To be Miserable or Ecstatic...?
YOU ONCE TOLD US A STORY ABOUT AN OLD MAN WHO WAS OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD. ONE DAY, ON HIS BIRTHDAY, HE WAS ASKED WHY IT WAS THAT HE WAS ALWAYS HAPPY. HE REPLIED: EVERY MORNING WHEN I WAKE UP I HAVE THE CHOICE TO BE HAPPY
HOW IS IT THAT WE USUALLY CHOOSE TO BE UNHAPPY? HOW IS IT THAT WE DON'T FEEL AWARE OF THE CHOICE?
This is one of the most complex human problems. It has to be considered very deeply, and it is not theoretical - it concerns you.This is how everybody is behaving - always choosing the wrong, always choosing the sad, the depressed, the miserable. There must be profound reasons for it, and there are.
First thing: the way human beings are brought up plays a very definite role in it. If you are unhappy you gain something from it, you always gain. If you are happy you always lose.
From the very beginning an alert child starts feeling the distinction. Whenever he is unhappy everybody is sympathetic towards him, he gains sympathy. Everybody tries to be loving towards him, he gains love. And even more than that whenever he is unhappy everybody is attentive towards
him, he gains attention. Attention works like food for the ego, a very alcoholic stimulant. It gives you energy; you feel you are somebody. Hence so much need, so much desire to get attention.
If everybody is looking at you, you become important. If nobody is looking at you, you feel as if you are not there, you are no more, you are a non-being. People looking at you, people caring about you give you energy.
The ego exists in relationship. The more people pay attention to you, the more you gain ego. If nobody looks at you, the ego dissolves. If everybody has completely forgotten you, how can the ego exist? How can you feel that you are? Hence the need for societies, associations, clubs. All over the world clubs exist - Rotary, Lions, Masonic Lodges - millions of clubs and societies. These societies and clubs exist only to give attention to people who cannot get attention in other ways.
It is difficult to become a president of a country. It is difficult to become a mayor of a corporation. It is easier to become the president of a Lions Club, then a particular group gives you attention. You are very important - doing nothing! Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs...doing nothing at all but still they feel they are something important. And the president goes on changing - one this year, another next year. Everybody gets attention. It is a mutual arrangement, and everybody feels important.
From the very beginning the child learns the politics. The politics are: look miserable, then you get sympathy, then everybody is attentive. Look ill - you become important. An ill child becomes dictatorial; the whole family has to follow him - whatsoever he says is the rule.
When he is happy nobody listens to him. When he is healthy nobody cares about him. When he is perfect nobody is attentive. From the very beginning we start choosing the miserable, the sad, the pessimistic, the darker side of life. That's one thing.
A second thing related to it is: whenever you are happy, whenever you are joyful, whenever you feel ecstatic and blissful, everybody is jealous of you. Jealousy means that everybody is antagonistic, nobody is friendly; at that moment everybody is an enemy. So you have learnt not to be so ecstatic that everybody becomes inimical towards you - not to show your bliss, not to laugh.
Look at people when they laugh. They laugh very calculatingly. It is not a belly-laugh, it is not coming from the very depth of their being. They first look at you, then they judge...and then they laugh. And they laugh to a particular extent, the extent you will tolerate, the extent which will not be taken amiss, the extent where nobody will become jealous.
Even our smiles are political. Laughter has disappeared, bliss has become absolutely unknown, and to be ecstatic is almost impossible because it is not allowed. If you are miserable nobody will think you are mad. If you are ecstatic and dancing everybody will think you are mad. Dance is rejected, singing is not accepted. A blissful man - and we think something has gone wrong.
What type of society is this? If someone is miserable everything is okay; he fits because the whole society is miserable more or less. He is a member, he belongs to us. If somebody becomes ecstatic we think he has gone berserk, insane. He doesn't belong to us - and we feel jealous.
Because of jealousy we condemn him. Because of jealousy we will try in every way to put him back to his old state. We call that old state normality. Psychoanalysts will help, psychiatrists will help to bring that man to the normal misery.
In the West, the whole society is turning against psychedelics. The law, the state, the government, the legal experts, the high courts, the legislators, priests, popes - everybody is turning against.
They are not really against psychedelics - they are against people being ecstatic. They are not against alcohol, they are not against other things which are drugs, but they are against psychedelics because psychedelics can create a chemical change in you. And the old crust that the society has created around you, the imprisonment in misery, can be broken, there can be a break-through. You can come out of it, even for a few moments, and be ecstatic.
