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Chapter 3: The Owl and the Phoenix

And if the world is to become a sane, normal world, then two types of people have to be cured: madmen and politicians. Both are ill. One has taken the long route, one has taken the shortcut. And remember well that the madman is less harmful than the politician, because he simply declares, he never bothers to prove it; the politician bothers to prove it - and the proof is very costly.

What was Hitler trying to prove? That he was the most superior, the supreme-most Aryan. It would have been better for the world if he had gone mad, and declared through the shortcut; then there would have been no Second World War.

Politicians are more dangerous because they are madmen with proofs. They are madmen working, reaching, achieving a goal, just to hide the inferiority in them. Whenever somebody feels inferior, he has to prove it, or simply hypnotize himself - that he is not inferior. You cannot be religious if you are mad, in this sense. Not mad in the way a Saint Francis is mad - that madness comes through ecstasy, this madness comes through inferiority. The madness of a Saint Francis or a Chuang Tzu comes out of superiority, comes out of the heart, comes from the original source. This other madness comes out of the ego, comes out of inferiority. The soul is always superior and the ego is always inferior.

So an egotist has to become a politician somehow or other. Whichever profession he chooses, through that profession he will be a politician.

What do I mean when I say politics? I mean the conflict between egos, the struggle to survive. Between the egos - your ego and my ego in conflict - then we are politicians. When I am not in conflict with anybody’s ego, I am a religious man. When I don’t try to be superior, I am superior. But this superiority is not opposite to inferiority, it is an absence of the feeling of inferiority.

This distinction has to be remembered. There are two types of superiority. In one you have just hidden the inferiority, covered it, you are using a mask - the inferiority is there behind the mask. Your superiority is just superficial; deep down you remain inferior, and because you go on feeling that inferiority, you have to carry this mask of superiority, of beauty. Because you are aware that you are ugly you have to manage to be beautiful, you have to exhibit, you have to have a false face. This is one type of superiority; it is not real.

There is another type of superiority, and that superiority is the absence of inferiority, not opposite to it. You simply don’t compare. When you don’t compare, how can you be inferior? Look, if you are the only one on earth and there is nobody else, will you be inferior? To whom? With whom will you compare yourself? Relative to what? If you are alone what will you be, inferior or superior? You will be neither. You cannot be inferior because there is no one ahead of you; you cannot declare yourself superior because there is no one behind you. You will be neither superior nor inferior - and I say to you that this is the superiority of the soul. It never compares. Compare, and the inferiority arises. Don’t compare, and you simply are - unique.

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