But nobody except Daikaku has made the point – that even for a single moment, if you are silent and push aside all your thoughts and habits, clearing the space of the mind which has been occupying it for centuries…even though it may only remain for a single moment, you are a buddha. Perhaps you will have to remember again and again till the old habits start dying out. They will die because they don’t have any roots. Unless you support and nourish them, they cannot exist.
It is a strange story that man supports his misery, nourishes it, takes care that it does not leave him, because it is his only companion. People magnify their miseries, if they cannot magnify anything else.
In the university where I was a professor, a woman was also a professor. Her husband was a very prominent advocate of the High Court. Because I used to pass by where they lived, coming from the university or going to the university, the woman was always waiting there for a lift. The husband saw it once or twice and the third time he came to see me in the university and he told me, “I am worried about you.”
I said, “What is the matter?”
He said, “You are giving my wife a lift every day. Don’t believe her – she is such a hypochondriac. Just a small cough and immediately she says, ‘I am suffering from tuberculosis.’ Don’t listen to what she says! It is her habit to enjoy her misery. She paints it as deeply as possible, she is almost a creative artist – suffering and suffering.”
I said, “You don’t have to tell me. I enjoy her and I am not worried about her tuberculosis. She is not an exception, she is the rule.”
Everybody is trying to magnify his sufferings, his miseries. It is a very sad condition that rather than jumping out of this vicious circle, you go on weaving around yourself more and more of the same stuff. But there is a very deep pay-off in it: it brings sympathy to you. It is not for no reason at all that people magnify their misery. It simply shows that they have not received love.
I told the husband, “You think that your wife is wrong. I want to say to you that you have not loved her enough. Seeking shelter in misery comes only when nobody loves you; you can always fall upon your misery as an old friend. When you are miserable everybody is sympathetic to you, when you are not miserable nobody cares about you.”
The whole psychology is upside-down. People should pay attention to others when they are looking radiant, joyful, blissful. That will be giving nourishment, because attention is nourishment. Never give attention to misery, because you are nourishing the misery. You are forcing the person to remain miserable because sympathy is so sweet – but it is a sweet poison. It is not, and cannot be, a substitute for the joy of love.
But people settle at the minimum. If love is not coming their way and they don’t know how to get it, immediately the alternative seems to be misery. Then people pay attention to you. So I told the husband, “Just try to be a little more loving.”