Chapter 14: The New Man
The old generation believes in money. And you will be surprised, that the belief in money is so deep that even those who renounce money, they also believe in money; otherwise there is no need to renounce it. And those who praise renunciation, they also believe in money: the more money you renounce, the greater you are. So the measurement is through money, money remains the criterion. In the world if you have more money you are great. And even in the world of the monks: “How much have you renounced?” If you have renounced more money, then you are more important. Money remains important even there.
The new generation is not going to be money-manic. And remember, I am not saying it is going to be against money - it will use money. In the past money has used man, in the past man has lived in such an unconscious way that he thought he possessed things, but things possessed him. The New Man will be able to use: the New Man will use money, will use technology, but the New Man will remain the master. He is not going to become a victim, an instrument. This, according to me, is the greatest thing that is happening. A few characteristics..
The new consciousness is going to be counter to all orthodoxies - any kind of orthodoxy, Catholic or communist, Hindu or Jaina. Any kind of orthodoxy is a kind of paralysis of the mind - it paralyzes, you stop living. It becomes a rigidity around you. You become a fanatic, you become stubborn, you become rock-like. You don’t behave like a liquid human being, you start behaving like a mule. That’s why for Morarji Desai I have another name: Mulishjibhai Desai. One starts behaving in a mulish way - stubborn, dead set, no possibility of changing, no flexibility, no fluidity. But in the past that has been praised very much: people call it consistency, certainty. It is not. It is neither consistency nor certainty. It is simply deadness.
An alive person has to remain flowing. He has to respond to the changing situations - and situations are continuously changing. How can you remain fixed in your attitudes when life itself is not fixed? When life is a river how can you remain stubborn? And if you remain stubborn you lose contact with life, you are already in your grave.
The new consciousness will be non-orthodox, non-fanatic. It will be fluid. It will not react, it will respond. And the difference between these two words is great.
Reaction is always rigid: you have a fixed idea, you react out of it; before the question is raised, the answer is ready. Response is totally different: you listen to the question, you absorb the question, you see the situation, you feel the situation, you live the situation and out of that very living, your response arises. A responsible man cannot be stubborn, cannot be certain, cannot be rigid. He will have to live moment to moment. He cannot decide beforehand. He will have to decide every day, each moment. And because he has to move continuously with life, its changing challenges, he cannot be consistent in the old sense. His consistency will be only one: that he will always be in tune with life. That will be his consistency, not that he has a certain idea and he remains consistent with that idea, and goes on sacrificing life for it.
There was a case against Mulla Nasrudin in the court and the magistrate asked him, “Mulla, how old are you?”