In the current crisis, the politicians, the priests, and the media keep talking about “hope.” Is this helpful?
“You have to see the strategy: keep people false, so they remain miserable. Miserable people need priests, politicians, psychoanalysts, all kinds of charlatans, because they are in such misery they are ready to fall in anybody’s trap – whoever gives them hope. Hope is almost like opium: you forget your misery, you start dreaming beautiful dreams….
Hope is the opium of the people. And they go on giving hope. Hope is the greatest business in the world. For thousands of years priests have been exploiting, giving hope: ‘In the next life…’
“And nobody has asked them, ‘Why not in this life? – and this life must have been ‘the next life’ in the previous life!
“We have been miserable in the past life, and we waited for this life – we are miserable. And you are again saying ‘next life,’ or in paradise.’ Not a single eyewitness, no proof, no evidence exists of any paradise. But the miserable person is ready to believe in anything; the belief has to be a consolation.”
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“That was a very convenient concept for all the vested interests because the man who is ready to suffer can easily be enslaved. The man who is ready to sacrifice today for an unknown tomorrow has already declared his inclination to be enslaved. The future becomes his bondage. And for thousands of years, man has lived only in hope, in imagination, in dreams, in utopias, but not in reality. And there is no other life than the life of reality, than the life that exists in this moment.”
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Is it our need for consolations that is being exploited by offering us this opium of “hope”?
“Friedrich Nietzsche is right. He says, ‘Please, don’t destroy people’s lies, their illusions, because if you destroy their illusions, they will not be able to live at all; they will collapse.’ They will not find anything worth living for. They live because of the illusions; the illusions keep on giving them hope. They live in the tomorrow which never comes. They live in their ambitions which are never fulfilled; but whether fulfilled or not, through those ambitions and desires and illusions and expectations and hopes they can drag their lives up to their graves. If you destroy their illusions, they may simply drop dead here and now because then there is no point in living.”
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Why are we so vulnerable to this kind of exploitation?
The mind lives in hope and through hope; it goes on thinking that something is going to happen….
“All is. You have to be reminded constantly of it, because you go on rushing away from it. All going is dreaming – whether you are going for money or for God does not matter. Whether you think of the body or of the soul does not matter. Whether you want to become very rich, very famous, or enlightened, doesn’t matter. All is dream. Becoming is dream.
“Look into that which you are, and don’t go on looking for that which you would like to be. Hope is the secret of the mind; the mind lives through hope, nourishes itself on hope. Once you stop hoping, once you relax and you just let hopes disappear, suddenly you are awakened to the truth – the truth of your being, the truth of the whole existence.”
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It seems we are trapped in this addiction hope?
“You can only hope – have hope and frustration, then more hope and more frustration: this will be your circle. And when you become more frustrated you hope more, because that is the only consolation. You go on moving in the future because in the present you always have frustration, and the frustration is coming because of your past.
“In the past this present was the future, and you hoped for it. Now it is a frustration. Then you hope again for the future, and when it will become the present you will again become frustrated. Then you will hope again. Then more frustration, more hope, and with more hope, still more frustration. This is a vicious circle.”
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Is there any harm in being hopeful? Even if it only makes us feel a temporary relief?
“Hope is an illness, a disease of the mind. It is hope that is not allowing you to live.
“Hope is not the friend, remember; it is the foe. It is because of hope that you go on postponing. But you will remain the same tomorrow also, and tomorrow also you will hope for some future. And this way it can go on for eternity, and you can go on missing. Stop postponing. And who knows what the future is going to reveal to you? There is no way to know about it. It is an opening; all alternatives are open. What is really going to happen, nobody can predict.”
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“Man lives just in hope, and this is not life because hope means dream.
Unless you live here and now, you are not alive. You are a dead weight, and that tomorrow which will fulfill all your hopes is never to come.
“When death will come, then only will you realize that now there is no tomorrow, and now you cannot postpone. Then you will feel disillusioned, cheated – but no one has cheated you; you are the master of the whole mess.
