Chapter 21: What Am I Doing Here?
One scientist was trying to experiment in South Africa on a very rare species of insect which always follows the leader; they always move in a long line. If you pull one out of the line it becomes nervous, it starts feeling that it has lost its moorings, its roots. Put back in the line it is perfectly at ease. Somebody is ahead, somebody is behind, they must be going somewhere, and so many cannot be wrong.
The scientist tried one experiment and captured almost a dozen insects of that species. He put them into a big plate, a round plate, and they started moving round, and round, and round. Somebody was always ahead, somebody was always behind, and out of their conditioning of centuries, unless the leader stops.. And there was no leader because it was a circle. They are very obedient people - unless the leader stops, nobody is going to stop. They went on and on for sixty hours, until they all fell dead.
Where is the crowd going?.but it is cozy to be part of it. People are very nervous in being alone, and sannyas is the art of being aloneness. Unless you learn to be alone, you will never be an individual in your own right; and unless you learn to be alone you will never be able to enter within yourself, because the crowd cannot go there. Even your most intimate friend, your lover, your beloved, cannot go with you inside you; there you have to go alone. That path is absolutely private. That is your privilege, nobody can interfere there, and that is where your source of life is. You can call it life, you can call it God, you can call it truth - names don’t matter.
You became nervous - it is a good sign. From that very moment I have been haunting you, and unless sannyas happens I am going to haunt you your whole life. You can go anywhere, you can escape to the moon, but it won’t help.
You say, “Sometimes I wish I’d never heard of you.” Nobody desires disasters, but they happen. And it has happened already; now there is no point in crying for the spilled milk. “And, on the other hand, I’m happy that there is someone like you to show me the way.” You will remain in a dilemma: half of you is already ready to take the jump, and the other half is clinging to your past.
One thing has to be remembered, that the past is no more, and clinging to the past is clinging to the dead. It is very dangerous, because it hampers and hinders your life, in the present and for the future. One should always go on freeing himself of the dead past. That is one of the fundamentals of sannyas, to go on renewing yourself every moment, to die to the past and be born anew. That which is gone is gone - don’t even look back. Looking back is not a good sign.