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Chapter 16: You Have to Grow Inwards, That Is Your Earth

The growth movement has been called the “new narcissism” by many, due to its emphasis on assertiveness and valuing one’s own personal ego. How does your way differ?

There is no way. It is impossible to have a way, because you are already there. You have never left home. This whole search for the way is driving you crazy; you cannot find it because you are already there. Wherever you go, you will go against your being, farther and farther away. You have gone already too far.

It is time to drop the idea of the way. Life is not a becoming, not some kind of process. It is being.

You cannot ask me how my way differs from the growth movement, because I have no way. I am not teaching you a way - really, I am taking you away from all the ways.

But the question has some significance. The growth movement was egoistic. It was the assertion of the ego repressed for centuries. Just by being assertive and egoistic you don’t start growing. Or worse, you start growing in a wrong way.

My movement is not egoistic. I am not here to make your ego more and more strong - it is already too strong. My movement is towards egolessness. That’s where I depart from the growth movement. And no one can grow by strengthening the ego. He will remain just an imaginary being; he will not come to know his authentic reality.

The ego is not you, it is a pretender. People need it because they don’t know who they are, and it is really difficult to live without having some idea of who you are; hence the ego comes into existence. It is a make-believe; it is constructed by you so that you don’t feel the vacuum, so that somehow you can manage to drag yourself to your grave.

I want you to drop the ego and then see: you will be vast, there will be no limit to you. That is growth. To become a tiny, pygmy ego is not growth, it is just the opposite.

The growth movement should not be called a growth movement at all. It is selling phony commodities to you; it is really cutting your very roots. And if you become satisfied with the ego you will never search, seek, for your self, because you will continue to believe, “This ego is me.”

In Japan, for centuries it has been thought to be an art: great gardeners have been cutting the roots of trees. The tree is placed in a pot which has no bottom, so whenever the roots start growing, they just have to take up the pot and cut the roots. There are four-hundred-year-old trees only six inches high. I cannot conceive that this is art - this is murder. And those poor trees cannot say anything. If you don’t allow their roots to grow deeper into the earth, they will not grow higher into the heavens, towards the stars. The deeper their roots, the higher will be their growth.

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