Chapter 7: Only the Gold
Once there was a man of Ch’i who wanted gold. At dawn he put on his coat and cap and set out for the market.
He went to the stall of a dealer in gold, snatched his gold, and made off.
The police caught him and questioned him. “Why did you snatch somebody else’s gold, and in front of so many people?”
The man replied:
“At the time when I took it I did not see the people - I only saw the gold.”
Let me tell you first one small anecdote:
“My doctor insisted that I come to see you,” the patient told the psychiatrist. “Goodness knows why - I am happily married, secure in my job, lots of friends, no worries..”
“Hmmm,” said the psychiatrist, reaching for his notebook, “and how long have you been like this?”
Happiness is unbelievable. It seems that man cannot be happy. If you talk about your depression, sadness, misery - everybody believes it. It seems natural. If you talk about your happiness, nobody believes you - it seems unnatural.
Sigmund Freud, after forty years of research into the human mind, working with thousands of people, observing thousands of disturbed minds, came to the conclusion that happiness is a fiction: man cannot be happy. At the most, we can make things a little more comfortable, that’s all. At the most we can make unhappiness a little less, that’s all. But happy, man cannot be.
It looks very pessimistic. But looking at the modern man, it seems to be exactly the case; it seems to be a fact.
Buddha says that man can be happy, tremendously happy. Krishna sings songs of that ultimate bliss - sat chit anand. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God. But how can you believe so few people, who can be counted on the fingers, against the whole mass - millions and millions of people down the centuries, remaining unhappy, growing more and more into unhappiness, their whole life a story of misery and nothing else? And then comes death!
How to believe these few people? Either they are lying or they are deceived themselves. Either they are lying for some other purpose or they are a little mad, deceived by their own illusions. They are living in a wish fulfillment. They wanted to be happy and they started believing that they were happy. It seems more like a belief, a desperate belief, rather than a fact. But how did it come to happen that very few people ever become happy?
If you forget man, if you don’t pay much attention to man, then Buddha, Krishna, Christ will look more true. If you look at the trees, if you look at the birds, if you look at the stars, then everything is shimmering in tremendous happiness. Then bliss seems to be the very stuff existence is made of. Only man is unhappy.
Something deep down has gone wrong.