Chapter 8: Going beyond the Senses
Acceptance is the deepest alchemy for transformation within human nature. Accept misery when it comes to you. It is because of the rejection that it is misery, it is because of the denial that it is misery. Accept whatever comes wholeheartedly, agree to whatever comes - embrace it, live with it, do not desire to get rid of it - and suddenly you will find that everything has changed. What you originally felt was misery has turned into happiness through your acceptance.
Happiness can change into misery, misery into happiness - why? Because they are two faces of the same coin. And why do they change? What is the reason for this change? In fact when a man lives in happiness, he can even get bored with this happiness. Long association breeds boredom - it is natural. Even happiness can become boring.
You love someone and want his company for twenty-four hours of the day, but if you have his company all the time eventually you will be wishing you could get rid of him, at least for a little while. You will want to be alone for a while. This is very natural. Now, the separation from the same person whose company once gave you happiness, brings happiness.
One becomes bored. The mind gets tired. In fact the mind gets tired of whatever you get to know well. The mind will get tired of anything that it knows well. Then it will start searching for something new. Even a tasty thing can soon become tasteless. Do not repeat the food tomorrow that you enjoyed today, even by mistake.or the day after that; otherwise you will lose your taste for it. The sage says:
.when one focuses on the pleasant
it is the happiness-oriented mind,
and when one focuses on the unpleasant
it is the misery-oriented mind.
To imagine something as pleasing is happiness, and to imagine something as not pleasing is misery. And the pleasant changes into the unpleasant and the unpleasant into the pleasant.
Alcoholics say that in the beginning alcohol doesn’t taste good; they say that you have to develop a taste for it. Those who know say that actually the sense of taste has to be ruined, it has to be destroyed. When you start drinking coffee it doesn’t taste good, but coffee drinkers say, “Don’t worry, practice will make it taste better. You have to develop a taste for it.”
Man somehow develops a taste for anything! You start smoking; on the first day it is really unpleasant, but you imagine that it must be a pleasure because everyone else is enjoying it, and they can’t all be fools. The new smoker sees that even those people who prohibit smoking are smoking. They are saying, “We are addicted; don’t you also start to smoke.” The new smoker feels there must be some deep secret, something hidden, some pleasure to enjoy which is being denied him. When he smokes for the first time it is so unpleasant that it hardly appears to be a pleasure. Inhaling the smoke it tastes bitter, there is nothing pleasant about it - making him cough and feel uneasiness, his head gets hot - but he is hoping for some pleasure and goes on imagining that happiness will happen. Slowly this misery changes into pleasure. Slowly this discomfort changes into happiness.