Chapter 7: Awareness: The Fire That Burns the Past
The mastery of one’s self comes when one realizes, “I am absolutely responsible for whatsoever happens to me, whatsoever happens, unconditionally. I am responsible, absolutely.” In the beginning it will make you very, very sad and depressed because if you can throw the responsibility on the other, you feel good that you are not in the wrong. What can you do when the wife is behaving in such a nasty way? You have to be angry. But remember well, the wife is behaving nastily because of her own inner mechanisms. She’s not nasty to you. If you were not there she would have been nasty to the child. If the child were not there she would have been nasty to the plates - she would have thrown them on the floor. She would have broken the radio. She had to do something; nastiness was coming up. It was just coincidence that you were found reading your newspaper and she became nasty to you. It was just coincidence that you were available in a wrong moment.
You are angry not because the wife is nasty. She may have supplied the situation, that’s all. She may have given you a possibility to be angry, an excuse to be angry, but the anger was bubbling up. If the wife were not there you would have been angry all the same - with something else, with some idea, but anger had to be there. It was something that was coming from your own unconscious.
Everybody is responsible, totally responsible for his own being and behavior. In the beginning it will give you a very depressed mood that you are responsible, because you have always thought that you want to be happy - so how can you be responsible for your unhappiness? You always desire blissfulness, so how can you be angry on your own? And because of this you throw the responsibility on the other. If you go on throwing responsibility on the other, remember that you will always remain a slave because nobody can change the other. How can you change the other? Has anybody ever changed the other? One of the most unfulfilled wishes in the world is to change the other. Nobody has ever done that. It is impossible because the other exists in his own right - you cannot change him. You go on throwing responsibility on the other but you cannot change the other. And because you throw the responsibility on the other, you will never see that the basic responsibility is yours. The basic change is needed there inside you.
This is how you are trapped: if you start thinking that you are responsible for all your actions, for all your moods, in the beginning a depression will take over. But if you can pass through that depression, soon you will feel light because now you are freed from the other, now you can work on your own. You can be free, you can be happy. Even if the whole world is unhappy and unfree it makes no difference. Otherwise, how is a Buddha possible? And how is a Patanjali possible? How am I possible? The whole world is the same. It is just the same as it is for you, but a Krishna goes on dancing and singing; he’s freed. And the first freedom is to stop throwing responsibility on the other, the first freedom is to know that you are responsible. Then many things become immediately possible.
The whole philosophy of karma is that you are responsible. Whatsoever you have sown in the past you are reaping. You may not be able to follow the link between the cause and the effect, but if the effect is there, the cause must be there somewhere in you.