Chapter 9: In Search of the Miraculous
Consistency is a logical phenomenon. When I say: Don’t be consistent, I mean you need not remain confined to your past - that’s what consistency is. You have done something today; tomorrow life will change, and you have to repeat the same thing to be consistent. Tomorrow will not be today; today is not your yesterday. The answers that were adequate yesterday are no more adequate today. Consistency means that it is always yesterday that has to dominate, it is always the past that has to dominate the present. That’s what I mean by “consistency.” Then you will never grow, because your youth has to be consistent with your childhood, and your old age has to be consistent with your youth - that means you will remain childish your whole life.
And that’s how people are. The average mental age of human beings is only twelve years. This is what happens if you enforce consistency. In childhood, a few answers were given to you; they were good for the time being, but only for the time being. More than that you would not have understood. But as you grow, those answers become out of date, those answers become confinements, imprisonments, those answers become chains. You have to constantly throw them so that you can remain fresh, so that you can respond to the reality as it is.
But this is how it goes on happening: I say one thing, you understand something else. I say one thing, you hear something totally different. Your minds are so full of your own thoughts that I say, “Don’t be consistent,” and you hear, “Don’t be constant.”
Pasquel was being examined for naturalization as a US citizen. “Who is the President of the United States?” The foreigner answered correctly. “And the Vice President?” Again he gave the right answer. “Could you be President?”
“I am-a too busy. I work-a in the barbershop all-a day now.”
Now, his own occupation.he says, “No, no! I am-a too busy. I work-a in the barbershop all-a day now.”
You have heard something which I have not said. Your question has come out of your own idea. You know, at least you believe you know, that the truth cannot change. Who told you? And how do you know? Do you know truth? You have heard it being told to you that truth never changes; it remains forever constant. Is it your experience? Have you known anything in life which remains always constant? Anything, I say, have you known in life which remains constant?
Everything is changing if you look at life. If you watch life, then Heraclitus is right: you cannot step in the same river twice, because the river is constantly flowing, changing. Old Heraclitus says: The only thing that never changes is change. Only change is constant, otherwise everything is changing.
In fact, life is not a noun but a verb. If one day we want to be really scientific about our language, we will have to drop all nouns. A really scientific language will consist only of verbs. You see these trees all around and you think, “Beautiful trees.” But to call a tree “a tree” is not true, because a tree is not something static - it is a movement. By the time you utter the word tree it has changed. It is no more the same tree about which you were talking One dead leaf has fallen, a new leaf is just growing, a bud is opening. The tree is growing higher - each moment. Otherwise how is it going to grow?