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Chapter 8: Dissolve Yourself

“Honey,” she said, “you know the bargain we made about no men allowed in your apartment, and I hear a man’s voice in the background.”

“Oh,” said the future actress, “that’s my boyfriend. But don’t worry,” she hastened to assure her mother, “we are in his apartment. Let his mother worry.’’

We can always find ways, rationalizations to avoid that which we want to avoid, and to do that which we want to do. And if your knowledge is just intellectual, just verbal, then it is not going to help in actual life. Actual life needs actual knowledge. If you want to write a book, it will be okay. If you want to give a lecture, it will be okay. If you want to discuss with your friends, it will be okay - because verbal knowledge is enough for writing a book, for giving a lecture, for discussing with your friends. But if you want to translate it into your life, it will be impossible.

Life does not believe in that which you have accumulated very cheaply. Life believes only in that which has been earned the hard way.

I have heard about a Sufi mystic, Bayazid. He meditated for years, and it is said God was very, very compassionate towards him. He had made such great effort - his search was arduous, his prayer was intense. So God sent an angel and the angel came and said to Bayazid, “God is happy, and whatsoever you want he is ready to give to you. You just ask. Your days of seeking and inquiry are finished.”

But Bayazid said, “But no, that is not the way. I don’t want to get it so cheaply because I know well.I was also deceived in life because of this cheap possibility. Now you cannot deceive me. Tell God that I will earn the hard way.”

But the angel said, “You are foolish! He is ready to burn the innermost light of your being. Just ask!”

But Bayazid said, “Thank-you, and give him also my thanks, but I am not going to do that because it will be borrowed; even if borrowed from God, it will be borrowed. Let me seek and search.”

The angel said, “God will feel offended. It has never happened - his offer has to be accepted.”

Then Bayazid looked around - he had a small lamp and the oil was almost finished. He said, “If he really wants to light something, tell him to light my lamp because the oil is almost finished and the night is dark, and I have still to meditate. Just this will do. You just tell him to give me one blessing: that my oil should never finish so I can meditate the whole night.”

That’s all he asked for, and it is said that God was very happy and he said, “This is the right way.”