Society cannot allow ecstasy. Ecstasy is the greatest revolution. I repeat it: ecstasy is the greatest revolution. If people become ecstatic the whole society will have to change, because this society is based on misery.
If people are blissful you cannot lead them to war - to Vietnam, or to Egypt, or to Israel. No.
Someone who is blissful will just laugh and say: This is nonsense!
If people are blissful you cannot make them obsessed with money. They will not waste their whole lives just accumulating money. It will look like madness to them that a person is destroying his whole life, just exchanging his life for dead money, dying and accumulating money. And the money will be there when he is dead. This is absolute madness! But this madness cannot be seen unless you are ecstatic.
If people are ecstatic then the whole pattern of this society will have to change. This society exists on misery. Misery is a great investment for this society. So we bring up children...from the very beginning we create a leaning towards misery. That's why they always choose misery.
In the morning for everybody there is a choice. And not only in the morning, every moment there is a choice to be miserable or to be happy. You always choose to be miserable because there is an investment. You always choose to be miserable because that has become a habit, a pattern, you have always done that. You have become efficient at doing it, it has become a track. The moment your mind has to choose, it immediately flows towards misery.
Misery seems to be downhill, ecstasy seems to be uphill. Ecstasy looks very difficult to reach - but it is not so. The real thing is quite the opposite: ecstasy is downhill, misery is uphill. Misery is a very difficult thing to achieve, but you have achieved it, you have done the impossible - because misery is so anti-nature. Nobody wants to be miserable and everybody IS miserable.
Society has done a great job. Education, culture, and the culturing agencies, parents, teachers - they have done a great job. They have made miserable creatures out of ecstatic creators. Every child is born ecstatic. Every child is born a god. And every man dies a madman.
Unless you recover, unless you reclaim your childhood, you will not be able to become the white clouds I am talking about. This is the whole work for you, the whole SADHANA - how to regain childhood, how to reclaim it. If you can become children again then there is no misery.
I don't mean that for a child there are no moments of misery - there are. But still there is no misery.
Try to understand this.
A child can become miserable, he can be unhappy, intensely unhappy in a moment, but he is so total in that unhappiness, he is so one with that unhappiness, that there is no division. The child separate from unhappiness is not there. The child is not looking at his unhappiness separate, divided. The child IS unhappiness - he is so involved in it. And when you become one with unhappiness, unhappiness is not unhappiness. If you become so one with it, even that has a beauty of its own.
So look at a child - an unspoilt child I mean. If he is angry, then his whole energy becomes anger; nothing is left behind, no hold-up. He has moved and become anger; there is nobody manipulating and controlling it. There is no mind. The child has become anger - he is not angry, he has become the anger. And then see the beauty, the flowering of anger. The child never looks ugly - even in anger he looks beautiful. He just looks more intense, more vital, more alive - a volcano ready to erupt. Such a small child, such a great energy, such an atomic being - with the whole universe to explode.
And after this anger the child will be silent. After this anger the child will be very peaceful. After this anger the child will relax. We may think it is very miserable to be in that anger, but the child is not miserable - he has enjoyed it.
If you become one with anything you become blissful. If you separate yourself from anything, even if it is happiness, you will become miserable.
So this is the key. To be separate as an ego is the base of all misery; to be one, to be flowing, with whatsoever life brings to you, to be in it so intensely, so totally, that you are no more, you are lost, then everything is blissful.
The choice is there, but you have even become unaware of the choice. You have been choosing the wrong so continuously, it has become such a dead habit, that you simply choose it automatically.
There is no choice left.
Become alert. Each moment when you are choosing to be miserable remember: this is your choice.
Even this mindfulness will help, the alertness that this is my choice and I am responsible, and this is what I am doing to myself, this is my doing. Immediately you will feel a difference. The quality of mind will have changed. It will be easier for you to move towards happiness.
And once you know that this is your choice, then the whole thing has become a game. Then if you love to be miserable, be miserable, but remember, this is your choice and don't complain. There is nobody else who is responsible for it. This is your drama. If you like this way, if you like a miserable way, if you want to pass through life in misery, then this is your choice, your game. You are playing it. Play it well!
Then don't go and ask people how not to be miserable. That is absurd. Don't go and ask masters and gurus how to be happy. The so-called gurus exist because you are foolish. You create the misery, and then you go and ask others how to uncreate it. And you wi]l go on creating misery because you are not alert to what you are doing. From this very moment try, try to be happy and blissful.
