The old wise man laughed. He said, “There is not much of a problem, don’t be worried. Do just one thing, and then come after seven days: start saying no to everything. Start questioning all and everything. If somebody says, ‘Look, look at the sunset, how beautiful it is!’ immediately ask, ‘Where is there any beauty? I don’t see any – prove it! What is beauty? There is no beauty in the world, it is all nonsense!’ Insist on proof; say, ‘Prove where beauty is. Let me see it, let me touch it! Give me a definition.’ If somebody says, ‘The music is ecstatic,’ immediately jump in and ask, ‘What is ecstasy? What is music? Define your terms clearly. I don’t believe in ecstasy. It is all foolishness, all illusion. And music is nothing but noise.”
“Do this with everything, and after seven days come to me. Be negative, ask questions – questions which cannot be answered: ‘What is beauty? What is love? What is ecstasy? What is life? What is death? What is God?’”
After seven days the idiot came to the wise man, followed by many, many people. He was garlanded and beautifully dressed. The wise man asked, “What happened?”
And the idiot said, “It was magic! Now the whole city thinks that I am the wisest man in the world. Everybody thinks I am a great philosopher, a great thinker. And I have silenced everybody; people have become afraid of me. In my presence they remain silent, because whatsoever they say, I immediately turn into a question and I become absolutely negative. Your trick worked!”
And the wise man asked, “Who are these people who are following you?”
He said, “These are my disciples, they want to learn from me what wisdom is!”
This is how it is, the mind lives in the no, it is a no-sayer. Its nourishment comes from saying no to all and everything. The mind is basically atheistic, negative. There is nothing like a positive mind.
The heart is positive; just as mind says no, the heart says yes. Of course, it is better to say yes than to say no, because one cannot really live by saying no. The more you say no, the more you become shrunken, closed. The more you say no, the less alive you are. People may think you are a great thinker, but you are shrinking and dying; you are slowly committing suicide.
If you say no to love, you are less than you were before; if you say no to beauty, you are less than you were before. And if you go on saying no to all and everything, chunk by chunk you are disappearing. Ultimately a very empty life is left – meaningless, with no significance, with no joy, with no dance, with no celebration.
That’s what has happened to the modern mind, to the modern man. The modern man has said more no’s than ever before. Hence the questions: “What is the meaning of life? Why are we alive at all? Why go on living?” We have said no to God, we have said no to the beyond, we have said no to all for which man has lived down the ages. We have proved to our heart’s content that all the values man has lived for are worthless. But now we are in difficulty, in deep anguish. Life has become more and more impossible for us. We go on living only because we are cowards; otherwise we have destroyed all the reasons to live. We go on living because we cannot commit suicide; we are afraid of death, hence we go on living. We live out of fear, not out of love.