you must have noticed that after a few days, they have forgotten the hurt andquickly make friends with the same person. But as we grow older, it becomesincreasingly difficult to do this. And that is the beginning of the ego processwithin us.So the question arises whether it is possible not to record anythingpsychologically; to record only facts, but not to record insults and flattery. One isnot objecting to all memory, because factual memory is necessary and it does notcreate illusion or the ego. But the psychological memory interferes with thequality of my relationships in the present. That means you may have fought withyour husband or wife ten years ago and you may factually remember that you hada fight, but if you are not carrying the residue of it in terms of hurt then it does notaffect your relationship today. It is the memory of the hurt, that constitutespsychological memory. And that is what creates a difficulty in the relationship.We often observe that we have friends, both of whom are very good humanbeings, but something goes wrong between them; they can't manage to livepeacefully together. It is not that they don't want to but they just can't. And that'show relationships harden and break down.So that is the next thing to look at in our life, why do we record flattery andinsult? They are non-facts. If somebody comes and says to me," Oh, your lecturewas divine, it was wonderful, you are a great man ", it's an exaggeration, it's a lie.Why do I find that so pleasant, why do I record it? Or he comes and says,"Youare a stupid fool, you're wasting your time, you don't understand anything" and Ifeel insulted and I keep that insult in my mind and I feel enmical towards thisperson. We looked at that this morning. We said if you're carrying a begging bowl,and if somebody puts something in it, you treat him as a friend and if he takessomething out of it then you treat him as an enemy. So is there some kind of animage I am forming, a reputation I am seeking, for which I find that flattery usefuland the insult painful?So I must ask myself why I have this image, why I seek this reputation for myself?You will find that it comes from the fact that we would like the community tothink us better than we actually are. I don't want people to know me exactly as Iam, I pretend, and I like to create an image of a superior human being and letthem carry that image about me. Of course that creates a conflict in me because Ihave to be constantly living up to this image and acting different from what Iactually am. But I am willing to tolerate that conflict because I want theadvantages of what this good image in society gets me, which means that I am notcompletely honest. And we are dishonest because we are seeking some profit outof it. That itself is the ego-process.So the next question that I must ask is, is it possible to live without a single image?Be completely honest, be myself, irrespective of what people may think about me.Let your wife or your friend know you exactly as you are, with all yourweaknesses and faults and so-called virtues and accomplishments and let themdecide whether they want to stay with you or not. I don't want to pretend in orderthat that person remains friendly with me, because I have seen the complicationthat results from such pretence. It lowers the quality of our life. It creates theconflict between what I am and what I want others to think I am. That image is just an imaginary thing, that is not the actuality of me, so it is based on illusion.The ego, that division, comes from the image, not from the fact. The ego arisesfrom the manner in which I approach life.It is easy to see that my house doesn't create the ego in me, but I create the ego inrelation to my house. It arises if I feel attached to it and become very possessiveof it. And that seems to be true of everything. I can approach everythingnon-egotistically or I can approach it egotistically. I can do my work non-egotistically and I can do the same work egotistically. So the ego is not in theactivity. It lies in the manner in which I look at that activity and involve myself inthat activity. Which means, I need to watch my motive. With what motive am Irelating, with what motive am I doing the work? A scientist may be working 16hours a day in his laboratory, because he wants to learn about space, he wants tolearn how the sun shines and why the sky is blue. That is his interest, that is hispassion, that is what he wants to learn about. In that, there is no ego. But themoment he starts feeling that he should be the first to discover that, that he wantsto do this in order to get the Nobel Prize, the same activity becomes an egoactivity, because then he is not doing it for the joy of learning, he is doing it for aresult, a reward.So the ego is very subtle and nobody else can really know what my motives are.There is an interesting dialogue between Arjuna and Lord Krishna in theBhagavad Gita. Arjuna asks Krishna, what is the liberated man like? How does he
Is Self an Illusion?http://www.pkrishna.org/Is_Self_Illusion.html2 of 909/05/2009 07:13 p.m.