Chapter 11: Listen to the Song of Life
This is why so many people run away from the world because they can see their own ugliness reflected in the society. In relationships, in the mirror of relationships, all their innermost sicknesses become visible. In the jungle and in the lonely abodes of the Himalayas this mirror is no longer there; there, they cannot see themselves. And as long as they cannot see themselves reflected, they feel that some spiritual transformation is taking place. They are deluding themselves; they will have to return from the Himalayas. And only when they are back again in the midst of the crowd can they know if what they had felt to be erased in the Himalayas actually was, or whether they simply couldn’t see it because there was no mirror there.
That’s why once a person has run away to the solitude of the jungle he is very scared to return to society - because then he will again begin to see what he thought had been wiped away. You need someone else: without the other you are not able to see yourself. The presence of the other, the relationship with the other, makes it easier for you to be revealed. How will you become angry if there is nobody else around?
So there are two ways not to be angry: either you can become free of anger or you can run away from the presence of others. How will you have desires, how will you accumulate things, how will you create your ego if the other is not present? Suppose you were completely alone on the earth: what would you do, what would you be greedy for? What would be the relevance of greed? You would be the solemaster of the whole earth, the whole earth would be yours. Where would you put up fences? Where would you draw the boundary around your house? Where could you stake your claim, mark such and such a piece of land as yours? You would be all alone, and a claim would have no meaning. A claim is staked against somebody; the other needs to be there.
And to whom would you boast? Would you announce, “I am Alexander! I am Napoleon!”? Why would you bother? Who would you say it to? Who would be there to listen? Who would look on you as Alexander? No - ego would have no meaning. And even if you were to practice humbleness, what would be the sense in it? To whom would you declare that “There is nobody more humble than I am”?
If you are all alone, you are in great difficulty because then there is no means to express all those things that are hidden within you. You might never even become aware of them.
That is why the type of sannyas that evolves after a person leaves the society is unripe. It will disintegrate, it is gutless, it can survive only if it is protected. It can survive only under special circumstances. Under the open skies, in everyday life, its color will fade away.
I only call that sannyas which blossoms in the heart of society real - because mirrors are there. Rather than breaking the mirrors, you look at your ugliness full in the face: you try to change yourself and make yourself beautiful. Here, there are people who can make you angry, on whom you can let off steam, who can trigger your anger like burning fire. But you don’t leave them and run away, you don’t hold them responsible for causing your anger. You understand that they are merely an excuse, that the anger is actually within you and you used them as an excuse for your anger. You are grateful to them for giving you an opportunity to look at what lies hidden within you. They create the circumstances and enable your spirituality to grow.