Chapter 6: The Art of Living
I didn’t listen to them. By and by they disappeared. Now only very courageous Indians can enter here. Now only a few Indians can enter here, those who have no repressed mind in them, who are post-Freudians - only they can enter here. But India as a whole is pre-Freudian. Freud is still unknown in India. Freud has not yet entered into the Indian soul.
But I have done it. And I am a Hasid, so you can forgive the old Hasids. Time was not ripe at that time; even now it is very difficult. I have to encounter difficulties every day; for every small thing there are difficulties. Those difficulties could be avoided if I behaved in an orthodox way. I cannot behave in an orthodox way - because then there is no point in my being here, then I could not deliver the message to you - and I cannot be absolutely revolutionary because then there would be no possibility of something happening between you and me.
And I am not in any way interested in being a martyr because that too seems to me to be a sort of masochism. People who are always seeking to become martyrs are not really aware of what they are doing - they are seeking suicide. I am not a martyr. I love life, I love all that is implied in life, and the original Hasid masters were as much in love with life as I am. That’s why I have chosen to talk about them. When I choose to talk about some path, I choose it only because that path appeals to me tremendously.
The Hasids were not people who wanted to become political revolutionaries. They were not reformists. They were not trying to reform the society, they were trying to bring a mutation to the individual soul. And they had to exist in the society. Remember that always.
But then what happens whenever a tradition gets settled? Now Hasidism is a settled tradition, now it itself has become an orthodoxy. Now the time is ripe. If the community exists in New York - a Hasidic community exists in New York - now the time is ripe, but now they themselves have become orthodox. They have their own tradition, they cannot go against Baal Shem. And these people who are now Hasids are not really masters, they are simply followers of the followers of the followers.
You are here with me. You are face to face with something original. When you tell it to somebody else it will not be the original. You have heard it from me, then you will tell it to somebody else and much of it is lost - and then that person goes to somebody else and delivers the message. Again much is lost. Within a few years, within a few transfers, the truth is completely destroyed, only lies are left. And again a revolutionary movement becomes an orthodox tradition.
The second question:
Can’t you do it for me? Can’t you cut my head off?
Because I can’t drop it. I know that because I have tried.
I can do that but there will be much trouble. Let me tell you an anecdote.