The greater the built-in mechanism, the more you are unaware of what you are doing and the more you can do things that are evil. When I say a thing is evil, I do not mean the content of it. I say a thing is evil when it creates unconsciousness unnecessarily: that is my definition. I do not say violence is bad because you will kill someone. I say violence is bad because you cannot be violent without unconsciousness. That unconsciousness is the evil, because that unconsciousness is the background, the basis, of all ignorance, of all dreams, of all illusions, of all the nonsense that we can create. Evil is nothing more than an unconscious mind.
So for one who is a sannyasin – for one who has taken sannyas – I emphasize that you do whatever you are doing. Do not change your behavior, change your consciousness. Do whatever you are doing consciously. Be angry – anger is no cause for worry – but be angry consciously. This consciousness becomes transformation and your whole behavior is changed; you cannot remain the same. And now this change is not just a change in behavior; it becomes a change of your being also, not only of your doing.
You do not have to create a false personality, a mask. You can be completely at ease with yourself. But this “being at ease with yourself” can come only when you have become totally conscious. Tension is there because you are living with masks: you are violent and you have to be nonviolent; you are angry and you have to be nonangry; you are sexual and you have to be nonsexual. This creates tensions, this creates anxieties. This is the anguish, the whole anguish; you have to be something which you are not, so you are bound to be in a deep anxiety constantly. This “being something which you are not” is withering and dissipating your whole life energy in tensions, in conflicts. Really, conflict is never with someone else; it is always with yourself.
So I emphasize being at ease with yourself. And you can only be at ease when your behavior is conscious. So be conscious; meditate and be conscious in your behavior. Then things will begin to change without your knowing it. You will be different because of your different consciousness.
You ask why I emphasize the changing of dress, the changing of name – these outward things. They are so outward, the most outward things.
As I know man to be, as man exists, he is clothes. As man is, clothes are very significant. You give a military uniform to a person and his very face changes, his very attitude; something different arises within him. Look at a policeman when he is in civilian dress and when he is in his uniform; he is not the same man at all. Why? Outward things create a change inside because you are nothing but the outside. There is no such thing as “inside” right now.
Gurdjieff used to say a very meaningful thing: that as you are now, you have no soul. He was both right and wrong. You have a soul, but you do not know about it. You are the outside, and so clothes are very meaningful. Because of clothes a person becomes beautiful and because of clothes a person becomes ugly. Because of clothes he becomes respected; because of clothes he is not respected. A judge has to wear certain clothes – a supreme court justice has to use a particular robe – and no one asks why. With that robe he is a supreme court justice; without that robe he is no one.