Chapter 18: The Art of Living
Please make me understand what it is to live “rightly.”
There are two ways to live, to be, to know: one is of effort, will, ego; the other is of no effort, no struggle, but being in a let-go with existence.
All the religions of the world have been teaching you the first way, to fight - fight against nature, fight against the world, fight against your own body, fight against the mind. Only then can you achieve the truth, the ultimate, the eternal. But it is enough proof that this will to power, this path of the ego, this fighting and war has utterly failed. In millions of years, very few people have achieved the ultimate experience of life, so few that they only prove the exception, they don’t prove the rule.
I teach you the second way: don’t go against the current of existence, go with it; it is not your enemy. Just as a person can try to go upstream, fighting with the river, soon he will be tired and he is not going to reach anywhere. The river is vast and he is a small part.
In this vast existence, you are smaller than an atom. How can you fight against the whole? The very idea is unintelligent. And you are produced by the whole - how can it be your enemy? Nature is your mother, it cannot be against you. Your body is your very life, it cannot be antagonistic to you. It serves you in spite of your continuous fight with it. It serves you when you are awake, it serves you even when you are asleep. Who goes on breathing? You are fast asleep and snoring. The body has its own wisdom. It continues to breathe, the heart continues to beat, the body goes on functioning without you. In fact, it functions better when you are not present. Your presence is always a disturbance, because your mind is conditioned by people who have told you to be against it.
I teach you a friendship with existence. I do not want you to renounce the world, because the world is ours. Nothing that exists is against you. All that you have to learn is the art of living - not the art of renouncing, but the art of rejoicing. It is only a question of learning an art and you can change the poison into nectar.
On so many medicines you will find written, poison, but in the hands of a scientific expert the poison has become a medicine. It does not kill you, it saves you.
If you find that somewhere your body, nature, the world is against you, remember one thing: it must be your ignorance, it must be some wrong attitude. It must be that you don’t know the art of living. You are unaware that existence cannot be against you. You are born out of it, you live in it, it has given everything to you and you are not even grateful. On the contrary, all the religions have been teaching you to condemn it from the very beginning.