Chapter 1: Know How to Live
A really rebellious person is one who is neither for society nor against society, who simply lives his life according to his own understanding. Whether it goes against society or it goes with society is not a consideration, it is irrelevant. Sometimes it may go with the society, sometimes it may not go with the society, but that is not the point to be considered. He lives according to his understanding, according to his small light. And I am not saying that he becomes very egoistic about it. No, he is very humble. He knows that his light is very small, but that is all the light that there is. He knows that he may be wrong. He is not adamant, he’s very humble. He says, “I may be wrong, but please allow me to be wrong according to myself.”
That is the only way to learn. To commit mistakes is the only way to learn. To move according to one’s own understanding is the only way to grow and become mature. If you are always looking at somebody to dictate, whether you obey or disobey makes no difference. If you are looking at somebody else to dictate and then you will decide for or against, you will never be able to know what your life is. It has to be lived, and you have to follow your own small light.
It is not always certain what to do. You are very confused. Let it be so. But find a way out of your confusion. It is very cheap and easy to listen to others because they can hand over dead dogmas to you, they can give you commandments - do this, don’t do that. And they are very certain about their commandments. Certainty should not be sought; understanding should be sought. If you are seeking certainty you will become a victim of some trap or other. Don’t seek certainty, seek understanding. Certainty can be given to you cheap, anybody can give it to you. But in the final analysis you will be a loser. You lost your life just to remain secure and certain, and life is not certain, life is not secure.
Life is insecurity. Each moment is a move into more and more insecurity. It is a gamble. One never knows what is going to happen. And it is beautiful that one never knows. If it was predictable life would not be worth living. If everything was as you would like it and everything was certain you would not be a man at all, you would be a machine. Only for machines everything is secure and certain.
Man lives in freedom. Freedom needs insecurity and uncertainty. A real man of intelligence is always hesitant because he has no dogma to rely upon, to lean upon. He has to look and respond.
Lao Tzu says, “I am hesitant, and I move alertly in life because I don’t know what is going to happen. And I don’t have any principle to follow. I have to decide every moment. I never decide beforehand. I have to decide when the moment has come!”
Then one has to be very responsive. That’s what responsibility is. Responsibility is not an obligation, responsibility is not a duty - it is a capacity to respond. A man who wants to know what life is has to be responsive. That is missing. Centuries of conditioning have made you more like machines. You have lost your manhood, you have bargained for security. You are secure and comfortable and everything has been planned by others. And they have put everything on the map, they have measured everything. This is all absolutely foolish because life cannot be measured, it is immeasurable. And no map is possible because life is in constant flux, everything goes on changing. Nothing except change is permanent. Says Heraclitus, “You cannot step in the same river twice.”