Chapter 7: Hard and Soft
To be religious is not to be separate from the flow. To be irreligious is to have your own mind, in an effort to win, to conquer, to reach somewhere. If you have a goal you are irreligious. If you are thinking of the tomorrow you have already missed religion. Religion has no tomorrow to it. That’s why Jesus says: Think not of the morrow; look at the lilies in the field, they are blossoming now. Everything that is, is now, everything that is alive is now alive. Now is the only time, the only eternity.
Two possibilities are there. You can fight with life, you can have your private goals against life - and all goals are private, all goals are personal, you are trying to impose a pattern on life, something of your own; you are trying to drag the life to follow you, and you are just a tiny part, infinitesimal, so small, so atomic, and you are trying to drag the whole universe with you. Of course you are bound to be defeated. You are bound to lose your grace, you are bound to become hard.
Fighting creates hardness. Just think of fight, and a subtle hardness comes around you; just think of resisting, and a crust arises around you which covers you like a cocoon.
The very idea that you have a certain goal makes you an island, you are no more part of the vast continent of life. And when you are separated from life you are like a tree which is separated from the earth. It may live a little on the past nourishment, but really it is dying. The tree needs roots, the tree needs to be in the earth, joined together, part of it.
You need to be joined with the continent of life. part of it, rooted in it. When you are rooted in life you are soft - because you are not afraid.
Fear creates hardness. Fear creates the idea of security, fear creates the idea to Protect yourself. And nothing kills like fear because in the very idea of fear you are separated from the earth, uprooted.
Then you live on the past - that is why you think so much of the past. It is not coincidental. The mind continuously thinks either of past or of the future. Why think so much of the past? The gone is gone! It cannot be recovered. The past is dead! Why do you go on thinking about the past which is no more and about which nothing can be done? You cannot live it, You cannot be in it. But it can destroy your present moment.
But there must be some deep-rooted cause for it - the deep-rooted cause is that you are fighting the whole. Fighting the whole, fighting the river of life, you are uprooted. You have become tiny, a capsule-like phenomenon, closed in yourself. You have become an individual, you are no more part of the Brahma, the expanding universe, the vast. No, you are no more part of it, you have to live like a miser on your past nourishment, that’s why mind goes on thinking about the past.
And you have to pull yourself somehow to be ready to fight - that’s why you go on thinking about the future: future gives you hope, past gives you nourishment, and just between the two is eternity, the very life, which you are missing. Between the past and the future you are dying, not living.
There is another way to be - really, the only way to be because this way is not the way to be, the way of fight is not to be the way to be.