Everything is interdependent

Fourth Question




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


The fourth question:

Question 4


First, interdependence is not 'nice', and it is not a concept.

It is not nice at all. Independence feels nice; dependence feels very, very bitter; interdependence is neither nice nor bitter. It is a very balancing thing: neither this way nor that. It leans to no side; it is a tranquility. And it is not a concept, it is a reality. It is how it is. Just watch life and you will never find anything which is not interdependent. Everything that exists, exists in the ocean of interdependence. It is not a concept, it is not a theory. You just drop all theories, all prejudices, and look at life.

Look at a small tree, a rose bush, and you will see the whole existence converges on it. From the earth it is connected. Without the earth, it would not be there. It goes on breathing the air. It is connected with the atmosphere. From the sun it goes on getting energy. The rose is rosy because of the sun, and these are very visible things. Those who have been working hard say that there are invisible influences also. They say that it is not only that the sun is giving energy to the rose, because nothing can be one way in life. The traffic cannot be one way. Otherwise, it would be a very unjust life. The rose would go on getting and giving nothing. No, it must be that the rose is also giving something to the sun. Without the rose, the sun would also miss something. That has yet to be discovered by science, but occultists have always felt that life is a give and take. It cannot be one way. Otherwise, the whole balance would be lost. The rose must be giving something -- maybe a certain joy. Certainly, it gives fragrance to the air, and certainly it must be giving some creativity, a situation for the earth to be creative. The earth must be feeling happy through it; it has created a rose. It must be feeling fulfilled. A deep satisfaction and contentment must be coming to the earth.

Everything is connected. Nothing is unconnected here. So when I say interdependence, I don't mean that it is a concept, a theory, no.

Independence is a concept because it is absolutely false. Nobody has ever seen anything independent. An absolute dependence is false because nobody has ever seen anything absolutely dependent.

A child is born: you think he is completely helpless and dependent on the mother? Can't you see that the mother is also gaining much from him? In fact, the day the child is born, the mother is also born as a mother. Before it, she was just a plain woman. Now, something tremendously new has happened to her with the birth of the child. She has attained to motherhood. It is not only that the child is dependent on the mother, the mother is also dependent. You will see a certain grace happening to the woman when she becomes a mother, a certain harmony happening to her. If the mother dies, of course, the child will not be able to survive. But if the child dies, do you think that the mother will be able to survive? No, the mother will die. Again there will be a woman; the motherhood will disappear with the child. And this woman will be less than she was before the child had happened to her. She will always miss something; a part of her being has disappeared with the child. That missing part will function as a wound continuously.

Everything is interdependent.

The tree goes on eating the earth, it goes on giving you fruit; you go on eating the fruit. Then you die, and the earth eats you, and the tree again eats the earth. And the fruit? -- your grandchildren will be eating you through the tree. Everything is revolving. When you are eating an apple, who knows? Your grandfather, your grandmother, or your great-great-grandfather must be there in the apple; chew well, digest well. Otherwise, the old man will not feel good. Let him become a part of your being again. He has been seeking you through the apple. He has come back again.

Everything is interdependent. So it is not nice, it is not bitter; it is a simple fact. You cannot evaluate it, because nice and bitter are our evaluations, interpretations. And it is not a concept, it is a reality.

"But how is that possible when you urge all of us to be totally selfish?"

Yes, it is only possible if you are totally selfish. If you are totally selfish, you will come to see that if you want to be really happy, you have to make others happy -- because life is an interdependence. When I say to be selfish, I am saying to just think about your happiness. But in that happiness much is involved. If you want to be healthy, you have to live with healthy people. If you want to be clean, you have to live in a clean neighborhood. You cannot exist like an island. If you want to be happy you have to spread your happiness all around. It is not possible that all around there is an ocean of misery, and you are like an island, happy -- impossible. You can be happy only in a happy world; you can be happy only in happy relationships; you can be beautiful only with beautiful people. So if you are really interested in being beautiful, create beauty all around you.

A man who is really selfish becomes altruistic. To be really selfish is to go beyond self. To be really selfish is to become a Buddha, a Jesus. These people are absolutely selfish people because they think only of bliss. But in thinking of their bliss, they have to think of others' bliss also. I am absolutely selfish. I have never thought about anything else but my own self. But in that, from the back door, enters everything.

