It becomes more and more frustrating, the more ardently we play the game. The more determined I am to play this happiness game in life, the more frustrated I become. That is why the people who have the most money, which means the most facility to enjoy the senses in the biggest ways, are the most depressed, the most unhappy, the most dissatisfied. It is because it didn’t work; it didn’t work and they can’t understand why, “What is wrong?”
Do you know Elvis Presley, I’m sure everyone has heard of Elvis Presley, he is a perfect example. I grew up in America in the state next to his state, and we heard about Elvis from the very beginning. He was just a few years older than myself so I could relate to him. I remember when almost nobody knew him, and then he got bigger and bigger and bigger, until he became ‘The King.’ Then he started going downhill, but along the way he achieved great fame and wealth and of course his managers took all his wealth. He wound up with not much money, which is usually the case, but he had it at one point, and he had a beautiful wife, he had a very wonderful daughter, etc., etc.
He was videotaped somehow, I’m not sure how it happened, but he was sitting with his head in his hands, so depressed. That was when he had his Las Vegas look and his Las Vegas suit on, this was at the end of his career. He said, “I’ve had everything. I’ve got wealth and fame, and a beautiful wife, and a wonderful daughter, but there’s still something missing, there’s still something missing.” He couldn’t figure it out. And what was missing…that inner peace, that inner perfection, that inner happiness – yoga. He didn’t have yoga. He didn’t know what to do, he even started looking into esoteric things, but he didn’t have the right teacher. You see, some guy led him down the wrong path; it didn’t work. It was not long after he made that statement that he choked on his vomit, sitting on the toilet. Not too great of a way for ‘The King’ to go out, so it does not work.
That is the teaching of yoga. Many people don’t like the yoga philosophy. They like to do Hatha yoga, they like to feel better and look good, and all that. But when it comes to the real nitty-gritty of the philosophy, they don’t like it so much because it says, “Look, all these things that you see that are so important in your life are really not going to make it possible for you to achieve the goal of happiness and peace, and satisfaction.” “But, but, but I’ve invested so much of my life in this! I mean, c’mon, I’ve got my degrees, I’ve worked so hard, I’ve accumulated my bank balance, now I’ve got the positions I always wanted to have. You think I’m going to give up? Don’t even tell me that stuff!” So they don’t like that teaching.
But a person who is wise actually begins to reflect on this truth and can begin to experience it. The last hundred years in our modern society we’ve taken this search for pleasure and peace, and happiness to the ultimate end. We’ve developed so much in our scientific ability and knowledge. We’ve invented so many things; we’ve made so much advancement in ways to please the senses, have we not? Don’t we have more facility than ever to please the senses? What can’t you see now; it’s just one click away. You can see everything, you can find out where everything is to enjoy.
You can eat unlimited kinds of food from all over the world anytime you want. “Oh, you want a mango? Here’s a mango from Thailand, and here’s this from Brazil, and here’s this…”. It’s all right here, in little Norway, that doesn’t grow anything but carrots, you can get it all. You just go down and buy it, “Oh, pleasure for the tongue.” You don’t have to go to the tropics to get tropical fruit; it’s all right here.
We’ve got ways to do everything: all the hi-tech clothing so we never get cold, we never get wet; we never get this and that. We’ve got all kinds of facilities to travel. We can fly anywhere, we can drive wonderful cars; we can do this; many, many things for every kind of pleasure. We can sleep in such elaborate systems of sleeping: all kinds of different sorts of perfect sleepers. You’ve got memory foam so it just remembers how you like it…everything! What pleasure don’t we have? Even the poor people have all these kinds of pleasures, what to speak of the rich people?
So we’ve got it all, but what do we have? We don’t have what we need, that’s why there’s more indication than ever before that it doesn’t work. We’ve got more depression, more anxiety, more frustration and more crimes of all kinds. We’ve got all kinds of mental diseases; we’ve got physical diseases that are just increasing and increasing.
All the research and all the abilities to cure everything aren’t curing everything. You know, a friend of mine, I just heard the other day, he’s got throat cancer. He’s a young guy, 38 or so, he got throat cancer. Many of my friends have died of different cancers, but mainly cancer. On and on it goes. But we don’t wake up. “Oh, we’ll make it better. It hasn’t worked yet but it’s just a pill away.” This becomes the new solution, “Ah, you’re a little depressed, here’s a pill.” So we’ve now got pills to cure all the problems. This is an anti-anxiety pill, this is a laxative because you don’t eat right so this will cure your constipation, and this will cure your indigestion, and this will make you feel good. The ecstasy will take you into an ecstatic state; you can love everybody. You want to love everybody? Take this pill, guaranteed you will love everybody.
Boulder, Colorado was one of the first places where ecstasy really made its debut; so many people were taking ecstasy and ‘falling in love’ with everybody. Somebody, I guess they had been through a few experiences, created a bumper sticker and many people had it on their cars. “After taking ecstasy, don’t get married for at least 2 weeks”. You don’t really love them; it’s just the ecstasy. When it wears off then you’ll see the real picture.