Your hopes have not yet died. Your hopes are fully alive. And this is where the world exists – in those hopes. When your hopes are shattered…and this doesn’t mean that they will be shattered by simply listening to someone else – otherwise a child would become old by simply listening to an old man talking. If they are shattered by listening to someone else, they have not really been shattered. You will go and sit in a temple but you will think about the marketplace. You may become an ascetic, renounce the world and sit in a cave in the Himalayas, but you will still be thinking about your wife and children. And there is nothing wrong in that, it is completely natural. I don’t even say that you will be making a mistake by doing this.
One day Mulla Nasruddin took his battered watch to be repaired. It was in such a state that it was difficult to recognize that it had once been a watch. He had dropped it from the seventh floor of a building. He had leaned over to look at something below, stretched out too far, and the watch had slipped out of his pocket.
Because it fell so far, it was completely ruined. When he put the many broken bits and pieces of metal on the watchmaker’s table, the watchmaker looked at them carefully and then adjusted his glasses, as if trying to see what this object was. Finally he asked, “What is it, good sir?”
Nasruddin said, “This is the limit! Can’t you see that it’s a pocket watch?”
The watchmaker exclaimed, “Why did you…?” That was all he said, “Why did you…?”
Mulla thought he was about to ask, “Why did you drop it?” so he replied, “What could I do? It just fell. I was looking out from a seventh story window and I made a mistake.”
The watchmaker said, “I am not asking you why you dropped it. I want to know why you picked it up? Why did you bother?”
The day you wake up, you will find that there was nothing to life. On that day you will not worry about letting go, you will wonder why you held on for so long! “Why did I pick up the watch?” It is not that you will think about the greatness of renouncing. On that day you will wonder why you were engrossed in pleasures for so long. “How did this happen? Why was I so blind? Why was I in such ignorance? Why was I so unconscious when there was nothing there?”
There is a saying in the West that a philosopher is a man who is looking for a black cat on a pitch black night, in a room without a light – looking for a cat which is not even there in the first place. This is the story of your life. You are looking for a black cat in a dark room on a dark night, and the cat is not even there in the first place. There is no way you can find it. But it is pitch dark and you think that the cat is black, so you keep looking for it. You cannot see it at the moment, but if you keep looking for it you might just find it. No one has ever found it.