The first question:
I feel like such a no-sayer. Is there any hope for no-sayers?
No-saying is a good beginning, but not a good end. No-saying is the seed; yes-saying is the flowering of it. The yes has to come through the no – the no is the womb of the yes. If you cannot say no, your yes will be impotent. It won’t have any meaning at all, it won’t transform your life. It will be just on your lips, not in your heart.
That’s what has happened to the whole of humanity. People have been forced to become yea-sayers, theists, God-believers, without ever knowing the taste of no. The yes has been forced upon them. They have not arrived at the yes, the yes has been handed over to them, it is borrowed.
It is a mere belief, and all beliefs are blind. They keep you blind, they keep you in darkness. They keep you stuck and stagnant.
There is nothing wrong in saying no. No has as much beauty as yes. No is the way to arrive at yes. Use the no as a stepping-stone. Don’t let it become a habit; be conscious about it, that’s all. I cannot say to you to start saying yes, because that will be not yet ripe for you. Go on saying no as long as the no remains significant to you. The no will destroy all that is false, borrowed. It will negate all beliefs. It will create an empty space in you.
In the East we call the whole process neti, neti – neither this nor that. We have never condemned it.
It cleans you of all rubbish, it purifies you. It is a fire. Passing through it is a necessary step you cannot avoid. Those who avoid passing through it, their yes is just parrotlike. You can teach the parrot anything and he will go on repeating it. He does not mean it. He has no heart within it, he simply says the words – empty words, hollow words.
A man was purchasing a parrot. He went to the pet shop. He liked one parrot – very beautiful. He asked the price. The price appeared to be a little too much: the man was asking one thousand dollars.
The purchaser asked, “Is that parrot worth that much?”
The shopkeeper said, “You can ask the parrot himself.”
He asked the parrot, and the parrot said, “There is no doubt about it.”
He said it so convincingly. It appeared so natural. The man purchased the parrot, and he was very excited to show it to his wife, to his children. He brought the parrot home.
He asked the parrot, “What is your name?”
He said, “There is no doubt about it.”