Chapter 5: The Taste of Enlightenment
Those who seek and search, they attain. Those who don’t seek and search, they will not attain; even if the time is auspicious, it doesn’t matter. And the time is the same, the time is neither good nor bad. Time is neither for enlightenment nor against enlightenment. Whatsoever you want your life to become, time gives you the opportunity.
Time is impartial. It does not impose anything on you, it simply gives you freedom. You can become enlightened, as enlightened as you desire, or you can remain as unenlightened as you decide. Existence cooperates with you, but this idea arises again and again. I have come across many scriptures of the world: people think, “What will happen to others in the future?”
This idea persists even in ordinary human beings. You can see any old man and he talks about his time. Those beautiful days, those golden days which he had lived were something special, now there is nothing in the world. And remember, when you become old you will tell to your children the same long tales, tall tales, and you will again say, “Those were the days.”
I have heard about a man who went to Paris when he was eighty with his wife, who was seventy-eight. They looked around. The old man said, “Things have changed, Paris is no longer Paris. I had come fifty years ago when I was thirty - that was the real Paris.”
The woman laughed, and as women are more earthly, more pragmatic, she said, “My understanding is different. I think you are no longer you, that’s all. Paris is the same. Just look at the young people - they are enjoying, as much as you must have enjoyed when you were young.”
Now for a man who is eighty, Paris means nothing, Paris is its nightlife. For a man who is eighty, it is irrelevant. He is no longer so foolish as to enjoy it. He is no longer that young to be so foolish. Dreams have disappeared. And I think the wife is right: “You are not you, Paris is the same.”
It happens to you too. You start thinking that those days of your childhood were beautiful; now things are not so good. You feel sorry for the kids who are living now. You don’t know - they will feel sorry for other kids again. This has always been so. And every man thinks his time has some special quality, it is revolutionary.
And I have heard, these were the first words uttered by Adam when Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden. He told Eve, “Look, we are living in, we are passing through great revolutionary times.” Naturally, being thrown out of the garden of Eden must have been a great crisis; nobody has been through such a crisis again.
Buddha says: Do not speak thus, Subhuti. Why? - because all time has the same quality. Space and time are not corrupted by you, they cannot be corrupted. You cannot even catch hold of time, how can you corrupt it? They are not polluted. You can pollute the air and the sea, but you cannot pollute time, or can you?