Chapter 6: The Only Hope
One day, a man asked Buddha some philosophical question and Buddha answered him. The man contemplated on it. The next day he again came to Buddha and he said, “My problem is not solved.”
Buddha said, “Repeat your question.” And Buddha answered in a totally different way.
The man was puzzled. He said, “Yesterday you have said something, now you are saying something else.”
Buddha said, “Yesterday was yesterday, and today is today. And don’t trust me: tomorrow is going to be tomorrow. I respond moment to moment. It is not a question of memory and time; it is a question of my being totally available to you right now. I don’t remember your question, neither do I remember my answer. Yesterday is finished.
“And it is such a beautiful day today, why bother about yesterdays and tomorrows? Let us face each other now, this very moment. You ask the question, my mirror is ready to reflect. But I cannot promise you that I will remain consistent tomorrow also, because who knows? - things change, everything is in a flux. What is right this moment may not be right tomorrow.”
This is functioning from the original consciousness. The original man is never consistent, cannot be; only a dead man can be consistent.
It came as a surprise to me: for almost ten years we have been fighting the Indian government on the question of whether our school is a teaching school, an educational system. The government had no answer; they have taken away our tax-exempt status. But what finally the supreme authorities of taxation came to conclude was that while I am alive, tax-exempt status cannot be given, because I can change tomorrow. I agree with them. Tax-exempt status can only be given to dead people, because they cannot change howsoever they toss and turn in their graves. Everything has become dead. Then it is acceptable, respectable. But a man who is alive and spontaneous is dangerous to the status quo.
As I entered America the first question they asked me was, “Are you an anarchist?” They had a big file already on me.
I said, “You look like an intelligent person. I can say I am not an anarchist and tomorrow I can become one, because my today cannot make a confinement, a slavery for my whole life. So what is the point of asking such questions? Consistency at least is not my way. If it is convenient to you, you can write that I am not an anarchist, nor a communist - but as far as I am concerned, I am both and a little more.”
He said, “A little more?”
I said, “Of course - because Bakunin is dead, Kropotkin is dead, Marx is dead. If they were alive they would have changed many things in their philosophy. And I have to do the work of completion; that is the ‘little more.’”