Chapter 5: The Real Self
Watch your own life: you do many things only because of the ego. You want to make a big house. You may be perfectly comfortable in your house as it is, but you want to make a big palace. That big palace is not for you, that big palace is for the ego. You may be perfectly comfortable as you are, but you go on accumulating money. That money is not for you; that money is for the ego. How can you rest till you have become the richest man in the world? But what are you going to do by becoming the richest man in the world? You will become more and more miserable, because misery comes out of conflict. Misery is an indication that you are in conflict. So don’t throw your responsibility on something else.
People are very rationalizing. If they are miserable they will say, “What can we do? The past lives’ karmas are making us miserable.” All rubbish! Past life karmas must have made you miserable, but in past lives! Why should they wait up to now? There is no point in waiting. Your present karmas are making you miserable. Throwing them on past lives makes it easy - what can you do? You have to be the way you are. Now nothing can be done. The past cannot be undone - you cannot erase it just by waving your hand. There is no magic trick that can help you to erase your past. It has happened and it has happened forever; now it is going to remain absolute; there is no possibility of changing it. That relieves you of the burden, and you think: “So okay, I have to be miserable because of the past karmas.”
You can throw the responsibility on the devil as Christians go on doing. Hindus go on throwing the responsibility on past karmas. Christians go on throwing the responsibility on the devil - he must be creating traps for you. It is not you, it is the devil who goes on trapping you into miseries, and who goes on pulling you down towards hell.
Who is bothered with you? Why should this devil be bothered with you?
Then there are Marxists, Communists, Socialists; they say it is the social structure, the economic system, that makes people miserable. Then there are Freudians, psychoanalysts; they say it is the child and mother relationship. But it is always something else - it is never you. It is never you in the present.
And I would like to tell you: It is you. If you are miserable, you and only you are responsible. Neither the past nor the social structure nor the economic system - nothing is going to help. If you remain you, in any sort of a society, you will remain miserable; in any economic system you will remain miserable; in any world you will remain miserable - if you remain you.
And the first, basic change happens when you start dropping this conflict with existence. That is the only meaning of all the great religions when they emphasize: Drop the ego. They are saying: Drop the conflict. I would like you to remember it more, because “drop the ego” seems too metaphysical. Ego.? Where is the ego? What is the ego? The word seems to be known, you seem to be well acquainted with it, but it seems to be very vague, cannot be grasped. I would like to make it more practical - drop the conflict - because ego is a by-product of your conflicting attitude.
People talk of conquering nature, people talk of conquering this and that. How can you conquer nature? You are part of it. How can the part conquer the whole? See the foolishness of it, the stupidity. You can be with the whole in harmony, or you can be in conflict with the whole - in disharmony. Disharmony results in misery; harmony results in bliss.