A man is born; he is pure freedom. He has no essence, only existence. Then he will choose his essence, whom he is going to be – and it will be his choice. He can be a saint, he can be a sinner; he can be a criminal, he can be a murderer, or he can be a martyr. He brings pure existence into the world – a blank sheet, a pure canvas. What colors he is going to use, and what sort of painting he is going to make of his life, is totally up to him. He does not bring a character. He simply brings a potentiality, pure potentiality. And this pure potentiality always remains pure; you cannot corrupt it. You become a saint: that means you decide that to be a saint is going to be your essence. But this is your decision, and if you want to keep it up to the very end of your life, every morning, in fact, every minute of your existence, you will have to decide again and again and vote for it. Any moment you stop deciding, any moment you say, “Enough is enough, now I want to change,” nobody is barring the path. You can cancel your whole past in a single moment, because that past was your decision, nobody else’s. It is not like a destiny forced from above, from outside. It is your own inner decision. You can change it.
That’s why nothing ever disappears. You can become a sinner, but tomorrow you may again change. You can again take the vow of a Catholic priest and become a priest again, become celibate. Try to understand this. This has tremendous implications for your life.
Don’t throw the responsibility on anybody else. Nobody else is a deciding factor, neither your mother nor your father. Whatsoever the psychoanalysts say is really irrelevant to your being. It is for you to decide. Even the people who are mad are mad because of their own decision. Somehow they found it to be convenient. Somehow they decided; they voted for it. Nobody has forced them. Nobody can force anybody because the innermost quality of being is freedom. It is not something accidental; it is your very nature.
You have been smoking up to now. For thirty years you may have been a chain smoker and you come to me and you ask, “What to do? How to stop?” You are asking a wrong question. In fact, you don’t want to stop. Go deep into your own mind: you don’t want to stop; you are playing a game. You don’t want to stop but you want to show people that you want to stop. Or, this very idea that you want to stop gives you a very, very good image about yourself. Then you go on saying, “What can I do? It has become such a long habit; I cannot stop, though I want to stop.” This is simple, sheer foolishness and stupidity. You are not deceiving anybody except yourself. If you really want to stop, there is no need to do anything about it. The very decision that you want to stop is enough: the half-smoked cigarette in your hand will drop of its own accord. But you remain free. That does not mean that again tomorrow you cannot take it up. You remain free; nobody can bind you. Again tomorrow you can take it up. Then please, don’t start saying that it is because of old habit: “I tried my best, and I had stopped, and for twenty-four hours I didn’t smoke. But because of a thirty-year-old habit, I am again taking it up. The urge is too much.”