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Chapter 1: A Life Is a Mirror

Sheer stupidity, which says life can be changed, but there is much appeal in it. The communistic standpoint has a deep appeal in it. Not because it is true - the appeal comes from some other source: because it does not make you responsible, that is the appeal. Everything else is responsible except you; you are a victim. “The whole of life is responsible. Change life” - this is appealing for the ordinary mind because no mind wants to feel responsible.

Whenever you are in misery you like to throw the responsibility on somebody. Anybody will do, any excuse will do, but then you are unburdened. Now you know you are miserable because of this man or that woman, or this type of society, this government, this social structure, this economy - something - or, finally, God is responsible or fate. These are all communistic standpoints. The moment you throw the responsibility on others, you have become a communist; you are no longer religious.

Even if you throw the responsibility on God, you have become a communist. Try to understand me, because communists don’t believe in God, but the whole standpoint of throwing responsibility on somebody else is communistic - then God has to be changed.

That’s what people go on doing in temples: they go and pray to change God. Those people are all communists. They may be hiding in religious garbs; they are communist. What are you praying? You are saying to God, “Do this, don’t do that”; “My wife is ill, make her healthy.” You are telling the whole, “You are responsible.” You are complaining; deep down your prayer is a complaint. You may be talking very politely, but your politeness is false. You may even be buttering him up, but deep down you are saying, “You are responsible - do something!”

This attitude I call the communist attitude; by it I mean the attitude that “I am not responsible; I am a victim. The whole of life is responsible.” The religious attitude says, “Life simply reflects.”

Life is not a doer; it is a mirror. It is not doing anything to you, because the same life behaves with Buddha in a different way. The life is the same; it behaves with you in a different way. The mirror is the same, but when you come before the mirror it reflects your face. And if your face is not that of a Buddha, what can the mirror do? When Buddha comes before the mirror, it reflects buddhahood.

When I say this to you I say so because that’s how I have experienced. Once your face changes, the mirror changes; because a mirror has no fixed standpoint. The mirror is just echoing, reflecting. It does not say anything. It simply shows - it shows you. If life is miserable you must have started the chain. If everybody is against you, you must have started the chain. If everybody feels enmity, you must have started the chain.

Change the cause. And you are the cause. Religion makes you responsible - and that’s how religion makes you free because then it is your freedom to choose. To be miserable or to be happy - it is up to you. Nobody else has anything to do with it. The world will remain the same; you can start dancing, and the whole world dances with you.

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