So others’ eyes reflect your riches, your achievements in the world, your clothes; they cannot reflect you. And when you see that others think you are poor – that means you don’t have good clothes, a good house, a good car – you start moving toward these things. You accumulate things just to see that you are rich in the eyes of others. Then others’ eyes start reflecting that you are becoming richer and richer, you are gaining power and prestige. Your identity consists of your reflection; but others can only reflect things, they cannot reflect you. Hence, meditation is very, very necessary.
Meditation means closing your eyes; not looking at the reflection, but looking at your own being. Otherwise, the whole day you are engaged with others. In the night also, when you sleep, either you are unconscious when there is deep sleep, or you are again engaged with others in your dreams. Continuously living with the other is the problem: you are born into a society, you live in a society, you die in a society; your whole existence consists of the social. And society means eyes all around. Whatsoever those eyes reflect, they impress you. If everybody says you are a good man, you start feeling good. If everybody thinks you are a bad man, you start feeling bad. If everybody says that you are ill, you will start feeling ill. Your identity depends on others, it is a hypnosis through others. Move into loneliness: live with others, but don’t exhaust yourself with others.
At least for one hour a day just close your eyes – closing your eyes means you are closed to the society, no society exists, only you – so you can face yourself directly. Move once a year for a few days to the hills, to the desert, where there is nobody, only you, and see yourself as you are. Otherwise, continuously living with others will create a hypnosis in you. That hypnosis is the reason you go on influencing others, impressing others. The real thing is not how to live a rich life, the real thing is how to impress others that you are rich, but these are totally different things.
The others are impressed by whatsoever you possess, they are never impressed by you. If you meet Alexander in a beggar’s clothes you will not recognize him, but if you meet the beggar who has always been begging on your street sitting on a throne like Alexander, you will fall at his feet, you will recognize him!
It happened once:
A great Urdu poet, Ghalib, was invited to a dinner by the emperor. Many other people were invited, almost five hundred. Ghalib was a poor man; it is very difficult for a poet to be rich, rich in the eyes of others.
Friends suggested, “Ghalib, you can borrow clothes, shoes, a good umbrella…because your umbrella is so rotten, your coat is faded, almost gone, and with these clothes and these shoes which have so many holes, it won’t look good!”
But Ghalib said, “If I borrow something I will feel very uncomfortable inside, because I have never borrowed from anybody. I have lived on my feet, I have lived in my own way. To break the habit of my whole life just for a dinner is not good.”