Be ordinary

Being extraordinary is like swimming against the current of existence…

man sitting near a riverZen masters say: “Become ordinary, become common. Don’t try to become extraordinary.” The more common you become, the more ordinary you become, the more capable you become of understanding the Logos.

Don’t try to be extraordinary, exceptional, because the more you try the more you will become like an island, closed, caved in upon yourself. Then you are losing your moorings in the existence. Then you are cutting your roots, you are getting uprooted.

That has happened in the West: a feeling of uprootedness. Nobody knows where the roots are. And when you feel uprooted, then you become an egoist, then you exist as a self-sufficient entity—and that is not possible!

Existence is interrelated, we move into each other. When I am talking to you, what am I doing? I am moving continuously in you. When you are listening to me, you are allowing, you are giving a door to me.

You breathe and existence enters you; you open the eyes and the sun enters you—every moment, 24 hours, you are a crossroad. Millions of points meet, millions of lines meet in you. You are not separate!

Just think: can you exist separately? Can you exist totally insulated? You will die within seconds. You are a porous being; existence comes and moves through you. You are just like a room: air comes, the sun comes and goes continuously; that is why the room remains clean and fresh. If you are closed, you will be dead.

The more open you are, the more existence will flow through you. And the more existence flows, the more you will be able to understand what Logos is.

Don’t fight with existence, because you don’t know what you are doing, with whom you are fighting. How can you fight with existence? It is as if a wave is fighting with the ocean, a leaf is fighting the tree—it is foolish! And don’t try to move upstream; that will simply exhaust you. You will be tired and you will feel frustrated because you cannot succeed.

Against existence there is no success. That’s why you and everybody are such failures. Ask your successful people and they are all failures; deep down, they have missed. Your Napoleons, your Hitlers, your Rothschilds, ask them—they are failures, they have failed. What have they attained?

They fought, they tried to move upstream, they wanted to become extraordinary in some way or other—they simply destroyed themselves. To try to become extraordinary is suicidal; it is a gradual suicide, a slow poisoning of the whole system. Surrender to existence, flow with it, wheresoever it goes—willy-nilly, wheresoever it goes.

Why have a private goal of your own? Why not move with the destiny of the whole? Why are you so much worried to achieve something on your own? And how can you achieve it? You cannot achieve….it’s simply not possible.

Only the whole has a destiny, not you. Only the whole is going somewhere, not you. If you can surrender to the whole, everything is achieved—because you become the whole, and the whole’s destiny becomes your destiny, and the goal of the whole is your goal.

And the goal is not somewhere else—the whole is happy right now, the whole is blissful right now. Only you are worried. Only you are worried because you are not flowing with the river. You are trying to cut small corners for yourself.

Look to the commonness of things, and find the common: the more common, the truer; the more exceptional, the more false. Be ordinary—then you are nearer the ground, then you are nearer the truth.

If you can be absolutely ordinary, what else is needed? Because every moment becomes such a benediction. What is the problem when you are absolutely ordinary? You eat and eating is a sacrament.

You sleep and sleep is a sacrament. You walk in the sun, and what more do you need? You breathe—what else is needed to be happy? You love—what more are you asking? Everything is already given; you are just trying to be exceptional. Follow the rule, the common, and don’t try to be the exception, otherwise you will be in misery.

Hell is for all extraordinary people. They may be in politics, in art, literature—wherever they are, hell is for all geniuses, for all extraordinary people, all egoists. Ego is the hell, it gives you suffering—because unnecessarily you start conflicting with everything.

You are never at ease, unease becomes your style of life; with the ego you will always be at unease. Ego is a discomfort; it is a nail in the shoe, it continuously pinches, but you want to be extraordinary.

I was sitting with Mulla Nasruddin and his wife came through and went out of the door. He said, “Look! There goes a great woman.” I said, “What do you mean by ‘great’?”

He said, “She is trying to have a size four shoe on size six feet… there goes an extraordinary woman!” And she is suffering, but she is trying to be exceptional.

Says Chuang Tzu: “When the shoe fits, the body is forgotten, the feet are forgotten.” And when everything is forgotten, how can you cling to the ego? Ego needs that shoes should continue pinching so that you can remember who you are.

That’s why an egoist cannot love, cannot meditate, cannot pray, because if he really prays, then everything fits…then the ego disappears. Ego means a self-consciousness. When something is wrong, only then is self-consciousness there. When everything is right, there is no self-consciousness.

Look to the common, watch for the common—don’t try to be exceptional. But we want to be exceptional. People come to me. If I tell them, “You just sit silently, don’t be too much bothered about meditation and prayer, and by and by it will grow,” they say, “But just sitting?…”

They need something exceptional. If I tell them, “Stand on your head,” then it is okay. That’s why there are so many teachers flourishing all over the world who teach people to stand on their heads—something difficult, uncomfortable, appeals. Ridiculous postures people try in the name of Yoga.

Simply ridiculous! The more ridiculous, the better; the more difficult… if you cannot do them, then ego gets a challenge. So do them! Make postures, absurd, and you think you are doing something great.

Life is simply great…there is no need to improve upon it. If nature wanted you to sit on the head or stand on the head, you would have been created that way. Listen to nature and follow nature and don’t create any conflict with nature; just follow it and soon you will attain a deep silence, which comes when one becomes ordinary.

Excerpted from The Hidden Harmony/Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/

Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.


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