Chapter 5: You Have to Go Nowhere
I feel divided in two parts - half going towards the unknown, and half towards all that is familiar from my past. When I get close to letting go of what I believe is mine, I panic - even though I yearn to go to the place you talk about. Please give me courage to take the next step.
The real question is not of courage, the real question is that you don’t understand that the known is the dead, and the unknown is the living.
Clinging to the known is clinging to a corpse. It does not need courage to drop the clinging; in fact it needs courage to go on clinging to a corpse. You just have to see. That which is familiar to you, which you have lived - what has it given? Where have you reached? Are you not still empty? Is there not immense discontent, a deep frustration and meaninglessness? Somehow you go on managing, hiding the truth and creating lies to remain engaged, involved.
This is the question: to see with clarity that everything that you know is of the past, it is already gone, it is part of a graveyard - do you want to be in a grave, or do you want to be alive? And this is not only the question today; it will be the same question tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. It will be the same question at the last breath.
Whatever you know, accumulate - information, knowledge, experience - the moment you have explored them you are finished with them. Now carrying those empty words, that dead load, is crushing your life, burdening your life, preventing you from entering into a living, rejoicing being - which is awaiting you each moment.
The man of understanding dies to the past every moment and is reborn again to the future. His present is always a transformation, a rebirth, a resurrection. It is not a question of courage at all, that is the first thing to be understood. It is a question of clarity, of being clear about what is what.
Secondly, whenever there is really a question of courage, nobody can give it to you. It is not something that can be presented as a gift. It is something that you are born with, you just have not allowed it to grow, you have not allowed it to assert itself, because the whole society is against it.
The society does not want lions, it wants a crowd of sheep. Then it is easy to enslave people, exploit people, do whatever you want to do with them. They don’t have a soul; they are almost robots. You order, and they will obey. They are not free individuals.
No society wants you to be courageous. Every society wants you to be a coward. Nobody says it so sincerely; they have found beautiful words to replace it. They will not say, “Be cowardly,” because that will look offensive to the person and he will start thinking, “Why should I be cowardly?” - and a coward is not something respectable.