Recently I heard you say that transcendence of life’s misery and confusion can occur by either a let-go of life or by fight – as long as either is done with totality. Mahavira’s way was fight, and yours is let-go. Could you say more about let-go and its relationship to intelligence and responsibility? I don’t have this understanding, and my life seems to be an odd mixture of let-go and fight. Let-go seems more natural, and fight seems more responsible.
It is not only your question, it is everybody’s question – a mixture of let-go and fight. But your let-go is not my let-go; your let-go is simply a defeatist attitude. Basically you want to fight, but there are situations where you cannot fight, or perhaps you have come to the very end of your energy for fighting. Then, to cover up your defeat, you start thinking of let-go. Your let-go is not true, it is phony.
Real let-go is not against fight. Real let-go is absence of fighting. You cannot mix real let-go with fighting attitudes, for the simple reason that the presence of let-go means the absence of a fighting attitude. How can you mix something which is present with something which is absent? Just as you cannot mix light and darkness, however great an artist you may be – you cannot mix light and darkness for the simple reason that darkness is only an absence of light. You cannot bring them together; only one can be present.
So the first thing to remember is that the basic attitude of every human being is to fight. So don’t think of it particularly as your problem. It will help you immensely to understand that it is a human problem. Then you can stand aloof and watch it, observe it, understand it.
Fighting is a basic attitude because it feeds the ego. The more you fight, the more your ego becomes stronger. If you become victorious the ego has great joy. You are giving life to the ego by your victories. On the other hand, as the ego becomes stronger, your being is receding farther and farther away from you.
As your ego becomes stronger you are losing yourself. You may be fighting and being victorious, not knowing at all that it is not a gain but a loss. Each child is taught to fight in different ways. Competition is a fight, to come first in your class is a fight, to win a trophy in a game is a fight. These are preparations for your life. Then fight in the elections, fight for money, fight for prestige. This whole society is based on fighting, competition, struggle, putting each individual against the whole. So it is almost everybody’s situation.
Then you listen to me about let-go. Let-go means no competition, no struggle, no fight…just relaxing with existence, wherever it leads. Not trying to control your future, not trying to control consequences, but allowing them to happen…not even thinking about them. Let-go is in the present; consequences are tomorrow. And let-go is such a delightful experience, a total relaxation, a deep synchronicity with existence.
I am reminded of a parable. I call it a parable because it is so good it cannot be true. In the East, the name of Majnu is very famous. It is a Sufi story – perhaps nobody of that name existed, but it is irrelevant whether he existed or not. He has become the symbolic lover: