Chapter 24: Imitation Is Your Cremation
The first question:
You have been saying that disobedience is a religious quality. It suddenly means I have to disobey you, the commune and the discipline of sannyas. I cannot even participate in our prayer, the gachchhamis.
The questioner is certainly an Oregonian, a born Oregonian, not just twenty days resident in Oregon. As far as I am concerned it is enough to breathe Oregon’s air for twenty minutes to become an Oregonian!
I have said that disobedience is a religious quality, but to be disobedient you need to be very intelligent. To obey.an idiot can do it. All that he has to say is “Yes sir.” To disobey is not just saying no; that too can be done by an idiot very easily.
Disobedience needs tremendous intelligence because you are deciding your life, your future, your destiny.
I have said disobey anything that is imposed on you, against you, against your will, against your intellect, against your reason, against your being. Then risk everything and disobey it - because in fact by disobeying it, you are obeying your inner self. By disobeying it, you are obeying existence.
In other words, by disobeying it you are disobeying the personality and obeying the individuality.
I have not said that you have to disobey everything - you will go nuts, unless you are already nuts. I have emphasized disobedience because all the religions have been emphasizing obedience. Obedience to whom? Obedience to their God, which is their creation; obedience to the commandments, which are their creation; obedience to society, convention, tradition - which are all their vested interests - obedience to the parents, to the teachers, to the priests.
All the religions have been teaching you obedience; hence, just to emphasize it clearly before you, I had to say disobey, rebel.
That does not mean that I am against obedience. But the obedience I am for is a very different phenomenon. It does not come as an imposition on you, it comes as a flowering of your being. It is your intelligence, your maturity, your centeredness, your aliveness, your response. You are the source of it; not Moses, not Mohammed, not Jesus, not me, but you, just you.
But do you know who you are? You know you are a Jew, and you are not. You know you are a Christian, and you are not. You know you are a Hindu, and you are not. These are all impositions.
People have been painting on you as if you are a canvas. They are making your face according to their idea. They want to become in some way ideals for you, and they want to reduce you to imitators.