Chapter 8: Life Lives for Itself
The first question:
The days of life ahead, if any, are so unknown and unpredictable. These days a deep feeling is arising in me that one has to just live the remaining years of life. How? Why? What for? - nothing is clear. But this feeling goes on deepening. Hence what I am eating, what I am doing, what is happening all around - nothing seems to bother me.
Since my very childhood, whenever I saw a dead body, always the thought flashed to me that if death is to come then what is the sense in living.
Since those very days of my childhood, a sort of noninterest has surrounded my whole pattern of life, and probably that might be the reason why I got interested in religion and could reach you.
Are such feelings going to be harmful to me?
Certainly. They are going to be harmful because you have misunderstood the whole point of religion. The first thing: life is unpredictable; that’s why it is beautiful. If it was predictable, who would like to live it? If everything was charted beforehand and the day you were born you were given your whole life, like a railway timetable, so you can consult and see what is going to happen and when and how - who would like to live such a life? It will not have any poetry. It will not have any dangers. It will not have any risk. It will not have any opportunity to grow. It will be absolutely futile. Then you will be just a robot, a mechanical thing.
The life of a mechanism can be predicted but not of man, because man is not a machine - not of a tree, not of a bird. The more alive you are, the more unpredictable you become. The life of the tree is more predictable than the life of a bird. The life of a bird is less predictable than the life of a man. And the life of a buddha is absolutely more unpredictable than your life.
Unpredictability means freedom. Predictability will mean determinism. If you can be predicted, then you are not a soul; then you are not. Predictability will mean that you are simply a biological mechanism.
But there are many people who think that life is not worth living because it is not predictable. These are the people who go to the astrologers. These are the people who go on finding fortune-tellers. These people are foolish; and the astrologer and the fortune-teller, they live on your foolishness.