Chapter 14: Take the Challenge
Suffering gives you awareness: suffering gives you the feeling that you have to mutate, you have to become new, you have to be reborn. As you are, you are in suffering, so something has to be done.
Jesus said: Blessed is the man who has suffered; he has found life.
Looks absurd and paradoxical! He says: Blessed is the man who has suffered. We always call that man blessed who has never suffered. But have you seen any man who has never suffered? If you ever see such a man, you will find him absolutely juvenile, childish, without any growth, without any depth, without any awareness; he will be an idiot. And you can never say that he is blessed.
Only one who has never tried to live, who has been avoiding life, can remain without suffering. That’s why, in very very rich families, only idiots are born, because they are protected so much. And when you protect somebody so much it is not protection against death, it is protection against life. But this is the problem: if you want to protect somebody against death you have to protect him against life, because life leads to death. So don’t live if you are afraid to die - this is simple logic - don’t be alive if you are afraid to die; then cut all the dimensions where life exists. Then you can simply vegetate.
Jesus cannot call a vegetative life blessed, nobody can say that a vegetative life is blessed. That is the greatest misfortune that can happen to a man because he will never grow in awareness and maturity; and he will not have higher layers of consciousness because those higher layers come into existence only when they are challenged. Suffering is a challenge; when you suffer you are challenged, when there is a problem you are challenged. When you encounter the problem, only then do you grow. More insecurity more growth, more security less growth. If everything is secure around you, you are already in your grave, you are no longer alive. Life exists in danger, life always exists in the possibility of going astray. But one who goes astray can come back, one who fails can succeed.
Napoleon was defeated. He wrote in his diary a beautiful sentence - sometimes madmen also observe beautifully - he said, “Only a fight is lost, only a battle is lost, not the war.” But if you want to win the war you will have to lose many battles. If you are afraid to lose a battle you will never enter the war, then there is no possibility.