And why did he commit suicide? He committed suicide…that too has a tremendous significance. It is no ordinary suicide. In fact, a man like van Gogh cannot do anything in an ordinary way. He committed suicide because he said, “Whatsoever I wanted to paint, I have painted. Now, just to exist is pointless. I have given that which I came to give; now I can go back to the original source. There is no need to live in the body anymore. I have contributed.”
Years and years passed, then slowly slowly he was appreciated. Now he is thought to be one of the greatest painters in the world.
And this has been so with all the geniuses. In their own time they are condemned – condemned by the masses, condemned by the crowd, condemned by the priests, condemned by the politicians. They are appreciated by only very few people – sensitive, receptive, intelligent – only by very few people who have the capacity to see something that is new, unknown, that has never happened before; only by very few people who can put their minds aside and look.
I would like you to be creative, but don’t be bothered about appreciation, don’t be bothered that you will be gaining fame, name through it. Whenever the motive is to gain something out of creativity, you are no more interested in it. You become a technician; you are no more an artist. You may do the painting, and you may do it perfectly, technically perfectly, but it will not have the soul, it will not be alive, because you will not be there. You will be looking all around for the appreciators to come. And you will always paint accordingly, so that they can appreciate.
There are people who say only that which people want to hear. These people will be very famous, known, appreciated, respected, but they are mediocre people. The genius speaks that which arises in his heart; he does not care a bit whether anybody is going to like it or not. He says it straight, he says it direct – he never thinks of the results and the consequences.
Be creative in that sense and your creativity will become an offering to existence. Existence has given you so many gifts; something has to be done just in deep thankfulness. But remember: with no motive, not as a means but as an end unto itself. Art for art’s sake, and creation for creation’s sake, and love for love’s sake, and prayer for prayer’s sake.
And that’s how one, slowly slowly, becomes religious. The religious person lives in the moment; he has no worry about the future, not even about the next moment. When it comes, it will come. He does not prepare for it. He lives this moment, and out of this moment the next will be born. And if this moment has been beautiful, if this moment has been a benediction, the next is going to be, of course, a deeper benediction, a greater blessing.
You say: “I have this feeling that I need to do to be worthy.”
The need to do can be a gut-feeling, because we have too much energy and the energy wants to dance, the energy wants to paint, the energy wants to sing, the energy wants to do something. But this can’t be a gut-feeling: “I need to do to be worthy.” That is a feeling that has been put inside you – like scientists put electrodes in the brain and then a person can be manipulated.