Among the trees there is no great tree; all trees are simply beautiful trees. The smaller and the bigger don’t compare themselves, and they don’t suffer from any inferiority complex or superiority complex. It is only man who suffers from these complexes, because his ideal is success. Everything has to be rated on the criterion of success. If you are successful, whatever you have done is right. Success makes everything right. And if you fail, then whatever you have done becomes wrong – as if success and failure are the only criteria of human values.
But this is what our education goes on teaching…our education is immensely destructive. In the name of education, it is mis-education. It needs to be completely changed and transformed. Things like ambition, success, comparison, have to be completely taken out of the human mind – and it is possible. Rather than teaching these ugly things, education should give people better ways of life, how to live more totally and more intensely; better ways of loving, better ways of beautifying existence – without any comparison with others – just for your sheer contentment.
Love, sing, dance – not as a competitor, but as a man who wants to share his joy, his songs and his dances with his fellow human beings. Whatever you have – and every human being has something unique to contribute to the world….
But your education teaches you to imitate, your religions teach you to imitate. Nobody says to you: “Just be yourself – that’s where your paradise lies.” They go on saying to you, “Follow this, imitate that.” They give you ideals: “Become a Gautam Buddha, or a Jesus Christ.” But never, even by mistake, do they say to you, “Just be yourself; relax and enjoy your being, and bring your potential to its maximum unfoldment.”
You will not be a buddha, you cannot be a buddha. But there is no need of too many buddhas – one is enough, more than enough. You have to be yourself…. But the whole society condemns you. You are not worthy as you are; your work lies in betraying yourself. And the man who betrays himself is bound to suffer his whole life. He has committed the greatest sin, perhaps the only sin there is.
There is no God to betray, there is no religious doctrine to betray – they are all fictions. The only reality you can betray is your own being. By betraying yourself, you lose self-respect; and once a man loses self-respect, he lives like a wound that goes on hurting more and more as times passes.
So you are right: the world is beautiful, the songs of the birds are beautiful, the trees and the flowers and the rain, the oceans and the mountains. They are all immensely beautiful for the simple reason that they are themselves. Only man has brought an ugly state of affairs into the world by comparison, by competition, by the idea of success; by imitation, by condemning oneself and praising somebody else.