Bahauddin el-Shah, great teacher of the Naqshbandi dervishes, one day met a confrere in the great square of Bukhara.
The newcomer was a wandering Kalandar of the Malamati, “the Blameworthy”. Bahauddin was surrounded by disciples.
“From where do you come?” he asked the traveler, in the usual Sufi phrase.
“I have no idea,” said the other, grinning foolishly.
Some of Bahauddin’s disciples murmured their disapproval of this disrespect.
“Where are you going?” persisted Bahauddin.
“I do not know,” shouted the dervish.
”What is good?”
By now a large crowd had gathered.
“I do not know.”
“What is evil?”
“I have no idea.”
“What is right?”
“Whatever is good for me.”
“What is wrong?”
“Whatever is bad for me.”
The crowd, irritated beyond its patience by this dervish, drove him away.He went off, striding purposefully in a direction which led nowhere, as far as anyone knew.
“Fools” said Bahauddin Naqshband. “This man is acting the part of humanity. While you were despising him, he was deliberately demonstrating heedlessness as each of you does, all unaware, every day of your lives.”
Man is unconscious, although he believes he is conscious. That very belief protects his unconsciousness. Man is ignorant, although he believes he knows. That very belief keeps the ignorance intact. Man is just the opposite of what he thinks he is. To understand this is the beginning of a great revolution.
To see where you are, what you are in actuality, needs courage. It is nice to believe in beautiful ideals. All ideals function only for one thing: they hide your reality; that’s why we go on creating beautiful ideals. Not that we are really interested in those great ideals; our real interest is how to hide the ugly facts.
People go on talking about non-violence, and all that they do in their lives is violence, sheer violence and nothing else. The more violent they are, the more they talk about non-violence. The talk about non-violence becomes a camouflage.
This country has talked about non-violence for centuries, and it has not happened; and it is not going to happen because the very talk creates an illusion. And slowly slowly, you are not only capable of deceiving others, you start deceiving yourself. When you have talked for centuries about non-violence you start thinking that you have become non-violent. That is really the purpose of talking about non-violence.
Just a few days ago the president of India stayed in a circuit house in Madras, and because he could not get non-vegetarian food there – meat, eggs, et cetera – he was very annoyed. If he had not been annoyed, the country may not have come to know that he is a meat-eater; a Gandhian and a meat-eater. And these are the people who go on talking about non-violence.
They go to the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi every year, ceremoniously, ritualistically. These are the people who have taken vows on the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi, and they continue to eat meat, they continue to kill animals. What kind of non-violence is this?
But this is how man is: very deceptive, very cunning.
Those who are moving on the path have to be aware of this stupid ideological camouflage. It is very easy to have beautiful ideals. And you will be surprised if you watch people: if you know their ideals you can be certain that they will be just the opposite of their ideals. Knowing their ideals, you can deduce logically that their life must be the very opposite of it. The ideal only proves that there is something that they are hiding behind it.
A conscious person has no ideals at all. A conscious person lives through his consciousness. He is one; his inner and outer are not divided.