Looking at others, I get the feeling that they are always far better, more beautiful or intelligent than me. How can I be more satisfied with myself?
“And never compare. Comparison is a disease, one of the greatest diseases and we are taught from the very beginning to compare.
“Your mother starts comparing you with other children, your father starts comparing you with other children. The teacher compares you: ‘Look at Johnny, how well he is doing, and you are no good at all! Look at others!’
“From the very beginning you are being told to compare yourself with others.
“This is the greatest disease; it is like a cancer that goes on destroying your very soul – because each individual is unique, and comparison is not possible.
“I am just myself and you are just yourself.
There is nobody else in the world you can be compared with.
“Do you compare a marigold with a rose flower? You don’t compare. Do you compare a mango with an apple? You don’t compare. You know they are different – comparison is not possible….
“Man is not a species because each man is unique. There has never been any individual like you before and there will never be again.
You are utterly unique.
“This is your privilege, your prerogative, existence’s blessing – that it has made you unique.
“If you fall a victim of this disease comparison, naturally either you will become very egoistic or you will become very bitter; it depends with whom you compare yourself.
If you compare yourself with those who seem to be bigger than you, higher than you, greater than you, you will become bitter.
“You will become a complaint against existence, angry: “Why am I not greater than I am? Why am I not like that person? Why am I not physically so beautiful, so strong? Why am I not intelligent? Why am I not this, not that?” And there are millions of things in the world.
“If you compare yourself with the people who are greater in some way than you, you will become bitter, very bitter. Your life will become poisoned by the comparison.
“You will always remain in a state of depression; as if life has deceived you betrayed you, you have been let down.
Or if you compare yourself with people who are smaller than you, in some way lesser than you, then you will become very egoistic.
“It is one of the reasons why politicians are always surrounded by smaller people than themselves; they collect them, that is their joy. They collect smaller people around themselves so that they can look bigger than they are in comparison. It is stupid, but one cannot expect anything more from a politician.
“Rich people are always surrounded by those who are smaller. They feel good, very good, great in comparison to those people.
“But ordinarily people always look at others’ houses, their successes, their achievements, and feel very bitter against God.
“In the world, religion cannot prosper because people cannot pray to a God who has betrayed them from the very beginning, who has made them so small, so ugly. How can they be thankful toward him? Impossible.
“And without thankfulness there is no prayer, and without prayer there is no religion.
A man who understands the uniqueness of everybody can be religious, can only be religious because he feels immense gratitude for whatsoever life has given to him.
“If you don’t compare, then you are neither bigger nor smaller, neither ugly nor beautiful, neither intelligent nor stupid.
If you don’t compare, you are simply yourself.
“And in that state of simply being yourself spring comes, flowers come, because a deep acceptance of life and a deep gratitude to existence helps to bring the spring.”
Excerpted and abridged from Osho, Guida Spirituale, Talk #5 — The Essential
To read this complete talk and see all the available media formats, click here.
To download the audio book of this complete talk, click here.