Chapter 6: Madmen and Devotees
My whole point is accept life as it is and don’t try to change it into something else. Don’t try to change your violence into nonviolence; don’t try to change your cowardice into bravery; don’t try to change your sex into celibacy. Don’t create the opposite. Rather, try to understand the fact of violence, and by and by you will become nonviolent. Understand the fact of cowardice and cowardice will disappear. Understand the fact of sex and you will find a new quality arising in it which goes beyond it. But always move through the fact, never against it.
The fourth question:
My father is obsessed with genealogy. Is there anything to such pursuits?
Must be, otherwise why should your father be obsessed? He may have taken a wrong route, but there must be something in it. Even when people go astray they go astray for a certain reason, although they may not be aware of it.
For example, let me tell you an anecdote first:
Young Willie, aged eight, came to his father one morning and said, “Daddy, where did I come from?”
Willie’s father felt a sinking sensation in his stomach, for he knew he was now up against it. He was a modern parent and realized a question like that deserved a full and frank answer. He found a quiet spot, and for the next half hour he carefully indoctrinated Willie into what are euphemistically called “the facts of life,” managing to be quite explicit.
Willie listened with fascinated absorption, and when it was over, the father said, “Well, Willie, does that answer your question?”
“No,” said Willie, “it does not. Johnny Brown came from Cincinnatti, where did I come from?”
If your father is interested in genealogy he has misunderstood his inquiry. This is a natural question in everybody’s being: from where do we come? From where, from what source? Now if you get into genealogy, you are not getting anywhere. The basic question is religious, it has nothing to do with genealogy. The basic question is: who is the ultimate father or ultimate mother?” The basic question is: where is the beginning of all?
Now this is pointless. I have a father, and my father had a father, and of course this goes on and on and you can go on searching and you can make a big tree of your family, but it is pointless because the question remains the same: who is the first?
Searching into genealogy, you cannot come to the first. Always the question will remain, “From whom?” I can move a hundred generations back or a thousand generations back, but the question remains the same, it is not solved: from where? From where, from what source, has life arisen?