William James says, “The most important thing in life is to live your life for something more important than your life.” Can you comment?
What William James is saying has been said for thousands of years, by almost all the politicians, all the priests – and you can see the result of such a teaching.
What does it mean, that you should live for something higher than life? Is there anything higher than life?
Some religions say God is higher than life. Other religions say liberation, salvation is higher than life. Politicians say the nation is higher than life – ideologies, like communism, are higher than life. All these people are agreed on one point, that you have to sacrifice your life for something. It looks like a beautiful statement, but it hides a very ugly reality.
In thousands of ways the same thing is repeated. The child is told he should live for the parents…. Nobody seems to realize a simple fact, that there is nothing higher than life, cannot be. And if there is anything higher than life it is bound to be dead; otherwise, how can it be higher than life?
But man has been manipulated to sacrifice himself, either for ideas or for ideals. And to sacrifice your life for something else means you stop living, you start committing suicide. You start murdering yourself so slowly that you don’t become aware of it. But every man who has sacrificed his life for any goal, realizes at the moment of death that he missed the train, that he has been a fool.
“Always sacrifice. Don’t live, don’t enjoy. Today has to be sacrificed for tomorrow.” And tomorrow never comes, it is always today. And every today has to be sacrificed for tomorrow, which is not going to come – has never come.
No, I cannot agree with William James. He is talking junk. He is simply paraphrasing all vested interests, because they don’t want you to live, they want to use you.
Nations want to use you for war. Naturally, the politicians are bound to say, “The nation is far bigger than you, and you should not be selfish. You should be ready to sacrifice your life for the nation” – not only for the nation, but a piece of cloth they call the flag. You have to die for it!
Intelligent people have been conditioned for such a foolish thing, and they have been doing it for thousands of years. What is the attainment? What have we achieved by sacrificing?
The other day a journalist was asking me, “You say to your people, ‘Live in the moment.’ But then what about the future? – future generations?”
I asked him, “Your father was thinking about you, you were his future generation. His father was thinking about your father, he was his future generation. And what has happened? Where are you?”