The first question:
I have heard:
A psychologist wants to experiment with his twin sons. He takes them down to his group rooms and puts each in a room by himself. In Ike’s room he loads in a pile of TV advertised, hard-sell toys. Ike is diagnosed as a complaining, negative pessimist. In Mike’s room he loads in an enormous pile of manure. Mike is the optimist.
An hour after they are locked in, he enters Ike’s room. There is Ike tossing out toy after toy, complaining, “This is not any good, that one won’t work.”
As he opens the door into the second room he is unable to find his son for a few moments. But he hears his voice; it is saying, “There’s gotta be a pony, there’s gotta be a pony.” And as he appears he is shown frantically digging through the manure, looking for the pony.
I have changed rooms; I have got my eye out for the pony.
The first thing to be understood about pessimism and optimism is that they are not different. They look different, but don’t be deceived by their appearances. They are just two polarities of the same phenomenon. A pessimist can become an optimist and an optimist can become a pessimist. A pessimist is just an optimist standing on his head, and vice versa. They are not two different people, they are not two different dimensions. Remember, it is not worth changing rooms. Get out of both the rooms, under the sky where neither pessimism nor optimism exist. You can be at ease only when both are gone, because both are wrong.
Analyze the situation. The pessimist goes on looking at the darker side of things and goes on denying the whiter side; he accepts only half of the truth. The optimist goes on denying the darker side of things and accepts only the whiter side – he is also half true. Neither of them accepts the whole truth, because the whole truth is both summer and winter, God and devil, darkness and light, good and evil, life and death. The whole truth is both. Both are doing the same exercise – they are denying the one half and accepting the other half. The other half is as much half as the first; there is no difference. If the pessimist is wrong, the optimist is also wrong. Both are not ready to accept the truth as it is. They choose.
Move out of both the rooms under the open sky of choicelessness. Don’t choose. Let truth be as it is. Don’t try to paint it in your own mood. Try to see the facticity of it – don’t bring your mood in. Don’t look through hope, don’t look through frustration. Don’t be positive and don’t be negative – that is the highest consciousness possible.