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Value of the False World and Ego.

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All that is relevant to the Lord -- whatever it be -- is truth. Whatever is relevant to you is false, for your very being is false. Truth cannot grow from untruth. Whatever you create will be merely a house of cards -- a slight wind, and it will fall. Whatever you make cannot be more than a paper boat that will sink as soon as it sets sail. You cannot travel in it. Whatever is created by the ego is false, for the ego itself is false. Whatever belongs to God is true.

The day this truth dawns on you, you will stop wasting your energy in creating untruths; instead you will begin to utilize it to know truth. Samsari involves a person who is busy creating untruths. You do not realize the falsity of the world for you are wrapped up in it. Stand a little away and observe your world -- how frightening its falsity is!

A man hoards currency notes. He does not realize that these notes are mere bits of paper, only a means of transaction.

If the government changes and the new government decides to cancel this currency, they become just paper! So this man is actually gambling on an assumption that cannot be relied on.

There is a hotel in America. During the depression of 1930 when the economy of America crashed, the owner pasted the walls with useless bonds that formerly had been worth tens of millions of dollars. Millions upon millions of dollars turned into useless paper. On the other hand, there is this man amassing currency notes. He has no other interest but to hoard money. He fills his safe, but he does not know that for each banknote he is selling his own life, for each moment is precious. The energy he could have utilized in attaining God he wastes in gathering the banknotes.

In Mexico pebbles and stones were once used as coins, for it is only a matter of general agreement; you use paper to represent money, but surely stones are more valuable than paper! Gold is gold for we have agreed to its value. If tomorrow the wind changes, iron will be valued in place of gold, and gold will lose all importance. Then jewels and ornaments will be made of iron.

There are tribes in Africa who value bones and not gold. They wear ornaments, necklaces, etc. of bones. Gold has no value for them. They will not exchange it for their bones.

It is all a game of values, and for these values you sacrifice your life.

You are willing to sacrifice anything so that people may honor you. What is the meaning of this honor? Who are those people whose recognition you crave? They are the same ones hankering for your honor. What is the value of their respect? What do you gain by being honored by fools? And the crowds of the foolish in this world cannot be counted.

Winston Churchill went to America. He spoke at a meeting before a huge crowd; the hall was filled to capacity. After the meeting a woman came up to him and said, "You must be delighted to see so many people come to hear you. Whenever you speak the hall is packed."

Churchill replied, "Whenever I see a packed hall I say to myself, 'If it was my execution fifty times more people would have come.' How can one trust these people? They hear me and they clap. If I were being hanged, they would still clap. So whenever I see a hall filled with people I remind myself that these very same people would turn out in large numbers and enjoy the sight if I were executed." The same people will acclaim you when you rise, and applaud even louder when you fall. Where do you want to reach by gathering this crowd and getting their votes? What companionship do you get when they are with you? And how high do you hope to rise by riding on their shoulders? But man wagers his life for these paltry gains -- how to win acclaim from people, how to rise in their esteem.

Nanak says that whatever is born out of the ego is false; it cannot but be false. All this is a quest of the ego. The politician comes to your door, folds his hands, bows his head and asks for your vote. You give him the vote; he gets you the position. This is mutual ego gratification.

It happened once: There was a man who used to strike the hour in a clock tower in a town that also had a small telephone exchange. Every morning at nine o'clock the telephone exchange would get a call asking for the time. Now the exchange people would hear the clock tower strike nine and set their clocks by it. This went on for a long time until one day the operator asked the caller who he was and why he asked the hour at exactly nine every morning. The caller answered, "I am the man in charge of the clock tower." You can imagine the state of affairs: this man depends upon the exchange and the exchange depends on him -- totally reciprocal!

This mutual interdependence exists in all our dealings. I look at you, you look at me; I respect you, you respect me; you nourish my ego, I nourish yours. Such is this vast network of falsity.


Seek truth first. Do nothing before that. For whatever you do before that is bound to be false. Only one thing is worth doing: recognize truth! Then you may do anything.

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