I will tell you one of the deepest laws of life. You may not have thought about it at all. You have heard - the whole of science depends on it - that cause and effect is the base. You create the cause and the effect follows. Life is a causal link. You put the seed in the soil and it will sprout. If the cause is there, then the tree will follow. The fire is there - you put your hand in it and it will burn. The cause is there and the effect will follow. You take poison and you will die. You arrange for the cause and then the effect follows.
This is one of the most basic scientific laws, that cause and effect is the innermost link of all processes of life. Religion knows about a second law which is still deeper than this. But the second law which is deeper than this will look absurd, if you don't know it and experiment with it.
Religion says: Produce the effect and the cause follows. This is absolutely absurd in scientific terms.
Science says: If the cause is there, the effect follows. Religion says the converse is also true: you create the effect, and see...the cause follows.
There is a situation in which you feel happy. A friend has come, a beloved has called. A situation is the cause - you feel happy. Happiness is the effect. The coming of the beloved is the cause.
Religion says: Be happy and the beloved comes. Create the effect and the cause follows. And this is my own experience, that the second law is more basic than the first. I have been doing it and it has been happening. Just be happy and the beloved comes. Just be happy, and friends are there.
Just be happy and everything follows.
Jesus says the same thing in different words: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, then all else will follow.
But the Kingdom of God is the end, the effect. Seek ye first the end - end means the effect, the result - and the cause will follow. This is as it should be.
It is not only that you place a seed in the soil and the tree follows; let there be a tree and there are millions of seeds. If cause is followed by effect, effect is again followed by cause. This is the chain!
Then it becomes a circle - start from anywhere, create the cause or create the effect.
And I tell you it is easier to create the effect because the effect depends totally upon you; the cause may not be so dependent on you. If I say I can only be happy when a certain friend is there, then it depends on a certain friend, whether he is there or not. If I say I cannot be happy until I attain this much wealth, then it depends on the whole world and the economic situations and everything.
It may not happen, and then I cannot be happy.
Cause is beyond me. Effect is within me. Cause is in the surroundings, in the situations - cause is without. EFFECT IS ME! If I can create the effect, the cause will follow.
Choose happiness - that means you are choosing the effect - and then see what happens. Choose ecstasy and see what happens. Choose to be blissful and see what happens. Your whole life will change immediately and you will see miracles happening around you - because now you have created the effect and causes will have to follow.
This will look magical; you can even call it the law of magic. The first is the law of science and the second is the law of magic. Religion is magic, and you can be the magician. That's what I teach you: to be the magician, to know the secret of magic.
Try it! You have been trying the other your whole life - not only this but many other lives also. Now listen to me! Try this magic formula, this mantra I give to you. Create the effect and see what happens; causes immediately surround you, they follow. Don't wait for the causes; you have waited long enough. Choose happiness and you will be happy.
What is the problem? Why can't you choose? Why can't you work on this law? Because your mind, the whole mind, which has been trained by scientific thinking, says that if you are not happy and you try to be happy, that happiness will be artificial. If you are not happy and you try to be happy that will be just acting, that will not be real. This is what scientific thinking says, that that will not be real, you will be just acting.
But you don't know. Life energy has its own ways of working - if you can act totally it will become the real. The only thing is, the actor must not be there. Move totally in it, then there is no difference.
If you are acting half-heartedly then it will remain artificial.
If I say to you dance and sing and be blissful, and you try halfheartedly, just to see what happens, but you remain behind...and you go on thinking: This is just artificial. I am trying but this is not coming, this is not spontaneous - then it will remain acting, a waste of time.
If you try, then try wholeheartedly. Don't remain behind, move into it, become the acting - dissolve the actor into acting and then see what happens. It will become the real and then you will feel it is spontaneous. You have not done it, you will know then that it has happened. But unless you are total this cannot happen. Create the effect, be in it completely, see and observe the results.
I can make you kings without kingdoms, only you have to act like kings, and act so totally that, before you, even a real king will appear as if he is just acting. And when the whole energy has moved into it, it becomes reality! Energy makes anything real. If you wait for kingdoms they never come.
Even for a Napoleon, for an Alexander, who HAD big kingdoms, they never came. They remained miserable because they didn't come to realize the second, more basic and primal law of life.
Alexander was trying to create a bigger kingdom, to become a bigger king. His whole life was wasted in creating the kingdom, and then there was no time left for him to be king. He died before the kingdom was complete.
