“Are you nuts?” said Mistress Rosenfeld. “What did you buy tires for? You don’t even have a car.”
“So,” said Rosenfeld, “you buy brassieres, don’t you?”
If the center is missing, then you can go on decorating the periphery. It may deceive others but it cannot fulfill you. It may even deceive you sometimes, because even one’s own lie repeated too many times starts appearing like a truth. But it cannot fulfill you, it cannot give contentment. The American is trying hard to enjoy life, but there seems to be no rejoicing. The Baul is not trying to enjoy life at all. There is no effort in it; he is simply enjoying it. And he has nothing to enjoy – he is just a beggar on the road, but he has something of the inner, some glow of the unknown surrounds him. His songs are not only songs – something from the beyond descends in them. When he dances, it is not only that his body is moving; something deeper has moved. He’s not trying to enjoy.
Remember it: whenever you are trying to enjoy you will miss. When you are trying to achieve happiness you will miss. The very effort to achieve happiness is absurd because happiness is here: you cannot achieve it. Nothing has to be done about it, you have simply to allow it. It is happening, it is all around you – within, without – only happiness is. Nothing else is real. Watch, look deep into the world, into trees, birds, rocks, rivers, into the stars, moon and sun, into people, animals – look deep: existence is made out of the stuff of happiness, joy, sat-chit-ananda. It is made of bliss. There is nothing to be done about it. Your very doing may be the barrier. Relax and it fulfills you, relax and it rushes into you, relax, it overflows you.
The Baul is relaxed, the American is tense. Tension arises when you are chasing something, relaxation arises when you are allowing something. That is why I say there is a great difference, and the difference is qualitative. It is not a question of quantity – that Bauls have more than Americans, or Americans have less than the Bauls. No, the Americans have nothing of happiness that the Bauls have; and what the Americans have – the misery, the tension, the anguish, the neurosis – the Bauls don’t have. They exist in a totally different dimension.
The dimension of the Baul is herenow; the dimension of the American is somewhere else – then-there, but never herenow. The American is chasing, chasing hard, trying to get something out of life, trying to squeeze life. Nothing comes out of it because that is not the way.
You cannot squeeze life; you have to surrender to it. You cannot conquer life. You have to be courageous enough to be defeated by life. Defeat is victory there, and the effort to be victorious is going to prove to be nothing but your final, utter failure.