You are asking, “There is a beautiful small boy within me, whom I have neglected for a long time. This small boy is playful, curious, and ecstatic – but most of the time I do not allow him to lose control.” What is the fear? The fear is implanted by others: always remain in control, always remain disciplined, always respect those who are older than you. Always follow the priest, the parents, the teachers – they know what is right for you. Your nature is never allowed to have its say.
Slowly, slowly you start carrying a dead child within yourself. This dead child within you destroys your sense of humor: you cannot laugh with your total heart, you cannot play, you cannot enjoy the small things of life. You become so serious that your life, rather then expanding, starts shrinking.
I have always wondered why Christianity has become the world’s greatest religion. Again and again I have come to the conclusion that it is because of the cross and the crucified Jesus – so sad, so serious; naturally…you cannot expect Jesus to be smiling on the cross. And millions of people have found a similarity between themselves and Jesus on the cross.
Its seriousness, its sadness, has been the reason that Christianity has spread more than any other religion.
I would like our churches and temples, our mosques, our synagogues to become nonserious, more playful, full of laughter and joy. That would bring to humanity a more healthy, wholesome, integrated soul.
But you are here…. At least being my sannyasin you need not carry your cross on your shoulders. Drop the cross. I teach you to dance, to sing, to play.
Life should be, each moment, a precious creativity. What you create does not matter – it may be just sand castles on the seashore – but whatever you do should come out of your playfulness and joy.
Your child should never be allowed to die. Nourish it, and don’t be afraid that it will go out of control. Where can it go? And even if it goes out of control – so what? What can you do out of control? You can dance like a madman, laugh like a madman; you can jump and jog like a madman…people may think you are mad, but that is their problem. If you are enjoying it, if your life is nourished by it, then it does not matter, even if it becomes a problem for the rest of the world.
In my college days I used to go for a morning walk very early, three o’clock, four o’clock in the morning. Just beside my house was a small street with bamboo groves, very dark…. And that was the best place, because it was very rare to meet anybody there…just one watchman from a rich man’s house used to see me.
But one day – this is what perhaps you would call going out of control – I was jogging along the street and the idea came to me that it would be good if I jogged backwards. In India there is a superstition that ghosts walk backwards, but I had completely forgotten that, and anyway there was nobody on the street…so I started jogging backwards. I was enjoying it so much, and it was such a cool morning.