Chapter 12: Every Joke Has a Great Reason
The word responsibility has been continuously used in a wrong way. It gives a feeling of burden: you have to do it, it is a duty; if you don’t do it you will feel guilty. I want to remind you that the word responsibility has none of those connotations. Break the word in two - response-ability - and you enter a totally different meaning of the word, in a different direction. Response-ability is not a burden. It is not a duty; it is not something you have to do in spite of yourself.
Response-ability simply means spontaneous response. Whatever situation arises, joyously you respond to it, with your totality, with your intensity. And this response will not only change the situation, it will also change you.
There are two words to be remembered: one is reaction and one is response-ability. Most people react, they don’t respond. Reaction comes from your memory, from your past experiences, from your knowledge; it is always inadequate in a fresh, new situation. And existence is continuously fresh. So if you act according to your past, that is reaction. But that reaction is not going to change the situation, it is not going to change you, and you will be in utter failure.
Response is moment-to-moment. It has nothing to do with memory, it has something to do with your awareness. You see the situation with clarity; you are clean, silent, serene. Out of this serenity, spontaneously you act. It is not reaction, it is action. You have never done it before, but the beauty of it is that it will suit the situation, and it will be a joy to you to know that you are capable of being spontaneous.
There are very few joys in life greater than spontaneity. Spontaneity means to be in the moment; it means acting out of your awareness, not acting according to your old conditionings. Those days are gone - those conditions, conceptions are absolutely invalid.
In my university days, when I was a postgraduate student, I had to share for one year with a very stupid student. His problem was: “Everybody is saying that they have fallen in love with some girl and they are enjoying it. But no girl looks at me - neither do I know how to fall in love.”
I said, “The first thing you do is, you start saying that many girls are after you. They have all fallen in love with you, but you have not yet found the right girl with whom you would like to commune - to be with her, to love her.”
He said, “But this is all incorrect, because it is not happening.”
I said, “Those people who are talking, it is not happening to them either. They are just talking and making others feel they are missing the most precious experience.”
He said, “I will try.”
He started talking - soon he became the hero. No girl was chasing him, he had no idea what love was, but people started asking him for recipes, how to fall in love.