WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBEYING THE MASTER AND FOLLOWING HIS GUIDANCE?
The question is complex.
In the first place, the master does not expect to be obeyed but to be understood.
He does not give you guidelines either.
In his presence, your loving heart finds them.
It means that those who order and expect that their orders should be followed, complied with, are not authentic masters.
The master is not a commander. He does not issue things like `Ten Commandments.'
Certainly, he explains to you his experience, his realization, and then it is up to your intelligence to do whatever is right. It is not a direct order, it is an appeal to your intelligence.
An order never cares about your intelligence, an order never wants you to understand anything. The basic purpose of all ordering of people is to reduce them into robots.
All over the world, in every army, they are turning millions of people into machines -- of course, in such a way that you don't understand what is going on. Their methodology is very indirect.
What does it mean that thousands of people every morning are marching, following orders -- "Right turn, left turn, move forward, move backward" -- for what is all this circus going on? And for years it goes on. This is to destroy your intelligence.
The strategy is that if for years continuously you go on following any kind of stupid thing, meaningless, every day in the morning, every day in the evening... And you are not supposed to ask why. You just have to do it, to do it as perfectly as possible; there is no need for you to understand why. And when a person goes through such a training for years, the natural effect is that he stops asking why. And why? -- because the questioning attitude is the very base of all intelligence.
The moment you stop asking why, you have stopped growing as far as intelligence is concerned.
It happened in the second world war....
A retired army man... he had fought in the first world war, and he was honored well; he was a brave man. And now almost twenty-five years had passed. He had a small farm and lived silently.
He was going from the farm to his house with a bucket full of eggs, and a few people in a restaurant, just jokingly, played a trick on the poor old army man. One of the men in the restaurant shouted, "Attention!" and the man dropped the bucket and stood in the position of attention.
It had been twenty-five years since he had gone through the training. But the training had gone into the bones, into the blood, into the marrow; it had become part of the unconscious. He completely forgot what he was doing -- it happened almost autonomously, mechanically.
He was very angry. But those people said, "Your anger is not right, because we can call out any word we want. Who is telling you to follow it?"
He said, "It is too late for me to decide whether to follow it or not to follow it. My whole mind functions like a machine. Those twenty-five years simply disappeared. `Attention'
only means `attention'. You destroyed my eggs. I am a poor man."
But this is being done all over the world. And not only today; from the very beginning armies have been trained not to use intelligence, but to follow orders.
You have to understand one thing very clearly: that to follow an order and to understand a thing are two diametrically opposite things. If, by understanding, your intelligence feels satisfied and you do something out of that, you are not following an order from the outside; you are following your own intelligence.
And an authentic master is not your commander. He loves you, and he wants you to be more understanding, more intelligent, more capable of finding your way, more insightful, more intuitive. This cannot be done by orders.
I am reminded of another incident in the first world war. In Berlin, one German professor of logic was recruited into the army. There was a shortage of soldiers, and everybody who was physically able was asked to volunteer. Otherwise, they were forcing people to go to the army....
Because all the societies, all the nations, all the cultures, have taken it for granted that the individuals exist for them, not vice-versa. To me, just the opposite is the case: the society exists for the individual, the culture exists for the individual, the nation exists for the individual. Everything can be sacrificed, but the individual cannot be sacrificed for anything.
Individuality is the very flowering of existence -- nothing is higher than it.
But no culture, no society, no civilization is ready to accept a simple truth.
The professor was forced. He said, "I am not a man who can fight. I can argue, I am a logician. If you need somebody to argue with the enemies, I am ready, but fighting is not my business. It is barbarous to fight."
But nobody listened, and finally he was brought to the parade grounds. The parade started, and the commander said, "Left turn." Everybody turned left, but the professor remained standing as he was standing.
The commander was a little worried: "What is the matter? Perhaps the man is deaf." So he shouted loudly, "Now turn to the left again!" All the people turned to the left again, but that man remained standing as if he had not heard anything.
Forward, backward... all the orders were given and everybody followed. That man remained just standing in his place.
