Chapter 8: To Be Rightly Tuned
Slowly slowly the idea settles, sinks deep in your heart, becomes almost your second nature, that just to be is not enough. Trees are enough, animals are enough, birds are enough - only man has this stupid idea that just to be is not enough. It is a very cunning tactics to destroy the freedom of the individual, to destroy the self-respect of the individual, to create in the individual a deep guilt feeling. It has gone deep, certainly - so deep that you misunderstand it as a gut-feeling. It is not a gut-feeling at all.
But I am not against being creative, remember. I am all for it. I want my sannyasins to be creative - but for a totally different reason, with a totally different intention, with a totally new motive. I want you all to be creative; I don’t want you to escape to the monasteries. I want you to live in the world and live fully, and live the whole spectrum of life. Bring your total potential to expression. Bloom in as many ways as possible, because only then will you feel fulfilled.
But this has not to be as a means to attain something. This has to be just an expression of your joy, of your celebration. And then the quality changes. When you use something as a means, you are not really interested in it.
For example, if you are painting just to be appreciated, your focus is on appreciation, not on the painting; your heart is not there. You are already imagining, dreaming, how you will be appreciated. And because your constant worry is how to be appreciated, you will paint something which will not come out of you spontaneously - you will paint something which others are bound to like. You will paint it according to them. You will become a very poor painter. You will not allow your genius to come out, because the genius is not easily appreciated, remember it. The more talented you are, the more genuine your intelligence is, the less is the possibility of being easily appreciated. The greater possibility is that you will be condemned. Why? Because a genius brings something new into the world, so new that old criteria don’t fit with it. And the old criteria are deep-rooted in the human mind; they cannot easily go away.
The genius has to create not only his poetry, his painting, his dance, his music, he also has to create new criteria by which to judge them.
Vincent van Gogh was not appreciated in his time - one of the greatest painters the world has ever known. He lived in utter poverty; his brother supported him. But his brother was not much in favor of his painting either, because it was not paying - so what is the point of doing something which does not pay? On the contrary, because of his paintings people used to think that he was mad. He was painting in such a new way - as it had never been done before. He had his own vision. He was a genius. In his paintings, trees are so high that they reach to the stars; stars are very small and trees are very big. Now who is going to appreciate this painting?