Chapter 1: The Individual Versus the Society
So the first thing to be understood is that you are not a person, you are not a personality. The word person comes from Greek drama. In Greek drama the actors used masks, and the mask.you could not see the person’s real face; you could only hear his sound. Sona means sound. Persona means you don’t know who is speaking; you just hear the sound, the face is missing. The word personality comes from that Greek drama.
Everybody is wearing a mask. You can hear the sound but you can’t see the face; you can’t see the individual. So the first thing: you are not a “person.” If you are a person, you are already dead. If you are only a personality, you have dragged yourself from the cradle to the grave but you have never lived. You live only when you are an individuality - when you assert yourself against every tradition, every religion, every past that wants you to be someone other than existence wants you to be. Then you live.
Again I am reminded: a great surgeon I used to know - perhaps he was the most famous surgeon in India - was retiring, and all his friends, his colleagues, had given him a party, a farewell party, but he was very sad. I asked him, “Why are you sad? You should be happy: you are the topmost surgeon in the whole country.”
He said, “You don’t understand. I never wanted to become a surgeon in the first place, so who cares that I am the topmost surgeon? I hate to hear that! I wanted to become a musician, but my parents forced me to become a surgeon - against my will I became a surgeon. By chance I became the topmost surgeon. Perhaps I would not have been able to become the topmost musician. I am rich, I have everything, I have respectability, but that does not help me to be happy.
“Even if I had remained a beggar, as a musician I would have been blissful because I would have been myself. This surgeon seems to be somebody else; it is a role that I have played, but it is not me. These people are celebrating, and I am crying within myself that my whole life is lost.”
So first, you are not a “person”; otherwise you are dead before death. And there are millions of people who die thirty, forty, or fifty years before they actually die. You are an individual, and only individuality is capable of knowing your real self. Personality has no self - only an ego, as false as personality. Individuality has a self, a soul. The individual is a living principle of life. And if you know life you will never ask this kind of question.
Knowing life authentically means you also know that it is immortal. The knowledge of its immortality is intrinsic. It is not something informed from outside. Just living your true being in totality you slowly, slowly become aware of the immortal current of life within you. You know the body will die, but this soul, which is life’s whole essence, cannot die.
In existence nothing is destructible. And it is not something to believe in, it is a scientific truth that you cannot destroy anything. You cannot destroy even a small piece of stone. Whatever you do, it will remain in some form or other.