Trees are not in suffering. There seems to be no anguish. Not that death doesn’t occur to them; death occurs, but it is not a problem. Not that painful experiences are not there; they are there, but they don’t become life itself. Just on the periphery they happen and disappear. Deep down in the inner core, life remains celebrating.
A tree goes on celebrating. Death will happen, but it happens only once. It is not carried over constantly. Except for man, everything is in a festive mood. Only man is bored – boredom is a human phenomenon. What has gone wrong? Something must have gone wrong.
In a way this can be a good sign also. Boredom is human. You can define the human being through boredom. Aristotle has defined the human being as rational. That may not be exactly true; it is not a hundred percent true, because the difference is only of degree. Animals are also rational – less rational, but not absolutely irrational. There are animals which are just below the human mind. They too are rational in their own way; not as much as man, but not completely devoid of reason. The difference is only of degrees, and man cannot be defined by reason alone. But through boredom you can define him: he’s the only bored animal.
And this boredom can come to such a climax that man can commit suicide. Only man can commit suicide; no animal commits suicide. That is an absolutely human phenomenon. When boredom comes to such a point that even hope becomes impossible, then you drop dead by yourself, because then there is no sense in carrying all this. You can carry this boredom, this pain, because somewhere the tomorrow is yet hopeful. This is bad today, but tomorrow something will happen. Because of that hope you go on carrying.
I have heard, once it happened one Chinese emperor sentenced his prime minister to death. The day the prime minister was to be hanged, the emperor came to see him to say a goodbye. He had been his devoted servant for many many years, but he had done something which irritated the emperor so much that he had sentenced him to death. But remembering that this was going be the last day, the emperor came to meet him.
When the emperor came, he saw the prime minister weeping, and tears were rolling down from his eyes. He couldn’t imagine that death could be the cause, because he was a brave man, so he asked, “It is impossible to imagine that you are weeping because you are going to die this evening. It is impossible to conceive. You are a brave man, and I have known your bravery so many times, so it must be something else. What is it? If I can do something I will do it.”
The prime minister said, “Now nothing can be done and it is of no use to say to you, but if you insist, then I am still your servant – I will obey you and tell you.”
The emperor insisted, so the prime minister said, “It is not my death, because that is not of much importance – man has to die one day; any day death will be – but I am weeping because I have seen your horse standing outside.”
The emperor asked, “Because of the horse? Why?”