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Chapter 2: Neither Mine nor Yours

We are so dependent, so regulated, as if somewhere everything is fixed and determined. Our condition is similar to that of an animal tied with a rope to a stake. The animal will go on circling round and round the stake on its rope and will live in the misconception that it is free because it is circling freely. It will forget the rope, because to remember it is painful; the rope tied to the stake gives us pain because it reminds us of our dependence. The truth is, that it tells us that we are not our true selves.

We are not fit to be even dependent, let alone consider the matter of becoming free. To be one’s dependency - that is, to feel the rope’s pinch - it is necessary to be aware of one’s being; and that we are not. The animal roams around the fixed stake, sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right and thinks, “I am free,” and when it thinks, “I am free,” the “I” is there. Then, by and by, it must begin to persuade itself that “It is also due to my willingness that I am tied to a stake. I can cut the rope whenever I desire, but I am thinking of my welfare.”

We create so much delusion in our lives. We say, “I became angry, I made love, I disliked, I hated, I made friends, I became an enemy.” but none of these doings is our decision. Have you ever become angry and been the doer of that anger? You have never done so. When there is anger, you are not there. Have you ever made love which is made by you? If you can make love, then you can make love with anybody; but the fact is that you are able to love someone and you are unable to love someone else. You are able to make love with someone even when you don’t want to, and you are unable to make love with someone even though you wish to do so.

All the feelings and emotions of life come from some unknown quarter - they come just as your birth comes. You unjustly intrude on this happening and become the master, the doer of it. Yet what have you done? What is there which is done by you? The feeling of hunger comes; sleep comes; in the morning waking comes; and in the evening your eyes begin to close again. Childhood comes. When does it pass away? How does it pass away? It does not ask us, it does not enter into consultation and discussion with us, and it does not delay its passing a moment, even if we ask it to do so. Then youth passes away, and old age enters. Where are you? - but you go on saying, “I am young, I am old,” as if youth depends on you. Youth has its own flowers. Old age has its flowers too; and they bloom as flowers bloom on a tree. A rosebush cannot say, “I cause roses to bloom.” It could only say so if it were able to make sunflowers bloom!

Don’t take any credit for all these happenings. If there is innocence in childhood, it is there without any effort on your part. And when sex and other desires catch hold of you in youth, they do so just as innocence holds you in childhood. You are neither the master of your childhood innocence nor of the sexual desire of your youth, and don’t consider it your achievement when your mind begins to incline towards celibacy in old age. It is just like this: sex takes hold of you in youth, and indifference takes hold of you in old age. Nor have those who were never slaves to sex any control over that fact. So don’t pride yourself on the fact that you are not a slave to sex.

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