Chapter 2: What’s the Attraction?
My beloved ones,
Early one morning before sunrise, a fisherman arrived at a river. On the bank he stumbled against something and found it to be a small sack of stones. He picked up the sack, and putting his net aside, sat down on the bank to await the sunrise. He was waiting for dawn to break in order to start his day’s work. Lazily he picked a stone out of the bag and threw it into the quiet river. Then he cast another stone and then another. In the silence of the early morning he liked the splashing sound, so he kept tossing the stones into the water one by one.
Slowly the sun rose and it became light. By that time he had thrown all the stones away except one; the last stone lay in his palm. His heart almost failed him, he was breathless when he saw by the daylight what he held in his hand. It was a diamond! He had thrown a whole sack of them away; this was the last piece in his hand. He shouted. He cried. He had accidentally stumbled upon so much wealth that his life would have been enriched many times over. But in the darkness, unknowingly, he had thrown it all away.
In a way that fisherman was fortunate - still one diamond was left; the light had dawned before he had thrown the last diamond too. Generally, people are not even that fortunate. Their whole life passes and the sun never rises, the morning never comes in their lives. The light never comes, and they have thrown away all of life’s diamonds thinking they were pebbles.
Life is a vast treasure trove, but we do nothing with it except waste it away, lose it, squander it. Even before knowing what life is, we have trashed it. Life is dissipated without experiencing what was hidden in it - what secret, what mystery, what paradise, what bliss, what liberation.
In the coming three days I intend to say a few things on the treasures of life. But it is very difficult for those who have already taken them to be pebbles to open their eyes and see that they are diamonds. And those who have wasted their lives in throwing them away as pebbles will be annoyed if you tell them that these are gems and not pebbles. They will flare up, not because what has been said is incorrect, but because they have been shown their own folly, because they have been reminded of how they have thrown away immense treasures.
But no matter how much treasure has been lost, even if a single moment of life is still left, something can yet be salvaged. Something can still be known, something can still be attained. In the search of life, it is never so late that one has to feel despair.
But in our ignorance, in our darkness, we have assumed that there is nothing in life except pebbles and stones. Those who have stopped under such an assumption have accepted defeat before making any effort to search.