Chapter 4: The Rebel Is Utterly Innocent
His second dimension will be not to live in the past, which is no more, and not to live in the future, which is not yet, but to live in the present with as much alertness and consciousness as he can manage. In other words, to live consciously in the moment. Ordinarily we live like somnambulists, sleepwalkers. The rebel tries to live a life of awareness. Awareness is his religion, awareness is his philosophy, awareness is his way of life.
His third dimension is that he is not interested in domination over others. He has no lust for power, because that is the ugliest thing in the world. The lust for power has destroyed humanity and has not allowed it to be more creative, to be more beautiful, to be more healthy, to be more wholesome. And it is this lust for power that ultimately leads to conflicts, competitions, jealousies and finally to wars.
Lust for power is the foundation of all wars. If you look at human history.the whole of human history is nothing but a history of wars, man killing man. Reasons have changed, but the killing continues. It seems reasons are only excuses. The real fact is that man enjoys killing.
In one of Aesop’s fables - and those are some of the greatest fables in the world, so simple and so significant - a small sheep is drinking water from a mountain stream of crystal-clear water. A great lion comes and naturally becomes interested in the sheep - it is breakfast time but he has to find an excuse. So he says to the sheep, “You are dirtying the stream. Don’t you understand that I am the king of the jungle?”
The poor sheep said, “I know, but your highness, the stream is not going towards you. I am standing below you and even if it becomes dirty by my drinking water, the water is going downwards - not towards you. You are making it dirty and I am drinking that dirty water. So your logic is not right.”
The lion saw the point and became very angry. He said, “You don’t have respect for your elders. You have some nerve arguing with me.”
The poor sheep said, “I have not argued, I have simply said what was factual. You can see that the stream is going downwards.”
The lion was silent for a moment and then said, “Now I remember. You belong to a very uncultured, uneducated family. Your father insulted me yesterday.”
The poor sheep said, “It must have been somebody else, because my father has been dead for three months, and you must know that he is within your belly. He is no longer alive. You have made a lunch of him. How can he behave disrespectfully towards you? He is dead!”
That was too much. The lion jumped and caught hold of the sheep saying, “You don’t know manners, you don’t know etiquette, you don’t know how to behave.”
The sheep said, “The simple fact is, it is breakfast time. You simply eat me; there is no need to find any excuse.”
In such simple parables, Aesop has done miracles. He has said so much about man.