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I Am Teaching You to be Selfish

I am teaching you to be selfish. Let me repeat it, because the word "selfishness" has been condemned so much that there is every possibility you will misunderstand me. But the word is really beautiful. To be selfish simply means to be yourself. I say to you: don't consider anybody else in the world, just consider yourself; and in that very consideration you will have considered the whole world. In being selfish you will find all the altruism that you have been seeking and seeking and were not finding, because the whole thing was upside down.
You are told to love your neighbour - but you have never loved yourself. And a person who has not loved himself, how can he love the neighbour? From where can he get love? First you have to have it. You are loving the neighbour - you who knows nothing of love because you have never loved yourself. The neighbour is loving you - he has never loved himself. Such insanity is happening in the world: people who know nothing of love are loving each other.
It is like beggars begging from each other, each thinking the other is the emperor. Both are thinking in the same way: the other is the emperor. Both are beggars. Sooner or later the reality manifests itself; then there is misery, suffering. Then you think you have been cheated, this beggar has been trying to prove himself an emperor. Now this is absolutely absurd - it is you who were thinking him an emperor. And the same is the situation from the other side: the other person thinks you have been cheating him, pretending to be an emperor and you are just a beggar. When both beggars find that they are beggars, what else can they do other than be angry, enraged, violent to each other, hating each other as deeply as possible? And the love ...? It was nothing; they don't know what love is.

To know anything, you have to begin with yourself.


You have been told to sacrifice yourself for some idiotic ideal. I want you just to be simply selfish. And you will be surprised that if you are selfish you discover so many treasures within yourself that soon you start sharing them - because finding a treasure is a lesser joy than sharing it. And the treasures that are within you don't follow the ordinary economics and its laws. They are just the very opposite, diametrically opposite to the ordinary economic structure.
In the ordinary economics if you give something, you will have less. If you go on giving, soon you will be a beggar. In the ordinary economic world you have to snatch as much from everybody as possible then you have more and more and more. The treasures I am talking about to you, follow a different law: if you cling to them they shrink, if you cling too much you can even kill them. If you want to destroy them, then close all the windows and doors, become a grave so nothing can escape outside you - but you will be a dead man, with all your treasures also dead with you; your truth, your freedom, your love, your joy. Everything will be dead with you - securely dead, well-insured.
But if you want to grow your treasures, share them, share to all and sundry - don't bother whether this is a friend or a foe. When you are sharing, the question is of sharing, it is not with whom. Whomsoever it may concern, you simply give. Don't be concerned about the address, you simply go on sending love letters. Somebody will receive them somewhere.
And the more you go on sharing, the more goes on entering you from unknown sources. A man is just like a well...

(Osho - From Darkness to Light #22)