I know you want us all to rid ourselves of our egos and minds, and in my case, I know that this is very necessary, but for those of us who will be returning to the West, would not a total absence of mind or ego make life more difficult?
When I say, “drop the ego, drop the mind,” I don’t mean that you cannot use the mind any more. In fact, when you don’t cling to the mind you can use it in a far better, far more efficient way, because the energy that was involved in clinging becomes available. And when you are not continuously in the mind, twenty-four hours a day in the mind, the mind also gets a little time to rest.
Do you know? — Even metals need rest, even metals get tired. So what to say about this subtle mechanism of the mind? It is the most subtle mechanism in the world. In such a small skull you are carrying such a complicated biocomputer that no computer made by man is yet capable of competing with it. The scientists say a single man’s brain can contain all the libraries of the world and yet there will be space enough to contain more. And you are continuously using it — uselessly, unnecessarily! You have forgotten how to put it off. For seventy, eighty years it remains on, working, working, tired. That’s why people lose intelligence: for the simple reason that they are so tired. If the mind can have a little rest, if you can leave the mind alone for a few hours every day, if once in a while you can give the mind a holiday, it will be rejuvenated; it will come out more intelligent, more efficient, more skillful.
So I am not saying that you are not to use your mind, but don’t be used by the mind. Right now the mind is the master and you are only a slave.
Meditation makes you a master and the mind becomes a slave. And remember: the mind as a master is dangerous because, after all, it is a machine; but the mind as a slave is tremendously significant, useful. A machine should function as a machine, not as a master. Our priorities are all upside-down — your consciousness should be the master. So whenever you want to use it, in the East or in the West — of course you will need it in the marketplace — use it! But when you don’t need it, when you are resting at home by the side of your swimming-pool or in your garden, there is no need. Put it aside. Forget all about it! Then just be.
And the same is the case with the ego. Don’t be identified with it, that’s all. Remember that you are part of the whole; you are not separate from it.
That does not mean that if somebody is stealing from your house you have simply to watch — because you are just part of the whole and he is also part of the whole, so what is wrong? And somebody is taking money from your pocket, so there is no problem – the other’s hand is as much yours as his! I am not saying that.
Remember that you are part of the whole so that you can relax, merge; once in a while you can be utterly drowned in the whole. And that will give you a new lease of life. The inexhaustible sources of the whole will become available to you. You will come out of it refreshed; you will come out of it reborn, again as a child, full of joy, inquiry, adventure, ecstasy.
Don’t get identified with the ego, although, as far as the world is concerned, you have to function as an ego — that is only utilitarian! You have to use the word “I” — use the word “I,” but remember that it is only a word. It has a certain utility, and without it life will become impossible. If you stop using the word “I” completely, life will become impossible. We know names are only utilitarian; nobody is born with a name. But I am not saying to drop the name and throw your passport into the river. Then you will be in trouble! You need a name; that is a necessity because you live with so many people.
If you are alone in the world, then of course there is no need to carry a passport. If you are alone…for example, if the third world war happens and Joyce is left alone, then there will be no need to carry a passport; you can throw it anywhere. Then there will be no need to have any name. Even if you have one it will be useless — nobody will ever call you. Then there will be no need to even use the word “I” because “I” needs a “thou”; without a “thou” the “I” is meaningless. It has meaning only in the context of others. So don’t misunderstand me. USE your ego, but use it just like you use your shoes and your umbrella and your clothes. When it is raining, use the umbrella, but don’t go on carrying it unnecessarily. And don’t go to bed with the umbrella, and don’t be afraid that in a dream it may rain…. The umbrella has a utility, so use it when it is needed; but don’t become so identified with the umbrella that you cannot put it aside. Use the shoes, use the clothes, use the name — they are all utilities, not realities.
In the world, when so many people are there, we need a few labels, a few symbols, just to demark, just to make sure who is who.
You ask me: I know you want us all to rid ourselves of our egos and minds….
I am not saying to “get rid”; I am simply saying to be master of your minds. I am not telling you to be mindless; I am only saying: don’t just be minds — you are far more. Be consciousnesses! Then the mind becomes a small thing. You can use it whenever needed, and whenever not needed you can put it off.
I am using my mind when I am talking to you. The mind has to be used; there is no other way. But the moment I enter my room, then I don’t go on using it — there is no point. Then I am simply silent. With you I am using the language, the words, but when I am with myself there is no need for any language, for any words. When I am settled into myself and there is no question of communication, language disappears. Then there is a totally different kind of consciousness.
Right now my consciousness is flowing through the mind, using the mechanism of the mind to approach you. I can reach for you with my hand, but I am not the hand. And when I touch you with my hand, the hand is only a means; something else is touching you through the hand. The body has to be used, the mind has to be used, the ego, the language, and all kinds of things have to be used. And you are allowed to use them with only one condition: remain the master.
From Ah This, Chapter Two
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