A wife begins to get a little concerned because her husband has not arrived home on time from his regular Saturday afternoon golf game. As the hours pass she becomes more and more worried, until at eight o’clock the husband finally pulls into the driveway.
“What happened?” says the wife. “You should have been home hours ago.”
“Fred had a heart attack at the second hole,” replies the husband.
“Oh, that’s terrible,” says the wife. “But why are you so late?”
“Well,” replies the husband, “for the next sixteen holes it was hit the ball and drag Fred, hit the ball and drag Fred.”
Do you think these people are awake? They may not be called somnambulists, but they cannot be called conscious, they cannot be called really awake. The poor fellow had a heart attack, he has died! Now it was time to stop the game, but the game cannot be stopped and naturally, it was a difficult job to drag the dead man and then to play the hole and then again drag…
If you watch your life and the life of people around you, you will find a thousand and one cases where people are thinking that they are aware and alert, but they are not. Their action does not show alertness or awareness.
While crossing the railway lines one day, Paddy was hit by a train and badly injured. He spent six months in hospital but was finally released. While he was walking home he saw a toy train set in a shop window. He rushed inside, picked up a hammer and started smashing the toy train to pieces. The shopkeeper came running over, shouting, “Hey, what the hell are you doing?”
“It is okay,” replied Paddy, “it is dead now. But you have to kill these things before they grow up and get really dangerous.”
I am always touched when you speak of each of us having a unique individuality, but I think I am often confusing personality with individuality. Is this individuality something genetic, unique to each incarnation, or is it the essence which moves with us through incarnations?
Osho, can you say something which will help us come to know our individuality?
It is not only you but almost everybody who misunderstands the difference between personality and individuality. Most people live their whole lives thinking that their personality is their individuality.
The distinction is very subtle. Personality is that which is given to you by the society, culture, civilization, education; in other words, by others – people are giving you their opinion about you and you are collecting those opinions. Those opinions are creating your personality.