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Chapter 4: To Become Free in an Unfree Society

A jump is never a shortcut, because a jump is not a way. There are long ways and there are short ways. A jump is not a way at all; it is a sudden phenomenon. To be ready for the jump means to be ready to die. To be ready for the jump means to be ready to enter into the unknown, into the insecure, into the uncharted. That readiness will take many, many years.

Don’t think that an immediate jump is a shortcut - it is not. Shortcuts are when somebody says to you, “Take a mantra, do the mantra for fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening, and then you need not do anything else. Within fifteen days you will already be a meditator.”

In the West people are so conscious of time that they are always victims. Somebody comes and says, “This is the short-cut. My way is not the bullock-cart way but the jet way,” as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says. He says, “I give you a short-cut, just a mantra to repeat for fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen in the evening. And within two weeks, you are already enlightened.”

In the West people are in so much of a hurry: they want instant coffee, they want instant sex, they want instant God; short-cut, packaged, everything prefabricated. Time is too much in the Western head, too much, and that is creating many tensions inside. Anybody can come and say, “This is the panacea and everything can be solved within just fifteen minutes.” And what do you do? - you sit and repeat a mantra.

The East has been repeating mantras for millions of years and nothing has happened. And within two weeks of TM training you become enlightened? These types of stupid things continue because you are in a hurry. Somebody or other will exploit you.

I was reading a book the other night, a collection of small essays by Richard Church. The name of the book is A Stroll Before the Dark. In that book he remembers one incident that happened to one of his friends.

A friend who was much too time-obsessed was traveling by train. Suddenly he became aware that he had forgotten his wristwatch, so he was very worried. The train stopped at a small station. The friend looked out of the window as the porter was passing. He asked the porter about the time. The porter said, “I don’t know.”

The friend said, “What! You, a railway man and you don’t know what time it is? Don’t you have a clock in the station?”

The porter said, “Yes the clock is there. But why should I be distressed with time?”

The porter said, “Why should I be distressed by time? The clock is there; that is none of my business.”

It’s wonderful, the porter saying, “Why should I be distressed with time?” People are distressed with time, and in the West much too distressed - time and time and time. They say that time is money, and time is flowing, going out of the hand continuously, therefore a shortcut is needed. Somebody immediately supplies the demand.