I went to a party and I was sat in a chair with a drink and I said to a man: “I’m God”. We had fallen into a discussion about religion. He said: “Oh yeah, if you’re God—do a miracle.” I said: “Do not test the Lord your God.” He seemed satisfied, mortals are easily satisfied that way. Ah, it’s what we expected; soon he’ll be dressed in white towels, carried everywhere by beautiful women, and have fifteen white Rolls-Royces in his garage—he’ll be a guru with a little cult. There’ll be a poster of him in the store front window in a lotus flower.
Actually, gurus rarely say they are God; they’re more clever than that. They just hint. “He says there’s blood on his hands and feet where the nails went into Christ, and that he doesn’t know who his real father is…you know what that means.” That way, when the journalists arrive and put it to the guru “Are you a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, as some of your followers say?” you can just smile with serene benignity and say, “We’ll see.”
Of course, when I said I was God I laughed—I laughed from the belly, the real laughter. I laughed because it was real—I’m not God, I’m just a man. I can’t control the world, I can’t even control myself. Yet that is the problem: many would not say they are God because it would look impious or not humble—yet they do think they’re God, deep down. That is the subtle ego—they have delicately buried this idea within layers of rectitude; and then they go out and play God with the world—surely you have met people like that? Too good to say they are God—too good to give up the possibility. I have said I am God—and I have laughed at myself, for I am not God; and yet it is clear that, for many years, I thought I was.