The third question:
At darshan, from the way you talked to me it seems clear my meditation is to live totally in the here and now. You made it clear I was not to live in hope. T.S. Eliot said, “I said to my soul, ‘Be still, and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing. Wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing. There is yet faith, but faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.’” Anything more to say?
The question is from Pradeepa. She understood perfectly what I was trying to show her.
Maturity happens when you start living without hope. Hope is childish. You become mature when you don’t project hope into the future. In fact, you are mature when you don’t have any future; you just live in the moment because that is the only reality there is. In the past, religion used to talk about the hereafter. Those were the childish, immature days of religion. Now religion talks about herenow; religion has come of age.
In the Vedas, in the Koran, in the Bible, the hereafter is the basic goal. But now man is no longer that childish. That sort of God and that sort of religion is dead. It was a religion of hope, it was a religion of future.
Now another sort of religion is asserting itself all over the world, and this religion is about herenow, the present. There is nowhere else to go and there is no other space and no other time to live, only this space and this time, here and now. Life has to become very, very intense in this moment. A man who lives in hope dissipates life. He spreads life; it becomes too thin. And when it becomes too thin, it is never happy. Happiness means intensity, tremendous depth. If you spread your hope into the future, life will become very thin. It will lose depth.
When I say drop all hope, I mean be so intense in the moment that there is no need for the future. Then there is a turning, a transformation. The very quality of time changes for you, it becomes eternal. What can you do with hope? In fact, what can you hope? You cannot hope for the new. You can only hope for the old, that which has happened before – maybe with a little modification here and there, a little more decorated. But hope is nothing but past: you have lived something, you have experienced something, and you again and again hope for it. It is a repetition; it is circular.