Long ago, there lived a beggar in a ruined house. He didn't know about the biggest treasure buried underneath his house.1 He didn't know that he was indeed far richer than the king of his country. In the end, he lived and died as a beggar. We are also like that, living like a beggar without knowing the treasure within us.2 We have all the real richness in the world. We have all peace, joy, love and strength within us. And the more we share it, the more we gain and the more we become enriched.3 Without realizing this, we go out looking for them and begging. We wander in search of peace and happiness; we yearn for love, for affection, for relationship; we lament that our respect and status are gone. The moment we expect respect from others, we lose our dignity. We madly chase after wealth, fame, power and status without even realizing how our peace and happiness are leaving us. When we run after superficial glamour, our true richness and brightness become hidden from us, denied to us.4
Where does this begging mentality come from? It is a manifestation of our ego. Ego is created, protected and strengthened by three kinds of poisons: desire, fear and ignorance. First, we try to possess many things with desire, and then we create a protective wall around us to secure them. When this wall gets thickened, it becomes as our ego and it separates us from our true nature, from others, from reality. We become lonely. And our life becomes full of struggles with competition, jealousy, fighting and quarreling. When we fight against nature and reality, our life becomes full of suffering.
Ego is something artificially created and imposed from the society in which we live. Since the ego grows slowly step by step from an early age, we become fully identified with that ego and become that ego. Even though it is not our true reality, we waste our whole life struggling to satisfy it. But there is no way to satisfy the ego and find lasting peace and true happiness. When we chase after our desires, they further multiply and we become more and more addicted to them. When we drive towards security, it increases our insecurity and fears. When we strengthen the protective wall, it dulls our sensitivity and awareness, and makes it difficult for us to experience life truly, fully and deeply.
When we fight and establish our status, the ego grows stronger - increasing our arrogance. When we lose and our status collapses, the ego gets hurt - crippling us in fear. The ego either boasts in arrogance, or it is paralyzed in victim-hood. The ego makes its own pains and problems as a big deal, but if it is about others, it does not bother to understand. The ego does not bother to notice its own shortcomings, but it magnifies others' shortcomings.5 It rationalizes and makes excuses for its own anger, weaknesses and mistakes; but if they happen to another person, it blames and does not accept. It adamantly upholds its own thoughts, views and opinions as correct. It does not know how to gracefully accept disagreements in opinions with others, instead it fights and defends like dealing with matters of life and death. It even kills for mere words.
When there is genuine love and humility, the ego is destroyed. The ego needs divisions and conflicts for its survival. So it creates divisions in everything: race, class, religion, language, country, etc. The ego's begging mentality does not know how to accept and embrace all, and how to appreciate all the wisdom of the world with an open mind. It gets attached to a teacher or a book, and refuses to look at the faults and issues in them, and hesitates to accept good things from a different teacher or a book. The spiritual paths that are intended to destroy the ego, have become the religions that promote the ego.
All that the ego knows is reckless anger and rudeness. When there isgenuine courage, the ego is destroyed. Ego is a manifestation of begging and cowardice mentality. Hence people develop inferiority-complex. To hide this, they try to elevate themselves and lower others by repressing, oppressing, deceiving and manipulating. So, they use anything and everything — size, beauty, talent... race, class, religion... power, status, fame, wealth, rank, title, degree... — to elevate themselves in some way. With these struggles, they cause so much of pain, suffering and horrors to themselves and others.
As long as the ego is there, it will only bring suffering to ourselves and those around us. When we gain a deeper understanding and wisdom, we realize that the security of the ego is bogus and its growth is actually our pathetic state of slavery. Then we can courageously open to life just as it is with genuine maturity. When we completely destroy our ego, our real nature — and its lasting peace, satisfaction, joy, love, wisdom and power — will shine brightly. That is our true dignity and freedom.6
Manifestations:Attachment, Lust, Greed, Jealousy, Competition, Expectation, Frustration, Stress, Dissatisfaction, Addiction
Manifestations:Anger, Rage, Hatred, Rudeness, Fight, Anxiety, Worry, Impatience, Hopeless, Inferiority-complex
Manifestations:Foolishness, Delusion, Deception, Blindness, Misunderstanding, Confusion, Denial
Manifestations:Arrogance, Selfishness, Pride, Shame, Bragging, Loneliness, Depression, Hurt, Misery, Struggle, Hell
Although it may appear differently as it comes from a totally different place, time, circumstance, language, etc., with many transfers and changes, yet all wisdom are fundamentally the same.