The very idea that you have to get rid of the ego is wrong. Drop that very idea! …
You can pretend to be humble, you can impose a sort of egolessness on your ego,, but it will remain there, and it will go on disrupting and sabotaging your life. Just try to understand it. It is natural! You are succeeding, you feel good; you are progressing, you feel good; you are growing, you feel good!
It is said that when God created the world and He looked around, He said, “Very good! A beautiful thing I have done.”
Nothing wrong about it! You paint a picture, then you look from many angles — you feel good; you have succeeded in materializing something which was immaterial. A vision, a dream, you have been able to bring to the world. When you compose a poem, you feel good! Nothing is wrong about it. Just remember that the shadow is not you.
This is your shadow, certainly — but the shadow is not you. The ego is a shadow. It is not you. This remembrance is enough — there is no need to fight because a shadow does not exist in the first place. It is a simple negativity, it is just absence. It has no positivity in it. So if you fight a negative thing, you will be defeated — because there is no way to defeat a negative thing. That which is not cannot be defeated. That’s the problem.
That which is not cannot be defeated. And if you start fighting with it, you will be defeated. It is just like fighting darkness: there is no need! The problem is arising because you have an underlying notion that the ego should not be there. Why? Why not accept it also? Just remember it is not you. The problem arises only when you get identified with your shadow.
You are walking, the sun is there, and a shadow is falling. Somebody walks upon your shadow — do you fight with him? You know it is a shadow! He has not walked on you. Somebody walks on your ego: don’t fight. He has not walked on you. Somebody insults you: it hurts because you get identified with the shadow — otherwise there is nothing. Somebody walks on your shadow: the hurt is imaginary and is a consequence of getting oneself identified with the shadow.
You are condemning it. You are creating the problem and anxiety for yourself. Accept it! It is part of a natural flow. But don’t put the shadow ahead of you! DON’T become a shadow of the shadow! — that’s all. You remain yourself.
I don’t hammer the ego, I never hammer the ego — I simply hammer the identification. I am not so foolish as to hammer your ego; that would be hammering your shadow. I simply hammer the bridge that you have created between the existential and the non-existential, between the essential and the non-essential, between the real and the unreal, between the fact and the fiction — between you and the shadow. I hammer only that bridge. And, of course, it falls apart, because it is just an idea. It has no reality: just an idea that ‘this is me’.
If you want to do anything about the ego, the only thing that I feel can be helpful is: laugh at it. It is ridiculous to get identified with the shadow — simply ridiculous. But don’t get serious. Accept it and you will be delivered from it.
Once you accept the reality, you are relieved, released; the prison exists no more. So don’t try to be humble! Just know that ego arises. What can you do? You are not creating it.
It is just like when a wave moves: in the wake another wave follows it upside-down — that is the wake. It is natural. When there arises a big mountain, a valley follows it. The valley is nothing but the mountain upside-down. It is part of it. When you move, in the wake your shadow, your valley, follows. You simply accept it! Mountains are not crying tears that ‘why do valleys exist?’ And neither are waves worried.
The very idea that you have to get rid of the ego is wrong. Drop that very idea! When ego arises, simply note the fact that the shadow is falling — and remember not to get identified with it; remember that you are separate. This is enough. And the true humbleness is born out of this realization.
It is not an effort against the ego that brings humbleness. If you fight the ego, it can bring you a certain type of humbleness — but then there will be another ego arising and that will be the ego of the humble person. The pious ego: “I am the most humble person in the world. Nobody is humble in comparison to me. I am at the top.” Again the ego has arisen. Ego will always arise whatsoever you do.
Doing brings ego. Ego is the shadow of action. And there is only one thing that is not doing and that is awareness, watchfulness. The only thing that is not part of the world of action is pure awareness. No shadow is created by pure awareness. It is so pure that light can pass through it — it is transparent and no shadow is created.
Shadow is created by solid things. The more solid a thing is, the more shadow it creates. Your body creates a shadow; your mind also creates a shadow — the ego is the shadow of the mind. If you become more aware, if you simply watch the mind, its functioning, its mechanism, then you are moving beyond the mind. You become just pure awareness, transparent. Then there is no shadow.
So just laugh at it. And if it tries to seduce you, have a good laugh! at your own absurdities. But don’t become a warrior and don’t start fighting with it.
A Sudden Clash of Thunder – Chapter #10