There is no need to want to be special. You are special, you are unique—existence never creates anything less than that. There has been no person like you before, and there will never be a person like you again. Consciousness has taken this form for the first time and the last time, so there is no need to try to become special: you already are. If you are trying to be special, you will become ordinary. Your very effort is rooted in misunderstanding. It will create confusion because when you try to become special, you have taken one thing for granted—that you are not special. You have missed the point.
You will try this way and that, and you will remain ordinary, because your base, your foundation is wrong. Yes, you can go to the dressmaker and can get more sophisticated clothes, you can get a new hairstyle, you can use cosmetics. You can learn a few things and become more knowledgeable, you can paint and start thinking that you are a painter, you can become famous or notorious, but deep down, you will know that you are ordinary. All these things are on the outside. How can you transform your ordinary soul into an extraordinary soul? There is no way—and you have not been given any way, because existence never makes ordinary souls, so it could not be concerned about your problem. You have already been given a special, extraordinary soul. It has never been given to anybody else. This is just made for you.
Recognise that you’re special
What I would like to say to you is to recognise your specialness.
There is no need to get it, it is already there. Go into your self and feel it. Nobody’s thumbprint is like yours—not even the thumbprint. Nobody’s eyes are like yours; nobody’s sound is like yours; nobody’s flavour is like yours. You are absolutely exceptional. There is not a double of you anywhere. Even two twins are different—howsoever alike they look, they are different. They go different ways, they grow different ways; they attain different kinds of individualities. This recognition is needed.
You ask, “How can I stop wanting to be special?” Just take note of the fact. Just go into your being and the effort to be special will disappear. When you know that you are special, the effort will disappear. And if you wanted me to give you some technique so that you could stop being special, then that technique would disturb you. Again you would be trying to do something; again you would be trying to become something. First you were trying to become special; now you are trying not to become special. But always trying... trying... improving in some way or other, but never accepting the you that you are.
Existence respects you
My whole message is this: Accept the you that you are, because existence accepts it. Existence respects it, and you have not respected your being yet. Be immensely happy that existence has chosen you to be, that it has chosen you to exist, to see this world, to listen to this music, to see the stars, to see the people, to love and be loved—what more do you want? Rejoice in it! And in that very rejoicing, by and by, it will explode in you like lightning that you are special.
But remember, it will not come as an ego trip that you are special compared to others. No, in that moment you will know that everybody is special. The ordinary exists not.
So this is the criterion: If you think, I am special—more special than that man, more special than that woman—then you have not understood yet. It is an ego game. Special, not comparatively; special, not in comparison with anybody—special just as you are.
A Zen story
A Zen master was asked by a professor who had come to see him, “Why am I not like you? Why am I not silent like you, why am I not wise like you? This is my desire.”
The master said, “Wait. Sit silently. Watch. Watch me, and watch yourself. And when everybody else has gone, if the question still remains, I will answer.”
The whole day long, people were coming and going, and disciples were asking questions, and the professor was getting very restless—time was being wasted. But this man had said he could ask again only when everybody else had gone.
Finally came the evening and there was nobody. And the professor said, “Now enough is enough. I have been waiting the whole day. What about my question?”
The moon was rising—it was a full moon night—and the master said, “Haven’t you got the answer yet?” The professor said, “But you never answered me.”
The master laughed. He said, “I have been answering many people the whole day. If you had watched, you would have understood. But come outside. Let us go into the garden, the full moon is there and it is a beautiful night.” When they go outside, the master says to him, “Look at this cypress tree”—a big cypress tree, standing high, almost touching the moon. The moon was intertwined in its branches—”and look at this small bush.”
But the professor said, “What are you talking about? Have you forgotten my question?”
The master said, “I am answering your question. This bush and this cypress tree have lived for years in my garden. I have never heard the bush asking the cypress tree, ‘Why am I not like you?’ And I have not heard the cypress tree ask the bush, ‘Why am I not like you?’ The cypress tree is the cypress tree, and the bush is the bush; and both are happy in being themselves.”
I am myself; you are you. It is the comparison that brings conflict.
Comparison is senseless
The comparison brings ambition, and the comparison brings imitation. If you ask, “Why am I not like you?” then you will start trying to be like me, and that will be the undoing of your whole life. You will become an imitator, a carbon copy. And when you are an imitator, you will lose all respect for yourself.
It is very rare to find a person who respects himself. Why is it so rare? Why isn’t there reverence for life—your own life? And if it is not for your own life, how can it be for others? If you don’t respect your own being, how can you respect the rose bush and the cypress tree and the moon and the people? How can you respect your master, your father, your mother, your friend, your wife, your husband? How can you respect your children if you have not respected yourself? And it is very rare to find a person who respects himself.
Why is it so rare? Because you have been taught to imitate. From your very childhood, you have been told to become like Christ, or become like Buddha. But why? Why should you become like Buddha? Buddha never became you; Buddha was Buddha. Christ was Christ; Krishna was Krishna. Why should you become like Krishna? What wrong have you committed, what sin have you committed that you should become like Krishna? Existence never created another Krishna, never created another Buddha, another Christ—never! Because it does not like to create the same things again and again. It is creativity, it is not an assembly line—one Ford comes, another Ford, another Ford, and Ford cars go on coming, all alike, on the assembly line. Existence is not an assembly line. It creates originals; it never creates the same.
And the same will not be valuable. Just think: a Krishna walking around on earth again—the same type of man. He will look like a joker! He will get some place only in a circus, nowhere else, because he will be repetitive. He will recite the Gita again whether Arjuna is available or not, whether the Mahabharata, that great war, is happening or not—but he will have to repeat his Gita. And he will walk around in his clothes, and they will look very odd. Just think of Jesus amidst you again. He will not fit! He will be out of date, he will be antique, and he will be useful only in a museum, nowhere else.
Existence never repeats. But you have always been taught to become somebody else. “Become somebody else—the neighbour’s son, become like him. Look how intelligent he is. Look ... that girl, how gracefully she walks. Be like that!” You have always been taught to be like somebody else. Nobody has told you to be yourself and be respectful to your being; it is a gift.
Never imitate—that’s what I say. Never imitate. Be yourself—that much you owe to existence. Be yourself! Be authentically yourself, and then you will know that you are special. God has loved you so much—that’s why you are! That’s why you are in the first place; otherwise, you would not have been. It is indicative of tremendous love for you.
But your specialness is not in comparison with anybody else; it is not that you are special in comparison to your neighbours, friends, your wife, husband. You are simply special because you are alone. You are the only person just like you. In that respect, in that understanding, efforts to become special will disappear.
You are perfect as you are
All your efforts to become special are like putting legs on a snake. You will kill the snake. You think... because of compassion, you are putting legs on the snake. Poor snake, how will he walk without legs? Just as if the snake has fallen in the hands of a centipede. And the centipede has great compassion on the snake, he thinks, Poor snake. I have one hundred legs and he has none. How will he walk? He needs at least a few legs. And if he does surgery and puts a few legs on the snake, he will kill the snake! The snake is perfectly okay as he is; he need not have any legs.
You are perfectly okay as you are. This is what I call respect toward one’s own being. And to respect oneself has nothing to do with ego, remember. To respect oneself is not self-respect. To respect oneself is to respect the creator, because you are just a painting—a divine painting. Respecting the painting, you respect the painter.
Respect, accept, recognise, and all those foolish efforts to be special will disappear.
This was first published in the June 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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