Every­ thing is important. At this moment, Lin Chi’s death is as important as the two squirrels running on the roof, there is no difference.
there is nothing that is great and there is nothing that is small; it all depends on you, what you make out of it.

Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still,
small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try' to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself that’s what maturity is all about.

DEFINITIONS

FROM IGNORANCE TO INNOCENCE

Every child is bom innocent, but every society corrupts him.

From the head there is no way directly to being; you have to go via the heart, and all societies are destructive to the heart.

Going beyond thoughts and feelings and becoming a pure isness is maturity. Maturity is the ultimate flowering of meditation. Jesus says, “Unless you are born again you will not enter into the kingdom of God.” He is right, you have to be bom again.

That is the only way to regain real childhood: first you have to lose it. It is very strange, but that’s how life is.

The fish never knows where the ocean is—unless you pull the fish out of the ocean and throw it on the sand in the burning sun; then she knows where the ocean is. Now she longs for the ocean, she makes every effort to go back to the ocean, she jumps into the ocean. It is the same fish and yet not the same fish. It is the same ocean yet not the same ocean, be­
cause the fish has learned a new lesson. Now she is aware, now she knows, "This is the ocean, and this is my life. Without it, I am no more - I am part of it."

Every child has to lose his innocence and regain it. Losing is only halt ot the process—many have lost it, but very few have regained it. That is unfortunate, very unfortunate. Everybody loses it, but only once in a while does a Buddha, a Zarathustra, a Krishna a Jesus regain it. Jesus is nobody else but Adam coming back home.

MATURITY AND AGING

aging belongs to the body. Everybody is aging, everybody will become old, but not necessarily mature. Maturity is an inner growth.
Aging is nothing that you do, aging is something that happens physically.
Maturity is something that you bring to your life—it comes out of awareness.
Aging plus awareness, experiencing plus awareness, is maturity.

You can experience a thing in two ways. You can simply ex­ perience it as if you are hypnotized, unaware, not attentive to what is happening; the thing happened but you were not there. It didn’t happen in your presence, you were absent. You just passed by, it never struck any note in you. It never left any mark on you, you never learned anything from it. It may have become part of your memory, because in a way you were present, but it never became your wisdom. You never grew through it. Then you are aging.
But if you bring the quality of awareness to an experience the same experience becomes maturity.

a person who is just old goes on committing the same mistakes again and again. He lives in a circle; he never learns anything. You will be angry’ today, you were angry’ yesterday and tomorrow you are going to be angry also.

One experience will be enough to teach that it is foolish, that it is absurd, that it is simply stupid.
You are harming yourself and harming others, for nothing. The thing is not worth it. Then you are getting mature.
Tomorrow the situation will be repeated but anger will not be re peated.
You live today—that very living will decide how the tomorrow is going to be; it will come out of it.

You can live life as if you are in hypnosis—that’s how ninety-nine percent of people live—or you can live with intensity, awareness.
If you live with awareness, you mature; otherwise you simply become old.

Life can be lived in two ways. If you live unconsciously you simply die; if you live consciously you attain more and more life.

it has to be understood why so many people insist that they should live in hyp­ nosis, why Buddhas and Christs go on telling people to be awake, and nobody listens. There must be some deep involvement in the hypnosis, there must be some deep investment. What is the investment?

You will listen and you will make it a part of your knowledge, that “Yes, this man says be aware and it is good to be aware, and those who attain to awareness become mature. . . .” But you yourself will not attain to it, it will remain just knowledge. You may communicate your knowledge to others, but nobody is helped that way.

Why? Have you ever asked this question? Why don’t you attain to awareness? If it leads to the infinite bliss, to the attainment of satchitananda, to absolute truth—then why not be aware? Why do you insist on being sleepy?
There is some investment, and this is the investment: if you become aware, there is suffering. If you be­ come aware, you become aware of pain, and the pain is so much that you would like to take a tranquilizer and be asleep.

This sleepiness in life works as a protection against pain. But this is the trouble—if you are asleep against pain, you are asleep against pleasure also. Think of it as if there are two faucets: on one is written “pain” and on the other is written “pleasure.” You would like to close the faucet on which pain is written, and you would like to open the fau­ cet on which pleasure is written. But this is the game—if you close the pain faucet the pleasure faucet im­ mediately closes, because behind both there is only one faucet, on which “awareness” is written. Either both remain open or both remain closed, because both are two faces of the same phenomenon, two aspects.