He was a well-known professor; even the commander knew him. He could not be treated just like any other soldier, he had a certain respect. Finally, when the parade ended and everybody came back to the same line from where they had started, the commander went to the professor and asked, "Is there some problem with your ears? Can't you hear?"
He said, "I can hear."
"But then," the commander said, "why did you remain standing? Why did you not follow the orders?"
He said, "What is the point? When everybody finally has to come back to the same state, after all this movement going forward and backward, left and right, what have they gained?"
The commander said, "It is not a question of gaining, it is a training!"
But he said, "I don't need any training. This kind of stupid thing... You come to the same place after doing all kinds of stupid things, which I don't see any point in. Can you explain to me why I should turn left and not right?"
The commander said, "Strange, no soldier asks such questions."
The professor said, "I am not a soldier, I am a professor. I have been forced to be here, but you cannot force me to do things against my intelligence."
The commander went to the higher authorities and said, "What to do with this man? He may spoil other people -- because everybody is laughing at me, and everybody is saying, `Professor, you did great!' I cannot tackle that man. He asks... each thing has to be explained: `Unless I understand it, unless my intelligence supports it, I am not going to do it.'" The commander in chief said, "I know the man. He is a great logician. His whole life's training is in questioning everything. I will take care of him, you don't be worried."
He called the professor to his office and said, "I am sorry, but we cannot do anything.
You have been recruited; the country needs soldiers. But I will give you some work which will not create any difficulty for you and will not create any difficulty for others.
You come with me to the army mess."
He took the professor there, and showed him a big pile of green peas. He told the professor, "You do one thing: sit down here. You have to sort out the big peas on one side, the small peas on the other side. And after one hour I will come to see how things are progressing."
After one hour he came back. The professor was sitting there and the peas were also sitting there, in the same place. He said, "What is the matter? You have not even started."
He said, "For the first and for the last time, I want you all to understand that unless you explain to me... Why should I sort out the peas? My intelligence feels insulted by you.
Am I an idiot, to sort the peas? What is the need? Moreover, there are other problems.
Sitting here, I thought that perhaps there is some need, but there are questions which have to be decided: there are peas which are big and there are peas which are small, but there are peas of many other sizes. Where are they going to go? You have not given me any criterion."
A mystery school, a spiritual path, is not the path of a soldier.
Here, orders are prohibited.
Here, only intelligence is appealed to. The decision is always on your part.
It is only the phony masters who give you orders, because they cannot satisfy your intelligence. An authentic master is perfectly capable to satisfy your intelligence, and then leave it up to you. It is your life, and the final decision has to be made not by anyone else other than you. You have to take the responsibility on your own shoulders. So there are no orders as far as true masters are concerned.
You have also asked about guidelines.
People have been told such nonsense for centuries -- as if spirituality is a kind of geography, so that maps are given to you, guidelines are provided to you: Follow the right guidelines and you will reach the goal.
Alas, things are not so cheap.
There are no maps in existence; no solid guidelines either, because each individual is so unique that what may be a guideline for one may prove a distraction for another; what may be medicine to one may prove poison to another.
Individuals are so different.
And if a master cannot understand the difference of individuals, their unique qualities, talents, geniuses, then who is going to understand?
No general guidelines can be provided.
The master simply goes on dropping all kinds of hints. Remember my word `hints' -- not guidelines. And you have to choose whatever suits you, and you have to experiment to see whether it is workable for you or not. If it works, go on deeper into it; if it does not work, don't feel guilty. You have not committed any sin, you have simply failed in an experiment.
With a master, life becomes a scientific experiment. It is no more a question of heaven and hell, punishment and reward. It is a question of exploration.
And each individual has to explore in his own way.
There are no golden rules: this is the only golden rule there is.
There is no superhighway with milestones telling you how far you are from the goal. In the spiritual exploration, you have to walk and create your path by your walking; there is no ready-made path so that you have simply to walk on it.