This has happened to many. The kingdom can never be complete. The world is infinite - your kingdom is bound to remain partial. With a partial kingdom how can you be a total king? Your kingdom is bound to be limited and with a limited kingdom how can you be the emperor? It is impossible. But you can be the emperor. Just create the effect.
Swami Ram, one of the mystics of this century, went to America. He used to call himself Badshah Ram - Emperor Ram. And he was a beggar! Somebody said to him: You are just a beggar, but you go on calling yourself the emperor. So Ram said: Don't look at my things, look at me. And he was right, because if you look at things then everybody is a beggar - even an emperor. He may be a bigger beggar, that's all. When Ram said: Look at me! in that moment, Ram was the emperor. If you looked, the emperor was there.
Create the effect, become the emperor, be a magician - and from THIS very moment, because there is no need to wait. One has to wait if the kingdom has to come first. If the cause has to be created
first, then one has to wait and wait and wait and postpone. There is no need to wait to create the effect. You can be the emperor this very moment.
When I say: Be! just be the emperor and see - the kingdom follows. I have known it through my experience. I am not talking to you about a theory or a doctrine. Be happy and in that peak of happiness you will see the whole world is happy with you.
There is an old saying: Weep and you weep alone, laugh and the world laughs with you. Even the trees, the rocks, the sand, the clouds, if you can create the effect and be ecstatic, they will all dance with you; then the whole existence becomes a dance, a celebration.
But it depends on you, if you can create the effect. And I say to you, you can create it. It is the easiest thing possible.It looks very difficult because you have not tried it yet. Give it a try!
WE HEAR WHAT YOU SAY, BUT WE IN THE WEST KEEP THE INFORMATION IN OUR HEADS.
HOW CAN WE GET OUT OF OUR HEADS? WHAT METHODS CAN WE USE, AND CAN WILL- POWER HELP US?
No. Will-power will not help you. Will-power is not a power at all, because will depends on the ego - a very tiny phenomenon, it cannot create much power. When you are will-less, then you are powerful - because then you are one with the whole.
Deep down, will-power is a sort of impotency. To hide the fact that we are impotent, we create will.
We create the opposite to deceive ourselves and others.
Persons who feel they are foolish try to show that they are wise. They are constantly aware that they are foolish, so they do everything to look wise. Persons who are ugly or feel they are ugly always try to beautify themselves - even a painted beauty, just a face, a mask. People who are weak always try to look strong. The opposite is created; that is the only way to hide the reality within.
A Hitler is a weakling. That's why he creates so much will-power around him, just to hide the fact. A person who is really strong will be unaware that he is strong. Strength will be flowing, it will be there, but he will not even be conscious of it.
Says Lao Tzu: A man of real virtue never knows that he is virtuous. A man who is really moral is never aware that he is moral. But a man who is aware that he is moral has immorality hidden deep down. A man who thinks he is good, saintly, a sage, is a sinner - and he knows it! And just to hide the fact he creates the opposite.
Will-power is not really power but weakness. A really powerful man has no will of his own - the whole is his will. He floats like a white cloud, one with existence, in tune with it. Your will will always create conflict. It will shrink you, make you an island, and then the struggle starts.
A will-less person will be naturally headless. And remember, you cannot get out of your head. You can cut it - and that is easier. Getting out of it is almost impossible, because even this concept of getting out is part of it. The head is a mess, it is a chaos. You think, and you also think against thinking. The thinking that is against thinking is also thinking. You are not moving out of it. You can condemn your thoughts, but this condemning is again a thought. Nothing has been achieved, you are moving in a vicious circle. You can go on moving, but you will not be out.
So, what to do? How to get out of the head?
Only one thing is possible: don't create any fight inside and don't create any effort to come out, because every effort will be self-suicidal. What can be done then? Simply watch. Be in and watch.
Don't try to get out - be in and watch.
If you can watch, in those moments of watchfulness, there will be no head. Suddenly you will be beyond. Not out - beyond. Suddenly you will be hovering beyond yourself.
There is one Zen story - very absurd, as all Zen stories are. But they have to be absurd because life is such; they depict life as it is.
One Zen master used to ask his disciples: Some time ago, I put a goose in a bottle. Now the goose has grown, and the neck of the bottle is very small so the goose cannot come out. The bottle is very precious and I don't want to break it, so now there is a crisis. If the goose is not allowed out, she will die. I can break the bottle and the goose will be out, but I don't want to break the bottle - the bottle is precious. I don't want to kill the goose either. So what would you do?
This is the problem! The goose is in the head and the neck is very narrow. You can break the head, but it is precious. Or you can let the goose die, but that too cannot be allowed - because YOU are the goose.
