Tommorrow never comes

Fri, 17 June 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Rebel
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Question 1:





Prem Vasumati, the heights are always both challenging and frightening. They create a longing in you to reach to the stars, but the gravitation of the earth creates all kinds of fears about safety, security. This is absolutely natural and human. It is not a problem to be solved but just to be understood.

When you are surrounded by fear, remember that in life there is only one thing certain, and that is death. Hence, those who understand drop the fear. Because what else could be more insecure than life? To be alive means that at any moment death is possible. Security is possible only in the grave, because nobody has ever heard that anybody dies in the grave. Everything is secure and safe.

Once Confucius was asked the same question by one of his disciples - of course, in a little different way, in different words: "Master, tell us something about the fear of insecurity."

And Confucius told him, "Don't be worried about that. Death will make everything secure. While alive, enjoy insecurity."

Insecurity is synonymous with being alive. The more you are alive, the more insecure. The less you are alive, the less insecure. Do you want the safety and security of death? There, it is absolute.

A Sufi story: A great king was very much afraid of death. He had invaded many lands, created many enemies, and simultaneously he had created many nightmares that he would be assassinated, that he would be murdered, that he could not trust anybody. All around there were spies of the enemies who were trying to take their kingdoms back. Finally, it became too much to bear. He ordered that a beautiful house should be made, with a special instruction: there should not be any windows, nor any doors except the one from which he would come in and go out. Just to be secure, so nobody could assassinate him, nobody could murder him... as a protection.

And in front of that one door, he had seven lines of guards. He could not trust one line of guards because, who knows?... they might conspire and then he would be utterly helpless. He could not even get any help from outside. Just one guard could enter in and kill him.

Against the first line, a second line of guards to keep an eye on the first line. But where do you have to end? This is called in logic, 'infinite regress'. Then a third line to watch over the second line. But one has to stop somewhere.

He thought seven lines were enough. It was impossible for all the guards to be together. He had managed those seven lines with people who were antagonistic to each other. For example, one line of guards was of Mohammedans, another was of Christians, another was of Hindus, and so on and so forth.

The neighboring king - also a great emperor and a friend of the king who had made this house - heard about it. He was also suffering from the same paranoia. He came to visit him and to see his new place. And he was amazed at the way he had managed the security.

And when he was taking leave... the king had come out to give him a send-off, they were old friends.

And the neighboring king was saying to him, "I have never seen such security as you have managed.

I am going to make the same kind of house with no windows, no doors, no possibilities of anybody entering. With the same system of guards."

Just then a beggar sitting on the street started laughing. They both were annoyed and asked the beggar, "What is the matter, are you mad or something?"

The beggar said, "I am not mad. I have been watching the building of this security palace. And I was worried that perhaps you are not aware that for death, even this one door is enough. And guards will not be able to prevent death. I always wanted to see you and suggest to you that the best security is if you go in and tell the masons to close the door. Even one door is dangerous. You have left one loophole in your security system."

Both the kings listened to him in amazement. What he was saying made sense. But the owner of the palace said, "Your logic is without fault and you will be rewarded for that. But you don't understand one thing: that if I go in and close this door too, then this is no more a palace, this becomes my grave."

And the man said, "That's exactly what I mean. Only in the grave are you absolutely secure. I used to be a king myself once. I had also tried to find security. This is my way of finding it - I renounced the world and became a beggar. Now nobody tries to assassinate me. Nobody even takes any interest in me.

"People go on walking down the street and I go on sleeping without any fear in the darkest night, because I don't have any friends anymore or any enemies. Under the stars in the open sky I have found my security. And with the security I have also found a tremendous thrill of living.

"According to your own logic, if you close one more door this will become a grave. This has already become ninety-nine percent a grave, just one percent is left. The more doors you close out of fear, the more windows you close out of fear, the more you die. Now why not finish the whole fear?"

The king never went to live in that house. It was exactly right that the more secure you are, the more you have to be dead. And vice versa is also true: you want to live on the heights, sunlit peaks, you have nothing to lose. One day death is going to take away everything. That is absolutely certain, not a probability. And there is no way for you to protect yourself against it. This very understanding will drop the paranoia. Then why be bothered?

