Chapter 8: The Disappearance of the Magician
What is more important, the practice of life or the theory? Is it possible for someone as ignorant as I am, who used to be a really devoted Roman Catholic, fifty years old, to attain to enlightenment without taking much time to study all which is between heaven and earth?
The first thing: life cannot be practiced. That which can be practiced is always the theory. Life has to be lived; there is no way to practice it, there is no way to prepare and rehearse it. Life is spontaneous. Only theories, dogmas, philosophies are to be practiced; they are unreal. The unreal has to be practiced so that you can create an illusion of its reality. The real has to be lived.
If you believe in some theory of love, then you will have to practice it. Love need not be practiced, you can simply float in it. To be in love you will have to drop all theories of love, otherwise you will never be in love. And to be in the thick of life, in the intensity and passion of life, you will have to drop all philosophies of life otherwise you will remain clouded in your words.
The problem is not arising out of life; the problem arises out of Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. The problem arises out of the “ism.” Life is very simple. Even animals can live it; it must be simple. Even trees are living it; it must be simple. It cannot be very complicated; even birds, even rocks and rivers are living it. Why has it become so complicated for man? - because man can theorize about it. Man can weave and spin doctrines around it. Those doctrines are poisonous.
If you are a Christian you cannot live life. If you are a Hindu, no, life is not for you. To be alive one need not be a Hindu or a Christian, one simply needs to be, one needs just to be.
The two explorers were going through the jungle when a ferocious-looking lion appeared on the track in front of them.
“Keep calm,” said the first explorer. “Remember what we read in that book on wild animals: if you stand absolutely still and look a lion straight in the eyes, he will turn tail and run away.”
“Fine,” said the second explorer. “You have read the book, I have read the book, but has he read the book?”
The books create problems, the books puzzle you. And the thing is very absurd: they puzzle you in the name of trying to clarify things. They puzzle you through their explanations. You are caught in those explanations because you think that unless you have the explanations, how are you going to live?
Have you heard the famous anecdote about a centipede who was walking? It was a sunny morning and it was beautiful, and the centipede was happy and must have been singing in his heart. He was going, almost drunk with the morning air.