I’d like to talk about the importance of passion in our life. Often when you ask a person what their passion is, they answer something like, “Oh, I just love gardening—that’s my passion.” They like it; they enjoy it. And I’m not saying they shouldn’t. But that’s their hobby.
What can you have a real passion for in your life? What can truly ignite the fire in you to admire, to love? Something so special, so real. You cannot be passionate about something that is just in your imagination. It cannot be, “Oh, I love dragons.” Well, I like dragons, too. They’re powerful, they can fly, and they breathe fire. But I can’t touch one or go talk to one.
To be passionate about something, I need it to be really real—not a figment of my imagination. If you need to sit down on something, you check to make sure it will support your weight. You can’t sit on air; you’ll fall down.
When I was very young, I used to love to listen to stories. If a story took all night to tell, it was fine with me. Every night, it had to be a new story. And when they would say, “And then they lived happily ever after,” I would say, “No, no, no—keep going. I want to know what this happily-ever-after is,” because that was a big assumption. The stories just freeze everything. It’s done, finished; reality is locked up. What happened?
So if we’re going to talk about passion, maybe we can begin with clearing up a few assumptions. People think, “If I have this, this, and this, all my problems will be taken care of.” But that’s not what happens in real life.
Most people have a nice long list of what they don’t want in their lives and their list of what they do want is zilch. That’s not how things work. Do you know what drives you? Do you know what inspires you? Do you know this thing that doesn’t like pain? Do you know this thing that wants you to feel peace?
With all our reasoning, we haven’t understood our nature. We haven’t understood that there is such a thing that, if our consciousness were plugged into it, would bring not just joy, but supreme joy. Joy unparalleled.
That’s what we should be passionate about. If we were, the floodgates would open. All our reasoning would not be needed. Just to understand the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is so simple that you have to be utterly simple to be able to understand it.
How simple? You have to have the heart of a child. What does a child have that you don’t? You’re sophisticated. You have a lot of ideas, a lot of concepts; you have seen the world. You’re a little bit seasoned. So what is it that a child has? The child has simplicity. So if you want to experience that passion, you will have to have a heart of a child.
People ask, “What do I do to become simple?” It’s not about doing; it’s about undoing. We get bogged down by the very things that we have placed in our bag as we go along in life. The burdens we have placed upon our own shoulders—we did it ourselves—are the very things that bog us down.
The key is not to measure how many miles you have come, but to enjoy every single step you take. And don’t walk so fast that it tests your endurance because, in reality, there are no benches on the side of the road. You do not get to sit down and rest because there is this thing called time attached to existence. And that is why passion becomes important. Because without passion, this life is like food without any taste. You can eat it, you can chew it, but you won’t enjoy it.
A human being is an incredibly fine, sensitive experiencing instrument. Play it with the passion it deserves and you will hear sounds that you have been yearning to hear all your life. Fortunately or unfortunately, till you play it, that yearning will never go away. And if you do play it, that yearning will simply increase. For me, when something is like that—without it, the yearning never goes away and with it, the yearning increases—this is the most accurate description of true passion.