While you are alive, be alive as totally and as intensely as possible. In fact, death should be an incentive to live. If there was no death, you could postpone living. Because of death, postponement is not possible. You have to live this very moment because you cannot be certain about the next moment. Whether the breath that is going out will come back or not is absolutely unpredictable, and not in your hands.

Vasumati, you are saying, "I feel inside me, when I listen to you speak, a deep longing for freedom arise." Then what are you waiting for? Are you just satisfied with a deep longing for freedom to arise?

On what grounds are you postponing it? Are you certain about tomorrow - have you not heard that tomorrow never comes?

Let your longing become your reality. Longing is always deep down a postponement - it means tomorrow..."I will awake, I will rise to my heights, but tomorrow. Right now I will enjoy the longing."

But such longings are impotent. And in the face of the uncertainty of whether you will be here tomorrow or not, all longings, all desires are dangerous, risky.

Don't long for freedom, be free.

Who is preventing you except yourself?

It is a very strange phenomenon that man is crippled by himself. He has chained himself, he has made a prison for himself. And then he starts longing for freedom, then he starts dreaming of freedom. You say, "I feel like the tiger in the story awakening to its true nature." No Vasumati, that tiger has not felt anything awakening in him. He has just encountered the awakening - out of nowhere. The tiger was simply looking in the water, seeing the reflected face of the old tiger and his own. He simply gave a tremendous roar and the valleys resounded it. It was not a longing or a thinking or a feeling or a desire - "let us think about it, let us consult a few wiser people." It was spontaneous, without a single thought. And that is the way to be awake.

Let your tiger explode into a wild roar. In that roar your false identity with a sheep will disappear, will be gone. It is not a decision by the mind, it is an outburst of the being itself.

You are saying, "I sense my potential for expansion." How long have you been sensing it, and how long are you going to sense it? So much water has gone down the Ganges since you started sensing it. You are not new to me, you are one of my old sannyasins. Don't waste time in unnecessary, meaningless exercises of the mind. The growth and expansion of your potential has to happen the moment you feel the opening of the dimension, the moment you are clear. Then there is nothing to be afraid of - you don't have anything to lose.

What do you have to lose? What is your life? That is the most precious thing you have, but reduced to its elements what is it? The heart beating - that any plastic heart can do. The lungs breathing - any mechanical lungs can do it far better, more efficiently.

For a moment, let the mind stop and let time stop. And simply look into the fact: what is your life?

- heart beating, blood circulating, breathing coming in and going out. Anything more? And if this is all, I don't see the point why you should be afraid. If the blood does not circulate, and the heart does not go on, click-clock, and if the breathing stops, so what? Vasumati is resting, gone to eternal rest.

But what have you lost? You were not living, you were only vegetating.

Don't remain a vegetable. It is time for ecstasy, for love, for expansion of consciousness. You have waited enough, you have wasted much. No more wastage. But you say, "Somewhere I need, or I think I need, security and safety." For what? Do you want just to remain a vegetable forever - safe, secure, in cold storage?

There are a few idiots in America - about ten are well known - who have stopped breathing, their hearts have stopped beating. But they were rich enough and, of course, they were afraid to die. So they have arranged for their bodies to be kept in a deep freeze. It is costing millions of dollars per year for a single body to be kept. And they are waiting in those freezers for the time when science discovers how to revive dead people again. And the scientists are thinking that within ten years, at the most, they will be able to revive any dead body - because it will become possible to replace parts.

Hospitals will become, more or less, workshops where you simply go to change your heart, because it is no longer functioning well. So just some screws have to be removed, the heart has to be changed, a new, better plastic heart put in, which remains eternally the same.

Your life energy is dying out and you just have to go to the workshop - I mean the hospitals of the future - and get plugged into electricity to be recharged. Or maybe, if you prefer, dry batteries - then that can be done immediately, change the batteries. It will be a really hilarious world. Somebody is saying to you, "I love you," and then he goes "ghrrrr, ghrrr..." because the battery has failed.

Rushing to the workshop, he changes the battery and then he will again repeat the same record.

It is just a recording..."I love you." And people have to be alert that when somebody starts saying, "ghrrr, ghrrr..." call the ambulance immediately, because this man's battery has run out, or the fuse.

Life will be very secure but absolutely vegetable. Don't wait for those days.

