Chapter 14: Enlightenment: A Simple Realization
Live a life which has no idea of purpose, which has no search for meaning. Live a life of sheer joy and ecstasy - that is the only way to live. Every other way is only to commit a slow suicide.
That’s what happens when you are too much interested in goals: today goes by without being lived, and tomorrow remains important - and tomorrow never comes. Whenever it comes it is today. And you learn a wrong habit of losing that which is and of thinking of something which is not. Every day it will happen: each tomorrow will come as today, and you will not be interested in it and you will be interested in the tomorrow, and the tomorrow is never going to come.
This is how people are simply wasting away. Their lives could have become great oases, but they remain deserts. And the basic reason for people’s dryness is goal-orientation.
You say: “I keep thinking of my life in terms of a goal or destination, waiting to wake up some day and find myself enlightened.”
Why “some day”? Why not now? Why postpone it? Is it not a trick of the mind to avoid it? Postponing is a way of avoiding. Don’t you want to be enlightened right now? If you look deep down, if you watch, you will see the point - you don’t want to become enlightened right now.
If I say to you I can make you enlightened right now.you will say, “Just give me a little time to think. I will come tomorrow, because I have to do many more things before I become enlightened. My girl may be waiting, my children, my shop has to be opened.. So many investments - let me finish things first! Yes, I want to be enlightened, but not right now.”
In fact you don’t want to become enlightened. It is a very diplomatic way of avoiding, so that you can go on deceiving yourself that you are interested in becoming enlightened, that you want to be enlightened, but not today. It is only a question of time; not that you are not interested in enlightenment - tomorrow, when all other things have been finished, completed, when nothing else is left.
But do you think a day will come when all your investments and all your worries and all your acts are complete? Will there ever come a day when you are finished with the activities of your so-called life, and you can come and say, “Right now I am ready”? It will never come, because life is such a complexity. It never begins, it never ends. You are always in the middle.
It is like reading a novel from the middle. The beginning part is missing and the end part is missing - you know only the middle. That is the mystery of life. Try some time reading a novel from the middle and you will find that even an ordinary novel becomes very mysterious. Intrigued you will be, and many times you will be tempted to look back: “What is the beginning?” But resist the temptation, go on reading in the middle.