Chapter 10: Intelligent People Are Dangerous
The first question:
It is like driving a car in forward and reverse at the same time. I am not going anywhere. Is the ignition switched on or am I just a bad driver?
The very idea of going somewhere is basically wrong. Nothing is going anywhere. Existence is now-here; it is not moving towards a particular destiny. There is no destiny, there is no ultimate purpose. But we have been taught for centuries that existence is moving towards a certain goal and we have been also taught to live ambitiously, to prove that you are something, somebody: “Reach somewhere.” But existence is absolutely purposeless.
I am not saying that it is not significant. Precisely because it is purposeless it is significant, but its significance is not that of the marketplace. It is a totally different kind of significance: the significance of a roseflower, the significance of a bird on the wing, the significance of poetry, music. It is an end unto itself.
We are not to become something - we are already it. This is the whole message of all the awakened ones: that you are not to achieve something, it has already been given to you. It is God’s gift. You are already where you should be, you can’t be anywhere else. There is nowhere to go, nothing to achieve. Because there is nowhere to go and nothing to achieve, you can celebrate. Then there is no hurry, no worry, no anxiety, no anguish, no fear of being a failure. You can’t fail. In the very nature of things it is impossible to fail, because there is no question of success at all.
It is just a conditioning by the society that creates the problem in you. And then you start thinking, “I am not reaching anywhere, and life is slipping out of my hands and death is coming closer. Am I going to make it or not?” And then there is great fear of missing, frustration that so much is lost. And who knows? - tomorrow may never arrive. “I have not yet been able to prove myself, my worth. I have not become famous yet. I have not accumulated much wealth. I am not a president of a country or a prime minister.”
Or you can start thinking in otherworldly terms, but the process is the same. You can say, “I have not yet become enlightened. I have not yet become a Buddha or a Jesus. Meditation is far away. I don’t know who I am.” And you can go on creating a thousand and one problems for yourself.