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Chapter 5: Having and Being

I said, “Why did you waste so much time talking about God and the soul? You should have said the real thing in the beginning.” He was a little embarrassed. And I told him, “From the very beginning I was wondering why you have come to me - because you were coming towards me and yet you were not coming towards me. Your language was clear and loud. You were sitting here and yet you were not sitting here, and I could see that your presence was false, only physical. And I could see the politician in you; in fact, you were talking about God as a political strategy. It was your politics.”

There are those people who say, “Honesty is the best policy.” Even honesty they have made into a policy. Policy means politics. “It pays to be honest,” they say. So honesty is also a useful instrument to earn more money, to earn more prestige, to be more respectable. But how can honesty be a policy? Just to say such things - that honesty is the best policy - is to utter a profanity. It is almost saying that godliness is the best policy, or that meditation is the best policy, or that love is the best policy.

If your language is of having, you can use godliness and meditation and things, but they will be just garbs, masks, and something else will be hidden behind them.

“I’m afraid it’s bad news,” said the doctor to the husband of a nagging wife. “Your wife has only a few hours left to live. I hope you understand there’s nothing more to be done. Don’t let yourself suffer.”

“It’s all right, Doc,” said the husband. “I’ve suffered for years - I can suffer a few more hours.”

People have different languages. Even if they use the same words they don’t use them with the same meaning. Listen to the meaning and never listen to the words. If you listen to the words you will never understand people. Listen to the meaning - the meaning is a totally different thing.

The woman lion tamer had her beasts under perfect control. At her summons, the fiercest lion came meekly to her and took a piece of sugar out of her mouth. The circus crowd marveled - all except one man, Mulla Nasruddin.

“Anybody could do that,” he yelled from the audience.

“Would you dare to do it?” the ringmaster yelled back scornfully.

“Certainly,” replied Nasruddin, “I can do it just as well as the lion can.”

Whenever you are listening, listen to the meaning. Whenever you are listening to a person, listen to his whole personality - and you will immediately be able to see whether the person lives in the dimension of having or in the dimension of being.

And that will be very helpful for your own inner growth and your own change of gears. Just watch people. It is easier to watch people than to watch yourself in the beginning, because people are more objective, and there is a little distance between you and them. And you can be more objective about people because you are not involved in them. Just watch. Make it a point.

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