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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Art of Dying
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Chapter 1: Know How to Live

So the first thing, or the most fundamental thing is: how to live.

Let me tell you a few things. First: your life is your life, it is nobody else’s. So don’t allow yourself to be dominated by others, don’t allow yourself to be dictated to by others; it is a betrayal of life. If you allow yourself to be dictated to by others - maybe your parents, your society, your education system, your politicians, your priests, whosoever they are - if you allow yourself to be dominated by others you will miss your life. Because the domination comes from outside and life is within you. They never meet.

I am not saying that you should become a no-sayer to each and everything. That too is not of much help. There are two types of people. One is a very obedient type, ready to surrender to any and everybody. They don’t have any independent soul in them; they are immature, childish, always searching for a father-figure, for somebody to tell them what to do and what not to do. They are not able to trust their own being. These people are the greater part of the world, the masses.

Then there are, against these people, a small minority who reject society, who reject the values of the society. They think they are rebellious. They are not, they are only reactionaries. Because whether you listen to society or you reject society, if society remains in either way the determining factor, then you are dominated by the society.

Let me tell you an anecdote.

Once Mulla Nasruddin had been away for a while and arrived back in town wearing a long beard. His friends naturally kidded him about the beard and asked him how he happened to acquire the fur-piece. The Mulla with the beard began to complain and curse the thing in no uncertain terms. His friends were amazed at the way he talked and asked him why he continued to wear the beard if he did not like it.

“I hate the blasted thing!” the Mulla told them.

“If you hate it then why don’t you shave it off and get rid of it?” one of his friends asked.

A devilish gleam shone in the eyes of the Mulla as he answered, “Because my wife hates it too!”

But that does not make you free. The hippies, the yippies and others, they are not really rebellious people, they are reactionaries. They have reacted against the society. A few are obedient, a few are disobedient, but the center of domination is the same. A few obey, a few disobey, but nobody looks at his own soul.

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