Chapter 9: Almost Dead With Thirst
See a person who has fallen in love - suddenly a transfiguration happens. His eyes are no longer the same; a new light shines through the eyes. His face is no longer the same; a softness has entered, he is more flowing. Suddenly out of darkness a morning is born. Deep down inside him birds are singing and flowers are opening. In love a man is totally different. In anger you cannot make these two persons meet: they are separate personalities. In anger your identity comes up which you have suppressed in the unconscious; in love your identity which you always cherish.
This split is the cause of all the miseries that happen to humanity and all the mental agonies that happen to the human mind. Unless this split disappears you will never be whole, and unless this split disappears you will never be able to know who you are. The conscious is as false as the unconscious, because both are just reflections gathered from others. You have not encountered yourself directly but via the others. There are some mirrors in which you look beautiful, there are some mirrors in which you look ugly. There are some mirrors in which you look divine, there are some mirrors in which you look just animal.
This has been my observation, that whatsoever your identity, whatsoever your ego, deep down there is confusion - because the other condemned part is always there. In your foundations it is always there, and you are always shaky and confused. If somebody really asks you, “Who are you?” the answer is not there. If nobody asks, you know who you are. But if somebody asks, persists, “Who are you?” you don’t know.
Saint Augustine has said, “I know, when nobody asks, what time is. But if somebody asks what time is, I don’t know.”
And exactly the same is the case with the ego. If nobody asks, you know. If somebody asks, suddenly the certainty is gone.
That’s why it is polite not to ask anybody, “Who are you?” - because the certainty is just on the surface. How can you be certain just by gathering reflections? And reflections from many sources - they are antagonistic, contradictory, confusing. You are a chaos. Your ego is just a trick to hide the chaos, just a blanket word in which you can go on hiding everything. You are a madness within.
This is the first thing to be understood: that nobody can know himself through mirrors - because mirrors will interpret. In fact a mirror never shows who you are; a mirror simply says how he reacts to you. The mother smiles: it is not that she is saying something about you; she is saying something about herself. She is happy; she has become a mother. And every mother smiles - even to the ugliest child the mother smiles. A very ordinary child, but the mother always thinks that he is going to be a Napoleon, or Alexander, or a Buddha. The mother is not saying something about you: she is happy in being a mother, she is saying something about herself. And if the child smiles, the mother is also gathering ego. If the child smiles, the mother feels very good - she thinks the child is smiling at her.