Chapter 10: Wisdom and Understanding
People knew that he was a man of his word, and he was not joking. He had never joked in his whole life, he was a serious man. He meant what he said. They started looking at each other - thousands of people and not a single hand was raised.
One man stood up and he said, “Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t want to accompany you right now because there are many things to be done. I have many things to fulfill, many things to pass through, many karmas to be accounted for. As yet I am not ready for it, but someday I would like to be enlightened. Can you give some key hints? - because you will be no longer here.”
And the master had been giving key hints his whole life, for eighty years. Still they wanted something to be said about it so that they could postpone and plan and think about the future. And the old master was ready. If somebody had been ready he was ready to take him with himself. But nobody was ready.
People are cunning, because the mind is cunning. And the greatest cunningness of the mind is that it always throws responsibility onto something else. If enlightenment is gradual then what can you do? Nothing can be done; it is gradual, it will take a long time. If enlightenment is sudden then why has it not happened to you? You will ask, “Then why has it not happened to me if it is sudden? No, it cannot be sudden. But if it is sudden and there is no need to do something for it to happen, then what can be done? I will wait - whenever it happens it happens.”
You simply want to escape from the responsibility of your own choice. Sartre has said one thing that is really beautiful. He said, “Man is free to choose but man is not free not to choose.” You can choose either way but don’t be befooled - you have no freedom not to choose, because even when you think you are not choosing you are choosing the opposite.
A man came to me and he said, “I am not yet ready for sannyas. I am ready seventy percent, eighty percent, but twenty percent I am not ready, so how can I take sannyas? I’m not total.”
So I said, “Okay. But still you are choosing, and now you are choosing a minor part of your mind - the twenty percent which says, ‘Don’t take.’ Now you are choosing the twenty percent against the eighty percent.”