Chapter 27: Seek and Ye Shall Miss; Relax and Ye Shall Find
It seems that you were going to talk about the American Constitution’s idea of the pursuit of happiness as a birthright, but you forgot about it. Please can you take it up again?
It reminds me of a story. Three old men were sitting in a park. One was seventy-five, the second was eighty, and the third was eighty-five. The first one said, “It seems I am getting old, because now to me the greatest pleasure is a good motion in the morning.” He said, “I can say it is better than sexual orgasm.”
The other two old fellows laughed. The oldest one said, “Your idea of orgasm will shock and surprise even people like Wilhelm Reich, Sigmund Freud and Havelock Ellis. My son, you are not getting old, you are simply getting original.”
But the second man was silent and serious, thinking about something. He said, “Perhaps he is right. I also feel as if I’m getting older. For three nights continually I have not made love to my wife.”
The youngest of the three was really shocked. He said “What! For three days you have not made love to your wife?”
But the oldest still laughed loudly and he said, “Don’t take him seriously - you don’t know what he means by love. It is just like your orgasm. Before he goes to sleep he presses his wife’s hand; that is his love-making. I have told him, ‘Don’t make much ado about nothing; it is not love. Even if you have not made it for three days there is no harm.’“
And he said, “But you both talking about getting old makes me think that I am getting older; and certainly I am eighty-five. This morning when I was just starting to make love to my wife, she said ‘What! What are you going to do?’
“And I said, ‘Is it something that has to be explained to you? I was just going to make love.’
“And my wife said, ‘You have made that nasty thing twice in the night.’
“But I had completely forgotten! It seems I am getting older.”
Your question reminded me of that story, and the story reminds me about the poor rabbi in England. I feel sorry for him but I also feel jealous: I would have loved to be in his place and expelled. That expulsion from being a rabbi is such an excitement. But nobody can expel me - I don’t belong to any establishment.
I don’t belong to my own religion, so nobody can expel me. That’s one joy I am going to miss.
But I should not forget the question. In fact it is not forgetfulness; I simply drift away. I am not getting older, I will never get older. Yes, I will go on growing up, but growing up is not being old. To the very last breath I will remain as fresh and young as I have always been. But drifting is a totally different phenomenon.
With each statement I am standing at a crossroads.