So I come into the material world and become covered by different layers of material energy. The soul becomes covered by different layers of material energy.
And the very first layer, the most subtle layer of all, is a layer called false ego. Then over that is the intelligence, the mind and then the five elements that make up the gross body (earth, water, fire, air and ether.) These are the coverings of the soul. So we all are covered by these layers.
But let’s talk about the first layer, false ego. “Ego” means “I”. And I hear it frequently. People have read esoteric books, listened to some so-called spiritual teachers or whatever, and they have been taught that you must lose your ego, ego is your problem. And therefore they will make statements like, “Oh, I know I have a big ego but I’m working on it. I have to get rid of my ego.”
See, this is just complete misunderstanding. Why? Because “ego” means “I”. What you’re really say is, “I must get rid of myself.” You can’t get rid of yourself. You are eternal, there is no such thing as seizing to exist, see.
But the true understanding is it’s not the problem with ego, it’s the false ego. The pure ego is I am the eternal loving servant of the Supreme Lord. That is pure, that is who I am eternally. That is my real identity. The false ego is everything but that. “I am…” and then it’s whatever I think I am. Usually it is: I am this body, I am male, I am female, I am young, I am old, I am the enjoyer, I am the controller, this world is my home, I am going to have a good time here. All this is the illusion, it’s false ego, it is not true. I am number one, I am the best, I am beautiful… (laughs)
And we are pumped with this. “Oh, you must have great self-esteem.” What they are doing is saying you must build-up your false ego. The bigger your false ego, the better you are. The better materialist you are, yes, the more successful you may be in the material world. But the more you are in this consciousness, in this illusion, the more miserable you are, unfortunately, this is what we have going on now in our life.
So here I am. I’m covered by false ego and have all these illusions. But one of those qualities, remember, is love. That is built-in, it’ is never going anywhere. And I need to have love with another person. Remember? Love is an exchange between two people, see. So that loving propensity, that loving projection passes through the false ego. And as it goes through the false ego, it becomes perverted. It comes out not as love but as the opposite, lust.
Lust is the perverted reflection, the upside-down reflection of love. It’s just like if you have a white, pure white beam of light, and you pass that beam of light through a red lens. On the outside, on the outside of the lens that beam of light is now red. Is the light red? No. Is the reflected light red? Yes, it is. So your conclusion is: this is a red light. It’s not, it is a white light that has been changed. It’s been turned into a red light passing through the red lens. So when our loving propensity passes through the false ego, it comes out as lust.
What is the difference between love and lust? Everything. The difference is: love is about giving only, with no expectation of anything in return. No expectation. The joy of love is in giving, in seeing the one that you love happy. That’s the whole business in love, seeing the one that you love happy, giving pleasure to the one you love. That’s what love is.
What is the difference between love and lust? Lust is the opposite. Lust is about getting, for me what I want. I want the pleasure, see. So this is what causes the problem. I have my loving relationships, say, I see, you know, for a guy a girl, for a girl a guy, whatever, they are very much attracted, and again we think we are the body, so what is the attractive feature? The body. What do they look like? How beautiful are they? And of course that various with everybody’s interpretation of beauty, what do we see as beautiful.
So we look and see something that attracts us, “Oh, I like the hair. I like the face. I like the eyes. I like the body, the shape, this, this, this thing.” That’s the main thing. That’s why everybody’s trying to look good. That’s why we have our eye makeup and eyelashes done, and our hair fixed a certain way, and the lipstick, and the perfumes, and all the dress, all the fashion so we look good.
And everybody again has got a different formula. One time I saw a guy and he had a big chicken bone through his ear, you know. I thought, “Hm, it doesn’t look so attractive. Who is going to be attracted to him?” And later I saw him with his girlfriend. She had a chicken bone through her nose. I said, “Oh, I get it now.” (laughing) Like attracts like.
So we have our ideas, you know, different hairstyles, you see them flock together, all the people with pink hair and red hair, and green hair, no hair, whatever, because that represents pleasure.
See when we look at someone, we automatically start analyzing how much pleasure there in this package. Is there a lot of pleasure here? Sometimes we see, “Oh, there is no pleasure there,” and we don’t look a second time. Because we are all pleasure seekers, that’s what we are all about, seeking pleasure. Because, again, it’s the nature of the soul to have pleasure, to be happy. It’s our nature.
And you can see the same thing in the lower forms of life like the dogs. The dogs are also looking for love. You see a little puppy and he doesn’t have his mom and he doesn’t belong to anybody. And he is out there just looking around. You come out of the market and he is just on the sidewalk:
— Love me, take me home. (makes whining sound)
— I don’t have place in my life for you, sorry.
And finally somebody picks him up. Oh, he is so happy! He licks and, you know… It’s all about love. It’s all about that. We all know about it but it’s so, so difficult.
One time I was in Moscow in on a walking street. And I just noticed there was a toy store right beside a pet store. And in the window in the toy store there were little toy dogs, the battery operated ones. So they could stand up on their hind legs, and they could bark, and wag their tail, and walk around, and move their head. Quite good.
And then right next to that in the pet store there were some little puppies in the window. It was interesting, so I just stood there for a while, I watched. And all these people were walking by and nobody basically stopped at the toy store and looked at the toy dogs except a couple of young kids. But so many people stopped in front of the pet store and looked at these little puppies. And they tapped on the window, and some people would go inside and pet them.
What’s the difference? Here’s one: costs less, gives you no problems, never get sick, doesn’t have to eat anything but batteries once in a while and that is only when you turn it on. You see, you don’t have to worry about this dog.
And here these guys: you’ve got this dog – you’ve got this big responsibility. You can’t go anywhere without this dog. It is a whole scene: they get sick, they get old, they die. Why do you want this dog? Because this is a person, this is somebody I can love. I can’t love this guy [the toy dog]. There is no love there. But I can project my loving propensity on these little dogs. They are so cute, they are so lovable, they are so soft and warm, and all the things. So that’s again a very clear indication that we, the spirit soul, need love.