Chapter 9: Deaf, Dumb, and Blind
Then the second thing: why are you so dead? Why are you so dumb, blind, deaf? There must be something, there must be some investment in it - otherwise so many people, millions of them, could not be in such a state. It must be paying you something, you must be getting something out of it, otherwise how is it possible that Buddhas and Krishnas and Christs go on saying, “Don’t be blind, don’t be deaf, don’t be dumb, don’t be dead! Be alive! Be alert, awake!” - and nobody listens to them? Even if they appeal intellectually, you never listen to them. Even if you feel in certain sublime moments of life that they are right, you never follow them. Even if sometimes you decide to follow, you always postpone it for tomorrow - and then tomorrow never comes. What is the deep investment in it?
Just the other night I was talking to a friend. He is a very educated man, cultured - has moved all over the world, has lived in Russia and the UK and the United States, has been to China, and this and that. Listening to him I felt he is completely dead! And then he asked me, “What solution would you suggest? - because life has so many sufferings and miseries, so many injustices, so many things that hurt you. How to live life so that you don’t feel hurt, so that life cannot create so many wounds in your being - what to do?”
So I told him there are two ways: one - which is easier but at a very great cost - one is to become dead, to become as insensitive as possible. .Because if you are insensitive, if you grow a thick skin around you, an armor, then you don’t bother much, nobody can hurt you. Somebody insults you and you have such a thick skin that it never enters. There is injustice, but you simply never become aware of it.
This is the mechanism of your deadness. If you are more sensitive, you will be hurt more. Then every small thing will become a pain, a misery, and it will be impossible to live - and one has to live. There are problems, and there are millions of people - there is violence all around, there is misery all around. You pass through the street and beggars are there; you have to be insensitive otherwise it will become a misery, a heavy weight on you. Why these beggars? What have they done to suffer this? And somehow deep down you will feel: I am also responsible. You simply pass by the beggar as if you are deaf, dumb, blind - you don’t look.
Have you ever looked at a beggar? You may have seen a beggar, but you have never looked at him. You have never encountered him, you have never sat with him, you have never taken his hand in your hand - it would be too much. So open - there is danger. And you have to think about your wife, not about this beggar; you have to think about your children - and you are not concerned! So whenever there is a beggar, watch: your speed increases, you walk faster and don’t look that way. If you really look at a beggar you will feel the whole injustice of life; you will feel the whole misery - and it will be too much. It will be impossible to tolerate it, you will have to do something and what can you do? You feel so helpless; you have your own problems too, and you have to solve them.