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Chapter 7: Only the Gold

But to be happy is difficult and to learn meditation is easy. To be happy means a drastic change in your way of life, an abrupt change - because there is no time to lose. A sudden change, a sudden clash of thunder, a discontinuity.. That’s what I mean by sannyas: a discontinuity with the past.

A sudden clash of thunder, and you die to the old and you start afresh, from abc. You are born again. You again start your life as you would have done if there had been no enforced pattern by your parents, by your society, by the state; as you would have done, must have done, if there had been nobody to distract you. But you were distracted.

You have to drop all those patterns that have been forced on you, and you have to find your own inner flame.

Don’t be too much concerned about money, because that is the greatest distraction against happiness. And the irony of ironies is that people think they will be happy when they have money. Money has nothing to do with happiness. If you are happy and you have money, you can use it for happiness. If you are unhappy and you have money, you will use that money for more unhappiness. Because money is simply a neutral force.

I am not against money - remember. Don’t misinterpret me: I am not against money. I am not against anything. Money is a means. If you are happy and you have money, you will become more happy. If you are unhappy and you have money, you will become more unhappy because what will you do with your money? Your money will enhance your pattern, whatsoever it is. If you are miserable and you have power, what will you do with your power? You will poison yourself more with your power, you will become more miserable.

But people go on looking for money as if money is going to bring happiness. People go on looking for respectability as if respectability is going to give you happiness. People are ready, at any moment, to change their pattern, to change their ways, if more money is available somewhere else.

I have heard:

The treasurer of a black civil rights organization picked up the phone and heard a Southern voice drawling on the other end of the line: “Hey there, boy, I want to talk to the head nigger.” Shocked and outraged, the treasurer said, “My dear sir..”

“I want to contribute $50,000 to your cause, so let me talk to the head nigger,” the redneck said.

“Hold the line there, brother,” the treasurer said. “I think I see that ugly jigaboo coming in the door right now.”

Once money is there, immediately everything changes.

I have heard: