Chapter 29: A Real Encounter with Existence
I find myself in conflict between a part of myself that tries to be clear and intelligent with others and a part that is emotional, unpredictable, very unclear and somehow unconscious, but perhaps more real. I tell myself just to be authentic and then I get really confused. Meditation takes away the immediate tension but I have found no way to get to the root of the problem. Am I just not wanting to see something very obvious?
The problem you are encountering is almost everybody’s problem, because man is not born fully developed just as other animals are born. A dog is fully developed; nothing else will be added in his whole life to his basic individuality. A lion is born as a lion, will live as a lion, and will die as a lion.
Only man is born as a possibility. He can be many things, all his doors are open; he is not a finished being. He has a potential, but the potential is always vague. From one point of view, it looks very confusing that the highest animal in the world is born unfinished. But looked at from a better and higher standpoint, it is a prerogative of human beings to be born only as a seed and then to evolve with total freedom into whatever their innermost longing is.
That certainly creates many problems. He is not fully aware what is going to be his destiny. He is not able to predict his own future. It is always moving into the unknown, always hoping for the best, but without any certainty. Hence a continuous trembling inside, a fear - are you going to make it or not? Are you going to attain your destiny, or will death take over before? Are you moving in the right direction?
You cannot be certain about anything. This causes one of the greatest difficulties: people start imitating others, because that seems to be easier. Everybody is going in a certain direction, the crowd is moving on a superhighway. It is better to be with the crowd - at least you are not alone. And somewhere in the mind there is the feeling that so many people, millions of people cannot be wrong. But this is the strangest thing about life, that the crowd is always wrong, because each individual has an individual destiny. There is no destiny for the crowd as such. So whenever you are moving with a crowd you are committing suicide.
The moment you become a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, you have destroyed yourself utterly. Now there is no hope for you; you have lost track of your individual, original destiny. At the most you can now be a beautiful carbon copy, but never the original. And without being the original there is no satisfaction, no contentment, no joy, no fulfillment, no feeling that life has been meaningful, that life has been a celebration. On the contrary, there is a feeling of despair, anguish, boredom, meaninglessness and a feeling of continuous suffocation.
But it happens to millions of people because their mind has a simple arithmetic: it is better to follow where everybody is going than to be alone and find your own pathway. But only those few people ever achieve who drop out of the crowd and who trust their own intelligence and who trust in life, in nature, in existence, and who with deep trust start moving alone in the search of their destiny.