Sushil Mukerji, Berkshire Eagle newspaper, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
[Long irrelevant preamble from interviewer]
You just start from anywhere!
Yesterday you said that you don’t know anything about the commune, the people of the commune; but later you said that, “I want this commune to be a place of love, and the best and the finest in human living condition.” then if you are not really in it, why do you want it to be?
When I say I do not know you, that simply means I do not know your personality. And your personality is only a mask. It is not your reality. Hence I can say I know you too in your reality, in your very essence, in your individuality. And I am not interested in your personality, I am interested in your individuality. The essence that you have brought with you in the world, the gift of existence, I am totally interested in it.
But on top of that essence the society, the culture, the religion, the education, goes on putting conditions upon conditions, covering it. Soon you forget who you are. You remember your name, which you are not. You remember what others say about you, which you are not. You don’t know your innermost core which is hidden under many, many layers.
My whole work is to uncover you, to rediscover you and to help you to be yourself, not somebody else, because unless you are yourself there is no way of knowing yourself.
Socrates says, “Know thyself,” but before that first you have to be yourself. Otherwise whom you are going to know?
So there is no contradiction. As far as the personalities of people are concerned, I have no interest. As far as their essence, their being is concerned, I have absolute interest. And the bliss, the love, the silence, the godliness – anything that is of value – is going to come out of their being, not out of their personality.
The word personality is significant. It comes from a Greek root persona, and persona means a mask. In Greek drama they used to have a mask, every actor. You could not see the real face of the actor, you could only hear the voice. You could see only the mask.