When I said this to one of my professors, he was shocked. He said, “I am not insulting you. To have a destiny is not an insult, it is the most honorable thing in life.”
I said, “It may be for you because you don’t understand what you are saying. Destiny means predetermined; my tomorrow is already predetermined by somebody. I have not even been consulted – as if it is none of my concern, I am nobody, just some playing cards in somebody’s hands; whatsoever he wants he makes out of me. Whatever game he plays, that is my destiny. And this is thought to be respectful?”
And the professor was not saying something crazy. That is what is thought all around the world. I said, “I can understand why you are shocked, because you have never thought about the word destiny. How can I have a destiny? I have not determined it. Then who is the guy who determines it? And what right has he got to determine it? He has not even asked me. I don’t know him, we have not even been introduced. Just for courtesy’s sake he could have asked me, ‘This is going to be your destiny – do you like it or not?’ But nobody has even bothered that much.”
Man has no destiny.
And I say unto you that it is only man who has not any destiny. Dogs have; buffaloes have; donkeys have. They move on certain rails. Each donkey throughout millions of years has lived the same routine life: the birth, the love affair, and the difficulties of marriage, children, old age, all hopes shattered, all dreams unfulfilled, and the darkness of death. All the donkeys have lived that way, they are still living that way – but not man.
In fact, I want to say to you that all men are not behaving like men. A few are behaving like monkeys, a few are behaving like Yankees, but none even tries to assert, “I am a man.” But that assertion contains so much, it is almost immeasurable.
So first: man has no destiny. Once you understand it, almost all your problems disappear. I say “almost” – perhaps ninety-nine percent disappear; one percent remains. I want it to remain. Ninety-nine percent of your problems are created by deviating you, by driving you into ways which are not for you. But whenever I said that this is an insult, the reaction was the same – a shock.
Slowly I became aware that people don’t use words consciously. What they are saying is almost like a parrot, perhaps worse than a parrot.
I am reminded of a story. A Christian priest went into a pet shop. His own parrot had died, and that was his only companion. He was a celibate: no wife to quarrel with, no children to be engaged with. How long can you live with God alone? Once every week, Sunday morning, is good, but for the remaining six days, when the whole world goes to work…and even God worked those six days. The poor priest has to remain in the church doing nothing.