Chapter 10: He Sings and Dances and Cries
Love gives total freedom. Love is freedom - freedom for you and freedom for the object of your love. Ego is bondage - bondage for you and bondage for your victim. But ego can play very deep tricks with you. It is very cunning, and subtle are its ways: it can pretend to be self-love.
Let me tell you one anecdote:
Mulla Nasruddin’s face lit up as he recognized the man walking ahead of him down the subway stairs.
He slapped the man so heartily on the back that the man nearly collapsed, and cried, “Goldberg, I hardly recognized you! Why, you have gained thirty pounds since I saw you last. And you have had your nose fixed, and I swear you are about two feet taller.”
The man looked at him angrily. “I beg your pardon,” he said in icy tones, “but I don’t happen to be Goldberg.”
“Aha!” said Mulla Nasruddin, “so you have even changed your name?”
The ego is very cunning and very self-justifying, very self-rationalizing. If you are not very alert it can start hiding itself behind self-love. The very word self will become a protection for it. It can say, “I am your self.” It can change its weight, it can change its height, it can change its name. And because it is just an idea, there is no problem about it: it can become small, it can become big. It is just your fantasy.
Be very careful. If you really want to grow in love, much carefulness will be needed. Each step has to be taken in deep alertness so ego cannot find any loophole to hide behind.
Your real self is neither “I” nor “thou”; it is neither you nor the other. Your real self is altogether transcendental. What you call “I” is not your real self. “I” is imposed on reality. When you call somebody “you,” you are not addressing the real self of the other. Again, you have imposed a label on it. When all the labels are taken away, the real self remains - and the real self is as much yours as it is others. The real self is one.
That’s why we go on saying that we participate in each other’s beings, we are members of each other. Our real reality is God. We may be like icebergs floating in the ocean - they appear to be separate - but once we melt, nothing will be left. Definition will disappear, limitation will disappear, and the iceberg will not be there. It will become part of the ocean.
The ego is an iceberg. Melt it. Melt it in deep love, so it disappears and you become part of the ocean.
I have heard:
The Judge looked very severe. “Mulla,” he said, “your wife says you hit her over the head with a baseball bat and threw her down a flight of stairs. What have you got to say for yourself?”