If discontentment does not lead to real progress, then is the contented man the alternative?
No. The religions of the world have tried to create the contented man. The contented man is really the repressed man. He has all the desires, all the ambitions, but he is repressing them. He is very disturbed inside.
So I cannot say that the contented man is the alternative. I say contentment is the alternative. Don’t misunderstand me. The point is a little delicate.
Contentment is a state of consciousness. And when there is contentment, there is no man, no woman. There is no ego, there is no “I.” There is only contentment.
It is just like when you are silent. Is there a silent man? No, there is only silence. When you are in meditation, is there a meditator? No, there is only meditation. You disappear, you have to disappear, because you are discontent, you are disturbance. You are anguish, anxiety, despair.
Christians say that there is only one sin God will not forgive, and that is despair. Perhaps that is the only statement I can agree with – not with the idea of God, but that despair cannot be forgiven. Despair simply means all these things together: anxiety, anguish, discontent, frustration.
Contentment is the answer. But the religions have been trying to create a pseudo type of contentment. They tell you that if you are poor, you are blessed; be contented with it: “God must have a design behind it, and you will be rewarded soon.” If there is any reward in the future, then your contentment is false. You are really suffering and waiting for the reward.
All the religions have been giving you rewards – or punishments. If you don’t listen to them, you will be punished; if you don’t follow them, then you are bound to go to hell. And the Christian hell is the worst, for the simple reason that you will be there for eternity. It is so illogical, so absurd, that even an idiot can understand it.
Christianity believes in only one life – that means seventy years, eighty years, a hundred years. In a hundred years can you commit so many sins that the punishment will be for eternity, forever? Even Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse-tung – all three combined cannot manage to commit so many sins.
Bertrand Russell is right. He says, “If I count all my sins that I have committed, and also count all the sins that I wanted to commit but have not committed, even then, four or five years in hell would be enough – more than enough.”
Do you know the psychological fact, that when you are in pain each moment becomes longer? Have you been at the bedside of a dying man in the night? It seems it is not going to end ever.