No act is virtuous, no act is a sin. What consciousness is behind the act – everything depends on that. You say: “I cannot drop the habit of chain-smoking.” I am less interested in your chain-smoking; I am more interested in your habit. Any habit that becomes a force, a dominating force over you, is a sin. One should live more in freedom. One should be able to do things not according to habits but according to the situations.
Life is continuously changing – it is a flux – and habits are stagnant. The more you are surrounded by habits, the more you are closed to life. You are not open, you don’t have windows. You don’t have any communication with life; you go on repeating your habits. They don’t fit; they are not the right response to the situation, to the moment. They are always lagging behind, they are always falling short. That’s the failure of your life.
So remember: I am against all kinds of habits. Good or bad is not the point; there is no good habit as such, there is no bad habit as such. Habits are all bad because habit means something unconscious has become a dominating factor in your life, has become decisive. You are no more the deciding factor. The response is not coming out of awareness but out of a pattern, structure, that you have learned in the past.
Two members of the Shalom Retirement Home, Blustein and Levin, were strolling past the home of Nelson Rockefeller.
“If I only had that man’s millions,” sighed Blustein, “I would be richer than he is.”
“Don’t be a dummy,” said Levin. “If you had his millions you would be as rich as he is, not any richer.”
“You are wrong,” said Blustein, “don’t forget – I could give Hebrew lessons on the side!”
That’s what he has been doing. Even if he becomes Nelson Rockefeller he will go on giving Hebrew lessons on the side. That’s how people are living, just according to habits.
I have seen many rich people living very poor lives. Before they became rich their habits became settled – and their habits became settled when they were poor. That’s why you find so much miserliness in rich people; it comes from the habits that became ingrained in them when they were poor.
One of the richest men in the world – not one of the richest but the richest man in the world it is thought – was the Nizam of Hyderabad. His collection of diamonds was the greatest in the world because he owned the diamond mines of Golconda which have provided the greatest diamonds to the world. The Kohinoor comes from Golconda. It was once in the Nizam’s possession. He had so many diamonds that it is said that no one has ever been able to calculate exactly the price of his collection. Thousands and thousands of diamonds – they were not counted, they were weighed!