Chapter 11: A Journey from Fiction to Reality
It is very rare to find a poet who is humble, and if a poet is humble he will give birth to an upanishad. But it is very rare to find a poet who is humble. A poet is no ordinary man; he is extraordinary. You cannot do what he can do. His ego.although he is creative, because of his ego his creativity remains of the lowest kind, mundane.
And sometimes if the ego is too much, it can become insane. You can see insanity in the paintings of Picasso and other modern painters, because their egos are touching the stars. Naturally when the ego is so powerful that means the false, the fictitious, has almost become the real. You have forgotten the real completely. If by chance you suddenly meet yourself in your reality you will not recognize it. You can recognize only your unreal self, which we call personality, ego, identity - your somebodiness.
And people who cannot find rightful means to nourish their egos try to find unrightful means. Then somebody will “be the greatest thief.” The question is not whether he is a thief or a saint; being a thief or being a saint is immaterial. What matters is being the greatest.
There are people who cannot do either - neither the rightful way nor the wrongful way - who are just middle class, mediocre; but they also want to declare that they are somebody, and they find easy means.
You can do it. You just cut off half of your mustache - the whole of Bombay will know within three days who you are. People will even start asking for your signature, your autograph. People are doing that.
In Europe there is now a fashion. People are cutting off half of their mustache, half of their hair, and not only cutting them but painting them - green hair, red hair, yellow hair - and half the skull is completely plain! And they are not idiots. They are just normal people. But what else to do? - in such a competitive world, where every area needs immense effort and then too you cannot be first in the queue.
The Sufi story about Mulla Nasruddin is that he went to listen to a great sage and sat at the very back. But he was feeling very hurt - the saint was sitting on a high stage.
Nasruddin started telling jokes to the people around him - and his jokes are really juicy. People started turning towards him more and more. By and by the saint found that everybody’s back was towards him. He said “What is the matter? What is going on? What kind of a meeting is this? Who is this fellow?”
Nasruddin said, “My name is Mulla Nasruddin. And it does not matter where I sit; wherever I sit, that is the place of the president. You can sit as high as you want, but if Nasruddin is present nobody is higher.”
He could not tolerate it, that this man was sitting there like a king. Something had to be done. The situation could not be simply tolerated. And he managed - just by telling jokes. People started turning towards him - laughter, giggling. Slowly it spread and the whole audience moved. Only the saint was sitting there - at the back of the meeting!