This sadness is very significant. It is one of the most important things to understand about human psychology, that even if your misery disappears, you will feel sad. You have become so accustomed to misery, it has been such a good companion for years, that you will feel empty because the old misery is gone – the old pain, the old anguish is no longer there. You have remained engaged with your miserable past. Suddenly you find yourself empty, and a sadness…the same sadness which you feel when a friend departs from you.
Once you understand this, you can move through a transformation. This is not the moment to feel empty; this is the moment to feel spacious – -and that’s what you are calling empty. The old friends are gone, old prejudices, old negativity, old fixed ideas…you are spacious, and to be spacious feels strange in the beginning. But as you become accustomed to it, spaciousness becomes the temple of God. Don’t call it empty; words mean much, and whatever you call it, you will start feeling that way.
It happened a few years ago in the Himalayas: There is a beautiful animal which looks like a cow; it is called a blue cow because it has a bluish color. It is a wild animal, and its population grew so much that there was not enough pasture for the animal to remain in the mountains. It started coming to the fields and the gardens on the plains in thousands, and the problem for the Hindus was that they could not kill it because its name is blue cow.
It is not a cow; it just looks like a cow. But the very word cow to the Hindu mind means “the mother.” They have worshipped the cow for thousands of years and the prejudice has gone so deep – they can kill the bull, who is logically their father, if the cow is their mother…. They kill the bulls; they save only a few to create more cows and more bulls. The bulls are of no use; they are wild and so strong…they castrate their own fathers, and then the bull becomes just a bullock.
In the Indian parliament there was great controversy; something had to be decided. Those blue cows were coming in thousands and destroying people’s crops, and all over India, Hindus were writing slogans that those cows should not be killed. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, was an intelligent man; he simply changed the name of those animals. In parliament an act was passed that the “blue horses” should be killed – and no Hindu objected. If it is a horse, then who bothers? It is the same poor animal; and the animal knows nothing about whether she is a blue cow or a blue horse – those names are given by us. The Indian parliament passed the resolution, no Hindu objected, and thousands of blue cows were killed. But if the name had remained blue cow, then there would have been riots all over the country, and thousands of people would have been massacred.
Our minds function through words. Always remember to use the right words. Emptiness is not the right word – it has a negative connotation to it, and to call it spaciousness changes the whole attitude. Spaciousness has a positive feeling about it: the sky is not empty; it is spacious. The word empty will make you sad.