From your very childhood you have been told, you have been hypnotized, by the society, by the priests, by the politicians, by your parents, by the pedagogues. You have been hypnotized continuously that you should have a goal in your life, that you should have some purpose, that you should be a great achiever, that you have to be famous – a Nobel prize winner or something – that you are not to die just an ordinary man. To die just an ordinary man is ugly; you have to die like a president or a prime minister – as if their death has something special!
Because of this constant hammering on your head you have become so much accustomed to the idea that it is driving you crazy. Otherwise, life is so beautiful as it is; no purpose, no goal is needed. Future can be completely dropped. You live in the future just to escape from the present, and you become so psychologically obsessed with the future that you go on missing that which is for that which is not.
Among the first things that a Jewish boy learns is the biblical injunction: “Honor thy father and mother – or else!”
Herschel, aged six, was reminded of the admonition the day his father came home and announced that he had decided to buy a car, the first his family had ever owned.
The father was in high spirits. “Imagine, we are in this country only a few years and soon we will own a new car,” he said proudly. “I can just see us riding around in Central Park. In the front I am steering, and sitting next to me is Mamma, and in the back is our little Herschel.”
Mamma nodded, smiling her approval. “So, when are you planning to buy the car?” she asked.
“In two weeks, a month maybe – no later.”
The pleasant interlude was suddenly shattered by Herschel’s mournful cry, “I don’t wanna sit in the back! I wanna sit in the front and help steer!”
“Only one steerer we need in this family,” the father reminded his son. “In the front sits Mamma, in the back sits you.”
“If I have to sit in the back I will bang my head on the wall, you will see!” wailed Herschel. He ran to the wall and assumed a threatening pose, ready to give action to his words. “Mamma is sitting in the back, I am sitting in the front!”
“No, Herschel, you are in the back,” said the father sternly.
“In the front, not in the back!” Herschel’s voice rose in a sudden screech. “I ain’t gonna sit in the back!”
Father, his manner grim, extended his arm and pointed a commanding finger. “Herschel,” he said coldly, “get out of my car!”
People go on living in the future!
And the same is the case with your paradise, just like the car. The same is the case with your nirvana, your enlightenment – the same as with the car.