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Chapter 26: Acceptance of the Peaks and the Valleys

The mind wants one thing and it denies the other, and the other is part of it. The mind says, “Life is good, death is bad.” But death is one part, - the valley part, - and life is the peak part. Life cannot exist without death. Life exists because of death. If death disappeared, life would disappear, but the mind says, “I want only life, I do not want death.” Then the mind moves in a dream world which exists nowhere, and it starts fighting with everything, because in life everything is related to the opposite. If you do not want the opposite, a fight starts.

A person who understands this - that life is duality - accepts both. He accepts death, not as against life, but as part of it, as the valley part. He accepts night as the valley part of the day. One moment you feel blissful; the next moment you are sad. You do not want to accept the next moment - that is the valley part. And the higher the peak of bliss, the deeper will be the valley, because deeper valleys are only created by higher peaks. So the higher you move, the lower you will be falling. And this is just like waves rising high: then there is a valley part.

Understanding means being aware of this fact - not only being aware, but having a deep acceptance of the fact, because you cannot move away from the fact. You can create a fiction. and we have been creating fictions for centuries. We have put hell somewhere deep down and heaven high up somewhere. We have created an absolute division between them, which is nonsense, because hell is the valley part of heaven. It exists with heaven; it cannot exist apart.

This understanding will help you to be positive; then you will be able to accept everything. By positive I mean that you accept everything because you know that you cannot divide existence.

I take a breath in, and immediately I have to throw it out. I inhale and then exhale. If I were only to inhale and not to exhale, I would die; or if I were only to exhale and not to inhale, then too I would die, because inhaling and exhaling are part of one process, a circle. I can inhale only because I exhale. Both are together and they cannot be divided.

This is what a liberated man is - undivided. It happens if this understanding comes to him. I call a man liberated, enlightened, who accepts the very duality of existence.

Then he is positive.

Then whatsoever happens is accepted.

Then he has no expectations.

Then he makes no demands on existence.

Then he can float downstream.