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Chapter 4: You Are the Question

Friedrich Nietzsche lived in a very cowardly way. He had great ideas - just as all philosophers have - but they were mere ideas. The life and the ideas of philosophers are polar opposites: they say one thing; they do exactly the opposite. There is no rhythm in their being; they are going in all directions simultaneously.

But those two words, Live dangerously, are significant. Sannyas is a way to live your life in total danger. What do I mean when I say sannyas is living dangerously? It means living moment to moment without any past. The past makes your life convenient, comfortable, because the past is known; you are familiar with it, you are very efficient with it. But life is never past, it is always present. The past is that which is no more, and life is that which is. Life is always now, here, and all your knowledge comes from the past. Trying to live the present through the past is the way of the coward; it is the calculated way. People call it sanity, but it is very superficial and never adequate. There is no rapport with the present.

That’s why millions of people are so utterly fed up with life. Life is such a gift, and people are fed up with it. It is very strange and amazing. Why should people be so fed up with life? The reason is not life itself; the reason is they are carrying the mountainous load of the past: all their experiences, knowledge, information - what others have told them. They have accumulated great junk and they are carrying that junk. And the load is so heavy, and their eyes are covered with so much dust, that they cannot see the beauty of the present. And whatsoever they do see is something other than the reality.

The rural preacher ended his long, dull sermon by requesting the board of deacons to remain for a few minutes after the service. In the group which stayed on was a stranger.

“Pardon me, sir,” said the minister politely, “but I asked that only the board remain.”

“That’s why I stayed on,” retorted the man. “I was never more bored in my life!”

Your religions are boring you, your philosophies are boring you, your scriptures are boring you. Thousands of years of the past are the cause of your boredom. You cannot dance - you are chained to the past, you are imprisoned in the past.

Sannyas means escaping from that prison. The prison may be of Hinduism or Mohammedanism or Christianity or Judaism or Jainism - it does not matter what the name of the prison is. On the earth there are three hundred religions; that means three hundred kinds of religious prisons. And there are thousands of ideologies; they are also prisons within prisons. And there are sects and subsects.. You must have seen Chinese boxes - boxes within boxes within boxes. You open one box, then another; you open that and then another; you go on opening and you always find a smaller box within. Each prison has more prisons inside it. Ultimately you are left only in a dark cell.

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