Jesus said: the mote that is in thy brother’s eye thou seest, but the beam that is in thine eye thou seest not. When thou castest the beam out of thine eye, then thou wilt see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Self-knowledge is the most difficult thing – not because it is difficult, but because you are scared to know about yourself. A deep fear exists. Everybody is trying to escape, escape from himself. This fear has to be understood. And if this fear exists, whatsoever you do will not be of much help. You may think that you want to know yourself, but if this unconscious fear is there you will continuously avoid, you will continuously try to hide, deceive. On the one hand you will try to know yourself, and on the other hand you will create all sorts of hindrances so that you cannot know.
Consciously you may think, “I would like to know myself,” but in the unconscious, which is bigger, stronger, more powerful than the conscious, you will avoid self-knowledge. So the fear has to be understood. Why are you afraid? One thing: if you really penetrate within yourself, your image that you have created in the world will prove to be false. Your whole past will come to mean nothing, because it has been like a dream. You have invested so much in it, you have lived for it, and now to know that it has been a false phenomenon you feel hurt: then your whole life has been wasted.
If whatsoever you have been living has been a pseudo-life, not authentic, if you have never loved but just pretended to love, how can you encounter yourself? … Because then you will come to know that the whole thing has been sheer pretence: not only have you pretended that you love, you have also pretended that you are happy when you love. You have deceived nobody else but yourself. And now to look back, to look within, fear grips you.
All along you have been programmed to think that you are something unique; everybody does. That is the most ordinary thing in the world, to think oneself extraordinary, something special, ’the chosen’. Even Hitler, Stalin or Mao Zedong thought they were very special men and thought it was a just thing to massacre countless innocent beings. But if you look at yourself you will come to know that there is nothing, there is nothing to be egoistic about. Then where will the ego stand? It will tumble down, fall down to the dust.
Fear is there, so you do not look at yourself. In not looking, you can go on creating dreams about yourself, images about yourself. And it is very easy and cheap to create an image, but it is very difficult and hard to really be something. One always chooses the cheapest – and you have chosen the cheapest. Now, to look at it is difficult.