And my feeling is that this is tremendously blissful and ecstatic. You are not like railway trains. Running on rails, you cannot run into the jungles, into the mountains, anywhere you like. The railway train is a prisoner.
But a river is not a prisoner. It also travels long. It may be coming thousands of miles, from the Himalayas, and it reaches finally to the ocean -- with no map, with no guidelines, with no guides, and nobody on the way to whom the river can inquire, "Which way am I to go now?"... because each step is a crossroad.
But strangely enough, every river reaches to the ocean with great freedom, finding its own path.
The master can only give you certain hints about how to find your path. He can give you certain indications whether you have found it or not, can give you certain criteria to judge whether you are moving towards the goal or away from the goal. But he does not give you guidelines. In the very nature of things, it is not possible.
The moment you have found a master, you have found the path.
And who is the master? -- not one who fulfills your mind expectations. A Christian mind has Christian expectations, a Hindu mind has Hindu expectations, a Buddhist mind has Buddhist expectations.
A master is one who fulfills the longing of your heart.
It has nothing to do with the mind. It is a love affair.
You simply find that you are in love. You simply find that your heart feels at home, at ease, that your heart has found a treasure, feels a tremendous benediction. And as you come closer to the master -- in your love, in your trust -- your peace deepens; your silence becomes not something dead, the silence of a graveyard, but something singing and dancing, alive.
The more you are moving towards your life's fulfillment, the more your life becomes a rejoicing, a deep joy for no reason at all, a blissfulness so deep and so abundant that you can start sharing it with others. In fact, you have to share it with others because it is overflowing, you cannot contain it.
For the first time, you are small and your bliss is infinite.
These are the indications that you are moving towards home.
Your ecstasies go on growing deeper and higher.
And if you are moving away, you will become more miserable, more sad, more saintly, more Christian, more Hindu, more Jaina -- all kinds of diseases. More knowledgeable...
but inside, more and more empty; a beggar living by a thin thread of hope that somewhere in the other life, somewhere in the other world, you will be rewarded for all your sadness, your long British faces.
Saints don't laugh. They have fallen below humanity, because only human beings laugh.
Buffaloes don't laugh, donkeys don't laugh -- they all belong to the categories of the saints and sages. Perhaps these fellows -- donkeys and buffaloes -- may have been great sages in their past lives and now they are getting their reward. Don't misbehave with them. Be respectful. One never knows.
But as far as I am concerned, your sense of humor, your laughter will become deeper as you grow in consciousness. You will become more playful in life.
So there are neither orders nor guidelines, but only vague hints, indications, and a constant effort to sharpen your intelligence so that you can find your way. And when you have found, you have the courage to burst into songs, into dances, into rejoicings.
That's the function of the master: to make you more intelligent and more courageous, more loving, more understanding. But there are no orders, no disciplines, no guidelines.
Orders, disciplines, guidelines -- these have been used by people who wanted to dominate you, by people who wanted to dictate their terms, to enforce their ideas on other people's lives. I call all such people great criminals. To impose your idea on somebody, to give some ideal, some mold, is violence, sheer violence. You are being destructive, and a master cannot do that.
A master is always creative.
I AM HAVING QUESTIONS COMING TO ME. I WRITE THEM DOWN AND READ THEM OVER. MEDITATING AGAIN, I OFTEN GET THE ANSWER, AND COINCIDENTALLY, MANY TIMES THE SAME QUESTION IS READ OUT TO YOU IN THE DISCOURSE OR AT THE VIDEO THAT NIGHT. EVEN IF IT IS FROM SOMEONE ELSE, I FEEL THAT IT IS MY QUESTION, AND I FEEL AS IF I AM BEING ANSWERED.
BELOVED MASTER, CAN YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
It is a fallacy that any question is yours.
It is just an old habit of possessiveness -- the house is mine, the wife is mine, the child is mine, even the question is mine.
All human beings are potentially capable of all the questions that any one of you can ask, because all questions come out of your insane mind and you are all equally insane.
There are only a few things in which you are equal -- insanity is one of them. Only once in a while somebody is more insane than others; then he is caught.
