Chapter 3: Wisdom Is One and Unique
The society wants to dominate; the privileged classes want to dominate, to oppress, to exploit. They would like you to remain completely unaware of yourself. This is the first difficulty. And one has to be born in a society. The parents are part of the society, the teachers are part of the society, the priests are part of the society. The society is everywhere, all around you. It seems really impossible - how to escape? How to find a door back to nature? You are enclosed from every side.
The second difficulty comes from your own self - because you would also like to oppress, to dominate; you would also like to possess, to be powerful. A man of self-knowledge cannot be made a slave, and he cannot make a slave of anybody else either. You cannot oppress a man of knowledge, and a man of knowledge cannot oppress anybody. He cannot be dominated and he will not dominate. Domination simply disappears from that dimension. You cannot possess him and he will not possess anybody. He will be free and he will help others to be free. This is an even deeper difficulty than the first. You can avoid society, but how to avoid your own ego? You are afraid - because a man of knowledge simply doesn’t think in terms of possession, domination, power. He is innocent like a child. He would like to live totally free, and he would like others also to live totally free.
This man will be a freedom here in your world of slavery. Would you like not to be exploited? Yes, you will say, you would like not to be exploited. Would you like not to be made a prisoner? Yes, you would like not to be made a prisoner. But would you like the other thing also: not to make a prisoner of anybody else? not to dominate, not to oppress and exploit? not to kill the spirit, not to make a person into a thing? That is difficult. And remember: if you want to dominate, you will be dominated. If you want to exploit, you will be exploited. If you want somebody else to be a slave to you, you will be enslaved. They are both aspects of the same coin. This is the difficulty in self-knowledge; otherwise, self-knowledge should be the most simple thing, the most easy. There should not be any need to make any efforts.
Efforts are needed for these two things; they are the barriers. Just watch and see these two barriers, and start by dropping your own. First stop dominating, possessing, exploiting, and suddenly you will become capable of getting out of the trap of the society.
The ego is the problem; that’s why you cannot know yourself. The ego gives you certain false images of yourself, and if you carry those images for a long time, you become afraid. The fear enters that if your image falls, then your identity will be broken. You create a false face and then you become afraid: if this false face falls, who will you be? You will go mad. You have invested too much in it. And everybody thinks about himself in such lofty terms, in such false terms; nobody agrees with him, nobody approves, but then your ego thinks that everybody is wrong.