Chapter 10: Exactly in the Middle
The first question:
You make it all sound so easy. But is it? Is it really? It seems to me that the whole thing is out of our hands. We have no more choice to surrender than to be in the ego. I live my life and some days I’m happy and some days I’m sad, but I’m not enlightened. There must be some trick, some alchemy. Please enlighten me.
You have found it! this is the trick, this is the alchemy: to understand that nothing is in our hands is what is meant by surrender. Surrender is not something that you have to do or you can do. If you do it, how is it going to be surrender? It is not an act. It cannot be by its very nature. The very definition of surrender is that you cannot do it. Seeing the point, that nothing is in our hands - to be this way or that, to be egoful or to be egoless - seeing this, surrender happens. What is left then? If you have really seen this, you have understood the very secret.
Language creates the problem, because language turns everything, twists everything, into something other than it is. The moment I say “Surrender!” you start thinking “How to do it?” This is a linguistic fallacy. When I say surrender, this is exactly what I am saying: I am saying nothing is in your hands. In fact, you are not there behind your hands either. All is happening.
Yes, some days you are sad, and some days you are happy - and there is nothing to do. So some days be sad, and some days be happy - this is surrender. When happy, enjoy it, live it, dance it, sing it. When happy, don’t be worried about sadness. There is no point - you cannot do anything about it. When sad, be really sad! Cry tears of sadness, sing sad songs. And don’t try to become happy - it is not in your hands.
A Zen master was asked, “What do you do when it is hot?”
He said, “I perspire.”
“And what do you do when it is cold?”
He said, “I shiver.”
So, when hot, perspire. When cold, shiver. When alive, live! When dead, die! What is in your hands? Nothing is in your hands. To think that “Something is in my hands” is the way of the ego. That’s what ego is. Ego says, “You can do this. Why are you sad? You can be happy. It is within your capacity. You can become more perfect, you can become more beautiful, you can become more good. You can become a saint. Why are you not doing something?”