Chapter 7: The Time Is Short
When they condemn you, enjoy that, too. When they criticize you, sing a song as a response to their criticism, and don’t pay much attention to them. Ignore them, they are anyway going down, drowning. Don’t waste your time arguing with drowning people; you continue your dance, and you go on spreading your dance. Religion, in the authentic, true sense, is here.
You may not be aware that you are participating in something which is so important that nothing like it has ever happened before. And because you are capable, intelligent, you can forgive them. Not to let them feel inferior: you can forgive them, knowing that they are on their deathbed and you are just starting to grow and live and flower. There is no comparison.
One journalist asked, “Can’t the commune live in coexistence with the neighbors?” In the first place, there are no neighbors, we are alone on the earth. Ghosts are not neighbors, graveyards are not neighborhoods. Those dead people - although they are still breathing - are not alive. Just to breathe is not enough to claim life, much more is needed.
Just to breathe is to vegetate - even trees are breathing. Being able to walk is not much - animals are doing it, and even a few trees walk. In Africa, trees walk miles from their place of origin to find new sources of water. Of course it is a very slow journey, but they go on spreading their roots, and slowly go on moving miles to where they can find water, miles to where they can find open sky, the sun.
Yes, these people we are surrounded with are breathing, walking, eating, doing all kinds of things - which any robot is capable of doing. Any mechanical device will be able to do all that these people are doing, but no robot can feel joy without any cause. No robot can be meditative and experience silence, ecstasy, blissfulness.
What coexistence can there be between living, overflowing people and the dead? - or the nearly dead, which is even worse. If you are dead, at least misery is finished, a long tragedy has come to an end; but nearly dead, almost dead, life is not there but the tragedy continues. They have enough energy for misery; misery does not need much energy, you cannot say that you are so weak you cannot be miserable. Can you say that? - “I am feeling so weak today that I cannot feel miserable.”
Misery needs no energy; it is easy, cheap, costs nothing. But to be blissful, to be dancing and singing, to be a joy to yourself and others, certainly you need energy, more energy than is needed only for survival. If a tree gets enough energy just to survive, it will not flower. No fruits will come to it for the simple reason that flowering is an overflowing of energy. The tree has so many colors within it, so much fragrance that it cannot contain it anymore. It has to be shared with existence, with the sun, with the moon, with the wind, with the birds. That’s how flowers come and open up, that’s how it gives you fruits - it has so much life energy that it can give.