The saint was invited and of course he was very happy; and all the other saints also were very happy that now even the king was becoming interested in the positive philosophy. That’s what he was saying: “This is simply positive philosophy. Now, bothering about the missing nose is a negative approach. It is gone; what is the point of all this crying over spilled milk? Why not make something positive out of it? And I am giving you the ultimate truth, just for the price of a nose.
They were all happy. They all went and waited outside the palace. The great sage entered – by now he had become a great sage. The prime minister closed the doors. He had two wrestlers, strong men, there, and they started beating the man. The sage said, “What are you doing?”
The prime minister said, “Now tell the truth, otherwise the beating will continue. We will not kill you, but we will not allow you to live either. We will keep you hanging between death and life. It is better that you say it quickly.”
Seeing the situation he said, “Okay, the truth is that my king has cut off my nose because I was fooling around with his wife. Now, what do you suggest? What should I have done? In this situation, with a nose missing, wherever I went I would have been condemned, boycotted. So I found this positive philosophy. In the same position, wouldn’t you have done the same?”
The prime minister said, “Of course I would have done the same – but now it is time that you move from this kingdom, because even my king is becoming interested, and I don’t want his nose to be removed by you, and him to become a sage. Move from this country to another. The world is large; there are fools everywhere, and you will find them everywhere. Right now you already have a great following.”
When Werner Erhard or people like him found that they could sell encyclopedias, worthless encyclopedias which nobody is going to read, and nobody is going to look into… People keep encyclopedias simply for show, in their study or in their sitting room. They look beautiful. They are not to be read, they are to be looked at. If you can sell encyclopedias – and people are so foolish that they will purchase useless books, highly-praised but meaningless books, at a high cost – why not sell ideas? Once you know the simple technique of salesmanship you can sell anything.
Positive thinking is just deceiving people. If influencing people and winning friends becomes your ideology, you will have to do two things. One is you will have to act, behave the way people like you to act and behave. That’s the simple way to influence them, there is no other way.
The whole philosophy can be condensed into a simple sentence: if you want people to be influenced by you, just behave the way they think is the right way to behave. You prove to be their ideal, which they also want to be but have not been able to be yet. Of course, you cannot become anybody else’s ideal, but you can pretend. You will become a hypocrite.
And if you are going to influence many people, then of course you will have to have many personalities, many masks, because each person is influenced by a different mask.