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Chapter 2: Tell and Still It’s Hidden

When you are miserable just sit quietly and observe your misery. Don’t try to do anything to erase it. Don’t fight against it, just let it come. Just let the tears flow; just let the heart weep. Just sit by yourself and keep watching everything that is happening, don’t make any effort whatsoever to rid yourself of your misery. If you try to get rid of it, it means you are wishing for happiness.

If you think of misery as emptiness then fullness will represent happiness for you. And when happiness does come to you, just sit quietly and observe it as well. Don’t try to cling to it either. Don’t try to hold on to it; don’t try to make it last. Simply watch it. Be completely indifferent to it. If it comes, let it come; if it takes its leave of you, then let it go. When you make an effort to cling to happiness, when you try to hold on to it, because of the very act of trying your misery will be as great as the effort you spend trying to hold on to your happiness. They are linked together. If you have a greater partiality for one, it will immediately be replaced by the other.

Have you ever watched a tightrope walker? The whole secret of life is hidden there. To maintain his balance the tightrope walker holds a bamboo pole in his hand. There is potential danger in every step. If he leans a little to the left he may fall, so he leans his bamboo pole a little to the right and thus maintains his balance. And still he is in danger, because the maintenance of balance is not a static phenomenon. Balance must be maintained every moment; it must be readjusted at every step. Suppose that now he leans to the right - there is a possibility he may fall to the right so he has to lean his pole to the left. He keeps balancing from left to right and from right to left so that he won’t fall. And so he keeps himself in the middle and is able to walk his tightrope. Happiness and misery are like right and left to the tightrope walker.

Just be still within. Just sit quietly, turning neither to the left nor to the right. Just be a witness; just keep on observing. If misery comes, just recognize it. Don’t form any judgment as to whether it is good or bad, as to whether it should have come to you or should not have come to you - just be aware that misery is present, just experience it. And do not try to create happiness either, otherwise you will tilt to the other side. If happiness comes, don’t try to cling to it or you will lean to the other side again, back towards misery.

If you just keep on watching, just keep on observing both happiness and misery, all of a sudden you will find one day that you are separate, that you are quite apart, quite aloof from both. Suddenly you will come to know that both things are only happening around you and that you are beyond them both. This beyondness is the universal soul.

This phenomenon of beyondness, this observing of both and yet not belonging to either, is the moment when you are neither empty nor full. You are neither empty nor full because now you realize you are neither happiness nor misery. Kabir says, this is real knowledge.

Such wonder! It’s never told.
Tell, and still it’s hidden.
Koran and Veda couldn’t write it.
If I say it, who will listen?