If you look at your past references, what are they? Language games. Somebody says that he is a brahmin. Because the society accepts that there are four classes in India; the brahmin is the highest caste and the sudra is the lowest caste. Now this type of caste system does not exist anywhere in the world; it exists only in India. Of course it is imaginary. You cannot sort out who is a brahmin if he does not say so. The blood will not show, the bones will not show – no examination, no X-ray will show who is a brahmin and who is a sudra. But in India the game has been played so long, it has become so deep rooted in the mind, the moment somebody says he is a brahmin, look at his eyes, look at his nose – the ego radiates. When somebody says that he is a sudra, look at him. The very word humiliates; the very word makes him feel guilty. Both are human beings, but just a labeling that a society has accepted destroys their humanity.
When you say you are rich, what do you mean? You have a certain account in the bank. But that too is a game; money is a game. Because the society has agreed upon something to believe in, the game continues.
I have heard about one miser who had a great treasure of gold hidden somewhere in his garden. Every day he would go and remove a little earth and look at his bricks of gold, hide them again, would come back very happy and glad and smiling, all smiles. By and by one neighbor started suspecting, because every day – it was almost a religious ritual – every day exactly in the morning he would come – it was just like a prayer – remove a little soil, look at his bricks of gold shining in the morning sun, and immediately something would flower in him and he would be so happy the whole day.
One night the neighbor removed all the bricks of gold. Instead of gold bricks, he put ordinary bricks there and covered the earth. The next morning the miser came. He started crying and weeping and shouting that he had been robbed. The neighbor was standing in his garden; he said, “Why, for what are you crying?” He said, “I have been robbed! My twenty gold bricks have been stolen!” The neighbor said, “Don’t be worried, because you were never going to use them. You can do the same with these ordinary bricks. Come every day in the morning, remove the earth, look at them, be happy and go back. Because you were never going to use them in the first place, so whether of gold or of mud, what difference does it make?”
You may have money; that does not make any difference. You may not have; that too does not make any difference. You may have great recognition, degrees, awards from the society, appraisal, certificates; that does not mean anything – it is a game. Once you look into this game through and through and you realize that in this game you will never be able to find yourself, who you are… The society goes on befooling you and giving you some illusory ideas of who you are, and you go on trusting and believing in them. Your whole life is wasted.
So when for the first time meditation starts really working in you and starts destroying you, destructuring you – your name disappears, your caste disappears, your religion disappears, your nationality disappears – by and by you are simply nude and naked in your pure aloneness. It is scaring in the beginning because you cannot find any place to put your feet and you cannot find any place to continue, to remain in the ego. No help, all props withdrawn, your structure starts falling.
Stand by the side, have a good laugh, and let it fall. Have a good laugh that now there is no way to move back.