“The ego is needed because the true self is not known. The ego is a substitute. It is a pseudo entity. Because you don’t know yourself, you have to create an artificial center; otherwise functioning in life will be impossible. Because you don’t know your real face, you have to wear a mask. Not knowing the essential, you have to trust in the shadow.
There are only two ways of living life. One is to live it from the very core of your being which has been the way of the mystics.
Meditation is nothing but a device to make you aware of your real self, which is not created by you, which need not be created by you, which you already are. You are born with it. You are it! It needs to be discovered.
Society does not allow it to happen. No society allows it to happen because the real self is dangerous. Dangerous for the established church. Dangerous for the state. Dangerous for the crowd. Dangerous for tradition.
Because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual. He no longer belongs to the mob psychology; he will not be superstitious and he cannot be exploited. He cannot be led like cattle. He cannot be ordered and commanded. He will live according to his light. He will live from his own inwardness. His life will have tremendous beauty and integrity. But that is the fear of the society.
Integrated persons become individuals and the society wants you to be non-individuals. Instead of individuality, the society teaches you to be a personality. The word personality has to be understood. It comes from the root persona – persona means “mask.” The society gives you a false idea of who you are; it gives you just a toy, and you go on clinging to the toy your whole life.
One way to live is to live through meditation. Then you live a life of rebellion, of adventure, of courage. Then you really live! The other way to live, or to fake living, is the way of the ego: strengthen the ego, nourish the ego, cling to the ego so that you need not look into the self. The ego is an artifact created by the society to deceive you, to distract you.”
The Most Uncharted Sea, OSHO Talks