Chapter 4: Beyond Acceptance and Rejection
You ask: “How can I be accepting or even creative with this?” There is no question of accepting because every acceptance means that deep down there is rejection. Otherwise, why the question of acceptance? Why in the first place do you think of accepting? You must be rejecting somewhere.
I don’t accept life because I don’t reject it in the first place. It is simply there, neither rejected nor accepted. It is so. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness.
A man came to Buddha and asked, “What should we do with death? Should we accept it?”
Buddha said, “There is no question of accepting or rejecting. Death is! It is so. Such is the nature of things: they are born one day, one day they die.”
Why do you think of rejecting or accepting? If you try to accept, that simply means a kind of repression. First you must have rejected; you must be still rejecting and you are covering up your rejection with acceptance. Deep down you are angry and on the surface you are smiling, you are all smiles. Deep down you are sad; on the surface you are laughing, trying to hide the fact not only from others but from yourself too.
Friedrich Nietzsche has said, “I laugh because I am afraid that if I don’t laugh I will start crying and weeping. I go on laughing just to avoid the possibility of crying and weeping. I don’t want to cry and weep. I want to forget that there are tears in me.”
But this is just a cover-up; this laughter is not true. This is not the laughter of the buddhas - it can’t be. It is a desperate effort of a split mind. This is schizophrenia: one part wants to cry, another part is trying to hide it. You are in a conflict. But we are brought up in conflict, we have learned how to live in conflict - this has become our very lifestyle. It is not a question of accepting.
True acceptance is not an acceptance at all. You will be surprised by my statement: true acceptance is not an acceptance at all. True acceptance is absence of rejection and acceptance. One simply knows that this is how things are - the suchness of things, tathata.
Hence one of the beautiful names of Buddha: Tathagata. The Buddhist scriptures always use the word tathagata for Buddha: one who lives in suchness, neither rejecting nor accepting, simply seeing whatsoever is the case, only reflecting.
And you ask me: How is creativity possible out of this absolute negativity? You don’t know anything about creativity. Creativity comes only out of total negation, it comes out of absolute emptiness. The whole world has come out of nothingness and the whole world will one day move into nothingness.