Chapter 4: Be Assertive!
The first question:
Working at Amitabh, your Amsterdam center, for the last few years, I have become aware that in our contacts with the media or government agencies we have been on the defensive and have been trying to be acceptable. Now the pressure is building up, specifically with the recent Dutch government inquiry into what they call “sects.”
It is coming to a point where becoming still more defensive would be a denial of our innermost experience. It feels that the time has come to be less accommodating, less compromising and less defensive.
Could you give us your guidance, please?
The most important thing to remember is truth cannot be defensive; it is against the nature of truth to be defensive. Just think: if Jesus has been defensive, then humanity would have missed all that is valuable. Truth has to assert itself. There is no need to be aggressive, remember that too. Truth is neither defensive nor aggressive, but truth has to be assertive.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Go to the rooftops and shout the truth from there!” - because people are deaf. Unless you shout they are not going to hear.
Only lies are either aggressive or defensive; truth is neither. Truth simply is as it is - available, open.
The great political philosopher, Machiavelli, said in his treatise, The Prince, that if you want to be accepted as true then even if you are not true be aggressive, don’t be on the defensive. that is for the politicians, because to be on the defensive, according to Machiavelli, is to be fighting a losing battle. Your very desire to be defensive shows that you are weak, that you are afraid, that you are willing to compromise. Truth cannot do these things. Lies will either be aggressive, when they are winning, or, when they start losing they become defensive.
By the way, Machiavelli’s great-granddaughter, Anado, is here; she is my sannyasin. If Machiavelli comes to know he will toss and turn in his grave, because I am against politics. Politics is basically rooted in lies.
So, you have been doing something wrong from the very beginning. There is no need to be defensive, there is no need to compromise, there is no need to be accommodating. it is better to be destroyed than to compromise, because when truth is crucified that’s its victory, when truth is crucified it is crowned.
So don’t be afraid of crucifixion. It is beautiful to die on the path of truth, it is ugly to survive through compromising. Each compromise means you have fallen from the truth into the ditch of lies. What else can a compromise be?