Chapter 11: One in the Many
When you don’t need any purpose you simply celebrate your being. You feel gratitude just that you are, just that you breathe. It is such a blessing that you can breathe, that you are alert, conscious, alive, aflame. Is it not enough? Do you need something to achieve so that you can feel good, so that you can feel valued, so that you can feel life is justified? What more can you achieve than what you are? What more can be added to your life? What more can you add to it? Nothing can be added, and the effort will destroy you - the effort to add something.
But for many centuries all over the world they have been teaching every child to be purposive. “Don’t waste your time! Don’t waste your life!” And what do they mean? They mean, “Transform your life into a bank balance. When you die you must die rich. That is the purpose.”
Here in the East - particularly the mystics we are talking about, the Upanishads - they say, “Live richly.” In the West they say, “Die a rich man.” And these are totally different things. If you want to live richly you have to live here and now, not a single moment is to be lost. If you want to achieve something, you will die a rich man - but you will live a poor man, your life will be poor.
Look at rich people: their life is absolutely poor, because they are wasting it transforming it into bank balances, changing their life into money, into big houses, big cars. Their whole effort is that life has to be changed for some things. When they die you can count their things.
Buddha became a beggar. He was born a king, he became a beggar. Why? Just to live richly.because he came to understand that there are two ways to live: one is to die richly, the other is to live richly. And any man who has any understanding will choose to live richly, because dying a rich man doesn’t mean anything; you simply wasted yourself for nothing. But this is possible only if you can conceive that the whole existence is purposeless; it is a cosmic play, a continuous beautiful game, a beautiful hide-and-seek - not leading anywhere. Nowhere is the goal.
If this is the background, then you need not be worried about individual purposes, evolution, progress. This word progress is the basic disease of the modern age. What is the need? All that can be enjoyed is available, all that you need to be happy is here and now. But you create conditions and you say that unless these conditions are fulfilled you cannot be happy. You say, “These conditions must be fulfilled first: this type of house, this type of clothes, this type of car, this type of wife, this type of husband. All these conditions have to be fulfilled first, then I can be happy.” As if by being happy you are going to oblige the whole universe.
And who is going to fulfill your conditions? Who is worried? But you will try for those conditions, and the effort is going to be so long that they can never be fulfilled really, because whenever something is fulfilled, by the time it is fulfilled the goal has shifted.