– Individuality means your uniqueness — not compared with anybody else. Your incomparable uniqueness: that is individuality. Individuality is beautiful; that’s how God has made you — as an individual. Ego is comparison. Ego is your invention. God has not given you any ego; he has certainly given you an individuality.
Ego is comparison: you think yourself more intelligent than the other, you think yourself more superior than the other — or inferior. You think yourself more beautiful than the other. Then you are bringing ego in: the moment you compare yourself with somebody, the conclusion that comes out of the comparison is ego. If you stop comparing then you are there — tremendously beautiful and unique. All superiority or inferiority, all anxiety of where I am, where I stand, who is above me and who is below me, are ego problems. The superior person suffers, the inferior suffers; both suffer — because even the most superior cannot have a state where he can be satisfied.
Abraham Lincoln was not very beautiful, his face was ugly. And that was a torture. In fact, when he stood for the presidentship, eh had no beard. In his campaign, a small girl suggested to him, “If you grow a
beard, you will look a little better.” Hence, he grew the beard. But he remained constantly aware of his ugliness. He became the president… but whenever he would see a beautiful face he would feel hurt.
Napoleon Bonaparte was not very tall, just five-five — just exactly my size. He remained disturbed for his whole life. Now, nothing is wrong in being five-five. What is wrong in being five-five? — I have never felt any problem in it! And what is going to happen if you are five-seven or five-eight? Nothing is going to happen, you will be the
same — five-five or five-seven or five-nine makes no difference. But he was tremendously troubled — he was so conscious of it. One day he was trying to fix a picture on the wall and the picture was a little higher than him, and his bodyguard said, “Sir, I am higher than you, I will do it.” He said, “Stop! Never utter such a word. You are taller, not higher.”He was very conscious about it — “Higher? Say you are taller; don’t say higher!” Now, if even Napoleon is not happy, who can be?
People who compare can never be happy. These trees are happy — the smaller tree does not bother about the higher tree. They never bother about each other: the smaller is smaller and the higher is higher. In fact, the higher and the taller and the smaller and the lower are human terms — they don’t exist in the world of trees. A rosebush is as happy as a big oak tree; there is no problem about it. Not even a rosebush, but just a small leaf of grass is as happy as any lotus flower. It makes no difference.
God is showering on everybody — on the rosebush, on the grassleaf, on the lotus flower… he is showering everywhere. And the whole existence is happy; only man has got into trouble. The ego arises with comparison. Individuality you have, unique individuality you have. With comparison how many problems arise!
Just a few days before, one woman was saying to me that she cannot accept her body. But why? — because she is a little fatter. Now, why compare? How can you be fatter if you don’t compare? Mm? — you must have some idea of a thinner woman, and you must be comparing. I don’t see any problem in the woman directly. I looked at her: she is a beautiful woman, a unique woman, an individual — but unnecessarily in anxiety, in deep anguish, suffering. She cannot believe that anybody can love her, because she is a little fat.
And who has given the idea? How do you decide what is standard? Nobody has any idea what is standard; all averages are just false. Nobody knows how much fat is needed for a particular body — only the body itself knows. Listen to your body, love your body, and don’t compare. Now this comparison will create such trouble that she may miss her whole life. Because of comparison she cannot love. And she will create such trouble that she will not allow anybody to love her, because she cannot trust anybody who can love her. That man must be perverted: how can you love an ugly woman? — your idea of beauty must be perverted, or your must be deceiving. She cannot trust anybody — if somebody comes and says to her, “I love you,” she will distrust them. She cannot love herself — how can YOU love her? Impossible. You must have some other design, you must have some other idea behind it: you may be interested only in sex, or you may be interested in something else — in her money, or something else — but you cannot love her. Because how can you love her? — she cannot love her own face in the mirror. And even if you persist, she will try in every way to destroy your love, so she can prove that she was right and you were wrong. Now it is very difficult to find a lover who will take that much trouble to convince you. she will remain loveless. And when there will be no love coming, her idea will become more and more fixated: I am ugly. And she is not ugly at all.
In fact, I have never seen an ugly person in my life. How can a person be ugly? Have you ever seen any ugly crow? Impossible! Have you ever seen an ugly cow? Impossible. Have you ever seen an ugly tree? Impossible. All is beautiful as it is… but with human beings you bring comparison, and immediately trouble starts.
Don’t compare, there is no need. Comparison is one of the greatest calamities that has fallen on humanity. You are perfect as you are.
Love yourself, respect yourself. If you are not going to respect yourself, who is going to respect you. If you are not going to love yourself, who is going to love you?
People don’t respect themselves, and expect everybody else to respect them. They don’t love themselves, and want the whole world to fall in love with them. Now you are asking the impossible — these things cannot happen. Love yourself, respect yourself — and a person who respects himself never compares. Comparison is a disrespect.
Now, if you summarize all this, it means: to be an egoist is to be very disrespectful towards yourself. To be an individual is perfectly good, but to be egoistic is disrespectful.
“The Divine Melody”
Source: Bodhi Sarango