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Chapter 17: Of Old and New Law Tables Part 1

All that you can do is make them more intelligent, make them more alert, make them more conscious, make them more loving, make them more silent. So wherever they are their response will come out of their silence and out of their love and out of their alertness; it is going to be good. Don’t tell them what is good, but give them the right means to discover what is good in a different situation.

But up to now just the opposite has been the case. We are told, “This is good and this is wrong,” as if time is standing still and our values will remain values for our coming generations too.

Because of this conditioning from the past everybody lives with his self-conceit - that he knows already. And this is one of the most dangerous situations. When you don’t know and you have the conceit that you know it already, then all doors of exploration and inquiry are closed. You never ask; there is no need. You already know the answer.

Every child is being fed with the milk of the mother’s answers. He has not even asked the question and you are giving him answers. Know perfectly well that he will have to face different questions - not the same questions that you had to face or your forefathers faced. And because he will be loaded with dead and out-of-date answers, you have messed up his life from the very beginning. When a question will be there he will not respond to the question, he will simply repeat his old answer - which is not going to solve the problem.

I am reminded of a great woman, Gertrude Stein. If she had been in the East she would have become enlightened. This can be said with absolute certainty. Her poetry flies so high that the whole is not far away from there. Her insights are so clear that just a step more and she would have become a Gautam Buddha or a Zarathustra.

Gertrude Stein was dying. All her friends had gathered around; suddenly she opened her eyes and looked all around. It was evening and it was becoming dark and already they were all sad. And she asked, “What is the answer? Before I die I want to know the answer.”

They were shocked, because they didn’t know what the question was. How can you say what the answer is?

There was a silence for few moments, then one person who was very close to her asked, “Stein, you are asking us, ‘What is the answer?’ And you have not asked, ‘What is the question?’ First tell us what the question is.”

The dying woman’s last words were - with closed eyes she said, “Okay, I don’t have much time. So tell me: what is the question?” And she died.

No one knows what was her question; no one knows how to find the answer for a question that you don’t know. But the situation is very significant. Perhaps.and this happens most often to people who die consciously, that at the moment of death they remember their very childhood. They are going out of life and they remember the time when they had come into life.

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