I am remembering the story you told the other day about the archer. Can you tell us more about how to have this attitude when spreading your words in a world of negativity and opposition toward you? Is there a fightless fight?
There is a fightless fight, an actionless action, an effortless effort. That’s the very soul of religiousness. Logically it looks absurd to say “effortless effort,” but existentially it is possible and is one of the most beautiful experiences.
Whenever you are spontaneous it means you are not acting according to a preplanned idea. In fact you were not ready, prepared, to do anything; the action has come as a response, on its own accord.
You will have to understand these few words. First is the distinction between reaction and response. Reaction is dominated by the other person. He insults you: you get angry, and then you act out of anger. This is reaction. You are not an independent person; anybody can pull you this way or that way. You are easily affected. You can be blackmailed emotionally.
Reaction is an emotional blackmail. You were not angry. The man insulted you – his insult created anger – and now out of anger comes your action.
Response is out of freedom.
It is not dependent on the other person.
The other person may insult you, but you don’t become angry; on the contrary you meditate on the fact – why is he insulting you? Perhaps he is right. Then you have to be grateful to him, not get angry. Perhaps he is wrong. If he is wrong, then for his wrong why should you burn your heart with anger?
And only two are the possibilities: either he is right or he is wrong. In either case anger is irrelevant. If he is right, and that is possible to see only if there is no anger in you…anger clouds the eyes, the vision, the clarity…. If you see he is right, you will bow down to him and be grateful to him, because he was favoring you by telling a truth about you which nobody has told you. Perhaps he was saying that you are a coward: you take his statement and inquire within yourself and you find the coward.
In this so-called polite society, people don’t talk straightforwardly. They don’t say things which they see; they only say things which will make good conversation.
The English people are very alert. They only talk about the weather; never about religion, politics – those are loaded with emotions. About the weather, who cares? It is nobody’s belief, it is nobody’s religion, and anyway it is reality, available to you both. It makes a good subject for conversation, no question of argument.
But my people have to understand that we are not a polite society; that our devotion is toward sincerity, authenticity; that we want to say what is truthful.