A man came to me who had been working for years on a certain hypothesis in many countries of the world: particularly in the West, and more particularly in America, the number thirteen is not thought to be good. There are hotels in America where the thirteenth floor does not exist; from the twelfth floor you simply come to the fourteenth. The number thirteen is avoided, no room has the number thirteen; from the twelfth you immediately reach the fourteenth, because nobody wants to live in the thirteenth room or on the thirteenth floor. A great fear – the idea that the number thirteen has something evil in it.
And this man was working and collecting all kinds of data, and he had collected really huge, mountainous data to support how many accidents happen on the thirteenth of every month, how many people die on the thirteenth, how many people commit suicide, how many people murder, how many people go mad.
And he was showing his great thesis to me, and he said, “What do you say?”
I said, “You do one thing more. You have put so much energy into it, now try one thing more. Now find out what happens on the twelfth! And you will come to the same data, because on the twelfth also people go mad, commit suicide, murder, rob. Everything happens every day, but if you have a certain fixed attitude then you will choose according to that attitude. And of course when you have so much information and argument you feel certain that your attitude is right.”
I teach you a life without any attitudes. This is one of the fundamentals of my experience: if you really want to know that which is, then drop all philosophy, all “ism.” Then go open-handed, utterly naked into the sun to see what it is.
In the past it was thought that our senses are doors, that the reality reaches from our senses to our innermost being. Now the latest research shows something else: our senses are not just doors, they are guards also. Only two percent of information is allowed to pass in, ninety-eight is prevented outside. Anything that goes against your idea of life is prevented and only two percent filters in.
Now, to live a life of only two percent is not to live at all. When one can live a hundred percent, why decide to live for only two percent?
You ask me: “Is it important to have some kind of attitude towards life?”
Not only is it not important, it is dangerous to have any attitude towards life. Why not allow life to have its dance, its song, without any expectations? Why can’t we live without expectations? Why can’t we see that which is in its purity? Why should we impose ourselves upon it? And nobody is going to be the loser. If you impose upon life you are the only loser.
From London comes the story of the three professors of literature who, while returning from luncheon, encountered several ladies of pleasure who were patrolling the street, en masse.
“What might one call such a congregation?” mused the first professor, a Shakespearean specialist. “A flourish of strumpets?”
The second professor, being an authority on the novels of Anthony Trollope, naturally contributed, “A chapter of trollops.”
But the best description came from the youngest and the least specialized of the professors. He called the ladies “an anthology of pros.”