DIPLOMACY IS A BEAUTIFUL NAME for all kinds of cunningness. It is a beautiful label for all that is ugly.

It is an effort to cover human violence, human stupidity, human cunningness, behind a beautiful word. Diplomacy is simply an effort to dominate. It may be between persons, it may be between religions, it may be between countries — it does not matter. Even husbands and wives are in a diplomatic relationship, parents and children are in a diplomatic relationship. It is not only in politics, it is in our whole life.

When you see somebody and you feel, “Now my whole day is wasted; seeing this bastard early in the morning is a perfect indication that something wrong is going to happen, some calamity is going to happen to me,” but you say to the man, “Hello! How are you? Glad to see you!” — that is diplomacy.

Diplomacy has entered into our blood. When you don’t love your wife and pretend that you love her, it is diplomacy. When without any love you hug your children, just because it has to be done, because Dale Carnegie says so: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE….

Dale Carnegie is the prophet of the modern age. Dale Carnegie’s book, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, has sold next only to the Bible. It seems to be even more important than the Bible, because the Bible is being distributed free by the Christian missionaries and Dale Carnegie’s book you have to purchase. And what he teaches is simply diplomacy.

He says that even if you don’t mean it, at least a few times in the day remind your wife how much you love her. That’s enough, because people don’t bother about love; people live in words. If you say, “I love you,” that’s enough. If you go on repeating, “I love you,” that becomes a proof that you really love. This is a very ugly state of affairs. Humanity has fallen so low that Dale Carnegie becomes the prophet.

Diplomacy is not only political, not any more — it has entered into every arena of life. And wherever it enters it brings pseudoness, falsity; it destroys authenticity, sincerity, honesty. It makes you say things which you don’t mean, it makes you do things which you don’t mean. It makes you many instead of one; you become a crowd. You go on carrying many masks with you because you never know which mask will be needed in a certain situation.

And not only has man become diplomatic — even animals who live with man become diplomatic, dogs become diplomatic. Watch a dog…. A stranger comes to your house, knocks on the door. The dog starts two things: he starts barking and at the same time he wags his tail. This is diplomacy! because he is not certain whether the man who has knocked on the door is really a friend of the master or not — it is better to keep your feet in both the boats, then whatsoever turns out to be right you can withdraw from the wrong one. Then you come out of the house and the dog sees that the stranger is a friend; the barking stops and the tail continues to wag.

Man contaminates everything; even innocent people like dogs are corrupted by human contact. You start teaching small children to be diplomatic. On the one hand you go on telling them, “Be true, be sincere be honest,” and then one day a man comes to the door and you tell your son, “Go and say that daddy is out.” Now the boy is puzzled. What to do?

My own way in my childhood was to go out and say to the man, “Daddy says he is out.” What else to do? One has to be true and one has to be obedient too. Now either I can be true or I can be obedient….

Small children, we start corrupting their minds. We corrupt animals, and it is possible one day we will discover that we even corrupt trees, because they are also very sensitive. Living with man they must be learning all kinds of things from humanity.

A religious person has to drop all diplomacy. He has to be authentic, sincere; he has to be as he is: no pretensions, no false personalities, no facades; just being utterly nude as you are, utterly naked in your reality.

The moment you can gather that much courage you will be so filled with joy…you cannot believe right now, you cannot even conceive right now, because it is our falsities which are like parasites on our being; they go on sucking our blood. The more falsities you create around yourself, the more miserable you become, the more you are in a hell.

To live in falsities is to live in hell: to live authentically is to be in heaven.


from : Be Still and Know ch. 4