Chapter 12: The Great Circle of Brahman
Remember, the consciousness of the “you” comes first, and then he becomes aware of “I.” When he starts feeling “you” as separate, then reflectively he becomes aware that he is separate, that he is not you. The mother goes away and he is still there. Now he becomes aware of the distance and now he starts feeling the “I.” But that “I” too is not very solid. In the beginning children always address themselves in the third person. If the child’s name is Ram, he will say, “Ram is feeling thirsty.” He will speak in the third person; he will not say, “I am feeling thirsty.” The “I” is not yet solid, it is not yet assertive. He still feels that “Ram” is feeling thirsty - as if Ram is a “you,” not an “I.”
Children always speak in the third person. They say, “Ram is feeling sleepy. Do not do this and Ram will feel good. Do not do that or Ram will feel bad.” They address themselves as if they were addressing someone else. The “I” is not yet solid. It will become more and more solid the more they come to an awareness of others. The others exist first and then you start existing. It is a reflection. “I” is an inverted “you.”
Adam and Eve were prohibited to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, but they had to eat it. It is part of maturing. They were innocent. The moment they ate the fruit they became alert and aware. Suddenly they started hiding their bodies. Now Eve was aware of Adam and Adam was aware of Eve. Clothes came into existence through the ego. They became aware of themselves as separate. Before that they were just part of each other; they never knew that they were separate. They became separated. And this happens to every Adam and Eve. It did not only happen once: whenever a child is born, he comes out of the garden of Eden.
In the mother’s womb he is in the garden of Eden, one with existence, with no responsibilities, with no worries, with no ego. He exists, but without any center. Then he is born. Really, the story, this biblical story of Adam and Eve, is the story of every child’s birth. He is thrown out of the mother. Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden and every child has to be thrown out. Then the ego grows; it goes on growing. And with it the pain goes on growing.
Hence, every old man goes on thinking in terms that childhood was paradise. It was! In this sense it was a paradise because you were not yet an ego. You had not tasted the fruit of knowledge; you had not come to know yourself as separate. With separation problems arise: you become anxious. With separation, death arises.
It is said in the biblical story that death didn’t exist before. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, death came into existence. Before that they were immortal. Every child is immortal. He is not aware of death because death can become meaningful only to the “I,” to the ego. When you have a conception that you are separate, immediately the problem arises whether you are going to be here forever or whether you will die. The trees are immortal. Not that they do not die - they die, but they have no awareness of death. The animals are immortal. Not that death is not going to be there - death will be there, but they are not aware of it. They have no egos, so how can they feel they are going to die? “I” must be there before I can feel that I will die. Death is part of the ego.