For twelve years, as a sannyasin, I have repeatedly risked living above the income I could make, and so far have not only survived, but at times been immeasurably blessed. But since my re-entry into Chinese society and becoming forty-eight years old, I've become more sensible and worry about health insurance and creating a financial base for myself.
What does it mean for a sannyasin to live in society without falling into the mental traps of stability, and missing the growth in trust, possible in a state of insecurity?
Anand Alok, the first thing to be understood by a sannyasin is that life is insecurity. There is no insurance against death. And the more you make life safer and secure, the more it becomes dry and a desert.
Insecurity means you have to remain awake, alert to all the dangers. And life is always passing on a razor's edge. The idea of being secure and safe is very dangerous, because then you don't need to be alert and conscious. In fact, to avoid alertness and consciousness you want security and safety.
Live moment to moment with all the insecurity there is. The trees are living, the birds are living, the animals are living; they don't know anything about insurance, they don't know anything about safety. They are not concerned – that's why every morning they can sing.
You cannot sing every morning. Perhaps you have never sung in any morning. Your nights will be filled with nightmares of insecurity, unsafety, dangers lurking all around. In the morning you wake up, not joyously; you wake up to again face the insecurities of the day – the problems, the anxieties.
But listen to the birds. And I don't think they have lost anything. Just see the deer and their beauty and their agility, see the trees – who can be cut down any moment. But they are not concerned with that, their concern is the moment, not the next moment; this moment is all joy, all peace. Everything is green and everything is juicy.
I can understand that you have grown in age. And as one grows in age ... in other words, he is saying that death is coming closer. But there is no way to prevent it. And if you cannot prevent death – and nobody has ever been able to prevent death – then it is better not to be bothered by it. What has to happen will happen, but why destroy your present moment for something which has not happened yet? Let it first happen, then you can worry about it. First let death happen, then in your grave you have eternity to worry about security, safety – you will not have anything else.
For twenty-four hours a day you can toss and turn in your grave, it is absolutely private and secure – you cannot even get out of it. Nobody can get into it. Only the people who are in graves are absolutely safe; nothing can happen to them.
The more alive you are, the more you will love insecurity, and your insecurity will make your intelligence sharper, your alertness keener, your consciousness a continuous growth.
Have you not watched that great scientists never come from rich people's families? Neither do great poets or great mystics. The rich families have not contributed much to the development of consciousness or human growth. What is the reason? Because a boy who is born with a golden spoon in his mouth need not be bothered about security and safety, everything is secure and safe. Naturally, it dulls his mind. He has no challenge, he is surrounded continuously with servants, with facilities, with luxuries. He has no time even to think of consciousness, alertness, meditation.
I have heard ... In front of a hotel in California a Rolls Royce limousine stopped, and the woman sitting inside told the guard, "Ask for four bearers to come, my child has to be carried to the room."
The guard could not believe it, but he felt great pity for the poor child – perhaps he cannot walk. But he was looking perfectly healthy. Too fat certainly, but something must be wrong; otherwise, this was the first time that somebody had to be carried, and he was not more than ten years old. So four bearers were called. They carried the boy, and they were also puzzled. They asked the boy, "Can't you walk? Is there some difficulty?"
He said, "There is no difficulty, there is no question, I can walk. But I need not – I can afford to be carried. Only poor people walk. When I can afford to be carried to my room, why should I behave like a poor man?"
They told the mother, "This is not good."
She said, "It is not your business to be worried. Each time the boy has to go anywhere, carry him to the car. When he comes back, carry him to the room. He is my boy, my only boy, and I have to give him all the luxury, all the comfort possible. And don't be worried, we can afford it; whatever your charges are, they will be paid."
Now, can this boy ever think of becoming meditative, conscious, alert? Can even the idea of searching for truth arise in him? No, he will remain just a vegetable.
You have seen, just a few years ago there were hippies all around the world. They were all below the age of thirty. And a strange phenomenon was happening, nobody has been observing it ... after thirty, where do those hippies disappear? After thirty they start becoming worried about safety and security. Half the life is gone, they enjoyed it to the fullest, but now old age will come and death will come. They forget all about the philosophy of the hippies – they suddenly become square!
And I have information from my friends that those hippies who were not taking a bath, who were not shaving, who were not brushing their teeth, are now behaving perfectly normally – taking a bath, shaving their beard, brushing their teeth. They are working, and working efficiently, in offices, in factories, but they all have disappeared.
As one becomes older the shadow of the death starts falling on you; that's what is creating the fear. But as far as a sannyasin is concerned, there is no death.
If you are feeling afraid of death and the dangers ahead, that only means you are not going deeper into your meditation, that meditation has been to you just a fashion. Now it is time, that you should sincerely and authentically enter into meditation, because that is the only space which can free you from all fears of death, old age, sickness.
It makes you aware that you are not the body and you are not the mind, and you are not only this life, you are eternal life. Death has happened many times and you are still alive, and death will happen many times and you will be still alive.
Meditation's ultimate conclusion is, live the moment to its totality, intensively, joyously, because there is nothing to be feared – because even death is a fiction. There is no need for any security, for any safety. Live moment to moment, trusting the whole existence as the birds are trusting it, as the trees are trusting it. Don't separate yourself from existence, become part of it and existence will take care of you. It is already taking care of you.
A traveling salesman, completing a trip earlier than anticipated, sent his wife a telegram: "Returning home Friday."
Arriving home, he found his wife in bed with another man. Being a person of nonviolence, he complained to his father-in-law, who said, "I'm sure there must be an explanation."
The next day the father-in-law was all smiles. "There was an explanation: she did not get your telegram."
These are the ways of the mind: If you look deeply, mind is simply stupid – every mind. And the mind goes on creating all kinds of worries, concerns. My message to you is that you are not the mind. You don't need any explanation, you need an experience, and that experience is missing; hence the problem has arisen.
An airplane passenger being served drinks by the stewardess exclaimed, "Hey, here is something new – an ice cube with a hole in it!"
"What is new about that?" answered the man sitting alongside him, "I married one."
Don't take much notice of what mind says and thinks, laugh at it.
The pope was making water in the men's room when he noticed that somebody had written on the wall, "My mother made me a homosexual."
So he took out a pencil and wrote underneath it, "If I buy her the material, will she make me one too?"
Avoid your mind games. Get beyond the mind, where only silence prevails ... no insecurity, no question of safety. In that silence everything is secure. You are part of this existence.
Your worry is something like a leaf on a tree being worried about security. The tree is taking all the care, providing all the juice to the leaf, bringing water against gravitation – high up, perhaps a hundred feet or two hundred feet – but the leaf is not worried. The leaf is unaware that she is only a part of a vast tree.
You are part of a vast existence. Don't think of yourself as separate and immediately all your problems disappear. In other words, your ego is the only problem.
"I am" – that is the only problem.
"I am not, the existence is," is the only solution.
The New Dawn, Ch 26, Q 2