Chapter 22: Meditation, Awareness, Alertness
Exactly how do you not do it?
The easiest thing in the world is always the most difficult. For the simple reason that it is easy, it becomes difficult.
This is not a puzzle but the simple logic of the ego. You will have to understand that logic. The logic of the ego is that if you try to do the difficult, only then are you proving the ego’s existence. If you succeed in doing the difficult, then you have attained to the ego. If you can reach to the impossible, then of course you are the greatest man in the history of humanity.
People have been trying to reach to the highest peak in the Himalayas for hundreds of years. Hundreds of mountaineers died but the effort continued. From almost every country of the world young people went on going there because Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas and the highest peak in the whole world, remained a challenge to the human ego. It remained unconquered.
But there was no gain. If you reach the peak of Everest and look all around you will simply feel silly there is nothing to gain. No shopping place, not even somebody to say hello to.. It is absolutely deserted eternal ice which has never melted. And the peak is so small that even just two people together cannot stand on it.
What can you do there? It took years for Edmund Hillary and Tensing to reach - and how long did they stay there? Not more than five minutes. Even five minutes would have seemed like five ages, because everything freezes there, even time. And after five minutes, the descent back to the earth, where people are waving, waiting, shouting - hilarious that man has conquered the unconquerable. But what is the gain?
You cannot see any gain outwardly, but there is a certain gain - that’s what I’m calling the logic of the ego: Edmund Hillary becomes history. Now nobody can take his place; nobody can again be the first man to conquer Everest. Anybody who comes will be second, third, fourth - but that glory of being the first is a great nourishment to the ego.
The first man walking on the moon, the first man orbiting around the moon.. I have met that Russian Yuri Gagarin, who was the first in the whole history of man to orbit so close to the moon. Without him it would have been impossible to step on the moon. He prepared the ground. He watched and planned from close quarters what had to be done to land on the moon. He became world famous.
He had come to India on invitation, and even Indian fools.. One expects from Indian fools a little more sense, because they are the oldest, ancientmost fools; they should have learned a little bit. But fools are simply fools - modern, ancient, Indian, American. They don’t belong to any caste, to any nation. They are almost, in that way, enlightened.