The first question:
The more I watch myself, the more I experience the falseness of my ego. I have started to feel like a stranger to myself, no longer knowing what is authentic and what is false. This leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling of having no guidelines, as I sensed I had before.
This happens; this is bound to happen. And remember that one should be happy that it has happened. It is a good indication. When one starts on the inner journey everything seems to be clear, rooted; because the ego is in control and the ego has all the guidelines, the ego has all the maps, the ego is the master. When you move a little further into the journey, the ego starts evaporating, seems to be more and more false, seems to be more and more a deception, a hallucination. One starts awakening out of the dream, then guidelines are lost. Now the old master is no more the master, and the new master has not yet arisen. There is a confusion, a chaos. This is a good indication. Half the journey is over, but there will be an uncomfortable feeling, an uneasiness, because you feel lost, a stranger to yourself, not knowing who you are. Before, you knew who you were: your name, your form, your address, your bank balance – everything was certain, this was you. You had an identification with the ego. Now the ego is evaporating, the old house is falling and you don’t know who you are, where you are. Everything is murky, cloudy, and the old certainty is lost.
This is good because the old certainty was a false certainty. It was not a certainty, in fact. Deep behind it there was uncertainty. That’s why, when the ego evaporates, you feel uncertain. Now the deeper layers of your being are revealed to you – you feel a stranger. You were always a stranger. Only the ego deceived you into feeling that you knew who you were. The dream was too much, it looked too real. In the morning when you are coming out of a dream, suddenly, you don’t know who or where you are. Have you felt this feeling some times in the morning? – when suddenly, out of a dream you are awakened, and for moments you don’t know where you are, who you are and what is happening? The same happens when one comes out of the dream of the ego. Discomfort, uneasiness, uprootedness will be felt, but one should be happy about it. If you become miserable about it, you may fall back to the old state of affairs where things were certain, where everything was mapped, charted, where you knew, where guidelines were clear.