Everybody is in the same boat. The child is not smiling at the mother; he is not saying anything about the mother. Every child smiles at the mother because she is the source of food and love. And this is just diplomacy that the child should smile, because that’s how he gets more love, more nourishment. Within a few days the child becomes a politician. He knows when to smile and when not to – he starts giving punishment, prizes. If he is not feeling good about the mother he will not smile, he will not look at her, she will have to persuade him.
The child is showing something about himself, not about the mother. The mother is showing something about herself, not about the child. When you go to the mirror, the mirror is saying something about itself, not about you. If it is a good mirror from Belgium it shows something about itself, that “I am from Belgium.” And if it is Indian-made it shows that “I am made in India” – nothing about you. If your face looks beautiful, that shows only that the mirror has been made in a beautiful way. It reflects, it reacts.
This has to be understood – particularly for the seeker this is one of the basic things – that everybody else around you, all the mirrors, reflect. They are their reactions. They are not saying anything about you. How can they say? You yourself don’t know yourself – how can they know? Impossible! They do not know themselves – how can they know you?
Ego is the accumulation of impressions, shadows, reflections, and with this ego you live; you live in a hell. Unless you drop this ego the possibility for heaven will always remain closed.
And don’t try to drop it – because right now the dropper will be the same: the ego. And then you will gain a subtle ego, that “I am dropping the ego. I have dropped the ego.” And again you will look around to see how people are feeling and they will say, “We have never seen such a humble man,” and you will collect the reflection that you are the most egoless person, that you are so beautiful, so humble, so simple, you don’t have any ego. And you go on collecting.
You cannot drop it, you can only understand.
And there is no need to drop, because there is nothing to drop – just shadows. You have to understand how you have accumulated your self-identity, how you have gathered your self-image. And this self-image is confusing because you have gathered it from many sources – divergent, diametrically opposite – so you are always a crowd, you don’t have a unity. These impressions can’t have unity.
If you had lived with one man and you had never come across another man, your ego would have been absolutely certain – but that too is difficult, because one man is not one man either. One moment he is something, another moment something else. In the morning the mother was smiling, and by the afternoon she is angry and hitting you. If you had lived with one man of one single mood, then your ego would have been one. But you have lived with many many people, with millions of moods – all impressions are there. Your ego is a crowd. It is not a crystallization, it is not a center; it has no center. It is just a crowd, a mob.