Try to understand it: to witness means to know that you have never done anything, you are just an observer. Whatever has happened has not been done by you, you are not a doer in it. Hence whatsoever happens is by the grace of the divine. It is impossible to take away the happiness of the witness. And the witness knows the art of spreading happiness all around itself. Just as a spider creates a web from within itself, the doer creates a web of misery all around himself and the witness creates a web of happiness all around itself.
The witness has no desire because if one is not the doer then the desire to do something becomes meaningless. One who has no more desire and no expectation cannot be made unhappy. Misery comes only when expectations and desires are not fulfilled.
I have heard about a man who was sitting, looking very sad and unhappy. He owned a big hotel and it was doing a good business. So a friend asked him, “Why are you so unhappy for the last few days? Is there some problem with the business?”
The owner said, “There are many problems! The hotel is running at a loss.”
The friend exclaimed, “I cannot understand that, because so many guests are coming and going. Whenever I pass through your hotel in the evening I always find a ‘no vacancy’ sign on the front door. So business must be going very well.”
The hotel owner said, “You don’t know! Fifteen days ago, when we were putting the ‘no vacancy’ sign up in the evening, a minimum of fifty customers always had to be turned away. But now, for the last few days, only fifteen persons are turned away every night. The business is running at a great loss!”
A mind full of expectations is bound to be unhappy….
I was a guest in a house. The wife said to me, “Please find out what is happening to my husband. He is always worrying that he has lost half a million rupees. I wonder how there could be such a loss – I don’t see any loss.”
So I asked the husband and he said, “There is a loss: I was expecting a profit of one million rupees and instead I only got a profit of half a million rupees, so I have suffered a loss of half a million rupees!”
A mind that is full of expectations experiences loss even when there has been gain. A mind full of witnessing experiences gain even though there may be loss, because it knows that it has not been the doer of it. Whatsoever has been given is a gift from existence; it is a blessing.
So a man would become a householder only after he has had a few glimpses of witnessing. Then he would have a wife but he would never become a dominating husband. Then he would have children, taking care of them, but not becoming an authoritarian father. He would build a house, run a shop, but he would do everything as if he were an actor in a stage drama. He would wait with a patient longing for the day when he would be able to continue the unfinished inner journey that he had left at the age of twenty-five. And at the age of fifty he would become a vanaprastha.