Is it that there are only two alternatives before man – a life of abiding sorrow and suffering or one of divinity and bliss – and this choice lies with him? How is it that most have chosen the path of sorrow and suffering?
It is a very significant question, but very delicate also. The first thing to be understood is that life is very paradoxical, and because of that many things happen. These are the two alternatives: either man can be in heaven or hell. And there is no third possibility. Either you can be in deep suffering, or you can be without suffering and in deep bliss. These are the only two possibilities, two openings, two doors, two modes of being.
Then the question necessarily arises why man chooses to be in suffering. Man never chooses to be in suffering, man always chooses to be in bliss – and there comes the paradox. If you choose to be in bliss, you will be in suffering, because to be in bliss means to be choiceless. This is the problem. If you choose to be in bliss you will be in suffering. If you don’t choose, if you simply remain a witness, non-choosing, you will be in bliss. So it is not a question of choosing between bliss and suffering; deep down it is a question of choosing between choosing and non-choosing.
Why does it happen that whenever you choose you are in suffering? – because choice divides life: something has to be cut and thrown away. You don’t accept the total. You accept something in it and you deny something, that’s what choice means. And life is a totality. If you choose something and deny something, that which you deny will come to you, because life cannot be divided. And that which you deny, just because you deny it, becomes a powerful thing over you. You really become afraid of it.
Nothing can be denied. You can only close your eyes to it. You can only escape. You can become inattentive towards it, but it is always there hidden, waiting for the moment to assert. So if you deny suffering – if you say you are not going to choose suffering – then in a subtle you have chosen it. Now it will always be around you. One thing.
Life is totality – the first thing; and life is change – the second thing. These are basic truths. You cannot divide life. Secondly: nothing is stagnant, and nothing can be. So when you say, “I am not going to suffer. I am going to choose a blissful mode of living,” you will cling to happiness. And whenever you cling to something, you want it, you hope it to be permanent. And nothing can be permanent in life. Life is a flux.
So when you cling to happiness, you are again creating suffering, because this happiness will pass away; nothing can remain. It is a river, and the moment you cling to a river, you are creating a situation in which you will be frustrated, because the river will move. Sooner or later you will find that the river has gone far away. It is not now with you: your hands are empty and your heart is frustrated.