And the whole function of psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists is not to destroy insanity -- they cannot; they don't have any understanding about what sanity is. All that they can do is that when somebody has gone a little ahead of the average insane humanity, they can pull him back: "Just be normal." "Just be normal" means "Just be normally insane; don't try to be abnormal."
Abnormally insane people are thought to be mad.
Normally insane people -- because they are the only kind of people there are -- raise no questions, no problems, although they are full of the same problems as the mad people.
But the difference is of quantity.
Just sit down in your room, close all the doors and lock them from inside and write down on your pad anything that goes on in your mind. Don't do any kind of editing work; simply go on writing whatever comes into your mind. And you will be surprised -- after ten minutes, read it, and you will be shocked -- is it written by you or by some insane person? What kind of nonsense, what rubbish goes on and on in your mind?
It is said that God made the world. There are many people who prove that there are so many mistakes in the world... it cannot be made by God. A perfect God cannot make such an imperfect world.
But on one point I have a soft spot for him: he has not made small windows in your head through which others can look inside at what is going on. Otherwise, it would have been such a perfect world -- just little windows, so at least your friends can just have a look at what is going on. And they will be surprised that on the face nothing shows, and inside this man is carrying such garbage. And it goes on, round and round, twenty-four hours a day.
In my meditation camps I used to have a special meditation: the meditation was that for one hour, everybody was to sit relaxed and say whatsoever came to his mind -- just to become a spokesman of his own mind, just a loudspeaker -- and to do whatever he felt like doing, no inhibition, for one hour. And it was such a joy, and people were doing such great things! Such good people... you would have never imagined.
One man... I would never have thought that he would do this: he was continuously phoning, just sitting in front of me. And he was a man of the age of nearabout sixty, a rich man, continuously phoning -- "Hello, hello!" Later on I discovered that that's what he did; his whole business was the share market.
And he used to sit just in front of me, so once in a while he would look at me and smile because he would see that what he was doing was not right, what he was talking was nonsense. But what to do? -- this was the meditation one had to do!
Jayantibhai is sitting here. One of his friends -- they are old friends, they are still friends, and very deeply related -- simply stood up and started pushing his car down the hill. It was the car in which I used to come to the camp, and he was going to push Jayantibhai's car down the hill -- it would be finished! And he was his great friend. I had to tell a few people, "Stop your meditation. Just catch hold of that man; otherwise that car is finished.
And he knows it is his friend's car, and he knows that I will need it, that I have to go..."
Somehow he was taken away from the car, but he was so angry that in his anger he climbed up the tree that was just in the middle where all the meditators were sitting, and he started throwing his clothes from there, became naked. He is such a serious, silent person -- you cannot imagine that he can do such things. And it was such a difficulty to bring him down: "The meditation is finished, you come down," but he wouldn't listen, it was too difficult for him to come out of the meditation.
These things go on in the mind, but you don't do them.
Finally I had to stop that meditation, because it was dangerous. It was very beautiful to throw out your garbage, it was very cleansing, but it was dangerous -- people may start hitting each other.
It happened in one place. People were meditating, and one sardarji started hitting... not that anybody was his enemy or anything. He made such long jumps to hit people that the whole of the grounds were empty; all the meditators were standing around the edge of the grounds, and the sardarji was alone inside.
I said, "Sardarji, now sit down. Everybody is gone."
He said, "What came over me? -- because I am not a violent man." And the people of his town also reported, that "He is a very good man. What came to his mind?"
I said, "It must have been coming to his mind every day; it is just that the chance was not there. Today he got a chance. He alone finished all the meditators!" and there were at least five hundred people.
I asked him later on, "Did you not realize what you were doing?"
He said, "I realized that what I was doing was not right, and that these people have done no harm to me. Most of them are unknown to me. But from my very childhood, I have had dreams of beating people, cutting their heads. Even in the day, when I close my eyes I have always had this: that I alone am enough for hundreds of people. You have seen it yourself -- five hundred people, great meditators, all forgot their meditation."
