Chapter 14: Of the Way of the Creator
The crowd is bound to be afraid of such people because they don’t follow the social morality, they don’t follow the social norms. They are no longer part of the herd. They have no obligation to go to your church, to read your holy books. They have found their own religion, and their religion is their creativity. The herd cannot understand it and tries to persuade them: “It is better you come back. Don’t go alone. You can be lost.”
The voice of the herd will still ring within you. And when you say: “We have no longer the same conscience.”
no longer the same “I” - I don’t belong to you; you are just cogs in the wheel. I am an individual and I want to live my life according to my own inner voice, not to be dictated, dominated, manipulated by others.
For see, it is still this same conscience that causes your grief: and the last glimmer of this conscience still glows in your affliction.
There will be problems. All the great painters, poets, singers, musicians, have either gone mad or have even committed suicide. Their madness is simply because everybody thinks they are abnormal.
Van Gogh has fallen in love with one of his faraway cousin-sisters. There was nothing wrong in it, but he was a poor man, and on top of it he was a painter. Nobody liked his paintings, nobody could even understand what he is painting - nor could he explain.
He used to say, “It is strange, nobody asks the trees `What is your meaning?’ Nobody asks the flowers, `What is your purpose?’ The flower is just beautiful! To be beautiful is enough; no other purpose is needed. My painting is a flower. Why should you ask me the meaning, the purpose? It is not a commodity, it is a creative act. Just as nature creates, I am also part of nature. It is also a creation of nature.”
He proposed to the girl. She could not believe that he would dare to do such a thing. Everybody thought that he was abnormal. It was evening the sun had set, and they were sitting by the light of a beautiful candle. The girl simply joked. She said, “Do you really mean you love me? Then keep your hand on the flame of the candle as long as I want. That will be a proof.” Van Gogh put his hand on the candle and burnt his hand. The girl could not believe.she removed the candle. Now it is absolutely certain that the man was mad.
Love is one thing, but you don’t have to give such proofs, and anybody who can give such proofs can be dangerous. Her father told him never to come to his house again. Van Gogh said, “But what wrong have I done? Your girl has asked me to give proof of my love. I can give proof even by my death. My love is greater than my life.” Although he was saying tremendously meaningful words, he was pushed aside and the doors were closed.