This is a state which is pre-mind and pre-self. There is no mind yet. The mind is growing but is not a complete phenomenon; it is very vague, ambiguous, dark, nebulous. The self is on the way but still is only on the way; there are no clear-cut definitions of it. The child does not know himself as separate yet. Adam, before he ate the fruit, was part of God. He was in the womb, he was obedient, a yea-sayer, but he was not independent. Independence enters only through the door of no; through the door of yes, only dependence. So in this stage of the camel there is dependence, helplessness. The other is more important than your own being: God is more important, father is more important, mother is more important, society is more important, the priest is more important, the politician is more important. Except you, everybody is important; the other is important, you are still not there. It is a very unconscious state. The majority of the people are stuck there; they remain camels. Almost ninety-nine percent of people remain camels.
This is a very sad state of affairs – that ninety-nine percent of human beings remain as larvae. That’s why there is so much misery and no joy. And you can go on searching for joy but you will not find it, because joy is not given there, outside. Unless you become a child – attain the third stage – unless you become a butterfly, you will not be able to know joy. Joy is not something given outside, it is a vision that grows inside you. It is possible only in the third stage.
The first state is of misery and the third state is of bliss, and between the two is the state of the lion – which is sometimes miserable and sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful and sometimes pleasurable.
At the stage of the camel you are parrots. You are just memories, nothing else. Your whole life consists of beliefs given to you by others. This is where you will find the Christians and the Mohammedans and the Hindus and the Jainas and the Buddhists. Go into the churches and the temples and the mosques and you will find great gatherings of camels. You will not find a single human being. They go on repeating, parrotlike.
I have heard a story:
The story is told of a medieval knight who attended a course at the local dragon-slaying school. Several other young knights also attended this special class taught by Merlin, the magician.
Our anti-hero went to Merlin the first day to let him know that he would probably not do well in the course because he was a coward and was sure he would be much too frightened and inept ever to be able to slay a dragon. Merlin said he need not worry because there was a magic dragon-slaying sword which he would give this cowardly young knight. With such a sword in hand there was no way that anyone could fail in slaying any dragon. The knight was delighted to have this official magic prop with which any knight, no matter how worthless, could kill a dragon. From the first field trip on, magic sword in hand, the cowardly knight slew dragon after dragon, freeing one maiden after another.
One day, toward the end of the term, Merlin sprung a pop quiz on the class which the young knight was attending. The students were to go out in the field and kill a dragon that very day. In the flurry of excitement as all the young knights rushed off to prove their mettle, our anti-hero grabbed the wrong sword from the rack. Soon he found himself at the mouth of a cave from which he was to free a bound maiden. Her fire-breathing captor came rushing out. Not knowing that he had picked the wrong weapon, the young knight drew back his sword in preparation for undoing the charging dragon. As he was about to strike he noticed that he had taken the wrong sword. No magic sword this, just your ordinary adequate-for-good-knights-only sword.