Remember the significance of the symbol. The symbol is just a center around which you become integrated.
The opposite of symbolic is diabolic. The symbol draws people together and generates action. The diabolic is what pulls apart and enervates. Without a symbol creating unity and involvement, people slip into diabolic apathy. Apathy creates sleep and an illusion as if the problems have been solved. But they are not solved.
A symbol is a seed, a creative seed. Choose the symbol very intelligently. Much will depend on it; your whole life may be decided by the symbol you choose. If you choose a wrong symbol, you will be moving in a wrong direction. The function of the master is to give you right seeds, right symbols. Sannyas is a symbol, nothing else, a symbol around which you can create a new vision, a new perspective.
There are people who have forgotten the significance of symbols. They start falling apart, they start falling to pieces. There is nothing to keep them together. The symbol keeps you together, it is like glue. It gives you direction, it gives you meaning, it gives you a possible future, it makes you aware of your potentiality.
And if you don’t choose a right symbol, then your life will become diabolic; it will become disintegrated, fragmentary. And when a person becomes disintegrated and fragmentary, his life takes the color of apathy, indifference. He drags, he is bored, he somehow manages to live. He simply waits for death to come and deliver him. His life can’t have any poetry, his life can’t have any splendor, his life can’t have any dance. There is nothing to dance for.
Man is a symbolic animal; that is my definition of man. Man cannot live without symbols. It is because of this great need that religions have always existed. They have existed because man needs symbols.
This century is the first in the whole of human history which is living without symbols – and suffering much, unnecessarily. When you don’t have symbols you start disintegrating. Modern man lives in apathy, boredom. He is continuously tired and weary of existence. There is nothing to hold him together, he is always falling apart. He has no center, he is only a circumference. He can’t have any richness of being.
So choose a right symbol. And no-self is far better than the self.
You ask, “Is there a difference between the real self and no-self?” There is no difference in reality. When you arrive, the no-self is the real self. But there is a difference before you have arrived. When you are on the journey there is a difference.