The very insecurity makes life a thrill; the very danger that tomorrow you may not be here makes you live today as intensely as possible, makes you love as totally as possible, because postponement is not at all conceivable.

Vasumati, enough of thinking, "This fear and lack of courage to take the jump, to dive deep into life and let go totally is crippling...." Then just jump - you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Karl Marx in his COMMUNIST MANIFESTO has a beautiful statement at the very end. With a little change, it can be used for you. His statement is, "Proletarians of the world unite, because you have nothing to lose except your chains." Just a little change: thinkers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains, and you have the whole existence to gain.

You can go on enjoying longing for beautiful and great things. People become addicted to dreams - dreams are more addictive than any drugs. In fact, people become addicted to drugs because drugs give beautiful dreams. Dreams are the root cause of addiction, and these are also dreams.

Just have courage, you are not a cripple. And it needs only a single moment to take the jump.

I have known and seen it with my own eyes, in Raipur, where I used to be a teacher in the university.

A woman was lying down for ten years, she was paralyzed. All efforts to cure her had failed and the doctors had unanimously declared that there was no possibility of her ever being cured. She would remain paralyzed as long as she lived. She was a rich woman; she used to live just in front of my house.

One day her house caught fire. I rushed, the whole neighborhood gathered there - and the greatest surprise was not that the house was burning, the greatest surprise was seeing the paralyzed woman running out of the house. She had not moved from her bed for ten years. Nobody could believe it, this was a miracle. And somebody reminded her, "What are you doing, you are paralyzed!"

And the woman looked around and she said, "You are right," and she immediately fell to the ground, paralyzed. What do you say about this paralysis? It was just in the mind, but not in the body.

Because of the fire, when everybody was running out, she forgot for a moment that she was paralyzed. The moment she was reminded, the old mind came back: "My god, what have I done! I am paralyzed and I am running."

All your crippledness is just your mind - which does not want to live, which is not really capable of living and goes on creating fears of all kinds.

There is an ancient Jaina story, I have loved it always. A prince had gone to listen to Mahavira, the Jaina prophet, with his wife. When they came home... it was traditional in the ancient India of those days, and particularly in the luxurious homes. The husband was taking a bath and the wife was pouring water over him, rosewater, and they started talking about what they had heard Mahavira say. The wife said, "My brother is thinking to become a sannyasin of Mahavira."

Her husband asked, "How long he has been thinking?"

The wife said, "How long? I think it must be at least five years."

Then the husband laughed. He said, "He will think his whole life. This is not the way to become a sannyasin." The wife felt hurt - something was said against her brother.

She said, "Do you think you can do better?" He was sitting naked taking a shower. He did not answer, he got up, opened the door and walked out. The wife said, "Where are you going naked?"

He said, "Mahavira's sannyasins live naked. I am going to my master to be initiated."

She said, "Are you kidding?"

The man said, "Forget all that. If I want to do something, I do it. I don't go on thinking for five years."

She said, "Forgive me that I asked you what you would do in his place."

He said, "Now it is too late." And he went and became a sannyasin and never looked back.

Those who want to really live drop all fears, all thinking, all security, all safety. They risk everything, because life is so precious and so fleeting, so momentary that you cannot go on postponing. And thinking is a way of postponing, feeling is a way of postponing, desiring is a way of postponing.

Vasumati, stop postponement.

Little Hymie is kicking his football around the house and breaks a valuable vase. "Oh dear," cried his mother, "now look what you have done. I am sick and tired of your juvenility."

"Well," said Hymie in a rebellious mood, "there are times when I am sick and tired of your adultery."

Be spontaneous, do something. If the longing has arisen in you, then open your wings, be a gambler.

Religion is not for business people, it is only for gamblers - those who can stake everything for something unknown. It needs courage and guts.

I have been watching you, Vasumati, for a few days. You don't look as happy as you have always looked before. You look a little sad, hiding - as if you are avoiding something. I was waiting for your question. Your laughter is gone, I don't see even a smile on your face and now I can see what is the cause of it. You have become a thinker. To hell with all thinkers, just act. There is not much time to think about what is right and what is wrong.

Just few days before, there was a Jaina conference in the town. Ten thousand people had gathered:

many Jaina monks, three governors from the nearby states, the chief minister, and the nearest shankaracharya of the Hindus.

