Chapter 25: Freedom Is Your Inner Nature
I have difficulty accepting other people’s looks of disapproval, particularly now that I’m wearing orange. I seem very sensitive to it. I was wondering if you could suggest something I could do.
That’s the whole purpose of orange - so that you cannot hide yourself, and so that you stand out. You have to come to terms with every look that crosses your path.
Ordinarily we are hiding in conformity. When you conform with society you become part of the crowd, and nobody is looking at you in particular. You live an anonymous existence - that’s why people live in a crowd, in society, sects, groups, parties.
To stand alone, and to become a focus of others’ looks, is one of the most courageous acts. The basic thing to be understood is that you are to forget what others say. You have to ignore and become indifferent about them. It is none of their business. You become disturbed because you still pay attention to their attentions. It is not their opinion that is disturbing you; it is your expectation that they should be favorable to you, that their opinion should not go against you. Because this expectation is not being fulfilled, you are disturbed.
That’s the whole purpose of why I give you orange: to make you so separate that either you will go crazy, or you will have to drop the whole wrong expectation. Why should you expect that the other should approve of you? You are perfectly good as you are; nobody’s approval is needed. If you live on approval, then you live an inauthentic life. You never live your life; you only live a life that they will approve of. Then life becomes false, pseudo, and you become miserable, phony. You feel frustrated, that life has no meaning. Life can have meaning only when it is real, and a real life means that you are not worried about what others say. You are simply working out what you can be, not what they expect or will approve of.
Simply forget others, as if you are alone. Move in the crowd, but never become part of it. Why should they be concerned about you? They are neurotic, and your being concerned about them is again a neurosis, a reflected neurosis. A healthy person is not worried about others; he has no judgment about them. If they want to be creative, good. If they want to be crazy, that too is good. That is their life, and finally they are responsible for it. So a healthy man never judges anybody, and never asks anybody’s opinion. The very asking shows that you are wavering inside, that you don’t have a hold on your being and you need props.