Refuse to identify with labels
If you refuse to identify with any labels, most of your worries simply cease. This is the secret of awakening. You would never be unhappy again. Nothing would have the power to hurt you again. No matter what happens you remain at peace. This is being human, not a puppet, jerked about this way and that way, letting events or other people tell you how to feel.
Why get upset over someone else’s so called success. Who determines what it means to be a success, society? Society does nothing but keep society sick! The sooner you realize that, the better. Being president of a corporation has nothing to do with being a success in life. Having a lot of money has nothing to do with being a success in life. You’re a success in life when you wake up! Then you don’t have to apologize to anyone, you don’t have to explain anything to anyone, you don’t give a damn what anybody thinks about you or what anybody says about you. You have no worries; you’re happy, that’s success. Having a good job or being famous or having a great reputation has absolutely nothing to do with happiness or success. Nothing! It is totally irrelevant.
Or society drills it into our head that you have to be successful. Successful at what? They’ve made it! Made what? Made a fool of themselves because they drained all their energy getting something that was worthless. They’re frightened and confused, they are puppets. Look at them. Look how upset they get if they have a stain on their shirt. Do you call that a success? Look at how frightened they are at the prospect they might not be reelected. Do you call that a success? They are controlled and manipulated. They are unhappy people, constantly tense and anxious. Do you call that human? And do you know why that happens? Because they identified with some label. They identified the “I” with their money or
their job or their profession.
You could be a plumber or a lawyer or a businessman, but that does not affect the essential “I”. It doesn’t affect you. If I change my profession tomorrow, it’s just like changing my clothes. I am untouched. Are you your clothes? Are you your name? Are you your profession? Stop identifying with them. They come and go.
When you really understand this, no criticism can affect you. No flattery or praise
can affect you either. When someone says, “You’re a great guy,” what is he talking
about? He’s talking about “me,” he’s not talking about “I.” “I” is neither great nor small.
“I” is neither successful nor a failure. It is none of these labels. These things come and
go. These things depend on the criteria society establishes. These things depend on your
conditioning. These things depend on the mood of the person who happens to be talking
to you right now. It has nothing to do with “I.” “I” is none of these labels. “Me” is
generally selfish, foolish, and childish.
True happiness is uncaused. You cannot make me happy. You are not my happiness. You say to the awakened person, “Why are you happy?” and the awakened person replies, “Why not?”
You see, happiness is our natural state. Happiness is the natural state of little children, to
whom the kingdom belongs until they have been polluted and contaminated by the
society and culture. To acquire happiness you don’t have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don’t you experience it? Because you’ve got to drop something. You’ve got to drop illusions. You don’t have to add anything in order to be happy; you’ve got to drop something. Life is easy, it’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings. Do you know where these things come from? From having identified with all kinds of labels!