Don’t repeat, don’t imitate. Remember one thing: you have to respond always in a fresh way. The situation may be old, but you are not to be old. You have to remain young and fresh. Just try new responses. They will not be as efficient as mechanical responses, but efficiency is not a great value in spiritual life…freshness is.
A rabbi and a minister were sitting together on a plane. The stewardess came up to them and asked, “Would you care for a cocktail?”
“Sure,” said the rabbi. “Please bring a Manhattan.”
“Fine, sir,” said the stewardess. “And you Reverend?”
“Young lady,” he said, “before I touch strong drink, I would just as soon commit adultery.”
“I’ve missed,” said the rabbi.” “As long as there is a choice, I will have what he’s having.”
People are imitative and imitation is bound to be unintelligent. They want to do exactly the things which others are doing. That destroys their freshness. Do things in your own style; live your life according to your own light. And even if the same situation arises, be alert to find a new response.
It is only a question of a little alertness, and once you have started enjoying…and it is really a great joy to respond to old situations always in a new way, because that newness keeps you young, keeps you conscious, keeps you non-mechanical, keeps you alive.
Don’t be repetitive. But when I am saying don’t be repetitive, I don’t mean in the ordinary life, in the marketplace; there, repetition is the rule. But in the inner world, the freshness of your response is the law.
I have noticed that when you leave the discourse and pass through the door, you often look to your left. Are you simply saying “hello” to the ghost?
I have to. That room, Anando’s room, has so many ghosts. I had not told Anando when she came into the room for the first time – but how long can you hide a fact? The ghosts started declaring themselves. In the middle of the night, they would wake her. They would knock – she would jump out of her bed. And she was afraid to tell anybody what was the matter. Finally she gathered courage and asked me, “What is the matter? Suddenly, in the middle of the night, somebody knocks, and if I don’t jump up, he tries to pull my leg.”
I said, “Nothing to be worried about. It is a very nice assembly of ghosts.” I keep them in Anando’s room just so they can also listen to the discourse – in fact, it is their room. They are not ghosts, they are the hosts – Anando is the guest. But she was very much afraid I said, “You don’t be afraid. Start introducing yourself to them.”
She said, “But what will others think?”