I said, "And do you think you are sane?"
He said, "That's what I have been asking after your meditation! This thing is in my mind... any day, something goes wrong, goes beyond my control and I will be insane.
Insanity is there, it is just repressed."
There are only two kinds of people in the world: normally insane people and abnormally insane people.
One man became mad... and mad people are very inventive because they don't have any fear of anybody; no question of respectability, no question of what others will think about them. They become very fearless, and they start doing their thing, what they had always wanted to do but were suppressing.
This man had this idea that some strange, slimy creature was rolling all over him, and the whole day he was throwing it off of himself. His family said, "What are you doing? -- because we don't see any slimy creature or anything."
He said, "You cannot see it. I was also in your situation before; I had suspicions about it but I had never seen it. Now it seems my third eye has opened. I can see it!" and he would go on throwing it off.
They said, "You are just... are you going to the business, to the office, or not?"
He said, "How can I go? And it is so disgusting -- it crawls on my face, it goes on into my hair... I cannot go anywhere."
So finally they took him to the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist said, "Don't be worried, I have seen such cases. You come here and sit."
He sat there, and he was continuously throwing off the creature. The psychiatrist said, "There is nothing; you just have an idea, you have become obsessed with an idea."
He says, "Obsessed? I will show you."
He took his chair close to the psychiatrist. And the psychiatrist said, "What are you doing?"
And the man started throwing his creatures onto him, and the psychiatrist said, "Stop!
Don't throw those creatures on me! What kind of fellow are you? Have you come here for treatment or have you come here to make me sick also? What a disgusting fellow!"
He said, "Now you see, it is not an idea."
He said, "I do understand, it is not an idea. I can see them; it seems my third eye is also opening! You just don't come again. You can try another psychiatrist; he lives just opposite me. He is my enemy, and when I find cases like you, I send them to him. But you forgive me -- this is your fee, you take it back. But don't drop your creatures here!
Take them to the other psychiatrist -- that is the office -- every day. And if you want something, I will pay your fee. Whatever fee you have to give to the psychiatrist, I will give to you. But open his third eye just the way you have opened mine. You are great -- there are yogis who are trying hard to open their third eyes and nothing opens, and within minutes you have opened my third eye."
And as the man was going out, he looked back. The psychiatrist was throwing off those creatures.
Everybody is in the same boat. Just a few are sitting in the middle, a few are sitting at the very edge, can fall into the river easily.
It is not your question. No question is yours.
Remember, all questions come out of your normal insanity.
So when you hear that somebody else has asked your question, don't be puzzled.
These are the same slimy creatures -- it is not your monopoly. They also have their own.
If you remain silent, you will find that every question that has ever bothered you is being asked by somebody else, by someone else -- because we are not islands; we are all connected, we are one continent. And we are continuously broadcasting our ideas, even without saying anything to anybody sitting by our side. Neither are you trying to say something to him, nor is he trying to listen to you, but those ideas are radiating.
It is something to be understood: that most of your ideas are just uninvited guests which you pick up just from anywhere. They are in the air, and once they get into your head you think, "It is my idea."
And if you listen carefully, every answer is for you. Even if the question was not yours, even if you were not able to recognize any resemblance of the question to any question in your mind, the answer is certainly for you -- as it is for everybody else.
Because my work is not what you call retail; it is wholesale.
Now, if I go on doing retail work, it will be too big a job in too small a life; I cannot help many people.
I do a wholesale job. My answer is for you, whether you have asked or not. Perhaps you may ask tomorrow or the day after tomorrow; just wait -- but remember the answer. The question will come. The question may be coming, already arising from your unconscious layers; it has just not reached in time. So you keep the answer; the question is bound to come.
I am answering your questions just to kill them, just to destroy them, so that I can help you to go beyond questions and beyond answers into a state of silence where there is no question and no answer.
That space is the space of all miracles, of all mysteries.
That magical space I call true religion.
To enter into it is to be a religious person.