And this is the whole contradic­ tion of mind: mind wants to be more and more happy—happiness is possible if you are aware. And then mind wants to be less and less in pain—but less and less pain is possible only if you are unaware. Now you are in a dilemma. If you want no pain, immediately pleasure disappears from your life, happiness disappears. If you want happiness you open the faucet—immediately there is pain also flowing. It you are aware, you have to be aware of both.
Life is pain and pleasure. Life is happiness and unhappiness. Life is day and night, life is life and death. You have to be aware of both.

So remember it. If you are afraid of pain you will remain in hypnosis; you will age, become old, and die. You missed an opportunity.

If you hit Buddha, Buddha will suffer more than you will if somebody hits you—because he has become infinitely sensitive. His sensitivity is very delicate.

You move like a drunkard—the drunkard falls on the street, hits his head in the gutter, nothing happens. If he were aware there would have been pain.

Buddha suffers infinitely and Buddha enjoys infinitely.
If you want to reach to the heavens, your roots will have to go to the very hell. Because you are afraid of pain you cannot become aware—and then you cannot learn anything.

It is just as if you are so afraid of enemies that you have closed the doors of your house. Now even the friend cannot enter, even the lover is left out. The lover goes on knocking on the door but you arc afraid, maybe it is the enemy. So you are closed—that’s how I see you all, closed, afraid of the enemy, and the friend cannot enter. You have turned the friend into an enemy—now nobody can enter, you are so afraid.

Open the door. When the fresh air enters the house there is every possibility of dangers also entering. When the friend comes, the enemy comes also because day and night enter together, pain and pleasure enter together, life and death enter together. Don’t be afraid of pain, otherwise you will live in anesthesia. The surgeon gives an anesthetic before he operates on you because there is going to be much pain, you will not be able to tolerate it. Your con­ sciousness has to be dimmed, darkened, then he can cut your whole body and you will not suffer.

Because of the fear of pain you have forced yourself to live in a dim consciousness, in a dimmed existence, almost not alive—this is the fear. You have to drop that fear, you have to face pain, you have to move through suffering—only then the possibility opens for the friend to enter.

When you know both—pain and pleasure, the duality, the day and night—suddenly you have become transcendental.
Maturity is awareness. Aging is just wasting yourself.

The most fundamental thing to be remembered is
that life is dialectical. It exists through duality, it is a rhythm be­ tween opposites. You cannot be happy forever, otherwise happiness will lose all meaning. You cannot be in harmony forever, otherwise you will become unaware of the harmony. Harmony has to be followed by discord again and again, and happiness has to be followed bv unhappiness. Every pleasure has its own pain, and every pain has its own pleasure.

Accept the total, with all its agonies and all its ecstasies. Don’t hanker for the impossible; don’t desire that there should be only ecstasy and no agony. Ecstasy cannot exist alone, it needs a contrast. Agony becomes the blackboard, then ecstasy becomes very' clear and loud, just as in the darkness of night the stars are so bright. The darker is the night the brighter are the stars. In the day they don't disappear, they simply become invisible; you cannot see them be­ cause there is no contrast.

Think of a life without death; it will be unendurable pain, an unen­ durable existence. It will be impos­ sible to live without death—death defines life, gives it a kind of inten­
sity'. Because life is fleeting, each moment becomes precious.
If Life is eternal, then who cares?
One can wait for tomorrow forever— then who will live now and here? Because tomorrow there is death, it forces you to live now and here. You have to plunge into the present moment, you have to go to its ultimate depth because who knows? I he next moment may come, may not come.

When unhappiness comes one welcomes it, when happiness comes one welcomes itr knowing that they are partners in the same game. This is something that has to be continuously remembered. If it becomes a fundamental remembrance in you, your life will have a totally new flavor—the flavor of freedom, the flavor of unclingingness, the flavor of nonattachment. Whatsoever comes you remain still, silent, accepting.
To him, misery also becomes a treasure; to him, even pain gives a sharpness. To him, even darkness has its own beauty, depth, infinity. To him, even death is not the end but only a beginning of something unknown.