The first question:
I frequently hear a question being asked about the ashram…there is so much vitality here now and so much creativity with all these shows and music and fashions and crafts, as well as events happening abroad, that people are wondering what will happen when you are gone.
When you leave your body will the ashram become a dead institution, and will you just become deified and forgotten?
My concern is the immediate, this moment. Beyond this moment nothing exists. The only time that is existential is now and the only space that matters is here. So I don’t care what happens in the future – neither the past nor the future have any validity.
But that is the way of the mind: the mind can only think in terms of past and future, the mind cannot experience the present; it deviates from the present continuously. The mind is like a pendulum: it moves to the left, the far left, or to the right, the far right. Either it is leftist or rightist – and my whole approach is to be exactly in the middle.
The word for the middle which Gautam the Buddha used is very beautiful: he called majjim nikaya, “the way of the exact middle.” If you can keep the pendulum in the middle, the clock stops. The clock represents the mind – and not just literally, not just as a metaphor; mind is time. Time consists of two tenses, not three. The present is not part of time; the past is time, the future is time. The present is the penetration of the beyond into the world of time.
You can think of time as a horizontal line. A is followed by b, b is followed by c, c is followed by d, and so on and so forth: it is a linear progression. Existence is not horizontal, existence is vertical. Existence does not move in a line – from a to b, from b to c – existence moves in intensity: from a to a deeper a, from the deeper a to an even deeper a. It is diving into the moment.
Time conceived of as past and future is the language of the mind – and the mind can only create problems, it knows no solutions. All the problems that humanity is burdened with are the mind’s inventions. Existence is a mystery, not a problem. It has not to be solved, it has to be lived.
I am living my moment. I don’t care a bit about what happens later on. It may look very irresponsible to you because my criterion of responsibility is diametrically opposite to people’s idea of so-called responsibility. I am responsible to the moment, to existence – and responsible not in the sense of being dutiful to it, responsible in the sense that I respond totally, spontaneously. Whatsoever the situation is, I am utterly in tune with it. While I am alive I am alive, when I am dead I will be dead. I don’t see any question at all.