02 Jan In the ultimate analysis of life, name and fame are just irrelevant (OSHO)
Ambition is poison. If you want to be a better musician, I can help you, but don’t think in terms of becoming world-famous. If you want to be a better poet, I can help you, but don’t think in terms of Nobel prizes. If you want to be a good painter, I can help you — I help creativity. But creativity has nothing to do with name and fame, success and money.
And I am not saying that if they come then you have to renounce them, if they come it is okay, enjoy them. But don’t let them become your motivation, because when a person is trying to be successful, how can he really be a poet? His energy is political, how can he be poetic? If a person is trying to be rich, how can he be a real painter? His whole energy is concerned with being rich. A painter needs his whole energy in the painting, and the painting is herenow. And richness may come somewhere in the future — may come, may not come. There is no necessity; it is all accidental — success is accidental, fame is accidental.
But bliss is not accidental. I can help you to be blissful; you can paint and be blissful. Whether the painting becomes famous or not, whether you become a Picasso or not is not the point at all, but T can help you to paint in such a way that while you are painting even Picasso may feel jealous of you. You can be utterly lost in your painting, and that is the real joy. Those are the moments of love and meditation; those are the moments which are divine. A divine moment is one in which you are utterly lost — when your boundaries disappear, when for a moment you are not and God is.
But I cannot help you to be successful. I am not against success, let me remind you again, I am not saying don’t be successful; I have nothing against it, it is perfectly good. What I am saying is don’t be motivated by it, otherwise you will miss painting, you will miss poetry, you will miss the song that you are singing right now; and when the success comes, you will have only empty hands because nobody can be fulfilled by success. Success cannot nourish; it has no nutrients in it — success is just hot air.
Just the other night I was reading a book on Somerset Maugham, Conversations with Willie. The book is written by Somerset Maugham’s nephew, Robin Maugham. Now, Somerset Maugham was one of the most famous, successful, rich persons of this age, but the memoirs are revealing. Listen to these words. Robin Maugham writes about his famous and successful uncle, Somerset Maugham:
He was certainly the most famous author alive. And the saddest…’You know’ he said to me ‘I shall be dead very soon, and I don’t like the idea of it at all…’ and this statement was made when he was ninety-one. ‘I am a very old party’ he said. ‘But that does not make it any easier for me.’
He was rich, world-famous and all that, and at the age of ninety-one he was still making a fortune, even though he had not written a single word for ages. The royalties from his books still literally flowed in from all over the world, and so did the fan letters.
He was the saddest man in the world.
‘What is the happiest memory of your life?’ I asked him. He said ‘I can’t think of a single moment.’ I looked around — says the nephew — the drawing-room and its immensely valuable furniture and pictures and art objects that his success had enabled him to acquire. His villa itself and the wonderful garden — a fabulous setting on the edge of the Mediterranean — were worth six hundred thousand pounds. He had eleven personal servants, but he was not happy.
And he was very sad, and he was trembling.
For a while he was silent as we walked through a grove of orange trees, and then he said ‘I have been a failure the whole way through my life. I wish I had never written a single word. ‘What has it brought to me? My whole life has been a failure, and now it is too late to change’ he said. It is too late.’
And tears came into his eyes.
What can success bring to you? Now, this man, Somerset Maugham, lived in vain. He lived long — ninety-one years — he could have been a very very contented man, fulfilled. But if success can give it, only then; if riches can give it, only then; if a big villa and servants can give it, only then.
In the ultimate analysis of life, name and fame are just irrelevant, all that matters in the final reckoning is how you lived each moment of your life. Was it a joy? Was it a celebration? And in small things were you happy? Taking a bath, sipping tea, cleaning the floor, roaming around the garden, planting trees, talking to a friend, or sitting silently with your beloved, or looking at the moon, or just listening to the birds — were you happy in all these moments?
Was each moment a transformed moment of luminous happiness? Was it radiant with joy? That’s what matters.
You ask me whether I can help you in the fulfilment of your desire.
No, not at all, because that desire is your enemy; it will destroy you. And one day when you will weep in frustration, and then you will say ‘And now it is too late to change. It is too late.’
Fame, Fortune, and Ambition
Image: Εικόνα: https://gr.pinterest.com/pin/663295851342201039/