They have also received a few letters which are in support of the government. A few points in those letters were so hilarious that they have sent me those few points. One point was: One Protestant high priest has supported the government because he thinks I am a Catholic, and Germany has to be saved from the Catholic religion.
Such fear shows deep doubts. You are not certain about your Protestant theology; you are afraid somebody may make punctures in the balloon of your faith.
Here with me, there is a religious fragrance but no religion as such. That gives you total freedom. That makes you proud of yourself and grateful for all that existence has done for you.
Remember, pride is not ego.
Ego is something without content. For example, a man who cannot even draw a straight line thinks himself a great painter – that is ego, there is no content. But if Picasso thinks he is a great painter, that is simply a fact, and if he is proud of his genius there is nothing wrong in it. In fact, people should be helped to find some pride in their individuality because that pride will make their eyes shine, their faces luminous; that pride will make them unique individuals, with no more question of inferiority and superiority.
And secondly, anybody who is proud is always grateful. Because the genius of Picasso or Yehudi Menuhin is not their own; they are only vehicles. It is the beyond that comes through them – in music, in dance, in painting, in scientific research, in poetry, in thousands of ways, but the real genius will know it for sure, that it is coming from the beyond.
He is proud that he has been chosen, he is not proud in comparison to you. Ego is a comparison: you are higher, you are superior, but there is comparison. You cannot be superior living alone in a forest – superior to whom? You cannot even be inferior – inferior to whom?
The man of pride has a deep feeling of gratitude that existence has chosen him, although he is not worthy. It is a strange phenomenon. The more worthy you are, the more you feel you are not worthy enough. You have been given so much and you cannot do anything in return.
Here, there will be people with pride. I would like my sannyasins to be proud, even of the fact that they are sannyasins, that they have been courageous enough to move against all orthodoxies, traditions, conventions, all that is rotten, and come out into the fresh, into the young, into the new.
You are blessed.
But your blessedness will be full of gratitude.
That is the distinction to be remembered between ego and pride.
I destroy the ego and I create the pride. Ego is something like a cancer that simply eats you and eats others. Pride, self-respect is a creative phenomenon. It fulfills your own potential and it also shares with the world all the treasures that you have brought into the world.
So here the situation is totally different.