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Chapter 4: The Dead Man’s Answer

The second thing - then we can enter into the story - the second thing: you are all great imitators. It is easier to imitate than to be authentic, because imitation is just on the surface. Authenticity needs your center, needs you in your totality. That is too much. You get involved just on the surface, deep down you remain out.

Imitation is very easy, and the whole culture and society depends on imitation. Everybody is telling you how to behave, and whatsoever they are teaching you is nothing but imitation. Religious people - the so-called religious people, the priests, the theologians - they are also teaching you, “Be like Jesus, be like Buddha, be like Krishna.” Nobody ever tells you, “Just be yourself” - nobody. Everybody is against you, it seems. Nobody allows you to be yourself, nobody gives you any freedom. You can be in this world, but you must imitate somebody.

The whole thing is ridiculous, because these same things were said to Buddha. They were saying to Buddha: “Be like Rama, be like Krishna.” He didn’t follow them, that’s how he became a buddha. He became enlightened because he never became a victim of imitation. Nobody can imitate. If you imitate, you will remain false.

I have heard: a lion and a rabbit entered a restaurant. Suddenly everybody became alert, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Then the rabbit said to the waiter, “Bring a lettuce for me - and no dressing.”

The waiter was scared, but still he asked, “And what about your friend? What should I bring for him?”

The rabbit said, “Nothing.”

The waiter asked, “Is he not feeling hungry?”

The rabbit stared at the waiter and said, “If he was a real lion, do you think I would be sitting here? He is an actor.”

The whole world has become unreal and acting, nobody is real. It is very difficult to find a real man. If you can find a real man, don’t leave him, just be near him; his reality will become infectious. Just being near him will be enough transformation for you. No need to do anything. This is what we have been calling satsang: being near a true man, a real man, an authentic man. Nothing else is needed. Just being near him and watching and feeling the way he is - that’s enough.

But the society has made you imitators, actors. You are not real, you are false. You have never been allowed to be yourself, and that is the only thing you can be, you can be nothing else. You can try, imitate, but it will remain just on the surface: deep down you will remain yourself.and that’s how it should be. The falseness that you put upon yourself cannot become your being. How can it be? It can be at the most a dress, a posture, a superficial gesture.

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