A man was going about selling hats in the tropical heat of India – village to village, selling hats. In the afternoon, he was very tired, came and sat under a tree. Opened his packed lunch, and ate it. Dozed off. After some time he opened his eyes – to his dismay, all the hats were gone!
He looked around, “Where are the hats? Where are the hats?”
He couldn’t find them anywhere. Just by chance, he looked up. He saw a whole bunch of monkeys sitting there, hats on. He screamed at them, and they screamed back at him. He yelled, they yelled. He abused, they abused. He tried to pick up whatever he could and throw it at them. They picked up whatever they could and threw it back at him.
Out of sheer frustration, not knowing what to do, he took his hat and flung it on the ground, not knowing what to do, helplessly. All the monkeys took their hats and flung them on the ground. He picked up these hats and went about selling hats. That was in the early twentieth century. This is 2009, November. Another hat seller, going about selling hats in the summer season, and in the afternoon he came and sat under a tree.
He opened his packed lunch and ate. Promptly fell asleep. When he woke up, the hats were gone. He didn’t look around. He looked straight up. All the monkeys were sitting with hats on. He got up and jived. They all jived with him. He made faces… funny faces at him… at them, they made funnier faces at him.
He had all the fun he wanted to have with them. And then, he took his hat and flung it on the ground. A baboon of a monkey, came down, picked up the hat, walked towards him, gave him a tight slap in the face, and said, “You fool! You think only you had a grandfather”?
There is scientific evidence that monkeys are evolving. About human beings, there is no such thing because what is human cannot evolve unconsciously. When you were a monkey… you… I’m sorry. I did not say this, Charles Darwin, you know?
Not me, Okay? I’m not calling you a monkey. Charles Darwin said all of you were monkeys, your tail fell away and you became human. When you were a monkey, you did not desire, “I want to be human.”
Nature just pushed you on. But once you become human, now, either you evolve consciously, or you stagnate. That’s all the choice you have. From here, you cannot evolve unconsciously, because now, what you call a human is not an established state, please see this!
Every other creature has established states of what they are. What is human is not established. This moment you can be god-like, next moment you can be brute-like, isn’t it?
What is human is a flux. You can be anything you want and this is the human being’s struggle. Right now, human beings are not suffering their bondage, they are suffering their freedom.
You could choose to be anything you want right now, at this moment. You could choose to be whichever way you wish to be right now within yourself. This is the struggle, isn’t it?
If your life also was fixed as the animal life is fixed, “this is how you will be”, you wouldn’t be struggling so much. You wouldn’t be experiencing as much pain and misery that human beings are experiencing right now, isn’t it?
See, for example, a tiger is born. A tiger is not sitting and wondering, “How will I become a good tiger? How to become a good tiger? Should I go to the Tiger College?”
Just eat enough food. If you eat well, he becomes a good tiger, isn’t he? You are not like that. You are born as a human being. To become a good one, how many things do you have to do. Whatever you do, till the end you don’t know whether you made it or not.
Yes or no?
Socially, in a particular society, you can look at people and say, “Okay, compared to this person, I am better. But by yourself, you do not know whether you are this way or that way, isn’t it?
Because what is human is not an established state. Every other creature, it’s a fixed state. They eat well, they’ll become that. If you eat well, at the most your body will grow, nothing else will happen, isn’t it so?
Everything else has to be strived for because nature has left you free to become whatever you want to become. And right now, humanity is suffering its freedom, not its bondage.
If you’re suffering your bondage, it’s bad enough but it’s okay. Because if you suffer your bondage, you’ll want to become free. If you suffer your freedom, it’s a tragedy, isn’t it?
Once you start suffering your freedom, it’s tragic. Because, what is the way out of freedom? There is a way out of bondage. Where is the way out of freedom? I can bind myself. Please see in how many ways you are trying to bind yourself. You are trying to find a way out of freedom. There is no way out of freedom, there is a way out of bondage.
But, there is no way out of freedom, isn’t it? Freedom is a benediction if you’re aware. Freedom is a curse if you are unaware. So right now, don’t curse your freedom.
You just have to become more aware, starting with this (Referring to oneself), of how this works. If you become aware, then this freedom is such a fantastic thing. Such a beautiful thing it is, because you could be whichever way you want.
You could be whatever you want right now within yourself. No animal, no creature has this freedom except the human creature, isn’t it?
Shall we exploit this or not?
If you do not choose, if you remain a compulsive creature, you cannot call yourself a full-fledged human being. That’s why I said it’s an evolutionary problem. Only when you can do everything by choice, you can say “I’m human.”
Because, a human being essentially means, he is what he is by choice. If he becomes compulsive, he’s like any other creature – biological! That’s all. Nothing more will happen.