A man who lives like a robot, howsoever efficient and successful, cannot be called a living person, as life and wakefulness are synonymous.
There is so much talk these days about a digital revolution. And this has a tremendous appeal. Even small children are getting attracted to all things digital. Also there is so much talk about the artificial intelligence that is going to replace the human intelligence. They say it will prove million times more powerful than the natural intelligence. But with all this robotic revolution, we cannot be sure whether we are going towards heaven or hell. This could become something very unhealthy, especially if it is controlled by the pathological people. It is going to be a real menace.
Once Osho talked about a thinker, Lewis Yablonsky, who had then coined an interesting word — he called it “robopathology”. Any one who suffers from it is a “robopath”. “Robo” means a machine, an automaton; one who lives a mechanical kind of life, a repetitive kind of life; one who has no adventure; one who simply goes on dragging himself. He fulfills the day-to-day demands but never fulfills the eternal demand, the eternal challenge. He will go to the office, to the factory, he will come home, he will look after his children and wife, and he will do a thousand and one things — and do them very efficiently — but he will never be alive, you will not find life in him. He will live as if he is already dead.
A man who lives like a robot, howsoever efficient and successful, cannot be called a living person, as life and wakefulness are synonymous. Sleep is also a mini death, though a man can dream in the sleep that he is alive. But this aliveness is useless when there is no awareness. A robot will not have such an aliveness that comes with the throbbing of the heart and a joy of awakening. Being fully awake is the real thing.
There is a Sufi parable.. There was a tradesman in a small village who sat on his knees in his little shop, and with his left hand he pulled a strand of wool from the bale which was above his head. He twirled the wool into a thicker strand and passed it to his right hand as it came before his body. The right hand wound the wool around a large spindle. This was a continuous motion on the part of the old man who, each time his right hand spindled the wool, inaudibly said, “La illaha illa’llah”.' There could be no uneven movement or the wool would break and he would have to tie a knot and begin again. The old man had to be alert every moment or he would break the wool.
This is the real awakening, what Sufis call Zikr —an awareness on a higher plane than that on which we normally live. It is a silsila — a tradition of masters and disciples. Out of such a small phenomenon the tradesman created so much awareness.