Chapter 4: Remember to Stop in the Middle
Happiness, unhappiness, exist together. You can change the role anytime you like. In fact, people go on changing: in the morning you are an optimist, by the evening you have become a pessimist. That’s why beggars come to beg in the morning - because morning makes many more people optimistic. By the evening, knowing the whole life and the nastiness of it, people become pessimistic, tired, angry, frustrated. In the evening beggars don’t come to beg because who is going to give? In the morning people are more open; the morning sun again brings hope. The night is gone: “Maybe today something is going to happen.” People are more positive. By the evening, people become negative.
In the day you change your roles many times. If you are a little alert, you will see: a moment before you were an optimist, a moment afterwards you have become a pessimist. Small things: changes in the climate, changes in the relationship, a small gesture on somebody’s part can make you change your role.
Have you watched it? You are sitting, sad, and somebody comes, and he is a man of laughter and he laughs and he jokes - you forget that you were sad and you start laughing. You were laughing and a few friends come and they are all sad; they bring a climate of sadness, and you relapse into it.
As I see it, every man is born with both possibilities. You have to go beyond it; you have to see the futility of both. That’s what silence is: it is complete absence of duality. So please avoid being extremists. Excess should always be avoided, because excess is the root of all untruth. In fact, there are no lies in the world, only half-truths and truth. All half-truths are lies; and the truth is not half, it is whole.
The mind tends to be always moving towards the extreme - so you are moving towards the height, then you are moving towards the valley, going up then coming down. Like a yo-yo you go on, and you never become aware that both are useless. Like a pendulum of an old clock you move from one extreme to another. Once the pendulum stops in the middle, the clock stops. Once you stop in the middle, time disappears. Then you are no more part of this world. The clock stops.then you are part of eternity. Watch the pendulum moving from left to right, from right to left. A very strange thing is happening. When the pendulum is going to the right, you see it as going to the right.
Ask the mechanic: he will say that when the pendulum is going to the right it is gaining momentum to go to the left; when it is going to the left it is gaining momentum to go to the right. So when you are unhappy, you are gaining momentum to be happy. When you are happy, you are gaining momentum to be unhappy. When you are loving you are gaining momentum to be hateful, and when you are hateful you are gaining momentum to be loving.
Once you understand this subtle mechanism, that mind tends to be always moving towards extremes, you stop cooperating with the mind. Pessimist or optimist, both are within mind, and the real man of understanding is beyond it.
Mulla Nasruddin was getting ready to apply to a local department store for a job.
A friend told him that it was the policy of the store to hire nobody but Catholic Christians, and that if he wanted a job there he would have to lie about being a Catholic Christian.