What is jealousy and why does it hurt so much?
“Jealousy is comparison. And we have been taught to compare, we have been conditioned to compare, always compare.
“Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality.
“Compare, go on comparing yourself with everybody else you pass by, and great jealousy will be the outcome; it is the by-product of the conditioning for comparison.
Otherwise, if you drop comparing, jealousy disappears.
“Then you simply know you are you, and you are nobody else, and there is no need.
“It is good that you don’t compare yourself with trees, otherwise you will start feeling very jealous: why are you not green? And why has existence been so hard on you – and no flowers? It is better that you don’t compare with birds, with rivers, with mountains; otherwise you will suffer.
“You only compare with human beings, because you have been conditioned to compare only with human beings; you don’t compare with peacocks and with parrots. Otherwise, your jealousy would be more and more: you would be so burdened by jealousy that you would not be able to live at all.
“Comparison is a very foolish attitude, because each is unique and incomparable. Once this understanding settles in you, jealousy disappears. Each is unique and incomparable. You are just yourself.
Nobody has ever been like you, and nobody will ever be like you.
“And you need not be like anybody else, either.
Existence creates only originals; it does not believe in carbon copies.
“A bunch of chickens was in the yard when a football flew over the fence and landed in their midst. A rooster waddled over, studied it, then said, ‘I’m not complaining, girls, but look at the work they are turning out next door.’
“Next door great things are happening: the grass is greener, the roses are rosier. Everybody seems to be so happy – except yourself. You are continuously comparing. And the same is the case with the others, they are comparing too….
“Everybody is jealous of everybody else. And out of jealousy we create such hell, and out of jealousy we become very mean….
“But why does the idea of the other enter in your head in the first place?
Again let me remind you: because you have not allowed your own juices to flow; you have not allowed your own blissfulness to grow, you have not allowed your own being to bloom.
“Hence you feel empty inside, and you look at each and everybody’s outside because only the outside can be seen.
“You know your inside, and you know the others’ outside. That creates jealousy. They know your outside, and they know their inside. That creates jealousy. Nobody else knows who you are inside. There you know you are nothing, worthless.
“And the others on the outside look so smiling. Their smiles may be phony, but how can you know that they are phony? Maybe their hearts are also smiling. You know your smile is phony, because your heart is not smiling at all, it may be crying and weeping.
“You know your interiority, and only you know it, nobody else. And you know everybody’s exterior: an exterior people have made beautiful. Exteriors are showpieces and they are very deceptive….
“Because of jealousy you are in constant suffering; you become mean to others.
And because of jealousy you start becoming phony, because you start pretending.
“You start pretending things that you don’t have, you start pretending things which you can’t have, which are not natural to you. You become more and more artificial.
“Imitating others, competing with others, what else can you do?
“If somebody has something and you don’t have it, and you don’t have a natural possibility of having it, the only way is to have some cheap substitute for it.
“The jealous man lives in hell. Drop comparing and jealousy disappears, meanness disappears, phoniness disappears. But you can drop it only if you start growing your inner treasures; there is no other way.
Love yourself and respect yourself the way existence has made you, and then immediately the doors of heaven open for you.
“They were always open, you had simply not looked at them….”
Excerpted and abridged from Osho, The Book of Wisdom, Talk #27— The Soul Is a Quest
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