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       Human nature is based upon ego, fear, selfishness and so on. Keeping “me” real and everything else unreal is where illusion comes in. This has led to many psychological misgivings and misunderstandings in modern society. I care for my self-image first. Everyone else is transitory; my self-image is real. Or, I want what I want. If I get what I want, then I will behave nicely. Actually it should be the reverse: I should give up my wants and see what others want. Or, I don’t want to be “pushed” because I know my self-image is hollow. I am not against courtesy itself but it should come from my virtues, my total being, from the bottom of my heart. If I honestly am humble from deep within, I will be open rather than subservient. So I would not mind if someone says that I am wrong or right; I would be open to hear it. Lacking true humility, when we are simply preserving self-image, we would not like to hear that we are wrong. We would not like to be “pushed.” And then society makes it a social courtesy: Don’t push—people don’t like it!
       Genuine humility makes us open to the judgment or criticism of anyone, open to the truth, open to reality. That will be honest living from the bottom of the heart, from the root of our being, and it will give us real peace. You can trust such a person. If a person hides and you cannot really reach him, you will not like to go to him again since you cannot communicate. He doesn’t want to be told anything; he doesn’t want to talk about it; he doesn’t want to come to reality and truth.

       To me, many modern courtesies are just repugnant. I accept them only because the majority do them. Because they are not being true, they are not being open. They are not being a whole person, a true being. Who is right or wrong is not the point. No two people can think alike—that’s sure—but if we are open, if we are simple hearted, if we are truthful, even a difference of opinion will be easily accommodated. If I am a double personality, then I will not tolerate a difference of opinion. Open people are more accommodating to differences of opinion than those who are closed. That is why eventually, after decades or a lifetime, in individuals, societies or nations, clashes and wars come—because the individuals, society or nation did not give vent to differences in a truthful and open manner.
A FEW DAYS AGO WE VISITED a thermal valley in Rotorua, New Zealand, where there are geysers and steam vents, et cetera. I asked a park ranger there, “Isn’t it dangerous to build a city or town with this steam and geysers nearby?” The ranger said, “No; because the geysers and vents are letting the steam out, there is less danger of an explosion.” That is exactly a fact of human nature. If we are open and giving, we will not fight in the future. But when differences of opinion are hidden and suppressed, at a later date they come out as a clash, a separation, a holocaust. Negotiations in political forums are normally “how to get my way.” They should be for how to communicate better, how to meet and reach each other better. Closing down or hiding or not wanting to be touched ends with surface dealings. Therefore, you want to have nothing further to do with that person.

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