All kinds of goals basically create deep down in you a split, a hypocrisy. You are that which you are and you start trying to be that which you are not. In the beginning it is only an effort to be that which you are not; slowly slowly you start pretending too that you are becoming that which you are not, because to encounter failure continuously is very humiliating. At least you can pretend to others, you can wear masks, you can create a certain persona, a personality, a garb, a façade, and you can start living behind that façade. And people will look only at your mask and they will believe it. And once they start believing it, you will start believing it – because they are believing that you are holy, that you are saintly, that you are this and you are that.
It is a very strange game: you start it, and soon you will be caught in it yourself – in your own lie! And once you are caught in your own lie you will try to hide the truth, to evade the truth, to repress the truth; you will begin investing more and more in your lie. You may be a marigold and you may invest your whole life in being a rose. You may be a rose and you may invest your whole life in being a diamond – which you cannot be. This is the sheer stupidity of the experience humanity has been living with for centuries.
Hence what I say hurts. It is not a question of small dimensions, it is a question of immense dimensions. For thousands of years man has lived a hypocritical life, utterly false, psuedo, and now to shatter his whole investment, to shatter his whole mind, certainly hurts. Hence everybody is going to be against me except just a few people who are intelligent enough to wake up.
“My so-called liberal mother is really such a prude,” the highschool cheerleader sadly told her locker partner. “She said that I could only pet with my dates if they didn’t touch me below the waist.”
“Oh, that’s too bad,” her schoolmate commiserated. “What do you intend to do about it?”
“Well,” the cheerleader giggled, “the first thing I’m going to do is learn to stand on my head.”
That’s what your religious people have been doing: sirshasana – the art, the yoga of standing on your head. It certainly fulfills something: the ego. Whenever you can do something unnatural or at least pretend that you are doing it, it fulfills the ego. Nature cannot fulfill the ego. If you eat and enjoy eating, what is there to brag about? If you make love and you enjoy it, what is there to brag about? But if you become a celibate then there is something to brag about, if you fast then you have something which nobody else has. Then you can feel superior, higher, greater, bigger, chosen. The unnatural has an attraction – although it destroys your whole life – but the attraction is in the ego. And unless we drop this whole game of the ego, hypocrisy cannot disappear from the world.
Rabbi Goldstein had just moved into his apartment and decided he should get acquainted with his across-the-hall neighbor. When the door was opened, he was pleasantly surprised to be confronted by a young damsel considerably more than passably fair and considerably less than fully clad.
Though justifiably flustered by this smiling apparition, the rabbi nevertheless managed a remark singularly appropriate to the occasion: “Hi, I’m your new sugar across the hall – can I borrow a cup of neighbor?”