The mayor of Poona opened the conference. He is a simple man, uneducated, but with a great heart. I had not known him before - he is a poor man - but since I came to Poona in 1974, he has been supplying milk for me. He used to sell milk, he still does; but his sincerity, his honesty have created a love in the masses and they have chosen him as the mayor of the city. When I came back to Poona he came to see me twice.

He never used to speak. That was his first speech, and the newspapers reported that it was such a shocking thing to hear him speak. He is a big man, and before three governors and the chief minister, all the commissioners - the police commissioner, the commissioner of Poona, the income tax commissioner - and all the officers, he said, "I believe in action. Don't be bothered about whether it is legal or illegal. Do it!"

And newspapers reported that this was the result of visiting me. This man never used to speak - he does not know how to speak - and he was saying before the whole government, "I believe in action.

Never bother about legal or illegal; do it first, then we will see later on what happens."

I enjoyed that news.

I think it is time, Vasumati. Do something, legal or illegal, but do it. Enough of thinking.

Question 2:



Gyan Asanga, the difference, the "distinction for a rebel, between the attitude of total acceptance of existence and a non-conforming attitude towards the world at large"... just a little change is needed in your question. Because rebellion is not against the world at large. The rebellion is against the dead past: all the traditions, all the religions, all the civilizations, all the cultures, all the nations, all political ideologies - the rebellion is against this junk.

The world is beautiful. It is the mind of the society that goes on carrying the past, it is dominated by the dead. And you cannot live a life of freedom and love if you are dominated by the dead. Perhaps you have never thought about it in this way. All your religions are dead - dead institutions.

A survey in Greece has reported that more than ninety percent of the people are orthodox Christians, but only four percent of them ever go to church. Do you call this religion living? And who are these four percent? I was in Greece, and the archbishop of Greece had threatened the government that if I was not thrown out of Greece - and I was only there for four weeks - then their whole morality, their religion, their ancient traditions would be corrupted; I would corrupt the minds of the youth. So if the government was not going to take action, he was going to take action by his own hands.

This is the head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, and this is the oldest Christian church in the world. And what was he going to do? He made it clear that he was going to dynamite the house I was staying in with my twenty-five followers, and he was going to burn these followers with me, alive.

I inquired of my Greek sannyasins how many people he had in his congregation. They laughed. I said, "What is the matter, why are you laughing?"

They said, "In his congregation there are only six old women, who have nothing else to do and who are not needed by anybody anywhere else. Only they go to the church."

When I am saying that an authentic man has to be a rebel, he is not going to be a rebel against the stars or against the trees or against the ocean or against the mountains. He is going to be a rebel against the dead and the past - which are still dominating the mind of the society. In other words, rebellion is against society, and acceptance - total acceptance - is for existence. The stars and the ocean and the mountains and the flowers and the birds - this whole vast expanse of life in its immense variety and beauty. The distinction is very clear, so there need not be any confusion.

The authentic man has to fight against the chains of the past and make himself free to live in the present and to live in the future. Those who live in the past are almost living posthumously, they are dead. Those who are dominated and dictated by the dead belong to the dead. They may be eating and walking and talking, but really they belong in graveyards.

I want you to belong to the present so that you can live each moment fresh, young, alive, with a great adventure for the coming moment. Unless your life becomes an ecstasy, you have not lived it.

You have missed the very point, the bull's eye.

A celebrated judge and an almost equally celebrated bishop were engaged in a friendly argument as to which of them had more power over their fellow men.

"After all old man," the bishop explained, "you can only say to a man, 'You be hanged.' I can go very much further, I can say to a man, 'You be damned.'"

"Ah, yes," nodded the judge. "But the difference is that when I say to a man, 'You be hanged,' he is hanged."

And that is a great difference! - because the bishop is just living in fictions. His heaven, his hell, his God, are all fictitious. He has no evidence for them and he has not even the courage to doubt their existence. He is just a coward.

The judge was right when he said, "When I say 'You be hanged,' he is hanged." It takes a reality, an actuality, and whatever you go on saying..."You be damned, you go to hell," that is all just hot air, soap bubbles.

The difference and distinction between acceptance of the universe and rejecting the past of man is very clear. The universe is here, now; the past is no more.

