“Very well,” the cross-maker answered. “But that is the one you brought in with you.”
People become accustomed…. If you have been carrying a certain misery load, a certain cross of anguish, anxiety, you have become accustomed to it – it is almost part of your being. Now anything new will be more disturbing: with the new, you will have to earn new ways of being. And happiness? – you have forgotten the very language of it. You don’t even remember what happiness means; you don’t remember that you ever experienced it. It seems to be just a dream – very fragile, not solid enough to catch hold of; you cannot hold it in your hand and see it.
What do you mean by happiness? When was the last time you were happy? Can you remember any moment in your life when you were really happy – really, really happy? And you will be surprised – the whole life looks like a desert. You have been hoping…but you have not experienced happiness. Now this whole desert-like life is what you mean when you say, “I am.” This is your ego – all this pus, all this canceric state, all this disease and illness, all this neurosis – this is what you call “I am.” This is your ego.
And if I say to you, “Drop the ego,” you say, “How can I drop the ego? Why should I surrender? Why should I surrender to anybody?” This “I” is nothing but your past. Look deep into it, analyze it a little – you will not find anything in it but just miseries and miseries and miseries…hurts insults, irritations, nightmares…. But you fight for it. You are not ready to drop it, you are really clinging to it.
Surrender simply means an understanding: Enough of this “I” – now I drop it. The moment you drop “I,” you have dropped the whole hypnosis that the society has forced you to go through. The moment you drop the ego, you have dropped the state, the religion, the church, the society, the parents, the school, the university, the civilization, the culture: you have dropped all conditioning. And then suddenly you will see an upsurge of tremendous bliss arising in you. It was there, waiting – just remove the weight, and the spring can flow again.
Happy you were born – each child is born in happiness. Each child is born for happiness – this whole life is a great celebration. But there are people who would not allow you to be happy. Have you observed it? Whenever you start feeling a little happiness you also feel, side by side, a little guilt arising – as if you are doing something wrong. If you are unhappy, there is no guilt; if you are happy, there is guilt. You must be doing something wrong – you are feeling happy?