Chapter 8: Laughter: Love, Joy, Gratitude
There are millions of people who don’t feel any wonder in life. They will see a roseflower and yet they will not see anything - no beauty, no awe. They will not even stop for a single moment. The rose seems to have no message for them, as if they have not seen it at all.
Every day you pass by beautiful trees, birds singing in the early morning sun, flowers releasing their fragrance, but you are a robot. You go on chattering inside your mind, yakkety-yakkety-yak.you go on and on. And what you are chattering inside has been put inside you. Your mind has been used like a computer: just as they feed a computer they have fed you.
In communist Russia they will feed you with communism. They will also teach you the holy trinity, their own holy trinity. They will teach you their own Bible, they will teach you their own religion. Communism is a religion, a substitute for other religions. Marx, Engels, Lenin, that is their trinity; Das Kapital is their Bible. And they believe in all these things as fanatically as any Catholic, any Hindu, any Mohammedan. The Mohammedan believes in Kaaba and the communist believes in the Kremlin. The objects differ, but the belief is there. Both are knowledgeable, both have lost their purity, their innocence, their childlike quality.
Once you are full of knowledge you think you know all the answers. You don’t know anything because unless you know yourself, nothing is known. And the beauty of self-knowledge is that it deepens the mystery of life, it does not demystify it; it makes it more mysterious, more miraculous. The person of wisdom, one who has dug deep into his own consciousness, becomes more and more full of wonder and awe. But the ordinarily knowledgeable person goes on living in absolute unawareness; nothing makes him wonder. He knows all the answers.
A dog walked into a restaurant and ordered a steak.
“How would you like it cooked?” asked the waiter.
“I like it well done, with crushed cherries on top. Then put some marinated tomatoes on it and soak it in pepper.”
The waiter brought the food.
“Did you enjoy your dinner?” the waiter asked when he was finished.
“Very much,” answered the dog. “By the way, don’t you think this is all very odd?”
“No,” answered the waiter, “I like my steak the same way.”
The waiter knows too much about the steak - he is not looking at the dog at all.