I am interested in your happiness, in your bliss. I am interested to create a community of blissful people. I am interested to create a garden of beautiful people, because if you are happy and blissful and beautiful, I will become tremendously blissful and happy.

Bliss increases in sharing. If you don't share your bliss it will die. If you don't share your ecstasy, soon you will find that your hands are empty. So when I say be absolutely selfish, I mean: that if you try to understand what is your self, what your selfishness is, you will see that everybody is implied, involved. And your involvement becomes greater and greater and bigger and bigger. A moment comes when you can see as a fact that the whole is involved.

There is a beautiful story about Buddha.

He reached the ultimate door. The door was opened, but he would not enter. The doorkeeper said, "Everything is ready, and we have been waiting for millions of years. Now you have come. Rarely it happens that a man becomes a Buddha. Enter. Why are you standing there? And why do you look so sad?" Buddha said, "How can I enter? Because there are millions of people who are still struggling on the path. There are millions of people who are still in misery. I will enter only when everybody else has entered. I will stand here and wait."

Now, this parable has many meanings. One meaning is that unless the whole becomes enlightened, how can one become enlightened? Because we are parts of each other, involved in each other, members of each other. You are in mer I am in you, so how can I separate myself? It is impossible. The story is tremendously significant and true. The whole has to become enlightened.

Of course, one can come to a certain understanding, but that understanding will reveal that others are involved, and the consciousness is one. To be selfish is to dissolve completely into the total, because only foolish people try to protect themselves. And in trying to protect themselves they go on destroying themselves. Jesus says, "Save yourself and you will be lost. Lose yourself. Save yourself and you will be lost!" He is giving you one of the best techniques for being selfish: lose yourself, and you gain. You gain by losing yourself. You become happy by spreading happiness all around; you become peaceful by spreading peace all around.

"But how is that possible when you urge all of us to be totally selfish? "

It is possible only if you are totally selfish. Then you will always see the point. If you live in a family, if you are a wife or a husband, you will be able to see that it is in your favor that the husband is happy. It is just selfish that the husband remain happy and singing and delighted, because if he becomes sad, depressed, angry, then you cannot remain happy for long. He will affect you. Everything is infectious. If you want to be happy you would like your children to be dancing and happy, because that is the only way your energy will be dancing. If they are all sad, ill, and sitting in their corners, dull, your energy will immediately fall low. Just watch! When you move with people who are happy, suddenly your sadness disappears -- disappears! When you move with people who are sad, suddenly your energy falls low.

Then the mathematics is simple. If you want to be happy, make people happy. If you want to be really enlightened, help people to become enlightened. If you want to be meditative, create a meditative world. That's why Buddha created a great order of sannyasins: an oceanic atmosphere in which people could come and drown themselves.

Just the other night one sannyasin came and he said, "I am feeling very uncomfortable with sannyas, because I feel as if I have become just a part of the herd." Now, this is a very egoistic attitude. Just part of the herd? Everybody wants to be apart, everybody wants to be independent, oneself, alone like a peak, unconnected. This is what the ego-trip is. I give you ochre robes, change your names, and by and by, you are lost in an ocean where you don't exist separately. You start merging yourself with others. Of course, the ego will feel hurt, uncomfortable, uneasy. But the ego is your disease; it has to be dropped. And one should be able to enjoy being a non-entity, being so ordinary, so mixed, that nobody ever comes to know that you are separate, different from others. But the ego has only one idea: how to be separate and different.

I have not told that sannyasin. I wanted to tell him but I thought that maybe it would hurt him -- such an egoist who thinks that just being in orange feels very uncomfortable, he has become part of the herd -- I wanted to say to him that it is better that you shave half your head, half your moustache, half your beard, so wherever you go you will be separate. And tattoo your forehead, and do things which nobody is doing. You will always feel good and very comfortable. Ego is doing that.

I have heard about one man who wanted to become very famous, who wanted to see his pictures in the newspapers. He shaved half his head, half the moustache, and half the beard, and he walked around the town. Within three days he was the most famous man around the town. All the newspapers had his pictures, and children were running around him and yelling and shouting, and he enjoyed it very much. You can do the same, in the same way.

The ego wants to be separate; and that's why the ego is false, because separation is false. To be together is to be real. All separation is false and illusory, and all togetherness is true and real.


Next: Chapter 4, Everything is interdependent: Fifth Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Chapter 4



Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



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