Chapter 8: Another Sunday
I have heard about a Sufi mystic who was always happy, always and always. Nobody had ever seen him unhappy. It was as if he did not know that language, as if the only way he knew to be was happiness.
He became very old and one day a man asked him, “Will you please tell me your secret? How you remain so happy? How you remain so unperturbed? How each moment one can be so blissful? It is impossible. It is unbelievable. What is your secret?”
The old man laughed and he said, “Long before, I found one simple thing: that each morning, when I opened my eyes, there are two alternatives to choose for that day - either to be happy or to be unhappy. And I always choose to be happy. Simple is my secret: because each day gives me only two alternatives to choose - to be happy or to be unhappy. And I always choose to be happy, that’s all. There is nothing more to it.”
But you will not believe in it. You will say this old man is deceiving. He must have some other secret. But I also tell you this is the secret.
All great truths are simple truths, very simple. Try tomorrow morning. Before you open your eyes have a clear-cut vision of two alternatives: being in hell or heaven. Visualize misery on one hand, visualize blissfulness on another hand. See deep into both. Don’t be in a hurry. Look into both as deeply as possible and wait - and then decide. If you want to be unhappy then decide, let it be your decision - and then be truly unhappy the whole day. Be committed to your decision and then don’t try to escape from it. Then whatsoever happens, you remain miserable. And if you decide to be happy, then stick to it and soon you will realize that your life is your decision.
You are suffering because you go on deciding that way; you are suffering because you go on clinging to your suffering. You have made a habit out of it. It is just mechanical.
Good, you should feel grateful that it is happening to you - that every day is becoming a holiday. Holidays are disappearing from the world. In the legal sense people are having more holidays. Workdays are being reduced all over the world, from six to five, from five to four, and soon even that will not be so - people will need.at least in the very highly developed technological societies one day of the week will do, and for six days people can have holidays. But “holiday” is disappearing - that quality of sacredness, that quality of holiness is disappearing.
I have heard about a very reformed temple. Of course it is in Southern California, because everything in California is a little far-out, even religion.
There is a reformed temple in Beverley Hills that is so reformed that on the holiest of the days, Yom Kippur, there is a sign on the door saying: Closed for the Jewish Holidays.