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Chapter 17: Becoming Is Going Away from Being

The function of the master is, in the beginning, to give you an excuse, a reason, so that you don’t feel embarrassed. Otherwise, if suddenly in the outside world, walking on the street you start dancing, soon you will be in the hands of the police. You will be presented in a court: “This man has been dancing on the road, disturbing the traffic, and he does not say why he was dancing! Either he is mad, or some other reason has to be found.”

You cannot do it in the outside world; that’s why I insist that all my sannyasins should start moving towards communes where nobody is going to ask why you are dancing. Perhaps, seeing you dance, they may start dancing themselves. Nobody is going to ask you, “Why do you have this Jimmy Carter smile? Have you become the president of America?”

Since Jimmy Carter has stopped being the president of America, that smile has disappeared. I have been looking at his pictures after he was out of the White House. Suddenly that big smile, perhaps the biggest in the whole world - you could have counted his teeth without any trouble - has disappeared.

It had a reason: it was not authentic, it was not true. It was not his happiness, his joy. It had a cause. The cause is no longer there - the smile has died. When he was president, the smile was there all the time. It must have been arduous for the poor man to keep his lips in that position for the whole day.

I heard that by and by those lips became fixed in that posture, and every night Mrs. Carter had to close his mouth. I don’t know how far it is true, but Mrs. Carter is very afraid of rats, and if Jimmy is sleeping with that open mouth, any rat might enter in.

And then there are troubles after troubles. To bring the rat out, you have to send a cat inside! Then there is no end to troubles. It is better to force his mouth and close it, and cover him completely in a blanket, because who knows? - when she goes to sleep he may start doing his exercise again. But since he has not been the president, his face looks like Jesus Christ crucified.

I said to you that what all the enlightened people of the world have experienced first was a great laugh. Buddha used to call it “the lion’s roar” because the laughter was so loud. It has to be, because for thousands of lives you have been searching for it and you never became aware who was searching for it!

The searcher is the sought.

The seeker is the goal.

So don’t feel at all that you will become dependent on me. I won’t allow it. I go on saying things, doing things which disturb your dependence. You would like me to do certain things so that you can think I am a great master and you are a great follower. Then there is dependence. Now, who wants to depend on an ordinary man like me? To be a follower of an ordinary man makes you an ordinary follower! Could not you get a little better master?

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