You’re not seeing reality
Anytime you have a negative feeling toward anyone, you’re not seeing reality. We like tell ourselves, “He is to blame, she is to blame. She’s got to change.” No! The world’s all right. The one who has to change is you.
What if someone criticized the way you’re dressed. You get your feelings hurt. You identify with your clothes. You feel like anyone who attacks my clothes attacks me. I feel attacked. But the “I” is never threatened; it’s only the “me” that is threatened.
But what about out-and-out injustice, something that is obviously and objectively wrong. What is the proper reaction? Should you involve yourself in correcting a situation that’s wrong? It’s not that you shouldn’t do anything, but if you didn’t have negative feelings you’d be much more effective. Because when you have negative feelings you go blind. “Me” steps in and everything gets fouled up. Where we had one problem on our hands before, now we have two problems. Many wrongly assume that not having negative feelings like anger and resentment and hate means that you do nothing about a situation. No. You are not affected emotionally but you spring into action. You become very sensitive to things and people around you. What kills the sensitivity is when you so identify with “me” that there’s too much of “me” in it for you to see things objectively. It’s very important that you be able to see things with detachment. But negative emotions prevent that.
What would we call the kind of passion that motivates or activates energy into doing something about objective evils? Whatever it is, it is not a reaction; it is action. Suppose a friend dies. It seems right to feel some sadness. But what reaction? Self-pity? What would you be grieving about? Think about that. Your reaction is personal loss, right? Feeling sorry for “me” or for other people your friend might have known. But that means you’re feeling sorry for other people who are feeling sorry for themselves. If they’re not feeling sorry for themselves, what would they be feeling sorry for? We never feel grief when we lose something that we have allowed to be free, that we have never attempted to possess. Grief is a sign that I made my happiness depend on this thing or person.
This is what all the mystics in the past have been telling us. I’m not saying that
“me,” the conditioned-self, will not sometimes fall into its usual patterns. That’s the way
we’ve been conditioned. But it raises the question whether it is conceivable to live a life
in which you would be so totally alone that you would depend on no one.
We all depend on one another for all kinds of things. We depend on the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. Interdependence. We set up society this way and we allot different functions to different people for the welfare of everyone, so that we will function better and live more effectively. But to depend on another psychologically or emotionally means to depend on another human being for my happiness. If you do, the next thing you will be doing, whether you’re aware of it or not, is demanding that other people contribute to your happiness. Then there will be a next step—fear, fear of loss, fear of alienation, fear of rejection, mutual control. Perfect love casts out fear. Where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency. I do not demand that you make me happy; my happiness does not lie in you. If you were to leave me, I will not feel sorry for myself; I enjoy your company, but I do not cling.
Life is a symphony. It plays one melody in your presence, but when you leave, the orchestra doesn’t stop. It keeps playing. That’s what awakening is all about. That’s also why we’re hypnotized, brainwashed, asleep. Can you be said to love me if you cling to me and will not let me go? If you will not let me be? Can you love me if you need me psychologically or emotionally for your happiness? This flies in the face of the universal teaching of all the scriptures, of all religions, of all the mystics. When you read those radical things in the scriptures, you begin to wonder: Is this man crazy? But after a while you begin to think everybody else is crazy. “Unless you hate your father and mother, brothers and sisters, unless you renounce and give up everything you possess, you cannot be my disciple.” You must drop it all. Not physical renunciation, you understand; that’s easy. When your illusions drop, you’re in touch with reality at last, and believe me, you will never again be lonely, never again. Loneliness is not cured by human company. Loneliness is cured by contact with reality.
You can only know what aloneness is when you drop your clinging.Think of the loneliness that is yours. Would human company ever take it away? It will only serve as a distraction. There’s an emptiness inside, isn’t there? And when the emptiness surfaces, what do you do? You run away, turn on the television, turn on the radio, read a book, search for human company, seek entertainment, seek distraction. Everybody does that. It’s big business nowadays, an organized industry to distract us and entertain us.
Come home to yourself. Observe yourself. After a while you don’t have to make any effort, because, as illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It’s called happiness. Everything changes and you become addicted to awareness.