Chapter 11: A Journey from Fiction to Reality
“And as far as the donkey is concerned, he is absolutely indifferent; how I sit does not matter. He himself is a philosopher. He does not mind - it is my business how I sit. He has to carry the load; the load will remain the same. This is the philosophical reason, but this is only for the idiots. The real thing I have told you: Nasruddin cannot go anywhere without being recognized as somebody special.”
You want to do something, to be somebody, and you are asking why one is afraid to be nobody. It is because you don’t know that the darkness of nobodiness is not a death, it is authentic life. It is your true life, it is how you were born - without name, without caste, without religion, without country.
You were born as nobody and you will die as nobody. And between these two points of nobodiness you remain nobody, just deceiving yourself that you are this and you are that.
And because the whole society is of the same kind of people - they are together in the same conspiracy - we are all deceiving each other because we want to be deceived by others. We say to people, “You are great” because we want to listen to them say, “You are great.”
When I was a student in the university one of the professors told me. Knowing about me, that I can be a nuisance, he wanted to make some contact, some friendship before his course started. He met me in the garden and he told me, “You are a very intelligent person.”
I said, “Stop all this nonsense. How can you know that I am an intelligent person? You are meeting me for the first time; you have not seen me doing anything. But one thing I can say, that you are stupid.”
He said, “But I am a professor in the university and you are going to be my student. You should learn etiquette.”
I said, “If I am intelligent, that is enough etiquette. If you are stupid, you will have to learn etiquette. Why, in the first place, have you approached me? I can see fear in your eyes, I can see trembling inside you. Just look down and look at your pajama trouser - it is trembling.” And he looked, although the pajama was not trembling.
I said, “That proves the point. The pajama is more courageous than you! You looked! You believed because you know that inside you are trembling, perhaps the pajama is also trembling.” But pajamas are utter idiots; they don’t know fear.
And I said to him, “About-turn!”
He said, “You are strange. You are going to be my student!”
I said, “Don’t be worried. Anybody who is going to be my professor is going to be in trouble. You just rest, relax, get ready before the course starts. Do some physical exercise. Stand on your head to give it a little more nourishment.”
He said, “My God, I have not said anything and you are bombarding me!”
I said, “You said everything the moment you said, without any reason, ‘You are a very intelligent person.’ I can understand this much: that it was a bribe. I don’t accept bribes.”