Chapter 3: Live in the is!

Question 3



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The third question:

Question 3



ONE can be secure only in an illusion, because security is the greatest illusion there is. Life is insecure. Love is insecure. To be is to be in insecurity. To be is to be in constant danger. Only the dead are secure because they cannot die any more; nothing can ever happen to them now.

The more alive you are the more insecure you are. Hence many people have decided not to be alive, because a kind of deadness gives security, protection, armor. Many people have decided not to look into reality, because reality IS insecure. I cannot do anything, you cannot do anything about it -- it is how it is. Reality is insecure; one never knows what is going to happen in the next moment. I may be here, I may not be here; you may be here, you may not be here. The next breath may come in, may not come. The person who loves you may simply forget all about you tomorrow. That's how life is.

So we have created illusions to hide ourselves behind the illusions, so we need not see the insecurity of life. Marriage is an illusion, love is a reality. Love is insecure! Nobody knows whether it is going to be there tomorrow or not. It is like a breeze: when it comes it comes, when it is gone it is gone. You cannot manipulate it, you cannot control it, you cannot predict it.

But the mind is very much afraid: if tomorrow your woman leaves you, what are you going to do? How will you ever be able to live without her? You have become so dependent on her, you cannot conceive of yourself without her. So you make some arrangements: close the doors, close the windows, lock everything, so she cannot escape. That's what marriage is: making legal locks so you cannot easily escape. You can go to the police, you can go to the court, you can harass the woman to come back.

But when you close all the doors and all the windows, the woman is no longer the same as she was when she was under the sky, under the stars; she is no longer the same. The bird on the wing is a totally different phenomenon from the bird in the cage. The bird in the cage is no more the same bird, because it no longer has the same sky, the same freedom. It is imprisoned, its soul is killed. It only appears alive -- its wings are cut. It only appears that it is; now it will only vegetate.

Without freedom there is no life. But one thing is good about the cage: it has security. Now the bird need not be worried about food; tomorrow morning he is going to be fed as usual. He need not worry about enemies, predators; nobody can attack him. The bird may think he is not caged but protected. He may think these iron bars are not enemies but friends; he may start loving them. Even if one day you want to make him free, he may not like the very idea; he may resist. He may not go even if you open the door. He will say, "I am not going. How can I leave my security?" He has forgotten all the joy of freedom; now he only remembers the comfort and the convenience of security.

Marriage is a cage, love is the open sky. We have destroyed love and created the illusion of marriage. It is ugly. Two persons together out of love is one thing, and two persons together because of the law is totally different. Their souls are no more together, only their bodies are tethered together. Because they cannot escape, because the escape seems to be costly -- and the children are there, and all the comforts of family life and the home -- they decide to remain slaves. They decide NOT to live but just to exist. And then, of course, people have many kinds of illusions of the past, of the future.

Bhagawati, you are not alone in it; every human being is in the same boat. Because we cannot live in the present...

It is dangerous to live in the present because to live in the present means to be authentic. We live in the past, we live in the future. Past and future are very easy, comfortable, no danger. You can manipulate your past, you can control it. You can order your past, your past is very obedient. It is non-existential, it exists only in your memory; you can arrange it again and again.

Hence one of the greatest psychological insights is that up to now no autobiography has been written. Millions have been written, but they are all untrue. To write an autobiography seems to be almost impossible, because you always go on arranging your memories. When you look back, it is not the real past that you are looking at. It is no longer there, just your memory of it.

And in the memory also you choose. First you choose while you are experiencing something; a thousand and one things are happening every day, but you choose only a few, scientists say only two percent. Ninety-eight percent is not chosen, only two percent. All that feels good to you, ego-enhancing, gratifying, you choose. All that seems like suffering, pain, all that hurts, you don't choose.

