WHY IS THERE SO MUCH FRUSTRATION IN THE WORLD?
Because there is so much expectation. Expect, and there will be frustration. Don’t expect, and there will be no frustration. Frustration is a byproduct: the more you expect, the more you create your own frustration. So frustration is not really the problem, it is the result. Expectation is the problem.
Frustration is just a shadow which follows expectation. If you don’t expect even for a single moment, if you are in a state of mind where there is no expectation, then it is simple. You ask a question and the answer comes; there is a fulfillment. But if you ask with any expectations you will be frustrated by the answer.
Everything we do, we do with expectations. If I love someone, an expectation enters without my even knowing it. I begin to expect love in return. I have not yet loved, I have not grown into love yet, but the expectation has come and now it will destroy the whole thing. Love creates more frustration than anything else in the world because, with love, you are in a utopia of expectation. You have not even been on the journey yet and already you have begun to think of the return home.
The more you expect love, the more difficult it will be for love to flow back to you. If you expect love from someone the other will feel it as bondage; it will be a duty for him, something which he has to do. And when love is a duty it cannot fulfill anyone because love as a duty is dead.
Love can only be play, not a duty. Love is freedom and duty is bondage, a heavy burden that one has to carry. And when you have to carry something, the beauty of it is lost. The freshness, the poetry, everything is lost, and the other will immediately feel that it is only something dead which has been given. Love with expectation and you have killed love. It is abortive — your love will be a dead child. Then there will be frustration.
Love as play not as bargain, not because there is something you want to get out of it. Rather, love the other as an end in itself. Thank God that you have loved and forget about whether it is returned or not.
Don’t make a bargain out of it and you will never be frustrated; your life will become filled with love. Once love has flowered in its totality there will be bliss, there will be ecstasy.
I use love only as an example. The same law applies to everything. There is so much frustration in the world that it is difficult to find someone who is not frustrated. Even your so-called saints are frustrated: frustrated because of their disciples, frustrated because they begin to have expectations about them that they should do this and not do that; they should be like this and not be like that. Then frustration is bound to come, it has come.
Your so-called workers are all frustrated because they have expectations. Whatever their ideal is, society must conform to it; whatever their utopia is, everyone must follow it. They expect too much. They think that the whole world must be transformed immediately according to their ideals. But the world goes on in its own way, so they are frustrated.
It is very difficult to find a person who is not frustrated. And if you find such a person, know that he is a religious person. It makes no difference what the object, the cause, the source of frustration may be. One can be frustrated because of power, because of prestige, because of wealth. One can be frustrated because of love. One can even be frustrated because of God.
You want God to come to you. You begin to meditate and expectation comes in. I have seen people who meditate for fifteen minutes each day for seven days, and then they come to me and say, “I am meditating and I have still not realized the divine. The whole effort seems to be useless.” They have devoted fifteen minutes to meditation for seven days and still God is nowhere to be seen. “I am still no nearer to God, so what should I do now?” Even in the search for the divine we have expectations.
Expectation is the poison. That’s why there is frustration; it has to be so. Realize the falsity, the poisonousness of the expecting mind. By and by, if you can become aware of it, the expectations will drop and there will be no frustration.
So don’t ask the question, “Why is there so much frustration in the world?” Ask “Why am I so frustrated?” Then the whole dimension changes. When someone wonders why the world is so frustrated, there is again an expectation that the world could be less frustrated. But whether the world is frustrated or not, you will remain frustrated.
The world is frustrated — that is a fact. Then you go and try to find out why you are frustrated. You will find that it is because of your expectations. That is the seed, the root cause. Throw it out!
Don’t think about the world, think about yourself. You are the world and if you begin to be different the world begins to be different. A part of it, an intrinsic part, has begun to be different: the world has begun to change.
We are always concerned with changing the world. That is just an escape. I have always felt that people who are concerned with others’ changing are really escaping from their own frustrations, their own conflicts, their own anxieties, their own anguish. They are focusing their minds on something else, they are occupying their minds with something else, because they cannot change themselves. It is easier to try to change the world than to change oneself.
Remember to find out the cause of your own frustrations. And the sooner you do so, the better. Situations differ, but the source of frustration is always the same: expectation.
[The Great Challenge – 12]