Chapter 13: Reverence for Life
Krishna is full of reverence for life, Jesus is full of reverence for life, Buddha is full of reverence for life, yet a large number of their followers are full of irreverence for life. This is not because of the teachings of Krishna, Jesus or Buddha, but because of their followers’ understanding. They all ask you to search for the supreme truth, and you too want to find it, but whenever you think of going on such a search, you always think that first, you must renounce this moment, first, you must renounce your present life for this search to become possible. You think you will have to distance yourself from your present life, that you will have to destroy it and only then can you undertake the search. And it is not that renouncing life is a prerequisite for the search - the truth is that we have become so fed up with life, so troubled by it, so unhappy and helpless in it, that whenever we get the slightest opportunity to leave it, to destroy it, we are always happy to do so. Any excuse, and we are ready to destroy life. We are suicidal, we are sick. And then all the pathologically-minded people get together and they change the whole definition of life, they change its color. They turn the whole context upside down.
Pathological people and people with sick minds very quickly become interested in religion. And there is a reason for this - the reason is that they are anti-life. They have never gained any peace or happiness from life, and the reason is not that life offers no possibilities for peace and happiness; the real reason is that the method that they have been using to find peace and happiness is wrong and so they became totally anti-life. Whenever they find any preacher who hints to them of a greater life, immediately they come to the conclusion that this life is full of sin; it is this life which is the cause of all suffering and only by renouncing it can they attain to the supreme life.
Unhappiness is not an intrinsic part of life itself, it lies in the way you look at life. If you behave like these sick people then even if you attain to supreme life, even there, you will find nothing but unhappiness. It is just the way you are - it does not matter where you are, it does not matter where you go; that trait will exist in you. No matter where you go, your way of looking remains with you. Even if you do find the divine, you will feel that it too is just making you miserable! You cannot ever be happy - unless you change your ways. But you don’t want to change them; instead you become very eager to change the circumstances. You take great delight in condemning life, and it becomes very difficult for you ever to imagine that perhaps you could be wrong. And this community of condemners, even though it manages to inflict harm to your life, does not manage to help you to take even one step towards the divine.
It is necessary to understand one thing: that if a supreme life does exist, it is nothing but another name for the depth of this very life. And if there is a life beyond this life, the stairway to that life, the pathway to that life, starts from this life. This life is not your enemy. It is your friend, your partner; it is ready to support you. And if you are unable to see any path through this life, then you must change your way of seeing, you must change your method of looking at things. But who is ready to change himself?
I am very surprised to find that even the people who come and tell me that they are willing to change themselves are not ready to change themselves, they merely talk about doing so. Their wish is that everyone else should change, but they should not. To change yourself hurts your ego. It is very painful.