WHEN SITTING HERE WITH YOU, I TRY TO WATCH AND TO BE AS AWARE AS POSSIBLE. MY MIND RUNS ON, WONDERING IF THIS SPACE IS RIGHT, WHETHER I SHOULD BE THE WATCHER OR BE LOST INTO YOU. AT THE SAME TIME, I TRY TO RELAX AND IGNORE ALL THIS.
SOMEHOW, DESPITE ALL THESE GYMNASTICS, A MOMENT COMES WHEN MELTING HAPPENS, AND I BECOME SO SOFT AND RECEPTIVE, SO VERY SIMPLE AND FLOWING.
BELOVED MASTER, HOW CAN I GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY SO THAT I DON'T WASTE SO MUCH OF THIS PRECIOUS TIME WITH YOU?
There are things which are really simple, but become very complicated because of you.
Now sitting here, you can simply relax and enjoy -- but no, you make a problem out of it:
whether to relax or to merge or to watch. And in all this, you are missing the train.
There is no need to do anything here.
Just relax and listen, and out of that listening a few insights will come to you. Use those insights in your life.
When somebody insults you, watch it -- as if you are just the watcher, he is insulting somebody else. That's truly the case.
Or you are sitting by the side of the ocean -- merge with the beauty of the sunrise, don't bring the watcher in, because beauty is something which has to be enjoyed.
And anger is something which has to be dropped.
So different methods have to be used in different situations.
Lying on your bed, you have nothing to do -- just relax. The whole day you have been active, you have been doing a thousand and one things. Now is the time to forget it all and just let your whole energy relax and be refreshed.
Relaxation, merging, watching -- all are different techniques for different situations. And if you are trying all the techniques in a single situation, you will simply miss the whole point and you will not be able to do either this or that.
Still, you are fortunate that doing such a stupid thing you finally find relaxation. Perhaps you get tired, because enough is enough -- merging, watching, relaxing.... You get tired, so relaxation comes on its own; you feel soft.
It is good.
In India we have a proverb that if a person gets lost in the morning and comes home by the evening, he should not be called `lost'. At least he has come back -- for the whole day he has been wandering and doing all kinds of stupid things.
But when you see that relaxation comes and you are soft and things become beautiful, why not do it from the very beginning? Or is that introduction a necessity?
If you have seen George Bernard Shaw's dramas, his introductions are very long, longer than the drama. The drama is very small, and the introduction is three times bigger. Every friend, well-wisher, told him, "This is unnecessarily tiring. If we miss the introduction and just read the drama, then it feels that perhaps we are missing something: the man has written such a big introduction, there must be something in it. And if we read your introduction, it is so tiring that by the time we come to the drama we feel like throwing the book away -- you have tortured us so much."
There is no need of long introductions, just a preface.
So it is okay if for a minute or two you do merging, relaxation, watching; finish it quickly so you feel satisfied that the introduction part is done. Then come to the real drama -- relax and enjoy.
Things are simple. But somehow the mind wants to make them unnecessarily complicated, because unless they are complicated, the mind is not of any use.
The mind is useful only when something is complicated -- then the mind is needed. When the thing is simple, the mind is not needed at all.
And life is so simple that if one is courageous enough to live it, mind can be abandoned completely. And to abandon the mind and to live life spontaneously is what I call sannyas.
Moment to moment, we will see.
Why go on doing rehearsals?
When the moment comes, your consciousness will face it and respond to it.
But people are preparing so much that almost their whole lives are used up in preparations.
I have heard about a German professor. He wanted to have the biggest collection of philosophical, religious, spiritual literature. And he was a very rich man too, so he wandered around the earth collecting all kinds of scriptures. There are three hundred religions in the world, and there are hundreds of philosophies, and each philosophy has hundreds of books in different languages. And he had translators translating them all into German. This was all preparation for when he would start reading.
But by the time he was ninety, he was still collecting books.
Somebody told him, "Now it is time that you should start reading. The preparation has gone on too long, and you have thousands and thousands of books -- we don't think you will be able to read all of them. Your life is just at the very end, maybe a year or two more."
