Nobody Is What They Really Are


“Nobody is living as himself; everyone is living as someone else.”

Why do we find it so hard to be ourselves?

“Nobody is what they really are. Understand this, that no one is in their right place, everyone is standing in someone else’s shoes.

“Nobody is looking through his own eyes; everybody is looking through someone else’s eyes.

“Nobody is laughing with his own mouth; everyone is laughing with someone else’s mouth. Nobody is living as himself; everyone is living as someone else. But this is impossible. I can neither live in someone’s place nor can I die in someone’s place, nor can I laugh through someone else’s mouth, nor can I feel through another’s heart.

“My experience must of necessity be personal. And when it becomes personal, on that very day I will attain to non-theft; it cannot happen before then. The day I remain just myself, without any imposed personality, on that day I will attain to non-theft. Otherwise I will remain a thief.

We continue to steal personalities

“We lock up those who steal objects in jails, but what do we do with those who steal identities? What should we do with people who have stolen personalities? We respect them; we honor them in temples, mosques, and churches. Those who steal objects have not committed a big theft, but those who steal personalities have committed a very great theft. And the theft of things will stop very soon because everything will increase in abundance. But the theft of personalities will continue. We will continue to steal; we will continue to clothe ourselves in others’ personalities.

“So consider a little whether you can gather the courage to be yourself or not.

“If not, then the foundation of your personality will certainly be theft. Haven’t you tried to be like someone else? Is there an urge somewhere in your conscious or unconscious to become like someone else? If there is, then it is necessary to understand that urge and become free of it. Otherwise, the state of non-theft cannot come into being.

We cannot be individuals because of these personalities

“And this theft is such that no one can stop you from committing it – because stealing personalities is invisible theft. If you steal wealth, you can get caught; if you steal a personality, who will catch you? How will they catch you? Where will they catch you? The theft of a personality is such that you do not take anything from anyone, and yet you become a thief. The theft of a personality is easy and straightforward. From the time you get up in the morning, it is important to watch how many times you become someone else. We cannot be individuals because of these personalities.

“Because of the personality, the individual cannot emerge. This word, personality, is a good word – it comes from Greek dramas. In those dramas, each actor would wear a mask, a face; they had to wear a mask. They used to call the face a persona, and the identity created by that mask was called the personality. It meant something they were not.

Personality means that which you are not.”

Osho, The Art of Living, Talk #3

Suggested reading: OSHO: Freedom: The Courage to Be Yourself

The Courage to Be Yourself