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Chapter 6: The Art of Living

“Shall the day of parting be the day of gathering? And shall it be said that my eve was in truth my dawn? Shall my heart become a tree, heavy-laden with fruit that I may gather and give unto them? Am I a harp that the hand of the Mighty may touch me, or a flute that his breath may pass through me? A seeker of silences am I, and what treasure have I found in silences that I may dispense with confidence?”

Yes, a million, million times, yes. Let this be your guide. You just allow the divine and it will start singing through your flute. Just don’t hinder his way.

Only one thing is needed - don’t hinder existence. It is not a question of existence playing on your flute or not. It is only a question of whether you will allow it or not. If you allow it, this very moment the song begins. If you don’t allow it and you go on praying, “Play on my flute,” then it is never going to begin.

Man has nothing else to do but surrender - in deep trust, in deep love. Don’t be a doer, just surrender. Let there be a let-go. And whatsoever you have asked, I say yes, a million, million times, yes.

The eighth question:

I was a sad child, a frightened adolescent, and an angry young man. Yet all my life I have felt deep within that everything was funny, absurd, ridiculous. When I was in the seminary some years ago, a friend told me that we have such a limited capacity for divine things that if God told us a joke, we would die laughing. I remember my friend’s statement because since coming to Pune I have felt a great belly-laugh welling up inside of me. I feel that God has told me a joke, and the punch-line is slowly dawning on me. I am a little afraid that I will not catch it fully until I have left Pune in December, and then I will laugh so loud and hard that you will be able to hear me all the way from Texas. Please tell me, will I survive this joke?

It is impossible to survive this joke. The laughter that I am teaching to you is something that is going to destroy you completely. The laughter that I am teaching to you is very destructive, it is a crucifixion. But only after this destruction is there creation. Only out of chaos are stars born and only after crucifixion is there resurrection.

No, you will not be able to survive this laughter. If you really allow it, you will be drowned by it, you will disappear and only laughter will remain. If you laugh then the laughter is not total. When there is only laughter and you are not, then it is total. And only then have you heard the joke that God is telling.

Yes, this whole cosmos is a joke; Hindus call it leela. It is a joke, it is a play. And the day that you understand then you start laughing, and that laughing never stops. It goes on and on. It spreads all over the cosmos.