Their life is like a movie: when you see it for the first time you are immensely interested, curious what is going to happen next but in fact, nothing is going to happen – the film is already preprogrammed. Next time you don’t feel so interested because you know already what is going to happen next. The third time you are bored, and if you are forced to see it a fourth time you will rebel, and if you have to see it a fifth time you may go mad. The same film…. Because now you know everything is already there, nothing is happening; the film is simply repeating a certain course.
Animals are like films – already made, unfolding whatsoever is built-in. Man lives in a world of choice; hence man has to decide what life he wants to live. He can fall below the animals, he can rise above the angels. He can exist accidentally or he can exist with a decisiveness.
It is through decisiveness that the soul is born. If you exist accidentally, like driftwood, you live without a soul; your life is not much of a life. It is pseudo, it is lukewarm; it has no intensity; it has no flame; it has no light. You cannot experience the truth. Living accidentally, knowing the truth is impossible. One has to be so decisive, so committed, so consciously involved with life, so intensely adventurous, that all is at stake every moment. One has to be creative – not only unfolding, but creative.
This is man’s privilege, his prerogative, and also his danger. Very few people will choose the life of choice, commitment, involvement, because it is dangerous, because the sea is uncharted and you don’t have any map. You have a very small boat and the sea is very stormy and who knows whether the other shore exists or not? Why leave the shelter on this shore? Remain here.
Buddha says millions of people simply go up and down on this shore, running hither and thither, just creating an appearance as if their life is a pilgrimage – and they are simply running up and down on the same shore. It is not a pilgrimage; it is mere occupation, befooling others and befooling yourself.
The pilgrimage begins when you leave this shore, its shelter, its security, its convenience, its comfort, its respectability, power, prestige. You leave your small boat at the mercy of the storms, at the mercy of the ocean, trusting that if this shore exists the other must exist, because one shore cannot exist….
With this trust – moving towards the other shore, risking all – real life begins. And real life is religious life. Real life is what I mean by sannyas. Life lived consciously is the only life; life lived unconsciously is mere existence. Animals only exist, they don’t live; only man can live. But all men don’t live either; only a few buddhas, a few awakened ones.
Become alert to what you are doing with your life. Are you really moving consciously, with a sense of direction – taking each step deliberately, in full awareness of why, to where? Or are you just imitating others? If they are running, you are running; if they are after money, you are after money; if they are after power, you are after power. Are you just imitators? Then your life will be imitation. Are you simply following others? Then your life will be a carbon copy. You will never know your original face.