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Osho On Why People Need So Much Attention

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The basic characteristic of a Buddha, the Buddha Dhamma, his unique quality, is that he is not, that he has no attributes, that he is indefinable, that whatsoever definition you put upon him will be unjust because it will demark him, it will limit him, and he is not limited. He is pure void. He is a nobody.

Buddha is so ordinary that if you come across him you will not recognize him. You can recognize a king, you know the language how to recognize a king, and the king knows what language you recognize. He prepares for it, he rehearses for it.

He is bent upon proving to you that he is special. Buddha has nothing like that. He is not trying to prove anything to anybody. He is not trying to be recognized by you. He has no need to be recognized. He has come home. He does not need your attention.

Remember, attention is a psychological need. It has to be understood. Why do people need so much attention? Why in the first place does everybody want people to pay attention to them? Why does everybody want to be special? Something is missing inside. You don’t know who you are. You know yourself only by others’ recognition. You don’t have any direct approach into your being, you go via others.

If somebody says you are good, you feel you are good. If somebody says you are not good, you feel very very depressed — so you are not good. If somebody says you are beautiful you are happy. If somebody says you are ugly you are unhappy. You don’t know who you are. You simply live on opinions of others, you go on collecting opinions. You don’t have any recognition — direct, immediate — of your being. That’s why you gather a borrowed being. Hence the need for attention.

And when people are attentive to you, you feel as if you are being loved, because in love we pay attention to each other. When two persons are in deep love they forget the whole world. They become engaged into each other’s being absolutely. They look into each other’s eyes. For those moments all else disappears, exists not. In those pure moments they are not here. They live on a plenitude somewhere high in the sky, or in heaven, and they are absolutely pouring their attention into each other.

Love is attentive — and everybody has missed love. Very rare people have attained to love, because love is God. Millions live without love because millions live without God. Love has been missed. How to substitute that gap? The easier substitute is to get people’s attention. That will befool you, deceive you that they love you.

That’s what happens to a political leader: he becomes the prime minister of the country or a president of the country and of course the whole country has to pay attention to him. He feels good. It is a vicarious way of feeling loved, and nobody loves him. Once he is out of the post, nobody is going to care where he is.

Who cares about Richard Nixon, whether he is alive or dead — who bothers? You will know about him only when he dies. Then newspapers will have to say something about him. Then suddenly you will know, “So he was alive?” Who cares about a politician who is not in power? But when he is in power people pay attention. They pay attention to power, but the politician thinks the attention is being paid to him.

And the politician is one who is searching for love and has not been able to love and has not been able to be loved. The search is for love; it has taken a very very subtle change and turn. Now it has become a search for attention. He wants to see his picture every day in the newspaper. If one day his picture is not there in the newspaper he feels neglected.

He is fulfilling his love-desire, but it cannot be fulfilled that way. Love, whenever it happens, brings attention with it like a shadow, but attention does not bring love. Attention can come in a thousand ways. You can create some mischief and people will pay attention to you. The need of the politician and the criminal is the same.

The criminal also wants the same thing — attention. He murders and then his picture is in the newspapers, his name is on the radio, he is on the TV. He feels good. Now everybody knows who he is, now everybody is thinking about him — that he has become a name in the world. The famous and the notorious both seek the same thing.

Buddha is absolute love. He has loved existence, existence has loved him. That’s what samadhi is, when you are in an orgasmic relationship with the total. He has known the total orgasm — the orgasm which is not of the body and not of the mind either, but of totality, not partial. He has come to know that ecstasy. Now there is no need to ask for any attention from anybody.

He will pass you on the road and you will not be able to recognize him because you recognize only politicians, criminals and people like that. You can recognize a madman on the road because he will be creating mischief, but you will not recognize a Buddha. Buddha will pass so silently, without a whisper.

Source – Osho Book “The Diamond Sutra”

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