In fact the situation is just the contrary, there is no reason to create the ego. But the child is absolutely ignorant, and he is not capable of understanding the complexity of the thing: he cannot feel he is helpless. He feels he is the dictator. And then for his whole life he will try to remain the dictator. He will become a Napoleon, an Alexander, an Adolf Hitler – your presidents, prime ministers, dictators, are all childish. They are trying for the same thing, they want to be the center of the whole existence: with them the world should live, with them the world should die; the whole world is their periphery and they are the meaning of it, the very meaning of life is hidden in them. The child, of course, naturally finds this interpretation correct, because when the mother looks at him, in the eyes of the mother he sees that he is the significance of her life. And when the father comes home he feels that he is the very meaning of the life of the father.
This lasts for three or four years – and the four years of the beginning of life are the most important; never again will there be such a potential time in life. Psychologists say that after the first four years the child is almost complete. The whole pattern is fixed; throughout his whole life he will repeat the same pattern in different situations. But the pattern is there already, complete. By the seventh year the child is perfect: now nothing else is going to happen to him. He has all his attitudes confirmed, his ego settled. Now he moves into the world, and then everywhere there will be problems, millions of problems. And he carries the root within him.
Once out of the circle of the family, problems will arise. Because nobody bothers as your mother bothered about you; nobody is concerned as your father was concerned with you. There is total indifference. And the ego is hurt. But now the pattern is set. Whether hurt or not the child cannot change the pattern, it has become the very blueprint of his being. He will play with other children and try to dominate. He will go to school and try to dominate, try to come first in class, to become the most important man. And he believes he is the “superior-most,” but other children believe also in the same way. There is conflict, there are egos is fight, struggle.
Then this becomes the whole story of life: there are millions of egos around you, just like yours, and everybody is trying to control, maneuver, domineer – through wealth, power, politics, knowledge, strength, lies, pretensions, hypocrisies, even religion, morality. And everybody is trying to dominate, to show the whole world that “I am the center.” And this is the root of all problems.
Because of this concept, you are always in conflict and struggle, with somebody or other. Not that others are enemies to you, everybody is just like you, in the same boat; the plight is the same for everybody else. They have been brought up in the same way.
There exists a certain school of psycho-analysts in the West who have proposed that, unless children are brought up without their father and mother, the world will never be at peace. I don’t support them – because then they will never be brought up in any way. They have something of a truth in their proposal, but it is a very dangerous proposal. Because if children are brought up in nurseries without fathers and mothers, without any love, with total indifference, they may not have the problem of the ego, but they will have some other problems, in the same way dangerous, even more so.