Chapter 56: Discovering Emptiness
The whole morality depends on your ego, a subtle ego. Religion is not a transformation of the ego, it is a transcendence. You simply leave the ego. And it is not that you leave it because it is wrong. Remember this distinction. Morality always says, “Leave that which is wrong, and do that which is right,” Religion says, “Leave that which is false - not wrong, but false. Leave that which is unreal, and enter the real.” With spirituality, truth is the value, not right. Because right may itself be false, and in a false world we need false rights to oppose wrongs.
Spirituality is not a transformation of the ego, it is a transcendence. You go beyond the ego. And this going beyond is really an awakening; it is a deep alertness to see whether the ego exists or not. If it exists, if it is a part, a real part of your being, you cannot go beyond it. If it is false, only then is transcendence possible. You can awaken out of a dream. You cannot awaken out of reality, or can you? You can transcend a dream, but you cannot transcend reality.
The ego is a false entity. And what do we mean when we say that the ego is a false entity? We mean that it exists only because you have not encountered it. If you encounter it, it will not exist. It exists in your ignorance; because you are not aware, it is there. If you become aware, it will not be there. If you become aware and some entity disappears just by your becoming aware, it means it was false. The real will be revealed in awareness and the false will disappear.
So really this too is not right to say - leave your ego - because whenever it is said to leave your ego, it gives a sense that the ego is something and you can leave it. You can even start struggling to throw this ego. The whole effort will be absurd. You cannot throw it, because only a reality can be thrown. You cannot fight with it. How can you fight with a shadow? And if you fight, remember, you will be defeated. Not because the shadow is very powerful, but because the shadow is not; you cannot defeat it. You will be defeated by your own stupidity.
Fight with a shadow and you cannot win - that is certain. You will be defeated. That too is certain, because you will dissipate your own energy in the fight. Not that the shadow is very powerful, but because the shadow is not. You are fighting with your own self, wasting your energy. Then you will be exhausted and you will fall down. And you will think that the shadow has won and you are defeated - and the shadow has not been there at all. If you fight with the ego you will be defeated. Rather, enter and try to find out where it is.
It is said that the emperor of China asked Bodhidharma, “My mind is very restless. I am in constant inner turmoil. Give me some peace or give me some secret key to how I can enter into the inner silence.”
So Bodhidharma said, “You come early in the morning, four o’clock, when there is no one here. When I am alone here in my hut you come. And remember, bring your restless mind with you. Don’t leave it at home.”
The king was very much disturbed, thinking that this man was mad. He says, “Bring your disturbed mind with you. Don’t leave it at home, otherwise who am I going to silence? I will make it still, but bring it! Remember well.”