From Relief to Fulfillment
I have always felt the need for little rewards at the end of the day a few beers, cigarettes or drugs. Now none of these things bring any satisfaction, yet the desire for something, some form of gratification, continues. What is this longing and what will satisfy it?
othing will satisfy it. There is a subtle mechanism of desire to be understood. Desire functions in this way: desire places a condition on your happiness. I will be happy if I can get this car, this woman, this house. Fulfillment of the desire removes that condition on your happiness. In your relief you feel good. Actually all you have done is remove a quite unnecessary obstruction to your happiness, but it is not long before you find yourself thinking, If I can create that obstruction again, then remove it all over again, the relief I felt in removing it the last time will feel as good as it did then. And so it is that desires, even when we fulfill them, lead again and again to the creation of new desires.
Do you follow it? First you make a condition. You say, Unless I get this woman, I am not going to be happy. I can be happy only with this woman. Now you start striving to get this woman. The more difficult it is, the more you become enthusiastic, feverish.
The more difficult it is, the more you are challenged. The more difficult it is, the more you put all your being at stake; you are ready to gamble. And of course more hope arises and more desire to possess the woman. It is so hard, it is so difficult. It must be something great, thats why it is so hard, thats why it is so difficult. You chase and chase and chase and one day you get the woman.
The day you get the woman the condition is removed: If I get the woman then I will be happy. You had put that condition in the first place. Now you get the woman, you feel relief. Now there is no more chasing, you have arrived, the result is in your hands, you feel good good because of the relief.
One day I saw Mulla Nasruddin walking, swearing and in great pain. I asked him, What is the matter? Is your stomach aching or do you have a headache or something? What is the matter? You look in such agony.
He said, Nothing. The shoes that I am wearing are too small.
But then why are you wearing them?
He said, This is the only relief that I get at the end of the day when I take my shoes off. God, it is such... then I enjoy. But this is the only joy I have, so I cannot drop these shoes. They are one size too small. It is really hell, but in the evening it gives heaven. When I go home and I take my shoes off and I fall on my sofa, I say I have arrived. Its so beautiful!
Thats what you are doing. You create pain, you create anguish, chasing, fever, and then one day you come home and take the shoes off and you say, Great, this is great. So I have arrived! But how long can it last? The relief lasts only a few moments. Then again you are hankering.
Now this woman is useless because you have got her. You cannot make a condition again. You can never say again, If I get this woman I will be happy, because she is already with you. Now you start looking around at somebody elses woman: If I get that woman... Now you know one trick that first you have to put a condition on your happiness, then you have to follow the condition, desperately, then one day relief comes. Now this is futile. A man of understanding will see that there is no need to put any condition, you can be unconditionally happy. Why go on walking in small shoes and suffer just to get relief in the end? Why not have the relief all the time? But then you will not feel it, that is the problem. To feel it you need contrast. You will be happy but you will not feel it.
And that is the definition of a really happy man: a really happy man is one who does not know anything about happiness, who has never heard about it, who is so happy, so unconditionally happy, that how can he know he is happy? Only unhappy people say, I am happy, things are going great. These are unhappy people. A happy person knows nothing about happiness. It is simply there, it is always there. It is like breathing.
You dont feel very happy about breathing then just do one thing, close your nose. Do some yoga exercises and repress your breath inside and go on repressing and go on repressing. Now the agony arises. And you go repressing. Be a real yoga disciple go on repressing. And then it bursts forth and there is such great joy. This is foolish but this is what everybody is doing. Thats why you wait for the result in the evening.
Happiness is herenow, it needs no condition. Happiness is natural. Just see the point of it. Dont make conditions on your happiness. Remain happy for no reason at all. There is no reason to find some cause to be happy. Just be happy.
Trees are happy and they will not get any beer in the evening and any cigarettes, and they are perfectly happy. Look! ... And the wind blowing is happy, and the sun is happy, and the sands are happy and the seas are happy, and everything is happy except man because nobody is making any conditions. Just be happy.
Learn how to live the moment joyously. Dont look for results, there are none. Life is not going anywhere, it has no ends. Life is not a means to any end, life is just herenow. Live it. Live it totally, live it consciously, live it joyously and you will be fulfilled.
Fulfillment should not be postponed, otherwise you will never be fulfilled. Fulfillment has to be now now or never.
excerpted from The Diamond Sutra