If we can look at these things the whole scenario is immediately transformed. What we thought were ghosts and spirits were merely our shadows. Because we were running, these ghosts and spirits ran after us – and they made us run even more! The moment we stop running they become lifeless; the moment we look at them they cease to exist. They are just shadows, and surely shadows can’t do anything. There was the shadow of ugliness, so to cover it we clothed and decorated it with flowers – and thus we created an illusion. Now, when we see it was just a shadow and clothing, it becomes unnecessary; we become free of the shadow and aware of that to whom the shadow belongs. This very awareness gives birth to the vision of the beautiful one, the supremely beautiful one.
I have had this vision; I stopped running away from shadows and that gave me the strength to look beyond them. And what I saw there – that truth – transformed everything. Truth transforms everything. Its very presence is the revolution. Hence I say to you don’t be afraid. Look at what really is and don’t take shelter in dreams and imaginations. He who dares to give up these shelters is sheltered by truth.
This morning someone asked me what does it mean to know oneself directly. To know yourself directly means not to accept other people’s opinions about you. See for yourself what is there within you – what is hidden in your thoughts, in your passions, in your actions, in your desires and longings. Look at these things directly, just as you look at a completely new place after arriving there. Look at yourself as one looks at an unfamiliar person, at a stranger. This will do you a lot of good. The greatest good will be that the grand image you have created of yourself in your mind will shatter to pieces. This shattering of the idol is a must, because it is only after this imaginary idol has been destroyed that you pass from the land of dreams into the land of reality.
Before we can become the truth and the good, we must first shatter our illusions of being the truth and the good which we have invented to hide the untruth and evil in ourselves. These illusions were self-deceptions. Nobody creates a fictitious image and personality for himself for nothing. This too is done out of some necessity. It is done in order to save oneself from humiliation in one’s own eyes. When one glimpses the animal that resides in him, the very presence of the animal torments him and he feels humiliated in himself.
There are two ways to save yourself from this humiliation: either the animal has to disappear or you just have to forget about it. In order for it to disappear you must pass through a spiritual discipline. But it is very easy to forget the animal. It is a very simple thing. Imagination alone is enough for that. We create an imaginary image of ourselves for our eyes alone and with the help of this image the animal is suppressed. But it does not disappear. It remains active behind this image. In fact, this image is only an outward appearance; at the back of it lies the animal. Don’t you see this image losing out, being defeated every day in real life, in real situations? This is only natural. The animal inside is the reality and so it defeats all our efforts. Every day the imaginary personality is defeated by it.