You have at least to believe who you are – your name, your form; from where you have come – your family; where you are going – a certain idea about your destiny. Then the ego can exist.
A man becomes a Christ when all these three legs disappear. That’s why the old scriptures say:
“…when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is?”
And Christ was standing before these blind people, and they were asking foolish questions and arguing about foolish things. And they were very clever people, the people of Jerusalem. They were very intelligent, clever people; they could argue and discuss. In fact, Jesus was not so educated, so well informed, as they were. Jesus was an uneducated man – in a sense, uncultured, unsophisticated. And remember, God has happened many more times to unsophisticated people than to sophisticated people, because the sophisticated person believes that he already knows. Once you think that you know, then there is no possibility of knowing.
I will tell you a story.
Once a prospector climbed a mountain to seek for gold. On the way up, he fell down and struck his head. In his dizziness, he imagined he had found hundreds of gold nuggets. So, wandering around town, he ordered nonexistent gold to everyone he met. Of course, he had become mad, and had become the laughing stock of the whole community.
A sage took pity on him – on the poor rich man. He hit him hard on the head. The blow cleared his head. In shock and dismay he realized his former folly. “How incredible of me to imagine I possessed gold,” he told himself.
Then an astonishing thing happened. Once he realized that he didn’t possess gold, he began to search, and to find gold nuggets. Once realizing he didn’t possess gold, he started to search. And when you seek, you find.
Spiritual riches follow awareness of poverty. That is the one and the only order of things. Says Buddha, “Aes dhammo sanantano.” This is the eternal law, that once you realize you are spiritually poor, you are already on the way to being rich. Once you realize that you are ignorant, you have taken the first and the most basic step towards wisdom. Once you realize that you have gone astray, your life is already changing. Now the true path is not far away.
But if you think that you are not astray, that you are on the right path, that you know, that you already possess that which you don’t possess, then there is no possibility. Then you are closed.