Your memory is a choice first, and then each time you remember it your experiences are growing, and your experiences go on being reflected in your memories. You go on giving them new colors, you go on painting them again and again, so many coats that by the time you write your autobiography... and people write autobiographies only when they know that they arc dead. When they know that now nothing more is going to happen, then they write autobiographies.

When a person is alive, how can he write his autobiography? When he thinks that everything is finished: "I have lived, the full point has come; now there is nothing else to happen," then he writes. Now he looks back, paints all the memories as he wants them to be. All autobiographies are fiction.

My suggestion to the librarians is: all autobiographies should be counted as fiction and should be categorized as fiction. They are fiction and nothing else. You magnify things which you would like, and unconsciously you add many things which have never happened. And I am not saying that you are cheating knowingly, no; you may believe. Just start telling a lie, and after ten years you will be suspicious about whether it was a lie or a truth.

A journalist died; he knocked on the doors of heaven. Saint Peter opened the door and said, "Sorry, are you a journalist?" -- because it is very difficult to miss a journalist: he looks like one from his very face, from his eyes.

And the man said, "Yes, but how did you recognize it?"

He said, "It is very difficult to miss a journalist. But I am sorry, we don't have any place for journalists any more in heaven, the quota is full. We have only one dozen journalists; even those are just useless because nothing ever happens in heaven, nothing worth reporting, nothing like news."

You know the definition of news that George Bernard Shaw has given? "When a man bites a dog it is news, not when a dog bites a man." That is not news, that is nothing!

"In heaven news does not happen; no newspaper is published. Even those twelve journalists are just useless, so what do we need you for? You go to hell! -- and there is news and news and news. Nothing else ever happens there, everything is news. And there are many, many papers, and great is their circulation. You go there, you will have a good job."

But the journalist said, "No, I cannot go. Can't you manage in some way? If you give me twenty-four hours' time I can convince some other journalist to go to hell, and in his vacant place you can allow me in."

Peter said, "That's okay -- twenty-four hours are given. You go in."

The journalist entered with all his journalistic acumen, skill. He started a rumor; to whomsoever he came across he said, "Have you heard? A big newspaper is going to be started in hell and all the posts are vacant -- the chief editor and the assistant chief editor, and other assistants," and this and that, whomsoever he met he told that. After twenty-four hours, when he got back, Saint Peter would not open the door. He said, "You cannot go out, you have to stay in "

He said, "But what is the matter?"

Saint Peter said, "All the twelve have left. Now at least just for the name's sake we should have one journalist. You be in!"

The journalist said, "I can't stay now any more. Let me go! There must be something in the news. How can twelve persons believe if there is nothing in it? It can't be just a rumor! There must be some truth in it -- maybe a fragment, but there must be some truth in it. I cannot remain any longer. Open the door, let me go!"

If you start a lie, sooner or later you will believe in it. In fact before others believe in it you will believe in it, and after ten years it will be difficult to tell whether it was a lie. After ten years it will be difficult to tell whether you had dreamed about it or you had really lived the thing. Your dreams and your life will become mixed into each other.

It is very difficult to write an autobiography. It has not yet been done, and I don't think it can ever be done. Those who can write, they don't write. A Buddha can write, but he says he has no autobiography to write. He says, "I was never born." He says, "I have never uttered a single word." He says, "I never became enlightened because I was never unenlightened." He says, "I never died because nothing ever dies. So what autobiography? There is no self, so what AUTObiography? There is no ego, there is no center, so what about the circumference? No circumference is possible."

A Buddha can write but he will not write, and others who write are bound to write fictions.

You go on living in the past; it is very comfortable. You are the master -- about your past you are the master; you can do anything you want to do with the past. And about the future also you are the master: you can become the President of America, of India -- in the future. You can do anything that you want, and everybody does something.

Just sitting silently, you start imagining that passing by the side of the road you have found a bag full of money. And not only that, you start planning how to use that money; you start purchasing things. You are the master.

