Chapter 10: I Am the Sea You Are Seeking
You can look from two ends. If you are too furniture-oriented, so that you can only look at the chairs and tables and the sofa and you cannot see the roominess of the room, then it will feel empty. But if you know, and you can see emptiness directly, you will feel a tremendous freedom which was not there before because the room was missing; you could not move in it. Go on filling it with furniture, and there will come a point when you cannot move because the whole room is gone.
Once I stayed in a very rich man’s house. He was very rich, but had no taste. His house was so full that it was not a house at all. You could not move, and you were always afraid to move because he had precious antiques. He himself was afraid to move. The servants were constantly worried. He gave me the best, the most beautiful room in his house. And I told him, “This is not a room, it is a museum. Please give me something where I can move, then it will be a room. This is not a room. The room has almost disappeared.” The room means: the freedom that space gives you.
When you are working, creating, your mind is full of many things. The mind is occupied. Writing a novel the mind is occupied; writing a poem the mind is occupied; there is too much furniture in it - the furniture of the mind: thoughts, feelings, characters. Then the book is finished. Suddenly, the furniture is gone. You feel empty. But there is no need to become sad. If you look at it rightly - this is what Buddha called right-vision, samyak drishti - if you look rightly, you will feel freed of an obsession, of an occupation. You will feel clean again, unburdened. Those characters of the novel are no longer moving there. Those guests are gone and the host is totally at ease. Enjoy it. Your wrong interpretation is creating sadness for you, and fear. Enjoy it. Have you never observed that when a guest comes you feel good; when he goes you feel even better? He leaves you alone, and now you have your own space.
To write a novel is maddening because so many characters become guests, and each character has his own way. It is not always that he listens to the writer, not always. Sometimes he has his own way, and he forces the writer in a certain direction. The writer starts the novel, but never ends it. Then those characters end it by themselves.
It is just like giving birth to a child. You can give birth to a child, but then the child starts moving on his own. The mother may have been thinking that the child would become a doctor, and he becomes a hobo. What can you do? You try hard, but he becomes a hobo.
The same happens when you write a novel: you start with a character - you were going to make a saint out of him, and he becomes a sinner. And I tell you, it is exactly as it happens to a child: the mother is worried; the novelist is worried. He wanted him to become a saint and he is becoming a sinner, and nothing can be done. He feels almost helpless, almost used by these characters. They are his fantasies, but once you co-operate with them they become almost real. And unless you get rid of them, you will never be at peace. If you have a book in your mind, it has to be written to get rid of it. It is a catharsis, it is unburdening yourself.