Chapter 5: There Can Be No Regret
Sometimes you are happy and sometimes you are unhappy - because your happiness is conditional. When you are succeeding you are happy, when you are failing you are unhappy; your happiness depends on some outer cause. You cannot always sing; even if you sing, your song will not always have the singing. Sometimes it will really be a delight and sometimes just a repetition, dead and dull. Sometimes, when the friend has come, when you have found a beloved, you are happy. Sometimes, when the friend has gone, the beloved is lost, you are unhappy. Your happiness. and unhappiness, is caused from the outside - it is not an inner flow, it is not something that you possess. It is given to you by others and taken away, given to you by circumstances and taken away. This is not of worth because you remain a slave, you are not a master.
The Taoists call that person a master whose happiness is absolutely his own. He can be happy irrespective of the situation: young he is happy, old he is happy; as an emperor he is happy, as a beggar he is happy. His song is uncontaminated by circumstances; his song is his own, his song is his natural rhythm.
This man, a hundred years old.. Ordinarily, a man of one hundred years of age will not be able to sing - what is there to sing about now? Life has disappeared, life has oozed out, he is almost as dry as a bone, and there is nothing to hope for, only death is to come. Singing, celebrating - for what? A man of a hundred years has no future: his life is spent, he is exhausted, any moment death will knock him down. For whom? For what? For what reason can a man sing like that? And at the age of a hundred years one has to go and do such a beggarly job.one has to pick up the grains dropped by the reapers. That means nobody is there to look after the old man. He is left alone - no family it seems, no son, no daughters, no wife, no brothers; nobody to look after him. What is there to sing about?
But if you have the song - the real song, the song that arises from your intrinsic core, your innermost center - then it does not matter. You can go on singing even when death is descending. You can go on singing even if somebody is killing you. Your body can be killed, but not your song. Your body can be imprisoned, but not your song. Your song is eternal because it is uncaused.
Remember this very fundamental law of life: That which is caused is never eternal, that which is caused is temporal. When the cause will disappear, it will disappear; it is a by-product. That which is uncaused is going to be forever and forever, because there is nothing that can destroy it. Your body will die - it has been caused; the meeting of your father and mother has been the cause of it. Your body will die: one day it was caused. It has a certain energy, a certain life-span, then it will be finished. Every day you are dying, one day you will simply disappear into the grave.
But is that all that you have? Is that all that your being is? Is there not something more? There is something in you which was before you were ever born that is going to be there even after you are-gone forever. After you have died, that which was before your birth will remain - that is uncaused.