Chapter 12: Beyond the Mind to the Source
It will be difficult to understand because you are not aware of what is the other end of worldly life. The other end of life is always death. There have been teachers who said that suicide is the only path. And not only in the past; even now, in the present, there are thinkers who say that life is absurd. If life as such is meaningless, then death becomes meaningful. Life and death are polar opposites, so the opposite to life is death. Try to understand it. And it will be helpful for you to find out the way for yourself.
If death is the polar opposite of life, then mind can move to death very easily - and it happens. When someone commits suicide, have you ever observed that the person who commits suicide was attached too much to life? Only those who are too much attached to life can commit suicide.
For example, you are too attached to your husband or to your wife and you think you cannot live without him or her. Then the husband or the wife dies, and you commit suicide. The mind has moved to the other end because it was too attached to life. When life frustrates, the mind can move to the other end.
Suicides are of two types - wholesale suicide and gradual suicide. You can commit gradual suicide by withdrawing yourself from life, cutting yourself off, cutting your moorings in life by and by, dying slowly, gradually.
In Buddha’s time there were schools which preached suicide. These were the real opposites to life, to worldly life. There were schools which were teaching that to commit suicide is the only way out of this nonsense which we call life, the only way out of this suffering. “If you are alive you will have to suffer,” they said, “and there is no way of going beyond misery while you are alive. So commit suicide, destroy yourself.” When you hear this it looks like too extremist a view, but try to understand it deeply. It carries some meaning.
Sigmund Freud, after forty years of constant work with the human mind, one of the longest researches one individual can do, came to conclude that man as he is cannot be happy. The very way mind functions creates misery, so at the most less misery or more misery can be the choice. No misery cannot be the choice. If you adjust your mind you will be less miserable, that is all. It looks very hopeless.
The existentialists - Sartre, Camus and others - say that life can never be blissful. The very nature of life is dread, anguish, suffering, so the most one can do is to face it bravely, with no hope. You can only face it bravely, and that is all - with no hope. The situation as such is hopeless. Camus asks, “Well, if this is the situation, then why not commit suicide? If there is no way to go beyond in life, then why not leave this life?”
One of Dostoyevsky’s characters in one of the greatest novels of the world, The Brothers Karamazov, says, “I am trying to find out where your God is just to return to him the entrance ticket - the entrance ticket to life. I don’t want to be here. And if there is any God, he must be very violent and cruel,” the character says, “because without asking me he has thrown me into life. It has never been my choice. Why am I alive without my choosing it?”