Trying to live on your own, unbridged with others, is the most dangerous idea that can possess anybody ever. And once it starts having a religious color, then it becomes very difficult to get rid of because it fulfills your ego, it nourishes all that is wrong in you, it destroys all that is beautiful in you.
In a grave there is no possibility of roses flowering, but there is a possibility inside a grave of snakes and scorpions and spiders – all that is ugly, all that is poisonous. If the grave is completely closed, its very air will be poison.
And millions of people are living the life of monks and nuns. They may not have gone to the monastery, they may be living with their wife, but closed, with their children, but closed. They may be living in the world, but so guardedly, so cautiously, so calculatingly that their life cannot have any joy, any dance, any song.
One needs a little courage to make life a celebration.
You say: “For most of my life I have held myself aloof.” You have been suicidal. Life means togetherness with existence, with the trees, with the rivers, with the rocks, with people, with animals, with all that is. To relate with it multidimensionally is the only way to make your life rich. The more you relate, the more multidimensional you are, the richer you are – the more you grow, the more you blossom.
There is still time. Drop this stupid idea of being aloof separated and isolated. That you can do after you die. Then you will have more than enough time. From your name it seems you are a Christian. Then you will have more than enough time – till the Last Judgment Day! Then you can live in your grave as a monk, you can keep your Bible with you, you can keep your rosary. But while you are alive, while this immense opportunity is given to you, live it, rejoice in it.
Jesus says again and again to his disciples, “Rejoice! Rejoice! I say again rejoice.” Jesus was not a monk, he was a very alive man. He lived with all kinds of people: the gamblers, the drunkards, the prostitutes, the sinners, the tax collectors. He lived – and not with the idea of “holier than thou,” he lived with great friendliness. He enjoyed late parties, dances, music. And believe me, he was not continuously giving gospels, he was gossiping too. And he was a drunkard, he loved wine – he shared it with his disciples. Fasting was not his way, but feasting.
Don’t be monkish. To be a man is such a great opportunity that there is no need at all to waste it. And remember one thing, the things that you are afraid of: “That if I opened my heart totally the vast love that I feel would rush out like water from an overflowing well…” For whom are you feeling this vast love? Just for yourself? – because love means having a direction, an object. It is always addressed to somebody. To whom is your love addressed? You are like an unopened envelope – you have not even read what is written in the letter, whether a letter exists inside at all or if you are simply carrying an empty envelope. Unless you open the envelope you will never know. Open it.