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Chapter 19: Responsibility

An authentic master will not take any responsibility on himself. That’s why an authentic master will not have a great following - because who is going to follow a man who is not ready to take your responsibility, who does not give you any opium, any hope? On the contrary he takes all your hopes, and all your drugs, and all your opium, and tries to make you as clean and pure and innocent and empty as possible. The true master gives freedom. He insists that you should be free, totally free.

You are afraid of freedom. Just see the mechanism of mind. You don’t want freedom. If you look deep inside it, you will see your fears. You are afraid of freedom because that means you have to stand alone, on your own feet, and people are very much afraid to be alone. They think that if there are two persons. There are proverbs in India that two persons are better than one. Why? One is alone; aloneness creates all kinds of fears. You start facing existence directly.

You must have seen people who are walking alone on a street: they start talking to themselves, to give an illusion that somebody is with them.

I used to live in a house by the side of which there was a small street, very lonely, very dark in the night. And I had seen people talking to themselves, loudly, and I was surprised - what was the matter? Not just one, but anybody who would pass would go fast and would talk loudly.

One of my teachers used to live at the other end of the street. I got hold of him one night in the middle of the dark street. He said, “No more - here, no more! Don’t disturb me here. You can come to my house, or tomorrow morning we will discuss it, but this is not the place to stand.”

I said, “When I am standing here, you are not alone.”

He said, “You don’t understand.don’t waste my time and don’t bother me.”

I said, “You have to answer me here - why do you start talking when you enter this street? With whom are you talking?”

He said, “With whom? Any imaginary figure will do. I start chanting a mantra, gayatri mantra; it gives strength. And I run fast, because the street is not only lonely but it is well known that there are ghosts also.”

Why are people afraid of being alone? And if you are with someone, there are only two alonenesses; it does not make any sense that you should be less afraid. You should be more afraid - aloneness has been doubled. Before, you used to sleep in your room alone. Now your wife is also sleeping there - two alonenesses, more dangerous! And then children start coming, and each is bringing another package of aloneness. But people feel very good that now they are no longer alone. Just being in a crowd does not mean that your aloneness has disappeared. It is there.

The same is the situation when you give the responsibility to somebody: you think the responsibility has disappeared, it is in somebody else’s hands. It is not possible. You have to be responsible. Without responsibility you are not. Only dead people don’t have any responsibility. Alive.the more alive you are the more responsible you are. The more alive you are the more freedom you need - to act, to create, to be.

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