And why should you allow the dead to give you commandments? Why should you be so self- disrespectful as to even listen to somebody who lived five thousand years before? Can't you use your own intelligence to find the way? Don't you have your own consciousness to make your path and create a ray of light in the darkness of life?

And those dead people have not helped anybody; they are hanging around your necks and their weight goes on becoming bigger and bigger because their number goes on increasing. More and more people are dying - the dead in the world are ten times more than the living people. So at least ten dead people are hanging around your neck. Beware of these fellows, just put them back in their graves - however great they may have been in their time. They cannot advise you because they know nothing about your times, your situations. Only you know what you are encountering.

And if you become free from the dead, as a corollary you will never hang around your children's necks. You will allow them freedom from the very beginning to find their way in life, to commit mistakes and learn, and stop committing mistakes. To fall and get up - this is the only way to become stronger, this is the only way to learn and be wise: "And one thing is certain, you will not be living in the same situations in which we are living, so our advices are of no use."

A Zen story: There were two temples, ancient temples, enemy temples, and the enmity had gone on for centuries. Both the old priests of those temples hated each other so much that they would not look at each other. If one was passing on the road the other would move into a bypass. But they had two small boys - just to do small things for the old people - and both priests were insisting to them, "Remember, never speak to the boy of the other temple." But boys are boys. In fact, this became a temptation. They might not have bothered, but because the insistence was so much they became intrigued.

And one day, they met on the road going towards the market to fetch some vegetables. One boy said, "Hello, where are you going?"

And the other boy had a little of a philosophical bent. He said, "Wherever the wind takes me." The first boy could not believe such an answer, he had never expected it. And he thought that perhaps the old man was right not to talk to these people.

He felt defeated, and he came back to the temple. He said to the old priest, "Forgive me, but I could not resist saying 'hello' to the boy. And they are really nasty people, you are right. I asked the boy a simple question, 'Where are you going?' And I knew where he was going and where I was going, the road goes to the market. And the boy said, 'Wherever the wind takes me.'"

The old man said, "This is not right to be defeated. Our temple has never been defeated by those people. We have argued for centuries. Tomorrow, ask again, 'Where are you going?' and when he says, 'Wherever the wind takes me,' ask him, 'If the wind is not blowing, then?'"

The boy was very happy, he was waiting far ahead on the road for the other boy to come. The other boy came, and he was going on as if he had not even seen the waiting boy.

The boy said, "Hello, where are you going?" And he was prepared, but that boy was strange.

He said, "Wherever my legs take me." Now the answer that he had prepared was irrelevant, the situation had changed.

He felt very bad, very much hurt. He went directly to the priest, with tears in his eyes, and said, "They are really nasty, they don't stick to their ideology. Yesterday he said, 'Wherever the wind takes me,' today he said, 'Wherever my legs take me.' I was dumfounded because I could not give the prepared answer that I had taken from you. Now you have to give me another answer."

The old man said, "I had told you beforehand, don't start this. Ask again, 'Where are you going,' and when he says, 'Wherever my legs take me,' ask him, 'Suppose you had no legs?'"

Very happy, the next day he was again waiting and he asked, "Where are you going?"

The boy said, "Just to fetch a few vegetables from the market."

Utterly defeated, he went back and he said to the old man, "What to do? These people are so inconsistent, today he has changed again. He said, 'I am going to fetch a few vegetables.'"

But life is such... today it is one thing, tomorrow it is another, the day after tomorrow nobody knows what it will be. Your memorized answers, your borrowed knowledge from others never fits with life, because life goes on changing and your scriptures remain the same.

So are the VEDAS, so is the KORAN, so is the GITA; but people are allowing the old to show them the way, and life has changed its course. It is changing every moment, that's why it remains fresh. It goes on dropping the old leaves and bringing fresh, new leaves. It goes on dropping the old people.

If life was so much interested, then Manu and Moses and Mohammed would have all been alive; but those have proved old leaves, they have fallen. We will be gone in the same way, giving place to the new leaves to come and to dance in the sun, in the moon.

Don't burden your children with your ideologies and don't be burdened by your ancient people with their ideologies. Everybody has to be a light unto himself. This is, to me, the essential rebellion.

And only through this rebellion can the new man be born and a new humanity arise.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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