In the West, salesmen are slowly being replaced in shops by saleswomen. Now there are no more salesmen, only saleswomen! Now there is no sense in keeping the word salesman in use. When a male customer enters a shop to buy a pair of shoes and a beautiful salesgirl approaches him, fits a pair of shoes on his feet with her own hands, ties the laces carefully and smilingly adds, “Beautiful! This pair looks so beautiful on your feet,” now, howsoever much that pair of shoes may be pinching him, it is his compulsion to buy them. He will have to buy them. Now it is no more a question of shoes, now you are buying something else, the shoes are just an excuse.
We have all bought many such things which we never wanted. Our whole life is a similar collection of things, and the ego is the total collection of all this. We have stolen the shine from the eyes of others, put it all together and that has become our flickering light. But it is always the others who are the masters, any day they want to they can pull back the support.
Even the biggest of leaders is not bigger than his followers. He cannot be, because his whole leadership is in the hands of others. Today they have given it, tomorrow they can take it away.
Therefore, however great a leader may be he is a follower of his followers. He has to follow them. He has to watch in which direction the followers are going, then he runs and stands in front of them. He has to mark the direction of the wind, the direction of his followers, and his whole expertise is in then running and standing in the front. And this is why, all the time, every day, the leader goes on changing his statements. He has to change. That is what is called keeping the follower’s views in mind. You have received your ego from them. Your prestige, position, everything you have received from them – it is all borrowed. And whatever is a borrowed thing, it is not you. You were there before all these things were received. When death snatches all this away from you, you will still be there.
You have created a false center, and if you have taken yourself to be this center, why then will you then search for your real center? You have taken it for granted that this is the real center.
What is your image in your own eyes? It is an image created by others. It is others who have created it – somebody has given color to it, somebody has drawn its eyes, somebody has drawn the feet, and that is all you are. But this is only a paper image, one small shower of rain will wash off all its colors. But this situation is born out of the inevitabilities of life.
Psychologists say that a child becomes aware of others first, not of himself. Naturally, when a child opens his eyes, he sees his mother. How can he see himself? The other, the “thou,” is seen, not the “I.” Slowly his acquaintance enlarges. He sees his father, his brothers, sisters, and the family, and this way he is slowly learning to experience the other. And it is in contrast and relation to this other that he begins to experience his “I.”
It is very interesting to note that the experience of “I” is not the first. I am, but I do not experience myself first, I experience others first. Naturally when I experience the others first, then the “I” that I will create will be based on the opinions of these others.