But the man said, "But my collection is not complete yet."
So he started collecting more forcibly, put more men into collection, into translation.
Finally he fell sick, and the doctor said, "He is not going to survive more than seven days."
He called all the scholars who were translating his books: "Now stop translating. You just try to find small summaries from every scripture, because I have got only seven days and I want to know what is written in all the scriptures. So just prepare small summaries of all the scriptures."
But the scholars said, "You have collected so many scriptures, even summaries will not be possible. We will try, but in seven days all the summaries will not be ready."
The last day came. He inquired again, "What has happened?"
They said, "We are trying."
He said, "Forget all about it. You do one thing: just make one small note summarizing all the scriptures. Because there is no more time; I feel that I am going. So be fast and be quick."
They said, "How can we be fast and quick? We have to look into scriptures to find the very gist, the very essential center of all of them. It will take a little time."
The whole day passed, and by the evening when they had come to a conclusion, a small summary of a few pages.... They reached; the man was almost drowning. He said, "That many pages won't do. You just make it half a page, just a small summary that can be printed on a postcard. I don't have time for all these pages."
So they rushed back, again they summarized. Now it meant nothing, because all those scriptures, summaries and summaries... and by the time they came back, the man was dead.
His wife said, "It is a very sad thing. You can at least shout loudly in his ear; perhaps he may be able to hear. He is just going down."
The doctor said, "Now it is useless. But you can try, there is no harm in it." So one scholar shouted the summary of all the scriptures. But the man was dead already, and the doctors were saying, "Now he cannot hear."
His whole life went into preparation.
And this is not the story of one strange, weird man. This is the story of all normal people:
preparation, preparation, preparation. They forget completely, that... preparation for what?
We are not certain even of the next moment.
Preparation for what?
Either live or prepare.
If you want to live, live now.
Or prepare for tomorrow -- and remember, tomorrow never comes. What comes in place of tomorrow is death. An intelligent person lives his life. He does not bother about preparations, disciplines.
You are here with me. Live this moment to its totality, to its very intensity. Perhaps out of that totality and intensity, you may get the taste that will go on lingering with you into the next moment. And once you have known that a moment can be lived with totality and intensity, you know the secret, the very secret of life.
You are always given a single moment; you are not given two moments together.
If you know the secret of living one moment, you know the whole secret of life. Because you will always get one moment -- and you know how to live it, how to be totally in it.
Your question reminds me about one of my old friends, a centipede. A centipede has one hundred legs; hence, the name `centipede'. The name comes from ancient Sanskrit, shattpadee.
Just one morning, early in the morning as the sun was rising, the centipede was going for a morning walk. A philosophical rabbit, watching the legs, could not believe -- he said, "My God, this centipede is going to be in trouble soon. How is he going to remember which foot first, which foot second... one hundred legs! He is bound to be in trouble."
The rabbit came close and said to the centipede, "Uncle, I am a philosophical rabbit -- just a student, an inquirer about truth."
The centipede said, "That is all right, but what is the problem?"
He said, "The problem is: how do you manage one hundred legs?"
So the centipede said, "I never thought about it. And no centipede has ever thought about it; there is no mention of it in our scriptures. We have been managing perfectly well. But your question is valid. Just sit. I will try," and he could not go even two feet. Puzzled, he fell down.
And he was very angry at the rabbit. He said, "You rascal, never again ask any centipede your philosophical question, because now I am in trouble. And the question has got into my head; now I cannot walk without thinking about how it is happening -- which one?
And one hundred legs... my life is finished. But be kind enough not to ask such questions to anybody else. I will try to forget this question. I don't know.... If I can forget it I can live; if I cannot forget it, I am finished."
Now you are trying to be in my presence, relaxing, merging, watching... you will get into trouble.
Forget all nonsense, forget all philosophical questions.
Here, just be.
Simply be, and out of that being grows an understanding that will give you the insight into where to merge, where to watch, where to relax.
Here, you are to just get a taste of being -- of being fully alive, silent, joyous -- and everything else will come out of it.