Chapter 56: Discovering Emptiness
The real center is hidden. You have created a false center - the ego is a false center, a substitute center. Without a center it is difficult to exist, difficult to function. You need a center to function. And you don’t know your real center, so the mind has created a false center. Mind is very skilled in creating substitutes. It always gives you a substitute if you cannot find the real, because otherwise you will go mad. Without a center you will go mad. You will get scattered, you will become fragmented; there will be no unity. So the mind creates a false center.
It is just like in dreaming. You dream you are feeling thirsty. Now if this thirst becomes penetrating, the sleep will be disturbed, because then you will have to get up to drink water. Now your mind will give a substitute: the mind will create a dream. You need not get up, the sleep need not be disturbed - you dream that you are drinking water. From the fridge you are taking water and drinking. The mind has given you a substitute. Now you feel okay. The real thirst has not been quenched, simply deceived. But now you feel that you have drunk, you have taken water. Now you can sleep; the sleep can continue undisturbed.
In dreams the mind is constantly giving you substitutes just to protect sleep. And the same is happening while you are awake. The mind is giving you substitutes just to protect your sanity; otherwise you will be scattered in fragments.
Unless the real center is known, the ego has to function. Once the real center is known, there is no need to dream about water. When you have got the real water you can drink it. There is no need to dream about it. Meditation brings you to the real center. And with that very happening, the utility for the false disappears.
But this must be kept in consciousness - that the ego is not your real center. Only then can you start a search for the real. And spirituality is not a transformation of it. It cannot be transformed. It is unreal, it is simply not. You cannot do anything with it. If you are aware, alert, if you watch it within yourself, it disappears. Just the flame of your awareness and it is not there. Spirituality is a transcendence.
If the ego is unreal, then does it not mean that the unconscious mind, the accumulation of memories in the brain cells, and the process of transformation that is the subject matter of spirituality, is also unreal, a dream process?
No. Ego is unreal; brain cells are not unreal. Ego is unreal; memories are not unreal. Ego is unreal; thought process is not unreal. Thought process is a reality. Memories are real, brain cells are real, your body is real. Your body is real, your soul is real. These are two realities. But when your soul gets identified with the body, the ego is formed - that is unreality.
It is just like this. I am standing before a mirror: I am real, the mirror is real, but the reflection in the mirror is not real. I am real, the mirror is also real, but the reflection in the mirror is a reflection, it is not a reality. Brain cells are real, consciousness is real, but when consciousness gets involved, attached, identified with the brain cells, the ego is formed. That ego is unreal.