I must be the most miserable, the most condemned person in the whole world. Couldn’t you give me somebody else’s misery?..OSHO
There is an ancient parable….
A man was continually praying to God: "I must be the most miserable, the most condemned person in the whole world. Couldn't you give me somebody else's misery?
I don't ask you much. I am not asking you to make me blissful, blessed; I am not worthy of that. But my whole life's prayer, worship… at least you can do one thing: change my misery with somebody else's, with anybody's because I know there is nobody who is in a worse situation than I."
And that's how almost everybody feels, because yourself you know from within. Your suffering, your pain, your hurts, your wounds you know from within. You know how many tears you are carrying within your eyes. You know that the face that you show to the world is not your original face. You know that the smile on your lips is as painted as lipstick. Perhaps lipstick is more real — at least it has some material substance in it. Your smile is not even that real. It is just an exercise of your lips, there is nothing behind it.
But you have been told to look happy, to look smart, to look intelligent; to look like somebody special, not just any ABC. You have been made a hypocrite, and you have understood perfectly well that it pays to be a hypocrite. And it is meaningless and pointless to open your wounds before others because nobody is going to help you.
On the contrary, you will become a laughingstock, you will look like an idiot. It is better to keep all that is ugly hidden deep in the basement of your unconsciousness, and show on the surface, at least, that which you are supposed to be but cannot be; so you have to be an actor.
All the societies are turning their people into actors. They have changed the world into a vast stage of a meaningless drama. Most of these people go on simply rehearsing. They don't even get a chance in this bogus drama to become a president, a prime minister, but they go on carrying on the rehearsal.
This man asked God, "You have to do something; now I cannot bear anymore." That night he had a dream. He heard a divine voice, saying, "Everybody should collect all his sufferings, miseries, pains, wounds and whatever he wants to get rid of Put them in a bag and come to the temple."
The man thought his prayer had been heard. He collected everything. He had to carry a huge bag. The size of the bag was bigger than himself; it was too difficult to carry. But this he had been carrying his whole life within himself. Now he could see how much it was. He had never had the guts to look within, at how much junk had collected in the basement. For the first time seeing all this, he could not believe that he had been carrying all this load. Now he could see why he was sad, why he was dragging, not dancing. How can life become a song with all this inside you? It can only be a hypocrisy.
He rushed, dragging his big bag. But what he saw…
because the divine voice was not only for himself. All the people from all directions were bringing…. And then he became puzzled because he had always thought these people were happy. He saw a man he knew; he was always smiling, joking — but this man's bag was bigger than his own! He could not believe his eyes when he saw all the people dragging bigger bags than his. Looking at other people's bags he started feeling a little proud that his bag was not that big.
And then in the temple the divine voice said, "Hang all your bags around the temple and listen to me carefully" — so they hung up all their bags. But this man was afraid. He wanted — but had not the nerve — to say to God, "Please let me keep my own because at least I am acquainted, I know what is inside the bag. In the first place, everybody else's bag is bigger than mine. In the second place, I don't know what they are carrying. I was befooled because they were smiling and happy and singing and dancing, and I thought life was a celebration for them, that only I was suffering. But I know now: everybody is a hypocrite.
"This man is the president, and I thought at least he must be happy at the highest rung of the ladder. Now what more can one expect? I am miserable because I am not even on the first rung of the ladder. I cannot hope to become a president, not at least in a few lifetimes. But this man's bag is as big as his ladder" — of course, it was a presidential bag. "I don't want to be the president if this bag comes with it."
He saw the richest man, he saw the great artist, world famous, he saw the Nobel prize-winner, and he said, "My God! I was unnecessarily suffering. If I had known these people's insides I would have enjoyed myself. I wasted my life without any reason."
Now, his only fear was that he might have to choose somebody else's bag. Then the voice said, "You all close your eyes, and with closed eyes — the lights should be turned off — you can choose anybody's bag you want." And what he saw was that before the light was turned off everybody rushed towards his own bag. There was not a single exception; everybody rushed to his own bag. That was even more amazing: just as he rushed towards his own bag, everybody….
He asked his neighbors, "Why are you rushing?"
They said, "At least we know what is in our bag, and we have become accustomed to it. It is, after all, our suffering, our wounds. And man is immensely adjustable — we have become adjusted to all this. Now at this age to have somebody else's sufferings and to make new adjustments in life will be too much."
At that very moment his dream was broken. He was perspiring, trembling, holding his pillow tight to his chest. Perhaps that was his bag in the dream.
This parable is significant. If there were some way that you could see people through and through, if there were some windows that you could open and look into people's heads, one thing you would be bound to conclude: everybody is in the same boat. All are suffering. And the reasons for their suffering — the basis of their suffering — are not different. Details may be different: you have suffered with one wife, somebody else has suffered with another wife — that does not matter: both have suffered in a certain relationship. That relationship is the same.
And why have they suffered? The basic fundamentals are the same. The first fundamental is that you are living a schizophrenic life. That's from where corruption starts. You are one thing and you have to behave as something else. Naturally you have to lie continuously, you have to be cheating people continuously. The cheating will be condemned by the society, the Lying will be condemned by the society, but the society has created the whole thing. It is a very strange society.