Chapter 23: Several More Looking Methods
Then Alexander had to come. Diogenes is reported to have said, “I hear you are going to win the whole world, so I thought, I closed my eyes and thought, ‘Okay! If I have won the whole world, then what?’ This has been my problem constantly: if I have won the whole world, then what?” It is reported that Alexander, after hearing this, became very sad. “Then what?” he said to Diogenes. “Do not talk such things. You make me very sad.”
Diogenes said, “But you will become very sad when you win the whole world. What can I do? I am just imagining, and I have come to conclude that this is useless. You are making a suicidal effort. You yourself are trying to win the whole world - so then what? If you succeed, then what? “
Alexander returned from Diogenes very disturbed, upset, sad. He said to his companions, “This man is very dangerous. He has shattered my dreams.” And he could never forget, could never forgive Diogenes. The day he died, he remembered him again, and he said, “It may be that that fellow was right: then what ?”
So the next thing is to remember always that whatsoever you are doing, whatsoever you are achieving, remember to ask, “If I succeed, then what?” Is there any meaning in it all, or is there just some artificial meaning given by you only to divide, to create an illusion around you so that you feel you are doing something worthwhile - and all the time you are really wasting life and energy, not doing anything worthwhile! There is only one thing worthwhile: if you can become happy without anything, without any dependence: if you can be blissful alone, totally alone. If nothing is needed for your bliss, only then can you be blissful; otherwise you will be in misery, always in misery.
Dependence is misery, and those who depend on possessions, those who depend on accumulated knowledge, those who depend on this or that, they are helping their own misery to become accumulated more and more. So the next point to remember is to ask whether you have any meaning, or whether you are just floating along without any meaning. Are you just making believe that this or that is the meaning of your existence?
One man used to come to me. He used to say that if his son gets into college, that would be all and he would be very happy. He was a poor man, a very ordinary clerk, and that was the only dream, that his son would get into college. Then the son got into college. Now the son has become a forest official. A few months back the son was here and he told me, “I am getting only six hundred rupees per month. I have two children and this is my only dream, that they can get a good education; that is all. I am working hard. If they can be well educated and if I can send one of my children to some foreign country to study, that is all I ask.”
His father is no more; he has died. This was his meaning in life, his purpose - to make his boy educated and well placed. Now the boy is well placed, and now the boy has the same purpose, to help his children become educated and well placed. And he will die, and those children will go on doing the same nonsense.
What is the meaning of all this? What are you doing? Just passing time? Just destroying life? Or have you got some authentic meaning which you can say makes you happy, blissful? This is the second consideration which will turn you inward.