“Just be yourself, you’ll be fine.” How often have we been told that? It’s the “just” part that seems not so easy in a world where needing to get on usually means needing to fit in. Yet this world comprises 7.5 billion people at the last count. That’s 7.5 individuals, each with their own uniqueness. Isn’t it time we embraced our own?
Buddha is Buddha, Krishna is Krishna, and you are you. They didn’t copy anyone else. They didn’t follow anyone else. Who are you imitating? Who are you trying to be?
“Do what your nature wants to do, do what your intrinsic qualities hanker to do. Don’t listen to the scriptures, listen to your own heart. That is the only scripture I prescribe. Listen very attentively, very consciously and you will never be wrong. Listening to your own heart you will never be divided. Listening to your own heart you will start moving in the right direction, without ever thinking of what is right and what is wrong.
Don’t follow rules imposed from the outside. No imposed rule can ever be right, because rules are invented by people who want to rule you.
“So the whole art for a new humanity will consist of the secret of listening to the heart – consciously, alertly, attentively. And by all means follow it, and go wherever it takes you. Yes, sometimes it will take you into dangers – but then remember, those dangers are needed to make you ripe. And sometimes it will take you astray – but remember again, those goings astray are part of growth. Many times you will fall. Rise up again, because this is how one gathers strength – by falling and rising again. This is how one becomes integrated.
“But don’t follow rules imposed from the outside. No imposed rule can ever be right, because rules are invented by people who want to rule you. Yes, sometimes there have been great enlightened people in the world too – a Buddha, a Jesus, a Krishna, a Mohammed. They have not given rules to the world, they have given their love. But sooner or later disciples gather together and start making codes of conduct. Once the master is gone, once the light is gone and they are in deep darkness, they start groping for certain rules to follow, because now the light in which they could have seen is no longer there. Now they will have to depend on rules.
“What Jesus did was his own heart’s whisperings, and what Christians go on doing is not their own hearts’ whisperings. They are imitators – and the moment you imitate, you insult your humanity, you insult existence.
“Never be an imitator, always be original. Don’t become a carbon copy. And that’s what is happening all over the world: carbon copies and carbon copies.
Never be an imitator, always be original. Don’t become a carbon copy. But that’s what is happening all over the world: carbon copies and carbon copies.
“Life is really a dance if you are an original – and you are meant to be an original. And no two men are alike, so my way of life can never become your way of life.
“Imbibe the spirit, imbibe the silence of the master, learn his grace. Drink as much out of his being as possible, but don’t imitate him. Imbibing his spirit, drinking his love, receiving his compassion, you will be able to listen to your own heart’s whisperings. And they are whisperings. The heart speaks in a very still, small voice; it does not shout.
“Listen to the master’s silence so one day you can listen to your own innermost core. And then this problem will never arise: ‘I am doing something that I should not do, and I am not doing something that I should do.’ This problem arises only because you are being dominated by outer rules, you are imitators.
“What is right for a buddha is not right for you. Just look how different Krishna is from Buddha. If Krishna had followed Buddha we would have missed one of the most beautiful men of this earth. Or if Buddha had followed Krishna he would have been just a poor specimen. Just think of Buddha playing on the flute. He would have disturbed many people’s sleep; he was not a flute player. Just think of Buddha dancing; it looks so ridiculous, just absurd.
“But the same is the case with Krishna. Sitting underneath a tree with no flute, with no crown of peacock feathers, with no beautiful clothes, just sitting like a beggar under a tree with closed eyes, nobody dancing around him, nothing of the dance, nothing of the song, and Krishna looks so poor, so impoverished.
“A Buddha is a Buddha, a Krishna is a Krishna, and you are you. And you are not in any way less than anybody else. Respect yourself, respect your own inner voice and follow it.”
Excerpted from Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Talk #11