We search for something while we call it something else. Wherever we have put the label God, if we tear the label off we will find something else underneath. We want something else. A person who wants something else in the name of God is more dishonest than the person who is openly seeking worldly pleasures. At least there there is honesty, an authenticity. One person says, “I want money,” another says, “I want sexual pleasures,” still another says, “I want position, I want ego fulfillment,” and there is one who says, “I want God,” but in this desire for God is also his feeling that one day he will show to the world that God too is in his fist.
Therefore, watch the seeker of God carefully. If his ego is increasing, understand that his search is for something else; if his ego is decreasing, shattering, disappearing, then his search is really for God.
The conceit of sannyasins and your so-called saints is well known; even the conceit of big politicians stands nowhere against it. At least the politician’s very search is for that conceit, so it is fine; it is a clear-cut matter, there is nothing much of a fabrication in it. The fun of being something special is the whole game for them. But for a saint the matter is different. He says that he is in search of being nothing…and he then goes on becoming something. If two saints meet, they cannot be made to sit on the same dais because there will be problems as to who sits where, higher or lower. So usually saints simply do not meet each other, because many problems arise.
There is a friend who is a little crazy – crazy in the sense that he tries to arrange for saints to meet with each other. He told me once that great problems surfaced. Even such questions arise as to who should join hands first in greeting. A difficult situation. Even worldly people do not look so worldly. They may not be wanting to greet somebody with folded hands, yet they do it. In their minds they may think that it would have been better had the other folded hands first, but they hide such feelings; it looks ungentlemanly. To some saints it does not appear even ungentlemanly – these saints do not even respond to greetings, they have stopped the very arrangement. They only give blessings.
That friend was busy arranging a meeting of such a saint with another. The other saint said, “Everything else is okay, but if I do not greet him and he immediately gives me blessings, that will spoil everything.”
Our search is for something else, it has nothing to do with religion or with the divine. We are desiring something else, we are asking for something else, but we are dishonest and we have covered ourselves with claims that are different. How can the search for God begin? – because there is no distance. If there is a distance, a passion arises. If there is a distance, one feels like running. If there is a distance, a desire arises to win. If there are difficulties, ego becomes interested to defeat, to win. But as far as God is concerned, there is no distance. The situation is that God is already with us.
When Tensing and Hillary climb Mount Everest, what is their joy? They are the first in human history to stand on the highest peak. There is nothing else on Everest. But the first man on Everest! – history is created; the ego finds importance in the act. Now as long as there is Mount Everest in the world, the names of Hillary and Tensing cannot be effaced.