Chapter 3: Drunk with Boundless Youth
Bear in mind that, through the process of unconscious evolution, nature has brought you as far as it could. Nature’s function is now complete. Now it is your turn; now you have to do something. For a while a father holds the hand of his baby son and helps him to walk. But how long can he do that? A point comes when the father has to say to his son, “Now walk on your own legs. Now you are ready to walk on your own. Now you are mature. Now you must begin your own journey; now you must take the responsibility for your own life on your own shoulders. Now you must take care of yourself.” Maturity will only come to a man, will only grow in a man, when he accepts this challenge. Your ability to look after yourself is in relation to the effort you expend on your own behalf.
Nature is now telling you the same thing a father tells his son. Nature has brought you to the point where you have evolved into a fully grown human being. Now you are able to think, now you are able to discriminate, and when you become anxious about yourself you can now select the path that will lead you out of your anxiety. Nature’s job is now over. Now you must take the reins into your own hands; now you must become a seeker.
A seeker is a man who has taken the reins into his own hands; a seeker is the child who says to the father, “This is more than enough. I am grateful to you, I am much obliged to you, but now I will stand on my own two feet.” The moment you tell nature you want to stand by yourself you become a young man of maturity. At that moment maturity comes to you for the first time. But from then on you will experience many anxieties because now you are responsible for yourself, because now your sadhana begins.
To follow a sadhana is to proceed consciously in the direction of evolution. It is a journey of clarity, it is not a blind race. It is a directing of all one’s energy towards a single destination. That is why I always say that if a man’s gaze is not directed towards God his whole life is meaningless.
Directing one’s eyes towards God is just the introduction, just the preamble; the real thing has not yet begun. Think of a classical musician adjusting the strings of his sitar to bring his instrument to the proper tuning. The recital has not yet begun; this is just preparation. This may take a long time; the audience will often get bored and wonder how long this nonsense will go on, how long this will last - but the musician will not begin to play until his sitar is perfectly tuned. Until you evolve to this point you are in the preparatory stage.
Nature has prepared you by bringing you to the stage of humanity. Now you can sing the great song. Now the universal sound can descend on you; now the sound of the universe can thrill your life. But the tuning of the instruments does not produce any music on its own. If you think the recital is over as soon as the tuning is completed then the whole thing is already finished for you anyway; then nothing more can be said to you. And if the classical musician also thinks the concert is over when the instruments have been tuned, his work is incomplete as well.
I see such incompleteness in you. You have earned enough money, you have built a house, you have a wife and children - your instruments are all in tune - so what more is there to do, what else is there for you to do? You realize now that everything is empty, that the whole effort has been wasted; you see now that you have been caught up in nothing. You had things to do before. You had duties to perform; you kept busy doing this and that - but now? “Now” stands before you like a deep abyss.