In the West, the psychologists have a new worry, and this is troubling people for the first time in the history of mankind. In the Western countries like America and Sweden, the worry is that by the end of this century when all the work will be done by robots, man will have a lot of free time. So the psychologists are worried about what man will do in his free time, because as yet man doesn’t have the ability to be empty or to sit quietly. Just think of the situation: all the work is being done by the machines and there is no work for you!
Now you say that there is too much work and you want to have some free time to rest – although even when you do have free time now you don’t rest; you just cannot spend the Sunday holiday sitting at home so you go on a picnic. On Sunday you get bored and you start thinking of Monday, you wait eagerly for Monday so that you can start your work again.
But if your whole life becomes a Sunday holiday, will you be able to tolerate that much rest and peace? No, you will find ways and means to keep yourself involved and occupied.
Psychologists say that we will have to find some types of work which may not be of any utility, but which can be given to the people who cannot sit idle. And a unique idea has come to their minds. The government will give money to those people who are ready to sit idle; it will pay you for sitting idle! But those who work will not get paid, because two things cannot be given at the same time – work and pay.
It seems very strange to us now, but the Western countries are getting nearer to this point. The Eastern countries just cannot imagine this, because there is so much poverty, so much conflict in these countries. But at the close of this century the people who are ready to sit idle will be called gentlemen and those who are not ready to do so will be called non-gentlemen.
But only that person can sit idle who has tasted meditation. That is why people are now keenly interested in meditation in the West. They are very eager to know about it. Nothing happens without reason; whenever anything is going to happen the consciousness becomes eager about it.
It is not by chance that people from faraway Western countries are coming to me. They have an acute desire to know the happiness of being with oneself – because one doesn’t find, one cannot find happiness, by being with the other. It is always miserable to be with the other. But the problem is that we don’t know the art of being alone. That is why we go on tolerating the hell which the other is making us suffer. And there is
no way out, because to be alone is absolutely intolerable, more hellish. So we prefer to be with the hell of the other rather than suffer the hell of being alone. At least we can talk a little with the other – never mind if it turns out to be a quarrel.
Have you ever thought about it? If you are left alone, you think that it is better to be in the company of the enemy than to be left with oneself. You can fight with the enemy, you can abuse him and feel a little lively. But you can do nothing when you are alone; you just sit like a dead person. One must do some-thing. Then people start pottering around in the room.