The ego is a false entity. And what it means is that ego exists only because you have not encountered it. If you encounter it, it will not exist. It exists in your ignorance; because you are not aware, it is there. If you become aware, it will not be there. If you become aware and some entity disappears just by your becoming aware, it means it was false. The real will be revealed in awareness and the false will disappear.
You can even start struggling to throw this ego. The whole effort will be absurd. You cannot throw it, because only a reality can be thrown. You cannot fight with it. How can you fight with a shadow? And if you fight, remember, you will be defeated. Not because the shadow is very powerful, but because the shadow is not; you cannot defeat it. You will be defeated by your own stupidity.
Fight with a shadow and you cannot win – that is certain. You will be defeated. That too is certain, because you will dissipate your own energy in the fight. Not that the shadow is very powerful, but because the shadow is not. You are fighting with your own self, wasting your energy. Then you will be exhausted and you will fall down. And you will think that the shadow has won and you are defeated – and the shadow has not been there at all. If you fight with the ego you will be defeated. Rather, enter and try to find out where it is.
It is said that the Emperor of China asked Bodhidharma, ‘My mind is very restless. I am in constant inner turmoil. Give me some peace or give me some secret key to how I can enter into the inner silence.’
So Bodhidharma said, ‘You come early in the morning, four o’clock, when there is no one here. When I am alone here in my hut you come. And remember, bring your restless mind with you. Don’t leave it at home.’
The king was very much disturbed, thinking that this man was mad. He says, ‘Bring your disturbed mind with you. Don’t leave it at home, otherwise who am I going to silence? I will make it still, but bring it! Remember well.’
The emperor left, but more disturbed than ever. He had been thinking that this man was a sage, a wise man, and he would give him some key, but whatsoever he said seemed to be foolish – how can one leave one’s mind at home? He couldn’t sleep. The eyes of Bodhidharma and the way he had looked at him... he was hypnotized – as if a magnet was pulling. He couldn’t sleep the whole night, and at four he was ready. He didn’t really want to go because this man was mad. And going so early, in darkness, when no one was there – this man could do anything.
But still, he was so attracted that in spite of himself he went. And the first thing that Bodhidharma asked.... He was sitting before his hut with his staff in his hands, and he said, ‘Okay. So you have come. Where is your restless mind? Have you brought that? I am ready to silence it.’ The emperor now said, ‘What are you talking about? How can one forget the mind? It is always there.’
Bodhidharma said, ‘Where? Where is it? Show it to me so I can silence it, and you can go back.’
The emperor said, ‘But it is not something objective. I cannot show it to you, I cannot put it in my hand. It is within me.’
So Bodhidharma said, ‘Okay, close your eyes and try to find out where it is. And the moment you catch hold of it, open your eyes and tell me and I will still it.’
In that silence and with this madman, the emperor closed his eyes. He tried and tried. And he was afraid also, because Bodhidharma was sitting with his staff – any moment he would hit. He tried and tried and tried. He looked everywhere, in every nook and corner of his being – where is that mind which is restless¿ And the more he looked, the more he realized that the restlessness had disappeared. The more he tried to search... like a shadow it was not there.
Two hours passed, and he was not even aware of what had happened. His face became silent, he became like a Buddha statue, and then with the rising sun Bodhidharma said, ‘Now open your eyes. It is enough. Two hours are more than enough. Now can you tell me where it is?’
The emperor opened his eyes. He was as silent as a human being can be. He bowed down his head at Bodhidharma’s feet and said, ‘You have already silenced it.’
Emperor Wu has written in his autobiography, ‘This man is miraculous, magical. Not doing anything he silenced my mind. And I also didn’t do anything. I just entered myself and tried to find where it is. Of course he was right: first locate it, where it is. And just the effort to locate it, and it was not found there.’
You will not find the ego. If you go in, if you search for it, you will not find it there. It has never existed. It is just a false substitute. It has some utility, that’s why you have invented it. Because you don’t know your real being, the real center, and without a center it is difficult to function, you have created a fiction, a fictitious center, and you function through it.
Know that the ego is not your real center. Only then can you start a search for the real.
[Osho - 'Vigyan Bhairav Tantra']