if you think you can change anything at all, you’re mistaken.

if you think that you can improve yourself, show me.
if you think that you are better off quitting smoking, show me.
thinking that improving improves anything does not improve anything.
on the contrary. the more eager you are clinging to controlling things,
the more restrained and narrow-minded you will be.
believe me, quitting smoking or starting psychotherapy is in vain.
running away from the issues that are right in front of you.
do you think that exchanging thoughts with another person who holds a diploma in exchanging thoughts does anything to your thoughts? don’t you see that the leaves fall in autumn?

how good are you? how bad are you? what are your innermost properties that make you human?
humans for countless ages have tried and tried to make things better. are we proud of it? are we proud of being part of humankind? do we believe that dentists nowadays can do better than the nondentists back in the stone age? is it more painless? is living a life less of a pain compared to back then?

you don’t know. why?
because the moment you make a comparison, you’re in a realm that doesn’t exist.
you start seeing autumn leaves falling where there are none.
you start creating false properties and calling them your own.
improving means to compare good and bad.
improving means that now is bad and tomorrow is good.
the same will be true tomorrow, and the day after and the month after and the year after.
don’t you see that it’s a wheel you’re turning?
a wheel that never ends and never began?
because the thought of improving relies on the false assumption that things indeed can be either good or bad or neutral.
but they are not. they are just as they are: either good or bad or neutral.
nothing can change that. not even the thought to improve things or yourself or goodness or badness or neutrality.
it’s a hamster in a wheel, not realising that ze’s just running for fun. although the hamster is free to leave at any time, the hamster doesn’t want this to be true and goes on wheeling. on and on and on, thinking that it’s the only thing there is.

why?
because every one else is doing the same. it seems so natural to wheel. so real to wheel.
not being in the wheel is like dying, and being in the wheel is like being afraid of dying.
nobody ever gave you the right to contemplate about what life and death means.
because you’ve always had that right.

exchanging thoughts with a person holding a diploma in exchanging thoughts.
going out to run because you think it’s good for you.
autumn leaves falling on the ground, because they think it’s good for them.
sneeze. try! just sneeze!

the truth is, we’re not living tomorrow and we never lived yesterday.
‘tomorrow’ is another way of saying ‘the day that is yet to come.’
when does it come?
‘yesterday’ is another way of saying ‘the day that slipped away.’
how did it slip away?
have you ever seen a person living tomorrow?

you’re running around thinking that something needs to be improved.
you think that it’s you who needs to be improved.
so you ask people for advice on how to improve.
they ask you: ‘what is it you want to improve?’
so you talk about yourself. that you’re unhappy and that you hope that maybe tomorrow happiness comes with the day that is yet to come.
they tell you that you should consult doctor such and such.
so you go to see doctor such and such, hoping that they can perhaps help you attain just a little bit of improvement that is yet to come. they tell you that you should have quit smoking yesterday.

you’re running away from a mess, not realising that the mess is you and that you are the mess.
thinking is deadly.
not thinking is even deadlier.
so you think some more.
you have a cup of tea.
sitting down, staring at the wall.
the wall doesn’t speak to you.
but you’re speaking to yourself.
thinking about how deadly it is to think about thoughts that might originate from yesterday or from tomorrow.

wishing to be in accord with a picture of yourself is not being in accord with that picture of yourself.
why? because it has already happened. and now something else is happening. and you cannot change that either. but you don’t realise and just make a new picture of yourself, thinking that it is you.
wishing for self-improvement is the same thing as wishing to stay the same person you have always been.

in any case, you’re in your own way.
and you can never change that.
because when you try, you’re in your own way.
if you want to improve, don’t.
improving is the sickness of the mind.
go ahead and improve things tomorrow.
go ahead and quit smoking yesterday.