Each action that you do or even think about has its own ways of persisting again and again, because it creates a channel into your being. It starts absorbing energy from you. You are angry, then the mood goes and you think that you are angry no more; then you miss the point. When the mood has gone nothing has happened; only the wheel has moved and the spoke that was up has gone down. The anger was there on the surface a few minutes ago, the anger has now gone down into the unconscious, into the depth of your being. It will wait for its time to come again. If you have acted according to it, you have reinforced it, you have again given a lease for its life. You have again given it a power, an energy. It is throbbing like a seed under the soil waiting for the right opportunity and season, then it will sprout.
Every action is self-perpetuating, every thought is self-perpetuating. Once you cooperate with it, you are giving energy to it. Sooner or later it will become a habitual form. You will do it and you will not be the doer; you will do it just because of the force of habit. People say that habit is second nature. This is not exaggeration. On the contrary, this is an understatement. In fact, habit finally becomes first nature and nature becomes secondary. Nature becomes just like an appendix in a book, or footnotes. Habit becomes the main part, the main body of the book.
You live through the habit; that means that the habit lives basically through you. The habit itself persists, it has an energy of its own. Of course it takes the energy from you, but you cooperated in the past, you are cooperating in the present. By and by, the habit will become the master and you will be just a servant, a shadow. The habit will give the commandments, the orders, and you will be just an obedient servant. You will have to follow it.
It happened that one Hindu mystic, Eknath, was going for a pilgrimage. The pilgrimage was going to last for at least one year because he had to visit all the sacred places of the country. Of course, it was a privilege to be with Eknath, so many people, a thousand people, were travelling with him. The thief of the town also came and said, “I know that I am a thief and not worthy enough to be a member of your religious group, but give me a chance also. I would like to come for the pilgrimage.” Eknath said, “It will be difficult, because one year is a long time and you may start stealing people’s things. You may cause trouble. Please drop this idea.” But the thief was insistent. He said, “For one year I will drop stealing, but I have to come. And I promise you that for one year I will not steal a single thing from anybody.” Eknath agreed.
But within a week trouble started, and the trouble was this: things started disappearing from people’s luggage, and even more puzzling – because nobody was stealing them – things would disappear from somebody’s bag and they would be found in somebody else’s bag after a few days. The man in whose bag they would be found would say, “I have not done anything. I really don’t know how these things have come to be in my bag.”