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Chapter 22: Meditation, Awareness, Alertness

Now, the poor dog cannot see that the tail is joined to him; there is no way for him to catch hold of it There is no need either; it is already part of him, he is already in possession of it. What is he trying to do? trying to possess something which he possesses already? trying to get something which has never been away from him?

Whether he catches hold of it or not, it is always with him; wherever he goes it is always with him. He cannot even run away from it so there is no point in catching hold of it. Even if he wants to escape from it, it is impossible.

Perhaps a few dogs who believe in renunciation - and there are all kinds of dogs - seeing this continual failure to catch hold, to get possession of the tail, may have come to the conclusion that this whole business of possessing a tail is illusory, it is maya. “Don’t waste your time; just renounce it and escape as far away as you can - into the caves, into the monasteries - far away in the Himalayas where not even a trace of this tail is found. Then you will be free. Dispossess it!”

That’s the whole thinking of a man who is renouncing wealth, renouncing his wife, his children, and escaping. But he is not aware. You can see that the dog’s tail is attached to him; and wherever the dog goes, the tail will go. If you look a little deeper you can see: if the husband is renouncing his wife, children, possessions, is he doing anything different?

In the first place, why did he get married? There must be something in him which needed a wife. The wife is not there outside, the wife is some inner need in him. There must be some inner need in him which wanted all these possessions; otherwise why did he collect them in the first place? There must be some intrinsic necessity for wanting children; otherwise, who was forcing him?,

In fact the whole world is trying, all the governments are trying: “Use birth control methods.” Nobody is listening. It is not that people don’t understand what you are saying, not that they can’t see the crowds growing in such proportions that soon this earth is going to die - not because of a nuclear war, but out of sheer starvation.

But there must be something, so essential a need, that makes a person want children. And these are your inner psychic needs. The tail of a dog can be operated on - it is not such a big problem - but no surgery can help your needs. They are more deeply rooted in you than the tail of the dog. That it is just an outer thing which can be removed, at no special loss to the dog. But your needs from which you are escaping will be with you wherever you go.

I have been moving around all kinds of renunciates. Once I was in Rishikesh in the Himalayas and I was sitting under a tree, a very beautiful tree. It was a hot, sunny afternoon, and the tree was so cool, the shadow of it, that although I had to go I lingered a little longer there.

One old Hindu monk came and said, “What are you doing here, under my tree?”

I said, “Your tree? You have renounced the whole world and this tree is yours? I don’t see your signboard or.. How can you prove this tree is yours?”

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