Q: If the ego is unreal, then does it not mean that the unconscious mind, the accumulation of memories in the brain cells, and the process of transformation that is the subject matter of spirituality, is also unreal, a dream process?
No. Ego is unreal; brain cells are not unreal. Ego is unreal; memories are not unreal. Ego is unreal; thought process is not unreal. Thought process is a reality. Memories are real, brain cells are real, your body is real. Your body is real, your soul is real. These are two realities. But when your soul gets identified with the body, the ego is formed – that is unreality.
It is just like this. I am standing before a mirror: I am real, the mirror is real, but the reflection in the mirror is not real. I am real, the mirror is also real, but the reflection in the mirror is a reflection, it is not a reality. Brain cells are real, consciousness is real, but when consciousness gets involved, attached, identified with the brain cells, the ego is formed. That ego is unreal.
So when you have awakened, when you have become enlightened, your memory is not going to disappear. The memory will be there. Really, it will be more crystal-clear. Then it will function more accurately because there will be no disturbance from the false ego. Your thought process will not disappear. Rather, for the first time you will be capable of thinking. Before that you were simply borrowing things. Then you will really be able to think. But then you, not the thought process, will be the master.
Before, the thought process was the master. You couldn’t do anything about it. It continued on its own; you were just a victim. You wanted to sleep and the mind continued thinking. You wanted to stop it, but it would not stop. Really, the more you tried to stop it, the more stubborn it became. It was your master. When you become enlightened it will be there, but then it will be instrumental. Whenever you need it, you will be able to use it. Whenever you don’t need it, it will not crowd your consciousness. Then it can be called and then it can also be stopped.
Mind cells will be there, the body will be there, memory will be there, thought process will be there. Only one thing will not be there – the feeling of I will not be there. This is difficult to understand.
Buddha walks, Buddha eats, Buddha sleeps, Buddha remembers. He has memory, his brain cells function beautifully. But Buddha has said, ‘I walk, but no one walks in me. I talk, but no one talks in me. I eat, but no one eats in me.’ The inner consciousness is no more the ego. So when Buddha feels hungry, he cannot feel like you. You feel, ‘I am hungry.’ When Buddha feels hungry, he feels, ‘The body is hungry. I am just the knower.’ And that knower is without any feeling of I.
The ego is the false entity, the only false entity – everything else is real. Two realities can meet, and in their meeting, a third epi-phenomenon can be created. When two realities meet, something false can happen. But the false can happen only if there is consciousness. If there is no consciousness, the false cannot happen. Oxygen and hydrogen meet: a false water cannot happen. The false can happen only when you are conscious, because only consciousness can err. Matter cannot err, matter cannot be false. Matter is always true. Matter cannot deceive and cannot be deceived – only consciousness can. With consciousness is the possibility to err.
But remember another thing: matter is always real, never false, but also never true. The matter cannot know what truth is. If you cannot err, you cannot know what truth is. Both the possibilities open simultaneously. Human consciousness can err and can know that it has erred and can move away from it. That is the beauty of it. The danger is there, but danger is bound to be there. With every growth new dangers come in. For matter, there is no danger.
Look at it in this way. Whenever a new thing grows in existence, a new thing evolves, now dangers come with it into existence. For a stone there is no danger. There are small bacteria. In those bacteria sex doesn’t exist in the way it exists in man or in animals. They simply divide their bodies. When one bacterium grows bigger and bigger, when it grows to a certain extent, its body automatically divides into two. The parent body divides into two. Now there are two bacteria. Those bacteria can live eternally – because there is no birth, so there is no death.
And the reverse process also happens. If food is not available, two bacteria will come nearer and nearer and they will become one, their bodies will become one. No birth, no death. With sex entered birth; with birth entered death; with birth entered individuality; with individuality entered ego.
Every growth has its own potential dangers, but they are beautiful. If you can understand, there is no need to fall into them, and you can transcend them. And when you transcend, you mature and you achieve a greater synthesis. If you fall a victim, the greater synthesis is not achieved.
Spirituality is the peak, the last, the ultimate synthesis of all growth. The false is transcended and the real absorbed. And only the real remains; all the false drops away. But don’t think that the body is unreal – it is real. Brain cells are real, the thought process is real. Only the relationship between the consciousness and the thought process is unreal. That is a tie. You can untie it. And the moment you untie it, you have opened the door.
Osho, Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Vol 2, Ch 16, Q 3