Ma Prem Naina
We are always bothered or conscious about what people are talking about us, behind our back. We are always in a mad race to follow the lives of other people and find out what they feel about us and our life choices. We are always following other people and trying to satisfy them. We base our entire life decisions on what other’s expect us to do, and that is suicidal. Rather than being concerned about what others think about us, we should be more concerned about looking inside our own selves.
Whenever we are self-conscious,we are simply showing that we are not conscious of the self at all. It appears as if we don’t know who we are. If we had known ourselves, then there would have been no problem— then we would notbe seeking opinions from others. Then we would not be worried aboutwhat others say about us;because it is totally irrelevant.
Most of us are generally taking solace in conformity – conformity to the rules of society – and when we conform with society at large, we become a part of the crowd where nobody looks at us in particular. We live an anonymous existence as part of the crowd.
To stand alone and not get swayed by other people’s thought processes is one of the most courageous act. The only basic thing to be understood is that we have to forget what others say about us, ignore them and become indifferent to them. Our lives and life choices is none of their business. We become disturbed because we still pay attention to their ranting of opinions about us. It is not their opinion that disturbs us, rather it is our own expectations that others’ opinions should not go against the choices we make ourselves. When this expectation is not fulfilled, we tend to become disturbed.
Osho points out, “Why should you expect that the other person should approve of you? You are perfectly as good as you are; nobody’s approval is needed. If you live on approval, then you live an in-authentic life. You never live your life; you only live a life that other people approve of. Then your life becomes false, pseudo and you become miserable and a phony. You feel frustrated because life has no meaning. Life can have meaning only when it is real, and a real life means that you are not worried about what others say. You are simply working out what you can be, not what they expect or will approve of.”
One has to simply forget others as if he or she is alone.One has to move in a crowd but never become a part of it. A healthy person is not worried about others; he has no judgement about others. A healthy person never judges anybody nor asks for anybody’s opinions.
For example, talking is a natural process and we talk all the time, but when one is on a stage, facing a thousand people, he suddenly feels that he is being judged, that they will form an opinion about him i.e. how he acts, talks, or performs. Once the idea of performance enters, the natural flow is lost and anxiety arises in the mind. There is no need for anxiety because nobody can judge us, nobody has the authority to judge anybody and we need not depend on anybody’s opinion. If one can be happy being absolutely alone, he or she does not need anybody else to make him happy.
Everybody is trying to compete with each other; and in this competition, and in this egoistic, ambitious race, one is destroying all that is beautiful. One is destroying a beautiful life that could have flowered and become a pinnacle of existence, like a Buddha, Jesus or Krishna. But everybody is begging others toapprove them and their existence. Hence, flattery works. Hence, anybody can deceive us just by flattering us. People go on doing things which they never wanted to do, but they go on doing them because that is the only way they can get the approval of others. Everybody is distracted from his destiny because others are looking at him, and they have a fixed idea as to how to approve of others.
According to Osho, people go on wasting their time and life and energy seeking approval when there is no need for the same.“In fact, as you are, you are perfect. Nothing is to be added to you. God never creates anybody imperfect. How can he create anybody imperfect? You have heard religious people teaching you: God created the world. And they go on teaching you: You are created by God in his own image. And still they go on teaching you: Become perfect!This is simple absurdity. God created you in his own image, and still you need perfection? Then God must be imperfect. How, out of God, can imperfection come? Creation carries his signature. You also go on carrying his signature. Drop this begging!”
Somebody asks for money, somebody asks for bread and some people ask for approval. In reality, most of us are beggars. In asking others for alms,we will miss much that is already available to us.One has to look, rather than ask; look within andstart enjoying it, start living it! We are already approved of; otherwise wewould not have been here. God has put all the treasures that we need. He has approved all of us, accepted us. But we don't look there. We ask others to approve us. Even if they approve of us a little, they will wait for us to approve of them. It is a bargain of sorts.
There is nothing to be achieved. Life is not an achievement; it is a gift. It has already been given, and the door is open and all we need to do is to go in.