“The absurd overvaluation of fame is just one of the many manifestations of egoic madness in our world. Some famous people fall in to the same error and identify with the collective fiction, the image people and the media have created of them, and they begin to actually see themselves as superior to ordinary mortals. As a result, they become more and more alienated from themselves and others, more and more unhappy, more and more dependent on their continuing popularity. Surrounded only people who feed their inflated self-image, they become incapable of genuine relationships.
Albert Einstein, who was admired as almost superhuman and whose fate it was to become one of the most famous people on the planet, never identified with the image the collective mind had created of him. He remained humble, egoless. In fact, he spoke of “a grotesque contradiction between what people consider to be my achievements and abilities and the reality of who I am and what I am capable of.”
Eckhart Tolle, in “A New Earth”
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