Chapter 8: The Head Is Compulsory, but Not the Cap
I used to tell my father, “Before you tell me to be respectful towards somebody, you should at least be certain whether he is worthy of respect; otherwise you are making me phony. I know that a man is not worthy of respect, but he is elder, and I am supposed to be respectful. I am ready to be respectful, but there must be something corresponding to it. What am I going to be respectful for?”
For centuries upon centuries, the same idea in different dimensions.be respectful towards your parents. But why? Just because they have given birth to you? Was it not a joy to them? If it was a joy to them, they have already got their reward. Now if they want respect from you, then they should be worthy of respect.
And my father would say, “You are always talking absurdities. We have to live in a society, and the society runs through a certain discipline. Certain manners have to be followed; otherwise you will be crushed by the society.
“So don’t be absurd,” he was continuously saying to me.
I said, “I would not like to be crushed by the society, but I cannot behave logically, seeing that existence is moving in a different direction. What you are saying is logical. You are saying, ‘This is the way things have always been done; and this is the way things should be done.’”
And there is a logic in it - that if you are respectful towards others, others will be respectful towards you; if you help the society, the society will help you. But if you go on criticizing the society, if you go on finding faults everywhere, you will fall alone, and you cannot win against the vast majority. Logic is the way of winning in the society. Be logical, and it will be easier for you to climb the ladders.
I said, “I would like to remain true to existence - and existence is absurd. It has no logic, it has no meaning. It has immense beauty, it has tremendous possibilities for ecstasy, but you cannot make a logical system out of it.”
So remember it: the European parliament, the American government - and soon others will be following - are all behaving very logically.
But I am not a logician. I am an existentialist. I believe in this meaningless, beautiful chaos of existence, and I am ready to go with it wherever it leads. I don’t have a goal, because existence has no goal. It simply is - flowering, blossoming, dancing - but don’t ask why. Just an overflow of energy, for no reason at all.
I am with existence. And that’s what I call being a sannyasin: To be with existence.
The only thing you will have to renounce will be your logical mind. So start living in an existential but illogical way. The world may call you absurd, mad.. So what?