The question is from Paritosh:
Since returning to Pune and listening to your discourses, I have been experiencing a certain amount of disquiet. I learn that my ego does not really exist. My greater disquiet now is about my superego, presumably nonexistent also, who has been keeping a watchful eye for many years on an ego which is not there; in my dilemma I recall some lines from an anonymous poet. These run something like this:
As I was walking up the stair
I passed a man who was not there.
He did not come again today.
I really wish he’d go away.
The ego is the greatest dilemma, and it has to be understood. Otherwise you can go on and on ad infinitum creating a new ego fighting with the old.
What exactly is the ego? It is top-dogging yourself. It is creating a division in yourself – the division of the top dog and the underdog, the division of the superior and the inferior, the division of the saint and the sinner, the division of good and bad the division, basically, of God and devil. And you go on getting identified with the beautiful, with the hither, with the superior: and you go on condemning the lower.
If this division exists, then whatsoever you do there is an ego: you can drop it, and by dropping it you can create a superego. Then by and by the superego will start creating trouble for you, because all division is misery. Non-division is bliss: division is misery. It will create new problems, new anxieties. Then again you can drop the superego and you can create a super superego – ad infinitum you can go on. And this is not going to solve the problem. You are simply shifting it. You are simply forcing it back. You are trying to avoid the problem.
I have heard about one Catholic who was a fanatic believer in the Virgin Mary and God and the Catholic theology. Then he got fed up, and then he dropped it and he became an atheist; and then he started saying, “There is no God, and Mary is his mother.” Now the same old thing, and it has become even more absurd.
I have heard about a Jew, a very simple man, a tailor in a small town. One day he was not found in the temple. It was a religious day, and he had always been there, but lately rumors were spreading in the town that he has become an atheist. So the whole town was agog. It was a great event the tailor has turned atheist. It has never happened in that town; nobody has ever turned atheist. So the whole town went to the tailor’s shop. They asked him, but he didn’t say anything. He remained silent.