That old Zen master continued asking his disciples, and beating them, and saying to them: Find out a way because there is no time. And only once did he allow an answer. One disciple said: The goose is out!
Many answers were tried, but he would always beat the person and say no. Someone would suggest doing something with the bottle, but again the master would say: The bottle will be broken, or something will go wrong, and that cannot be allowed. Or somebody would say: Let the goose die if the bottle is so precious. These were the only two ways; there was no other way. and the master wouldn't give any other clue.
But to this disciple he bowed down and touched his feet and said: He is right - the goose is out! It has never been in.
YOU ARE OUT! You have NEVER been in. The FEELING that you are in is just a false conception.
So there is NO real problem of how to bring you out of your head. Just watch. When you watch, what happens? Just close your eyes and watch the thoughts. What happens? Thoughts are there, in, but you are not in. The watcher is always beyond. The watcher is always standing on the hill.
Everything moves around and around, and the watcher is beyond.
The watcher can NEVER be the in, can never be the insider - he is always out. Watching means to be out. You may call it witnessing, awareness, mindfulness, or whatsoever you choose to call it, but the secret is - watch!
So whenever you feel the head is too much, just sit under a tree and watch, and don't try to come out. Who will come out? No one has been in. The whole effort is futile, because if you have never been in then how can you come out? You may go on trying and trying and getting involved in it, you may get mad but you will never be out.
Once you know that in a moment of watchfulness you are beyond, transcending - you are out. And from that moment you will be headless. The head belongs to the body, not to YOU.
The head is part of the body, it belongs to the body, it has a function in the body, it is beautiful, it is good. The bottle is precious, and if you know the way, the secrets of it, it can be used. When I am talking to you, what am I doing? Using the bottle. When Buddha is preaching, what is he doing? - using the bottle. The bottle is REALLY precious, worth preserving. But this is no way to preserve it - to get into it and get caught into it, and then make efforts to come out. The whole life becomes chaos.
Once you know that watching you are out, you become headless. Then you move on this earth without any head. What a beautiful phenomenon, a man moving without a head! That's what I mean when I say become a white cloud - a headless phenomenon.
You cannot even imagine how much silence can descend upon you when the head is not there. Your physical head WILL be there, but the involvement, the obsession, is not there.
The head is not a problem! It is beautiful, a wonderful device, the greatest computer yet invented, such a complex, such an efficient mechanism. It is beautiful. It can be used, you can enjoy using it.
But from where have you got the idea that you are in it? It seems to be just a false teaching.
You may not be aware that in old Japan, and still old people in Japan, if you ask them: Where do you think from? they will point to their belly, because in Japan it was taught that the belly is the center of thinking. So when for the first time Europeans reached Japan, they couldn't believe that a whole country thinks that the head is in the belly not in the head.
This is just a Western attitude that you are in the head. In old Japan thinking from the belly really worked, but now they are shifting from the belly to the head. There have been other traditions that have thought from other parts of the body. Lao Tzu says you think from the soles of your feet. So there are techniques in Taoist yoga to get out of the soles of your feet - because THERE the thinking is going on.
What is the reality? The reality is: you are beyond. But you can get attached to any part of the body - the head is a Western obsession, the belly was the Eastern obsession. You must have heard about D.H. Lawrence. He used to think that one thinks from the sex center, that that is the real thinking center, nowhere else.
And all are equal - equally wrong or equally right. There is nothing to choose because the witness is beyond. It is all around the body and beyond the body. You can get attached to any part of the body and start thinking that this is the part.
There is no need to come out because you have never been in. The goose is out - already out!
Watch...and when you watch you have to remember that while watching, don't judge. If you judge, watching is lost. While watching, don't evaluate. If you evaluate, watching is lost. While watching, don't comment. If you comment, you have missed the point.
While watching just watch...a river flowing, the stream of consciousness flowing, atomic thoughts floating like bubbles, and you sitting on the bank watching. The stream goes on and on and on. You don't say this is good, you don't say this is bad, and you don't say this should not have been, and you don't say this should have been. You don't say anything - you simply watch. You are not asked to comment. You are not a judge - just a watcher.
Then see what happens .Watching the river, suddenly you will be beyond...and the goose will be out.And once you KNOW this, that you are out, you can remain out. And then you can move on this earth without a head.
So, this is the way to cut the head. Everybody is interested in cutting others' heads - that won't help.
You have already done that too much. Cut your own. To be headless is to be in deep meditation.
Enough for today.