Slowly, slowly the idea arises in you that all these things will be taken away from you, death will come and will annihilate everything: you become frightened, fear arises. Out of fear, you start thinking to search for something which will not be taken away from you: God, truth, enlightenment, nirvana, or you can give it any name. Now you start seeking nirvana, enlightenment, God, samadhi in the same way as you have been seeking money, power, fame – because you have learned a logic, you have learned a program. Now the program says, “You cannot get money without seeking for it, how can you get enlightenment without seeking for it? So seek, search, fight, struggle.” And there is the whole crux of the matter – and you become ridiculous.
Money has to be sought if you want to have more money, but enlightenment is already there. You bring it with you. It is your original face. It is your emptiness, your consciousness. It is your being. When you die, everything else will die except your enlightenment, except your consciousness. Nobody can take it away from you.
But the logic that you have learned in the world drives you crazy. It is very logical to search, seek money, power, name, fame; it is very illogical to seek enlightenment. And then it becomes a heavy trip, very serious. That’s why religious people look so serious. Religious people cannot think somebody is religious if he is not serious. Seriousness has become almost synonymous with religiousness – sad, long faces. Do you see your saints laughing? That’s why the Indian so-called saints are against me: they cannot believe that an enlightened person can tell jokes. They cannot believe!
My own experience is that only an enlightened person can tell jokes. What else is left? He has seen the greatest joke of it all: he has seen the whole absurdity of searching for enlightenment.
One finds enlightenment not by searching, but by one day coming to such a point of desperation that one drops all effort. In that very moment one becomes aware of it: when searching stops, desiring disappears, you are left alone with your being – nowhere to go, you are in.
The inward journey is not really a journey. When all journeys disappear – nowhere to go, no interest in going, you have searched in every direction and every direction has failed you – in utter desperation you simply stop, you collapse. But that very collapse is the moment of the transformation. Nowhere-going, you are in. Not seeking anything, only the seeker is left. Not trying to catch anything, you suddenly become aware of the catcher. Not being interested in any object – money or enlightenment or God – only subjectivity is there. You are back home…and a great laughter, because you have always been there.
It is said that when Bodhidharma became enlightened he did not stop laughing for seven years. There is another story, in Japan, of the laughing buddha, Hotei.