Chapter 1: Mastered by Zen
“I was in a white-hot fury,” said the defendant, “mad with rage, simply out of my mind, and unable to control myself.” He turned to the jury and, pounding the arm of the witness chair, cried out, “Gentlemen, when I come home at six o’clock, supper has to be on the table!”
That was his reason for killing his wife - not that she was in bed with a strange man. “Supper has to be on the table exactly at six o’clock!”
Are you aware that you are also more or less obsessed with a dead routine? Why are people so obsessed with a dead routine? They are so obsessed with a dead routine because if the chain of their routine is broken, suddenly, underneath they see a futile life, a useless life, a meaningless life. Somehow they are trying to give it a feeling of meaning, an aroma of meaning. Somehow they are trying to forget that they are living uselessly, that they are not living at all.
They make a dead routine; they follow it. Just by following it like a mechanism, they have a feeling that everything is going perfectly well. They get up exactly at the right time, they go to the office, they come home, they read the newspaper, they watch TV, they take their food, they go to sleep - everything is going as it should go. A dead routine gives the feeling that everything is perfectly right. Underneath, everything is in chaos. They are missing life.
Idealism, to me, means living for some ideal to be fulfilled in the future.
Future is not part of time; it is only part of desire. Ordinarily you think that past, present and future are divisions of time. You are wrong. They are not divisions of time. Time is only present, always present, never otherwise. Past is just in the memory, in the mind. It is not part of time; it is part of the mind. And future is also part of the mind - the desire. Past, the memory; future, the desire. And between the two is the very small moment, the atomic moment of time which is present, which is always present.
Time comes always as now. If you are missing the now, you are committing suicide. Maybe it is slow, that’s why you are not aware. You are postponing life for some ideal. Then your life will become a dead routine, futile. You are simply wasting a great opportunity - but wasting for beautiful words. Somebody is trying to become perfect. Somebody is trying to become a sage. Somebody is trying to become a mahatma. Somebody is trying to become something else.
Be - and forget becoming. Becoming is the nightmare.
Relax. You are perfect. Life as it is, is perfect, each moment of it.
It is very difficult to accept it, because you have been conditioned for centuries. You have been given ideals and you go on comparing with ideals. You say, “How can I be perfect? - I still have anger in me. How can I be perfect? - I still have sex in me. How can I be perfect? - I still have violence in me. How can I be perfect?” You are comparing. Comparison is the disease, the very illness. You are you!