The same is true about your ego. It has no existence of its own; it is a false substitute that has been given to you so that you can go on playing with it and completely forget the search for the real self. And the demands of this false ego are immense, never fulfilled. It will demand money, it will demand respect, it will demand power – and you go on fulfilling it but it will always remain empty.
You cannot make an egoist contented. The ego is always like an open wound; it goes on growing bigger. The more you try to fill it the more you find it is empty and the more demanding it becomes. You become almost a slave to a false entity. Your whole life is wasted in ambitions created by the ego.
The ego is the most dangerous invention that society has managed to create. When you want to drop it, don’t think in terms of dropping it – because even the word drop gives you the idea that it is something. It is nothing. You cannot drop it, you cannot put it out of doors.
You have to look into the reality of it.
In deep meditations you have to become a witness of all the functionings of the mind, because the ego is the combined by-product of your mind’s functioning. Its thoughts, its desires, its ideologies, its prejudices, its politics, its philosophy, its religion…everything contributes in some way to create a certain ego in you.
I had a professor, Doctor Das, a very famous philosopher not only in India but in almost every country. He had been teaching around the world; he had come back to India, to his home, just to retire. He was my teacher for only three months; after those three months he went into retirement. But those three months were a great revelation to me and to him.
The first day when he entered the classroom I was sitting in his chair. He looked so embarrassed standing by my side and I was so relaxed in the chair. The students started laughing and he said, “What is going on?”
I said, “Nothing is going on. I find this chair more comfortable than the other chairs; and I am not a stupid person, I can choose what is right for me.”
He said, “You seem to be a very strange person. This chair is for the teacher.”
I said, “Then there is no problem. I will teach! What is the problem? If this chair is for the teacher, then the teacher is sitting in it. You can find some other chair and sit down.”
He was an old man, a world-famous philosopher, and his ego was immensely hurt. He said, “You don’t understand with whom you are talking.”
I said, “I understand perfectly well. You don’t understand with whom you are talking.” But I did not leave the chair. I told him he can do whatever he wants to do. He can go to the vice-chancellor, he can bring the vice-chancellor…“I am going to remain in this chair.”
He said, “What is the purpose of all this mess?”