Everybody is born as one single individual, but by the time he is mature enough to participate in life he has become a crowd. But most people are not aware of it. If you just sit silently and listen to your mind, you will find so many voices. You will be surprised, you can recognise those voices very well. Some voice is from your grandfather, some voice is from your grandmother, some voice is from your father, some voice is from your mother. Some voice is from the priest, from the teacher, from the neighbours, from your friends, from your enemies. All these voices are jumbled up in a crowd within you, and if you want to find your own voice it is almost impossible; the crowd is too thick.
In fact, you have forgotten your own voice long ago. You were never given freedom enough to voice your opinions. You were taught obedience, you were taught to say yes to everything your elders were saying to you. You were taught that you have to follow whatever your teachers or your priests are doing. Nobody ever told you to search for your own voice; nobody asked you, "Have you got any voice of your own or not?" So your voice has remained very subdued and other voices are very loud, very commanding, because they were orders and you had followed them -- in spite of yourself. You had no intention to follow, you could see that this is not right. But one has to be obedient to be respected, to be acceptable, to be loved.
"[O]nly one voice is missing in you; only one person is missing in you, and that is you; otherwise there is a whole crowd."
Naturally only one voice is missing in you; only one person is missing in you, and that is you; otherwise there is a whole crowd. And that crowd is constantly driving you mad, because one voice says, "Do this," another voice says, "Never do that! Don't listen to that voice!" And you are torn apart.
This whole crowd has to be withdrawn. This whole crowd has to be told, "Now please leave me alone!" The people who have gone to the mountains or to secluded forests were really not going away from society; they were trying to find a place where they could disperse their crowd inside. And those people who have made a place within you are obviously reluctant to leave. But if you want to become an individual in your own right, if you want to get rid of this continuous conflict and this mess within you, then you have to say goodbye to them -- even when they belong to your respected father, your mother, your grandfather. It does not matter to whom they belong. One thing is certain: they are not your voices. They are the voices of people who have lived in their time, and they had no idea what the future was going to be. They have loaded their children with their own experience; their experience is not going to match with the unknown future. They think they are helping their children to be knowledgeable, to be wise, so their lives can be easier and more comfortable, but they are doing just the wrong thing. With all the good intentions in the world, they destroy the child's spontaneity, his own consciousness, his own ability to stand on his feet and to respond to the new future that their ancestors had no idea of.
Each child is going to face new storms, he is going to face new situations, and he needs a totally new consciousness to respond. Only then is his response is going to be fruitful; only then can he can have a victorious life, a life that is not just a long, drawn-out despair, but a dance from moment to moment, which goes on becoming more and more deep to the last breath. He enters into death dancing, and joyously.
"There is no need for you to change the whole world; just change yourself and you have started changing the whole world..."
Be silent, and find your own self. Unless you find your own self, it is very difficult to disperse the crowd, because all those in the crowd are pretending, "I am your self." And you have no way to agree or disagree. So don't create any fight with the crowd. Let them fight amongst themselves -- they are quite efficient in fighting amongst themselves. You, meanwhile, try to find yourself. And once you know who you are, you can just order them to get out of the house -- it is actually that simple! But first you have to find yourself. Once you are there, the master is there. The owner of the house is there, and all these people, who have been pretending to be masters themselves, start dispersing. One who is himself, unburdened of the past, discontinuous with the past, original, strong as a lion and innocent as a child, can reach to the stars, or even beyond the stars; his future is golden.
Up to now people have always been talking about the golden past. We have to learn the language of the golden future. There is no need for you to change the whole world; just change yourself and you have started changing the whole world, because you are part of the world. If even a single human being changes, that change will radiate to thousands and thousands of others. You will become a triggering point for a revolution which can give birth to a totally new kind of human being.
Excerpted from It's All About Change by Osho
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