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Chapter 1: The Animals Must All Be Laughing

It is not a beautiful situation, but you have to understand: asking me, “How to open my heart?” is not the real question. The real question is how you managed to close it.

Stop judging.

Whatever you are doing, if you like doing it, do it. There is no question of judgment; nobody else has the right to say that what you are doing is wrong. If you enjoy it, you are not harming anybody, you are not disturbing anybody.but it is a strange world.

From my childhood I have always loved to just sit in a corner silently. Everybody who would pass by would say, “What are you doing?”

I would say, “Nothing.”

And everybody would say, “This is not good.”

I said, “This is strange: I am doing nothing, doing no harm to anybody - just sitting silently in this corner - and you say, ‘This is not right.’ It seems it has just become your habit to condemn, to criticize. But I am enjoying sitting here doing nothing, and I am going to continue it in spite of your judgment. I have not asked for your advice, and to give advice unasked for is unwise.”

Slowly, slowly one has to assert oneself, to make one’s point clear. Unless I trespass on somebody else’s rights - if I am doing something which I am enjoying and I don’t see it as harmful in any way - then I will not allow anybody to judge me, because it is not only a question of this act, it is a question of my whole life. You are teaching me a very subtle disease of judging. And when I condemn myself, how can I leave anybody else uncondemned?

It is said that Mulla Nasruddin used to come to his house, and every day there was trouble. His wife was suspicious - as all wives are - that he was having an affair with some other woman, because going out of the house he looked so happy and went so fast; coming home he looked sad. Certainly there was something outside the house which attracted him. So when he used to put his coat on the hanger, she would look on his coat, on his shirt, to see if she could find any hair or anything else to prove that he had been with some other woman.

One day - for seven days she had been searching and she could not find a single hair - on the seventh day, she burst out crying, screaming, “This is too much. Now you have started going with bald women!”

Now, it is very difficult to find a bald woman - almost impossible. I have seen only one woman who was semi-bald, not bald. But for seven days, no hair? The conclusion is clear, that he has fallen so low that he is now going with bald women. “Can’t you find a woman with hair?”

If a husband is sitting silently, then the wife is angry. If he is reading the newspaper, the wife is angry; she will snatch the newspaper and say, “I am here and you are reading the newspaper as if I don’t exist.”

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