Chapter 7: Seeking the Way
So don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to err; don’t be afraid to move on the wrong path, because those who are too afraid of being in error and of moving on the wrong path become paralyzed. Then they remain where they are, they never move.
Be courageous and seek your own path. And don’t imitate anyone else’s path. Don’t imitate. Imitation will not lead you to freedom. It is not a question of following, it is a question of seeking. Be a seeker and not a follower - and know the distinction well.
A follower is an imitator. A seeker also follows, but he is not an imitator. A seeker also follows, but he follows in order to seek, to discover. He remains alert, he remains aware.
A follower becomes blind, a follower becomes dependent: spiritually a slave. A follower throws his responsibility on someone else’s shoulders, and then hangs on. A seeker is responsible for himself. He is alert, responsible: discovering every day, experimenting every day, unafraid, vulnerable, open to any new light, ready to move into any dimension that comes to his vision. Unafraid but always ready to change. If he feels “This is wrong,” he will not say “But I have invested so much on this path. Now I cannot change.” He will throw away the path, all the investment in it; he will move to his previous state and start learning again from A-B-C.
A seeker is always ready to change; a follower is stubborn. He will close his eyes rather than see the light because he has invested so much.
A Jaina monk came to me and he said, “I have been a Jaina monk for thirty years and I know well that I have chosen a path that is not for me, but now I cannot change it, because then what would I do? I have no education. I was initiated into monkhood when I was just a child, and these thirty years of monkhood have made me totally dependent on others. I cannot do anything, I cannot do any physical labor.
“And I am so respected, even big capitalists come to me and bow down their heads. Leaders come to me and they bow down their heads. If I leave this monkhood - and I know now that this is not for me - the same people who touch my feet will not employ me even as a peon. So what am I to do?”
There was much investment: all the prestige, respect, honor was at stake.
So I told him, “If you are really a seeker, throw all this away! Be a beggar or be a peon, but don’t be false. When you know this path is not for you, then throw away all that which comes to you through this path. Don’t be false, don’t be inauthentic.”
He said, “I will think about it, but it seems difficult.”