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Photo copyright Suresh Gundappa 2006

Have you watched? Whenever you feel nervous you immediately start smoking. It is a way to avoid nervousness; you become occupied with smoking. Really it is a regression. Smoking makes you again feel like a child – unworried, nonresponsible – because smoking is nothing but a symbolic breast. The hot smoke going in simply takes you back to the days when you were feeding on the mother’s breast and the warm milk was going in; nipple has now become cigarette. The cigarette is a symbolic nipple.

Through regression you avoid the responsibilities and the pains of being adult. And that’s what goes on through many many drugs. Modern man is drugged as never before, because modern man is living in great suffering. Without drugs it will be impossible to live in so much suffering. Those drugs create a barrier; they keep you drugged, they don’t allow you enough sensitivity to know your pain.

The first thing to do is close your doors and stop any kind of occupation – looking at the TV, listening to the radio, reading a book. Stop all occupation, because that too is a subtle drug. Just be silent, utterly alone. Don’t even pray, because that again is a drug, you are becoming occupied, you start talking to God, you start praying, you escape from yourself.

Just be yourself. Whatsoever the pain of it and whatsoever the suffering of it, let it be so. First experience it in its total intensity. It will be difficult, it will be heart-rending. You may start crying like a child, you may start rolling on the ground in deep pain, your body may go through contortions. You may suddenly become aware that the pain is not only in the heart, it is all over the body – that it is aching all over, that it is painful all over, that your whole body is nothing but pain.

If you can experience it – this is of tremendous importance – then start absorbing it. Don’t throw it away. It is such valuable energy, don’t throw it away. Absorb it, drink it, accept it, welcome it, feel grateful to it. And say to yourself, “This time I’m not going to avoid it, this time I’m not going to reject it, this time I’m not going to throw it away. This time I will drink it and receive it like a guest. This time I will digest it.”

It may take few days for you to be able to digest it, but the day it happens, you have stumbled upon a door which will take you really far far away. A new journey has started in your life, you are moving into a new kind of being – because immediately, the moment you accept the pain with no rejection anywhere, its energy and its quality changes. It is no longer pain. In fact one is simply surprised, one cannot believe it, it is so incredible. One cannot believe that suffering can be transformed into ecstasy, that pain can become joy.

But in ordinary life you are aware that opposites are always joined together, that they are not opposites but complementaries. You know perfectly well, your love can at any moment become hate, and your hate can at any moment become love. In fact if you hate too much, intensely and totally, it is bound to become love…

Love and lots of it dear ones