Are these illusions of God and ego one and the same?
Yes. The moment ego is found illusory, immediately God also disappears. Ego is an imaginary center in individuals, and God is the imaginary center of the whole universe. They are related to each other, dependent on each other. Neither God can exist without ego in you, nor can ego exist without God there above, in heaven. God is the ego of the whole.
It is not a coincidence that all the religions emphasize both together – God and you. They try to make your ego more and more – at least in appearance – a reality. To make the ego they have all kinds of disciplines: you have to do this, you have not to do this – because the ego cannot exist when you are not doing anything.
It is just as if you have a torch of fire in your hand; if you go on moving it round and round fast enough, you will see a circle of fire – which does not exist. It is illusory, you just cannot see the gaps. It is just a single fire, a flame, but moved fast it becomes a circle. That circle is simply not there. Stop moving your hand and the circle disappears.
All the religions go on teaching you, “Do something – fast, exercises, prayers; go to churches, mosques, synagogues. Read the holy scripture every day.” These are all methods to create the ego in you. The torch goes on moving and goes on creating the illusory circle.
And when you start feeling that you have a center in you, it becomes very easy for you to believe that there must be a center to the whole. If each individual is moving on a center, then the whole existence must be moving on a center, and that center is God. Ego strengthened in you creates the belief, the faith in – God, and makes it look very logical.
What I am doing here is just the opposite. I want you first to learn moments of non-doing, moments when you simply are, not doing anything – the torch has stopped moving in a circle – and you are amazed. The moment you are silent, not doing anything at all, suddenly, in a strange, mysterious way, the old you has disappeared, evaporated, and a new feeling of being arises.
The ego is separate from others, has to be. It has its own territory. The bigger the territory, the bigger ego you can have. If you become the president of America, of course your ego becomes millions of times bigger. You have much money, and you go on and on accumulating money – that feeds the illusion; your territory, your power, goes on increasing.
I want you to know a state of utter nothingness. That is your reality.