The past and the future give you the idea that you are a king. The present takes all illusions away, the present simply reveals your naked truth. And the present reveals the insecurity that life is, because life implies death. And everything that is implies that it cannot be forever, everything that is is going to be non-existential sooner or later. The flower that has bloomed in the morning is beautiful; by the evening it will be gone, the petals will wither away and tomorrow you will not find even a trace of it. That's how real life is: changing, moving, dynamic, nothing static, nothing permanent, always in a flux.

Bhagawati, that's why not only you but everybody starts living in the past and the future: to avoid the present and its danger.

Friedrich Nietzsche is right: he says, "Live dangerously." In fact there is no other way to live; one can only live dangerously. The other way is of avoiding life, not of living.

And that's what sannyas is all about. It is to accept the insecurity of life, it is to accept death, it is to accept that everything can disappear at any moment. Your love, your friendship, you, everything is only for the moment. The next moment the petals will wither away, all will be gone.

Knowing this and yet rejoicing, knowing this and yet dancing, knowing this and yet having a song on your lips, knowing this and yet having joy in your eyes -- that's what sannyas is all about. In fact, this insecurity is beautiful. This insecurity has a blessing in it, because if everything were secure there would be no life at all. If everything were secure there would be rocks and rocks -- no flowers, no birds, no people. If everything were secure there might be notes, mathematics, science, but no poetry, no music, no dance. The world would be a dead world, phony, plastic.

The real world has to be in a constant danger. That danger adds to its beauty, that danger gives a depth, that danger makes it challenging.

Bhagawati, come out of your security and your illusions.


The world of the conditional is the world of the mind. The true world is unconditional. You cannot make any conditions on the truth, and truth never makes any conditions on you. Neither can you make conditions on God, nor does God ever make any conditions on you. All is given unconditionally.


That means you don't live, you only pretend.


These are the words which belong to the world of death, not to the world of life. Life simply is, it knows nothing of should, could, would. Life simply is, it knows nothing of may, might. Life simply is, it knows nothing of ifs and buts.

Live that which is, and WHATSOEVER it is. Yes, sometimes it hurts, and hurts very much. Sometimes it brings great agonies, but those agonies are the stepping stones to ecstasies, and those hurts are nothing but birth pain. You have to accept the day and the night, birth and death, summer and winter. You have to accept all that life is. You cannot reject anything, you cannot make conditions on it. Your conditions won't make any difference, they will only drown you in your own illusions.

Live in the is! The word 'ought' is a mind construction, avoid it.


One can be secure only in illusions; there is no question of why. If you find somebody who is secure, you can be certain he must be living in illusions.

But insecurity has tremendous beauty; you have not tasted of it. You have become too much accustomed to the dirty pool of water, stagnant, stinking. You have forgotten the beauty of a river, constantly flowing from the known to the unknown, from the limited to the unlimited. I have to revive your memory of it. It is a remembering, because one day you knew it.

When the child is born he knows nothing of security; he knows nothing of the past, nothing of the future. He simply lives in the is; we drive him out of the is. That's what we call the process of civilizing a child, that's what we call education: driving him out of the is, taking him out of life's naturalness and making him arbitrary and artificial. By the age of three or four a child becomes part of society; he loses all contact with God and reality.

So you knew once what it means to be in insecurity. All that I need is to remind you, to provoke that remembrance in you. And once you have again tasted it you will drop all your illusions and you will start moving into the unknown with all its insecurity.

And not that you will feel frightened -- you will feel thrilled! You will feel that insecurity is not something wrong but is the root of all adventure. Insecurity is not something against you but is the very possibility of your existence. It sharpens your intelligence, it keeps you alive, alert. It keeps you always mystified, it keeps you in a state of constant surprise.

Insecurity is beautiful. And the day you know insecurity is beautiful, you have known the wisdom of insecurity, and you have understood the very core of sannyas.


Next: Chapter 3: Live in the is!, Question 4


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