This is part of our egoistic mind which is being projected in the name of the country – sometimes in the name of religion. Every religion thinks This is the highest religion there is: my religion. My religion has to be the highest because it is my religion. And I am the greatest person in the world – how can it be otherwise?
I have heard about a professor of philosophy who was head of the department of philosophy in the University of Paris. One day he declared “I am the greatest man in the world.”
His disciples, his students were a little puzzled, because he was a poor professor. First, he was a professor, and then a professor of philosophy – the poorest. They could not believe it, but they had always been thinking that he was a little eccentric, otherwise why should one go and study philosophy? He was a little crazy, but that day they thought he had gone completely out of his mind. What was he saying…that he was the greatest man in the world?
One student, just jokingly, stood up and said “Sir, can you prove it? We need proof, and we can expect proof from a man like you – a logician, a professor. Have you got any proof for your statement?”
And the professor said “Yes, I have brought it and he had brought a map of the world.” He fixed the map of the world on the blackboard. They could not understand what he was going to do with the map of the world. And then by and by they came to understand what he was going to do.
First he said I will ask one question: “Which is the greatest country in the world?”
They were all French, so naturally they said “France.”
So he said “So now, the whole world can be dropped; we can concentrate on France. If I can prove that I am the greatest Frenchman, then I will be proving that I am the greatest man in the world.”
Still they were not certain what he was going to do.
Then he said “Which is the greatest city in France?” Naturally, it is Paris, and they were all Parisians. Now they started suspecting that he had something in it.
And he said “Paris! And I am the greatest man in Paris. If I can prove this, then my first statement will be proved.” And then he said “Which is the greatest place in the city of Paris?”
Naturally, it is the university – the seat of learning, the seat of wisdom, knowledge. Now to everybody it was clear that they were trapped.
And then he said “Which is the greatest department and the greatest subject in the university? It is philosophy, and they were all students of philosophy. So naturally it is philosophy.”
And then he said “Who is the head of the department of philosophy?…. I am the greatest man in the world.”