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Chapter 4: All Hopes Are False

A man is running, scared, frightened to death, and running because of his own shadow. You stop him and tell him: “You are foolish! This is your own shadow - nobody is following you and nobody is going to murder you. There is nobody except you. You have become scared of your own shadow.”

But once you start running the shadow also runs faster. The faster you run, the faster the shadow follows. Then the logical mind can say that you are in danger, and the logical mind will say that if you want to escape run faster and faster. But whatsoever you do the shadow will be following you. And if you cannot get rid of it, you will get more and more scared. You are creating the whole thing out of yourself.

But if I say to you: “This is just a shadow, nobody is following you” - and you realize the point, you look at the shadow and you feel the point - will you ask me how to drop this shadow? Will you ask about some technique, method, some yoga: how to drop it? You will simply laugh. You have dropped it! In the moment you see that this is just a shadow and nobody is following you, it has been dropped already. There is no question of how. You will have a good laugh. The whole thing was nonsense.

The same happens with the ego. If you can see the truth of what I am saying, the thing has happened. In the very seeing of it the thing has happened. There is no more how to it. If you still ask how, the thing has not happened and you have not seen the point. But you have created a hope out of it, because you have been suffering through this ego. You have always wanted to drop it, but this wanting has always been half of your mind.

All your suffering has come through the ego, but all your pleasures have also come through the ego. A crowd applauds you, appreciates you - you feel good. That is the only bliss you have known. Your ego rises high, reaches to a peak, becomes an Everest. You enjoy it. And then the crowd condemns you and you feel hurt. The crowd becomes indifferent; you are crushed by it. You fall into a valley, a depression. You have been gaining pleasure through the ego, and you have been suffering through it. Because of the suffering you want to drop it, but because of the pleasures you cannot drop it.

So when I say that the ego can be dropped easily, hope is created in you. Not that I am creating it, your greed takes it. It doesn’t become a realization, it becomes a new greed, a new search for gratification. You feel that now there is a way, and there is a man who can help you to drop the ego and all the misery that ego creates. But are you ready to drop all the pleasures that the ego creates too? If you are ready it is such an easy thing - just like dropping a shadow. But you cannot drop half of it, and you cannot carry half of it. Either the whole will go or the whole will cling to you. This is the problem, this is the difficulty.

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