Chapter 2: Inertia of Habit
Just watch people celebrating marriages, and everybody knows what is going to be the outcome! Everywhere, all around, there are ruins and wrecks of marriages; still, idiots will sit on horses, will wear a turban. Once they used to carry a sword, but now it is a shorter version, a small knife. What is all this hullabaloo? - the bands, and people are singing, and a festivity, celebration. Two people, one man and one woman, are being hanged and all these fools are celebrating. And they are also enjoying: for the first time, and perhaps the last time, they are sitting on a horse like a king, with a crown and if not a real sword, then just a vegetable-cutting knife.
Such a drama, and the ultimate result? Then nobody bothers about you. All those who had gathered to celebrate your crucifixion.nobody comes for the resurrection. Then you work it out, it is your problem. And everybody must have noticed: all the old stories end up with the marriage; they don’t go any further. All the old stories say, “They got married and lived in happiness afterwards” - that is the finishing touch, as if both have died - because to get into what happens after marriage, the intricate and complex problems, is dangerous.
In India, or anywhere else, tragedy in the movies or in the novels is loved more than comedy. Comedy seems to be not related to life at all, but tragedy - that is everybody’s experience. Everybody knows the taste of it.
Enlightenment, first as a glimpse, has to be protected from all your miserable habits, old patterns of behavior, unconscious ways of doing things like a robot. This is what cultivation is. You are fighting against a very long past which has known only a dark night, not even a star. And suddenly you have come to have a glimpse of the dawn, and heard the songs of the birds, and smelled the fragrance of the opening flowers. In the first place, you cannot believe that this can be true - perhaps you are dreaming. Your whole experience is of a dark night; you have never thought that this dark night was going to end at any time. It seems to become darker and darker and darker. You have never understood the logic, that the darker the night becomes, the closer comes the dawn. But the dawn is unbelievable when it comes for the first time.
And the dawn I am talking about, and Isan is talking about, is not something outside you. All your patterns, old habits, are also inside. They will try to destroy the new inside that is growing, and is fragile, and your old habits are like stones, hard and heavy. The fight is between a rose and a stone. It is a difficult problem to protect the rose against all the rocks that you have grown in the past.
To experience the first glimpse is not very difficult. The real difficulty begins after the glimpse: How to save it? How to make it so true, and so deeply rooted, and so strong, that nothing can destroy it, that no doubt can arise about it, that its truth becomes self-evident? You have to live it; that is the only way to cultivate it.