Personality is that which is given by others to you – by the parents, by the teachers, by the priest, by the society – whatever they have said about you. And you have been desiring to be respectable, to be respected, so you have been doing things which are appreciated, and the society goes on rewarding you, respecting you more and more. This is their method of creating a personality.
So it is possible. You can see the devotees crying before their god, emotionally very much affected, dancing, singing, worshipping, and feeling the truth of it, but it is just a hypothesis. There is nothing, no God, but these people are taking the hypothesis as a reality. One day when they will be awake, they will laugh at themselves, that it was only a hypothesis.
But there are other masters who have given different names according to their own philosophical background. A few have called it enlightenment: becoming full of light – all darkness disappears, all unconsciousness disappears – becoming fully conscious.
There are others who have called it liberation, freedom – freedom from yourself, remember. All other freedoms are political, social. They are freedom from somebody, from some government, from some country, from some political party; but it is always freedom from…. Religious freedom is freedom not from somebody else, but from yourself. You are no more.
Because you are no more, a few masters in the East have called it anatta – no-selfness. Buddha called it nirvana – which is very close to anatta, no-selfness, or selflessness – just a zero, a profound nothingness surrounding you. But it is not emptiness, it is fullness: fullness of being, of ultimate joy, fullness of being blessed, fullness of blissfulness. All that you have known before is no more there; hence it is empty of all that. But something new, absolutely new, you had not even dreamt about, is discovered.
Some have called it universal existence, but what name you give does not matter. I think “the fourth” still remains the best, because it does not lead you into mind trips; otherwise you are going to think about it, “What is emptiness? What is nothingness?” And nothingness can create a fear, emptiness can create a fear, anatta, no-selfness, can create a fear. The fourth is absolutely right.
Three stages you know; the fourth is just below it. It is not far away. The idea of being “lives” away from it is a dream. In reality it is just by the side…wake up and you are it.
I heard you saying that enlightenment is the transcendence of mind – conscious, unconscious, sub-conscious – and that one dissolves into the ocean of life, into the universe, into nothingness. I also hear you talking about the individuality of human beings. How can the individuality of an enlightened person manifest itself if he is dissolved in the whole?
The ordinary, unconscious human being has no individuality; he has only a personality.