychological treatment. All politicians need, all power-oriented, ego trip people need treatment; they need to be hospitalized. Because of their madness, their feverish competition, their tremendous effort to prove that they are somebody, you start feeling that you are nobody, that you are not special, that you are there just to vegetate - live an ignoble life and die an ignoble death.
This is a very dangerous, poisonous idea, deeply planted in you. Throw it out.
But remember, when I say you are unique, I don’t mean in any relative way. I don’t say that you are more unique than somebody else. When I say you are unique, I say it in an absolute way - not in a relative, comparative way. I am not saying that you are more unique than anybody else. You are simply unique, as unique as the other - as unique as your neighbor. Uniqueness is your nature.
You ask: “Is your pathless path for anybody, or only for rare exceptions?” It is only for rare exceptions, but everybody is a rare exception.
I would like to tell you one anecdote:
It happened, there was once a wicked king who could not bear to think that anyone was his superior..
Must have been a pure politician - a pure poison.
So he summoned all the pundits of the realm as was the practice on momentous occasions and put to them this question: “Which of us two is the greater, I or God?”