Omar Khayyam says somewhere that he asked great doctors, theologicians, priests, philosophers, “Why does man go on living?” Nobody could answer. They all shrugged their shoulders. Says Omar Khayyam, “I reached many who were known for their knowing, but through the same door I had to come back. Then, desperate, not knowing whom to ask, I cried to the sky one night. I asked the sky, I told the sky, ‘You must have been here! You must have seen all the miseries that have existed in the past; millions and millions miserable. You must know why people go on living!’ A sound came from the sky, ‘Because of hope.’”
Hope is your only life. With the thread of hope you can tolerate all miseries. With just a dream of heaven, you forget the hell all around you. You live in dreams; dreams sustain you. Reality is ugly. Why does so much misery happen and why can’t you see why it is happening? Why can’t you find the cause of it?
To find the cause of misery, one has to stop evading it. How can you know a thing if you evade it? How can you know a thing if you escape? If you want to know something, you have to encounter it face to face. Whenever you are miserable, you start hoping; tomorrow immediately becomes more important than today. This is evasion. You have escaped and now hope is functioning as a drug: you are miserable, you take the drug and you forget. Now you are drunk, drunk with hope. There is no drug like hope. No marijuana, no LSD is comparable. Hope is the ultimate LSD. Because of hope you can tolerate everything, everything! Thousands of hells are nothing.
How does this mechanism of hope function? Whenever you are in misery, sad, depressed, you immediately escape from it, you try to forget it. That’s how it continues. The next time you are miserable – and you will not have to wait long; the moment my talk is finished you will be – don’t try to escape. My talk may also be functioning as an escape – you listen to me, you forget yourself. You listen to me, you have to be attentive towards me, but towards yourself you turn your back. You forget, you forget what your real situation is. I talk about bliss, I talk about ecstasy. That is real to me, but to you it becomes a dream. Again it becomes the hope that if you meditate, if you work for it, then it is going to happen to you also. Don’t use it as a drug. You can use a master as a drug, and you can be drugged.
My whole effort is to make you more aware, so whenever you are in misery don’t try to escape. Hope is the enemy. Don’t hope, and don’t dream against the reality. If you are sad, then sadness is the reality. Remain with it; remain with it, don’t move, concentrate on it. Face it, let it be. Don’t move to the opposite of it. It is going to be a very bitter experience in the beginning, because when you face sadness, it surrounds you from everywhere. You become like a small island and sadness is an ocean all around – and such great waves of sadness! One feels afraid, one feels a trembling to the very being. Tremble, be afraid. Only don’t do one thing – don’t escape. Let it be, penetrate deeply into it. See, watch – don’t judge. You have been doing that for millions of lives. Just watch, penetrate into it. Soon, the bitter experience will not be so bitter. Soon, out of the bitter encounter arises reality. Soon you will be moving, penetrating deeper and deeper – and you will find the cause, what the cause of misery is, why you are so miserable.