You’ve Been Programmed to Be Unhappy

Has it ever struck you that you have been programmed by society to be unhappy, and so, no matter what you do to become happy, you are bound to fail? Most people are so brainwashed that they do not even realize how unhappy they are. It’s only when they make contact with joy that they understand how depressed they had been. If you wish to be happy, the first thing you need isn’t effort or…

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Search Inside Yourself

Contrary to what your culture and religion have taught you, nothing—but absolutely nothing of the world—can make you happy. The moment you see that, you will stop moving from one job to another, one friend or lover to another, one place, one spiritual technique, one guru to another. None of these things can give you a single minute of happiness. They can only offer you a temporary thrill, a pleasure, that initially grows in intensity…

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Sooner or Later, There Arises in Every Heart

Sooner or later, there arises in every human heart the desire for holiness, spirituality, God—call it what you will. One hears mystics speak of a divinity all around us that is within our grasp, that would make our lives meaningful and beautiful and rich, if we could only discover it. But look at the heartache everywhere, look at the loneliness, look at the fear, the confusion, the conflict in the hearts of people. Inner conflict….

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The Power of Open Minded Listening

Spirituality means waking up. Some of us get woken up by the harsh realities of life. We suffer so much that we wake up. Other people keep bumping into life again and again. They still go on sleepwalking. They never wake up. Tragically, it never occurs to them that there may be another way. It never occurs to them that there may be a better way. Still, if you haven’t been bumped sufficiently by life,…

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It is You Who Must Do It

It is an illusion that some savior or guru or teacher can awaken you. Not even the greatest guru in the world can take a single step for you. You must take each step yourself. St. Augustine said it so marvelously: “Jesus Christ himself could do nothing for many of his hearers.” It is you who must do it. No one else can help you. It is you who have to understand. No one else…

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Let Go

When you cling, life is destroyed; when you hold on to anything, you cease to live. It’s all over the gospel pages. And one attains this by understanding. Understand. Understand another illusion, too, that happiness is not the same as excitement, it’s not the same as thrills. That’s another illusion, that a thrill comes from living a desire fulfilled. Desire breeds anxiety and sooner or later it brings its hangover. When you’ve suffered sufficiently, then…

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What Will Happen When You Finally Arrive?

Everyone asks me about what will happen when they finally arrive. Get started and you will know; it cannot be described. It is said widely in the East, “Those who know, do not say; those who say, do not know.” It cannot be said; only the opposite can be said. It’s as if you had never tasted a mango and you ask me, “What does it taste like?” I’d say to you, “Sweet,” but in…

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Do You Think Compassion is Always Soft?

If you think that compassion implies softness, there’s no way I can describe compassion to you, absolutely no way, because compassion can be very hard. Compassion can be very rude, compassion can jolt you, compassion can roll up its sleeves and operate on you. Compassion is all kinds of things. Compassion can be very soft, but there’s no way of knowing that. It’s only when you become love—in other words, when you have dropped your…

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Love or Fear

Some say that there are only two things in the world: love and fear are the only two things. There’s only one evil in the world, fear. There’s only one good in the world, love. It’s sometimes called by other names. It’s sometimes called happiness or freedom or peace or joy or God or whatever. But the label doesn’t really matter. And there’s not a single evil in the world that you cannot trace to…

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Who am I?

The great masters tell us that the most important question in the world is: “Who am I?” Or rather: “What is ‘I’?” What is this thing I call “I”? What is this thing I call self? You mean you understood everything else in the world and you didn’t understand this? You mean you understood astronomy and black holes and quasars and you picked up computer science, and you don’t know who you are? My, you…

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