“Try to live in the moment, in the present, and don’t cherish hopes, whatsoever their nature. They may be worldly, they may be other-worldly; it makes no difference. They may be religious – somewhere in future, in the other world, in heaven, in the Nirvana, after death – but it makes no difference. Don’t hope. Even if you feel a subtle hopelessness here, remain here. Don’t move from the moment here and now. Don’t move! Suffer it, but don’t allow the hope to enter in.
“Through hope dreaming enters. Be hopeless. If life is hopeless, be hopeless. Accept it, but don’t cling to any future event. Then suddenly there will be a change. Once you remain in the present moment, dreams stop – because then they cannot arise. The source has been withdrawn. You cooperate with them, you mother them; that is why they arise. Don’t cooperate with them, don’t mother them.”
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So, hope is not the antidote to hopelessness?
“Somewhere a deep balance is needed. Just between the two, exactly between the two, is transcendence.
“So you have lived with hope. Now the hope has failed and you are living in hopelessness. Now let hopelessness also fail: drop hope and hopelessness together. Just transcend that attitude which lives in the future.
Live herenow! Living in hope is living in the future, which is really postponing life. It is not a way of living but a way of suicide.
“There is no need for any hope and there is no need to feel hopeless. Live herenow. Life is tremendously blissful, it is showering here and you are looking somewhere else. It is just in front of your eyes but your eyes have moved far away, they look at the horizon. It is within you but you are not there.
“I am not for hope, I am not for hopelessness. I am against all extremism. All excess is futile.
“Buddha used to say, ‘My path is the middle path – majjhim nikaya.’ That is the path of transcendence.”
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It seems we can learn so much from this crisis?
“This earth has never been so sick; it has never been so much in danger of new diseases….
“But a bird’s eye view is needed to look at the world, all over, as one unit.
Our problems have brought us to a situation where either we will have to commit suicide or we will have to transform man, his old traditions, his conditionings.
“Those conditionings and those educational systems, those religions that man has followed up to now, have contributed to this crisis. This global suicide is the ultimate outcome of all our cultures, all our philosophies, all our religions. They all have contributed to it – in strange ways, because nobody ever thought of the whole; everybody was looking at a small piece, not bothering about the whole.”
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How can we manage that bird’s eye view that helps us to understand and manage this sick earth?
“Hope is the cause of why you are missing existence. And the problem is, the vicious circle is: the more you miss existence, the more you hope; the more you hope, the more you miss. Once you look deep down into hope, its structure, its grip on you – the very vision, and the hope drops on its own accord. Suddenly you are here and now, and you will see as if a curtain had dropped from your eyes, a curtain has dropped from your senses. You will become tremendously fresh and young, and you will see a totally luminous world all around you. The trees will be green but in a different way: tremendously green – and the green will be luminous. The world will immediately turn into a psychedelic world. It is – your eyes are just so covered with dust that you cannot see the psychedelic that is surrounding you from everywhere.
“Drop hope… When you drop hope there is no possibility of becoming hopeless, because hopelessness exists only because of hope.”
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Once we have dropped hope, and accepted reality as it is, how else to prevent things going wrong?
In meditation, nothing goes wrong – ever.
Without meditation, everything is going wrong.
“Nothing goes right without meditation; your whole life is going wrong. You live only in hope, but your hopes are never fulfilled….
“Meditation is the only thing with an absolute guarantee that nothing goes wrong with it. It only reveals your existence to yourself – how can anything go wrong? And you are not doing anything; you are really stopping doing everything. You are stopping thinking, feeling, doing – a full stop to all your actions. Only consciousness remains, because that is not your action, it is you.
“Once you have tasted your being, all fear disappears, and life becomes a totally new dimension – no longer mundane, no longer ordinary. For the first time you see the sacredness and the divineness not only of yourself, but of all that exists. Everything becomes mysterious, and to live in this mystery is the only way to live blissfully; to live in this mystery is to live under blessings showering on you like rain. Each moment brings more and more, deeper and more profound blessings to you. Not that you deserve them, but because life gives them out of its abundance – it is burdened, it shares with whomsoever is receptive to it.”
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