The ego does not exist. And you are so identified with the ego that the death of the ego, the disappearance of the ego, feels as if it is your death. It is not so; on the contrary, when the ego is dead then you will know your reality, your essential being.
The egoist is going to be a coward. He cannot allow anybody closeness of any kind – friendship, love, even companionship.
Adolf Hitler never allowed anybody to sleep in his room. He always slept alone, locking the door from within. He never got married for the simple reason that if you are married then you have to allow the woman inside the room – not only inside the room but in the bed. This is too close and too dangerous.
He had no friends. He always kept people as distant as possible; there was not a single person in his whole life who had ever put a hand on his shoulders – this much closeness he would not allow.
What was the fear? Why was he so afraid? The fear was that the moment he allowed anybody such closeness, his greatness – “the great Adolf Hitler” –would disappear. You would find a very tiny and pygmy creature, nothing of greatness – that was all on the posters, that was all part of a great propaganda.
The more egoist a person is the more he has to remain lonely. And to be lonely is miserable, but one has to pay. You have to pay, for a non-existential ego to appear real, with your misery, with your pain, with your anguish. And anyway, even if you succeed in not allowing anybody to be close to you, you yourself know perfectly well that it is just a soap bubble – a small pinprick, and it will disappear.
Napoleon Bonaparte was one of the great egoists in the history of egoism but he got defeated, and the reason he was defeated is something worth consideration.
When he was a small child, just six months old, the nurse who was his caretaker left him in the garden and went for something in the house, and a wild cat jumped on the child. Now a six-month-old baby…the cat must have looked like a big lion. Things are always relative and in proportion, and to that small child it was a big lion. The cat was just being playful, but the child was so shocked, and the shock went so deep…when he became a young man, he fought many wars, was a great soldier, was able to fight with a lion – but he was afraid of cats. The moment he saw a cat he would lose all his courage; he would suddenly become a six-month-old baby.
This fact was known to the English commander-in-chief, Wellington; otherwise Wellington was no comparison to Napoleon Bonaparte. And this was the only war in which Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated. Wellington brought seventy cats in front of his army, and when Napoleon Bonaparte saw seventy cats – one was enough for the poor man – he had a nervous breakdown. He simply told his assistant, “You take charge of the army. I am not in a position to fight; neither am I in a position to think. These cats have killed me.” And of course he was defeated.