What is the difference between obeying the master and following his guidance?
The question is complex. In the first place, the master does not expect to be obeyed but to be understood. He does not give you guidelines either. In his presence, your loving heart finds them.
It means that those who order and expect that their orders should be followed, complied with, are not authentic masters. The master is not a commander. He does not issue things like “Ten Commandments.” Certainly, he explains to you his experience, his realization, and then it is up to your intelligence to do whatever is right. It is not a direct order, it is an appeal to your intelligence.
An order never cares about your intelligence, an order never wants you to understand anything. The basic purpose of all ordering of people is to reduce them into robots. All over the world, in every army, they are turning millions of people into machines – of course, in such a way that you don’t understand what is going on. Their methodology is very indirect. What does it mean that thousands of people every morning are marching, following orders – “Right turn, left turn, move forward, move backward” – for what is all this circus going on? And for years it goes on. It is in order to destroy your intelligence.
The strategy is that if for years continuously you go on following any kind of stupid thing, meaningless, every day in the morning, every day in the evening, and you are not supposed to ask why – you just have to do it, to do it as perfectly as possible – there is no need for you to understand why. And when a person goes through such a training for years, the natural effect is that he stops asking why. And why? – because the questioning attitude is the very base of all intelligence. The moment you stop asking why, you have stopped growing as far as intelligence is concerned.
It happened in the Second World War:
A retired army man… He had fought in the First World War, and he was honored well; he was a brave man. And now almost twenty-five years had passed. He had a small farm and lived silently.
He was going from the farm to his house with a bucket full of eggs, and a few people in a restaurant, just jokingly, played a trick on the poor old army man. One of the men in the restaurant shouted, “Attention!” and the man dropped the bucket and stood in the position of attention.
It had been twenty-five years since he had gone through the training. But the training had gone into the bones, into the blood, into the marrow; it had become part of the unconscious. He completely forgot what he was doing – it happened almost autonomously, mechanically.