When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten
At the airport check- in counter, a VIP was yelling at the gate guard, “How dare you stop me? You don’t know who I am!” One hears this angry outburst often when someone feels insulted or neglected. Why this constant need to reaffirm yourself that you are somebody? People need continuous feedback from others that they are important; without it they feel they are nothing. They don’t realise that this “I” is the root of all troubles. The rat race of being number one is nothing but a pitiable effort of filling the nagging emptiness the ego feels. Most human problems will dissolve if people start living naturally, just as they are, not asserting all the time that they have to be somebody.
This happens because our outer and inner space is so different that what we show outside is completely opposite of what we are on the inside. In fact, those who want to show that they are powerful feel very weak inside. Those who are content with the way they are do not care to exhibit their contentment. The Chinese mystic Chaunt Tzu has voiced this truth beautifully. “When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten; when the belt fits, the belly is forgotten; and when the heart is right, “for” and “against” are forgotten.”
Whenever you are healthy you are not aware of your body — the body is forgotten. When there is some illness, only then you constantly remember the body. When there is no headache nobody remembers that they have a head on their shoulder! But when there is a headache you cannot forget the head. When the shoe is pinching, it means it doesn’t fit. But when you wear a perfectly fitting shoe you don’t remember your foot at all. This can be a clue to your fitness and health. Health is when there is no consciousness of the body. If there is any sort of consciousness of the body, then that part is not healthy.
Osho applies the same understanding to the mind, “When your consciousness is healthy, there is no ego; you don’t know anything about yourself. You don’t go on reminding yourself that “I am something,” you simply relax. You are, but there is no “I.” It is a simple “am- ness,” an “is- ness,” but there is no “I,” no crystallised ego. A perfect man of Tao does not know himself; you know, because you are ill. The ego is illness, substantial illness because you continually have to remember that you are somebody. This shows that you are in a deep “dis- ease”. Disease creates the ego; a perfectly healthy natural being forgets himself completely. He is like a cloud, like a breeze, like a bird.”
“Forget “for” and “against” and let the heart settle. One thing is certain: you have been fighting against anger, but still, you are angry. So try Chuang Tzu’s way; you are not going to lose anything. You have tried to be nonsexual and you remain sexual. On the contrary, you have become more perverted; sex has become more poisoned. So try Chuang Tzu; you are not going to lose anything. Don’t make any choice. Accept it, it is part of nature. And suddenly the moment will come when you will be unity.”
Amrit Sadhana is editor of Osho Times International. She facilitates meditation workshops based on Osho insights around the country and abroad.