Chapter 25: We Cannot Be Otherwise
Transcendence makes you free; it does not give you a new bondage: first you were so addicted that you had to go, now you are so addicted that you cannot go. Transcendence means that now all this addiction is gone - you can go, you may not go. You are neither against nor for.
You may be smoking. Transcendence does not mean that once in a while with friends you cannot smoke a cigarette. I don’t think that a cigarette, once in a while, will destroy your spirituality. And if it destroys it, then that spirituality is not worthwhile.
I cannot smoke - not because of transcendence but because of my breathing trouble. Otherwise I have no antagonism against poor cigarettes; it is just the smell of tobacco I cannot tolerate, the smoke I cannot inhale. But that is a problem with my body; it is my allergy. But when I see somebody smoking I don’t feel that this man is condemned forever, is going to fall into hellfire.
No condemnation arises in me, because what he is doing is simply playing a game. Being alone, finding nothing else to do and being told continually by the parents and the society that it is better to do something rather than nothing.so the poor man is doing something rather than nothing. He is at least smoking.
Transcendence is a very childlike state.
My grandfather used to smoke cigars and cheroots, and he would send me to get his cigar and lighter. And rather than bringing both, I would take the cigar in my mouth and light it and bring it to him. He said, “This is not right. I had asked you to bring the cigar and the lighter.”
I said, “When I can bring one, which does the work for both.I am not stupid.”
He said, “That I know. But remember, don’t learn this habit.”
I said, “Don’t be worried. Seeing you cough continually the whole night, it is enough. I don’t have to go through the experience to learn it. I learn from others’ experience too.”
His doctors were saying to him, “Drop these cigars.” But it was impossible for him.a whole life’s addiction. He was ready to suffer - to cough and not to sleep well.
I said, “Seeing you is enough prevention for me, and just that one puff that I take when I light your cigar brings tears to my eyes. It is enough just to experience what kind of enjoyment you must be having.”
The people you know as saints are not childlike. They are addicted as much as others; their addictions have just become reversed. Somebody is addicted to sex - they are addicted to no-sex. Somebody is addicted to smoking - they are addicted to no-smoking.