Chapter 6: Contentment Is a State of Consciousness
Time is a relative phenomenon; it changes with your psychology. In pain, despair, anguish, it moves very slowly; in utter despair it seems that the clocks have stopped. When you are happy, blissful, time moves faster. Suddenly time appears to have wings. When you are with a friend, hours pass, and it seems you have just met. When you are with your lover, your beloved, then the night becomes very short. In fact, life seems so small to a lover that seventy years look like seven days or seven hours.
Each moment in hell - Bertrand Russell is not aware of it - will be an eternity unto itself, what to say about being in hell for eternity? And what sins have you committed? Not many people are murderers, not many people are thieves, dacoits.
What sins are you committing? Even to call them sins is wrong. They are only mistakes - human, expected. Because you are not all-knowing, mistakes are bound to happen. Because you are not omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, mistakes are bound to happen. To err is human. Anybody claiming infallibility is a criminal. Perhaps that is the only sin that you can commit.
The religions have created a false contented man - false because the man is trying to be contented, waiting for the rewards in heaven, in paradise. He is repressing here. He knows this life is small, much has passed, the remainder will also pass. He has become accustomed to its pain, its suffering, its frustration, its poverty. And deep down there is great hope that soon he will be in the blissful paradise - and forever.
Have you ever considered that any pleasure, any happiness, if it continues forever, will not remain happiness anymore? Just think.kissing your woman forever. You will curse God.
Change is beautiful, it keeps you moving. But the old religions are against change, they preach permanent things. And there is nothing which is permanent except change, because anything permanent becomes dead. If you are permanently in heaven, heaven will turn into hell. The very idea of permanence is non-existential.
Yes, the old religions have tried to create a contented man. It is a strategy to keep the poor, poor, a strategy against any rebellion, revolution. It is a strategy to keep the suffering, suffering; to find explanations for why he is suffering. Adam and Eve disobeyed God - that’s why you are suffering. Strange logic! You have never met Adam and Eve, it is simply a myth. Have you met serpents giving sermons?
And disobedience is something very essential for every human being in becoming an individual. Not disobedience for disobedience’s sake - but when you see something irrational being imposed upon you, and you go on obeying it, you are going against yourself. You are destroying your humanity, you are murdering your individuality. You are becoming a slave.
Obedience is beautiful if it is in harmony with you, with your understanding, with nature. But disobedience is also beautiful. If man had continued to disobey the politicians and the priests, we would have been in a far more beautiful, peaceful, loving world. They don’t want you to disobey. They don’t want you to rebel, because of their vested interests. They want you to cling to the past, because that is the only way to exploit you.