Chapter 10: Buddha and the Beast
But these answers are superficial and are not going to satisfy really. They can satisfy only the mediocre. They cannot satisfy the really intelligent person. Even when you have become very rich, your intelligence will go on persisting, asking, “Who are you? Yes, you have money, but who are you? You are not the money - you cannot be that which you possess. Who is this possessor? Yes, you have become the prime minister of a country, but that is just a function, that is not your being. Who are you? Who is this person who was not a prime minister and is now a prime minister, and tomorrow may not be again? This prime-ministership is just an episode - in whose life?”
The question persists. It can’t be answered by these superficial efforts and endeavors. But basically man is trim to do that. He becomes a husband, he becomes a mother, father, this and that.but the basic urge is somehow to have a certain identity: “I am the wife, I am the husband, I am the father, I am the mother.” Still you have not answered the question. Your being a mother or your being a father is just accidental, on the surface. Your innermost core remains untouched.
This is not real identity. This is a pseudo identity. The child will die - then who are you? Then you are not the mother. The husband may leave - then who are you? Then you are no more a wife.
These identities are very fragile, and man lives constantly in the crisis of identity. He tries hard to fix some definition around himself, but they go on slipping out of his hands.
Only the religious person really asks the question, and asks in the right direction.
The buddha exists just like the beast. The buddha knows just like man that he is. But a third dimension has opened: he knows who he is - he has come to see his innermost being. He has not searched for the identity in the outside world, because there can’t be any identity. How can it be in the outside world? You are your inferiority, you are your inwardness, you are your subjectivity - how can you know it through objects?
You may have a beautiful house, but it is outside. You may have beautiful art, paintings, antique art works, but they are outside! They can’t define you. You remain undefined by them. One day the house is on fire and all your identity is burnt, and. you are standing on the road, again puzzled: “Who am I?”
That’s why people commit suicide. If their money is gone, if they become bankrupt, they commit suicide. Why do they commit suicide? One wonders - why? Money can be earned again.. Look deep into them - that was their identity. They had believed long that “This is me.” Now all that bank balance is gone. Again the problem arises: Who am I? And they wasted their whole life in creating that bank balance. Now they are not ready to go into that effort again. It is too much. They have utterly failed.
In fact, by being a bankrupt the suicide has already happened! Their identity is gone. They no longer know now who they are. Their face has disappeared. How can they live without a face? Your woman dies whom you had loved.and you commit suicide, or you start thinking of committing suicide! Because that woman was your identity. Now you are left alone, empty. And to start from the very beginning, from scratch, seems to be too much. It is better to finish this whole thing.