The first question:
Is not the search for enlightenment a selfish search?
Yes, it is. And the most selfish. There is nothing like it, it is incomparably selfish.
And one has to be selfish, there is no other way to be. And all the teachings that go on telling you not to be selfish have not helped; rather, they have distracted your being, they have made you unnatural.
Self is your center, and to be selfish is the only way there is to be. The more you try to be not selfish the more you become eccentric. The word eccentric is beautiful; it simply means off-center.
Then you are rooted no more in yourself, then you are grounded no more in your being – and a man who is not grounded in his being lives a false life, lives an artificial life. His whole life is more like a dream than like a reality.
And deep down you cannot help, deep down you remain selfish. At the most you become hypocrites.
You try to be unselfish, but that is an impossibility. Even in your effort to be unselfish you will remain selfish. So you create a duality, a conflict, and whatsoever you say on the surface, deep down you go on denying it – and you know it well because how can you deceive yourself? The surface says one thing, the depth goes on broadcasting just the opposite.
It happened, there was a case against Mulla Nasruddin in the court and the judge asked, “Did you sleep with this woman, Nasruddin? Nasruddin said, No, your honor, not at all, your honor, not even a wink!”
This is the situation. You say something and immediately your inner depth contradicts it. You become a contradiction. You become tense. Your life becomes a deep anguish, a suffering. I teach you to be totally selfish because I teach you that which is natural. But if you understand me well – which is difficult, you may misunderstand me – if you are really selfish then much flows out of your life which is absolutely unselfish. Because when a man is grounded in his own being he has so much to share, so much to give, there is no need to be altruistic.
If you are centered you are altruistic because you have overflowing love, overflowing being – you have to share. You are just like a flower, so full of fragrance it goes on sharing it with the winds. You are like a pregnant being, you carry so much within you that you have to give, to share, and by sharing it grows more…but you share it from your center.