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Chapter 4: Be like a Hollow Bamboo

In the animal world violence is associated with the mouth and hands; the fingernails and the teeth too are the violent things in the animal kingdom. With food, while you are eating, both are joined together; with your hand you take the food, and with your mouth you eat it; violence is released. But there is no hunger; it is not an action, it is a disease. This activity is an obsession. Of course, you cannot go on eating like this because then you will burst. So people have invented tricks, they will chew pan or gum, they will smoke cigarettes. These are false foods, without any nutritious value in them, but they work well as far as violence is concerned.

A man sitting chewing pan, what is he doing? He is killing somebody. In the mind, if he becomes aware, he may have a fantasy of murdering, killing, and he is chewing pan - a very innocent activity in itself. You are not harming anybody, but it is very dangerous for you because you seem to be completely unconscious of what you are doing. A man smoking, what is he doing? Very innocent in a way, just taking the smoke in and bringing it out, inhaling and exhaling, a sort of ill pranayama, and a sort of secular transcendental meditation. He is creating a mandala: takes smoke in, brings it out; takes it in, brings it out; a mandala is created, a circle. Through smoking he is doing a sort of chanting, a rhythmic chanting. It soothes, his inner restlessness is relieved a little.

If you are talking to a person, always remember - it is almost hundred percent accurate - if the person starts looking for his cigarettes, it means he is bored, you should leave him now. He would have wanted to throw you out; that cannot be done, that will be too impolite. He is finding his cigarettes; he is saying, “Now, finished! I am fed up.” In the animal kingdom he would have jumped on you, but he cannot - he is a human being, civilized. He jumps on the cigarettes; he starts smoking. Now he is not worried about you, now he is enclosed in his own chanting of the smoke. It soothes.

But this activity shows that you are obsessed. You cannot remain yourself, you cannot remain silent; you cannot remain inactive. Through activity you go on throwing off your madness, insanity. Action is beautiful, action comes as a spontaneous response; life needs response. Every moment you have to act, but the activity comes through the present moment. You are hungry and you seek food. You are thirsty and you go to the well. You are feeling sleepy and you go to sleep. It is out of the total situation that you act. Action is spontaneous and total.

Activity is never spontaneous; it comes from the past. You may have been accumulating it for many years, and then it explodes into the present - it is not relevant. But mind is cunning; the mind will always find rationalizations for the activity. The mind will always try to prove that this is not activity, this is action; it was needed. Suddenly you flare up in anger. Everybody else becomes aware that it was not needed, the situation never demanded it; it was simply irrelevant - only you cannot see. Everybody feels, “What are you doing? There was no need for it. Why are you so angry?” But you will find rationalizations; you will rationalize that it was needed.

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