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Chapter 7: A Question of Living

But instead of running away, the man said, “I am the ghost of Davy Crockett, and I will put the money in my pocket!”

The ghost disappeared, and the man went out the front door a rich man.

The fear is the root cause of all your gods and all your ghosts. The fear is the root cause of how you have created heaven and hell.

The other side of fear is greed. Wherever fear is, there is greed, wherever greed is, there is fear; they are two aspects of the same coin. So you have created ghosts and gods - ghosts out of fear, gods out of greed - and you have created hell and heaven. If you look deeply into your theologies, you will not find anything else but the psychology of fear and greed.

The true religion makes you free of fear and greed. And the only way to be free of fear and greed is to be able to be alone, is to be able to go in, into the darkness of your inner being, to move to the center.

We remain on the periphery, and the center is not far away, and you have not to travel long to reach the center. It can happen this very moment - because it is your center. You may be keeping your back to it; just a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn and it is there. It has always been there, but you have not yet gathered enough courage to face yourself. So you get involved in so many things: in relationships, in business, in power politics, in ambitions. You go on getting involved in something or other just to avoid one single fact - and that is you. This creates a double-bind. Because you are avoiding yourself you start creating a false self. One cannot live without a self; at least a nominal self, a nominal center is needed, otherwise you will fall apart, into pieces. Because you avoid the real self you have to create a false self; that is the ego.

The ego is a make-believe illusion, but very utilitarian. It gives you some idea of your being centered, although that idea is very chaotic. The ego cannot really give you the idea of being centered. In the first place it is only a combination of many opinions that have been expressed about you by others. Somebody has said you are very great and somebody has condemned you. Now both the ideas are there. Somebody has said you are beautiful and somebody has said that you are ugly; now both the ideas are there.

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