Chapter 21: Vagabonds of the Soul
In America, people go on changing their jobs - three years is the average limit when people change their jobs. Three years also is the average limit when people change their towns. Three years is also the average limit when people change their spouses. The number three is very esoteric.
When a man has lived with many women, has done many kinds of work - has been a cobbler, has been a carpenter, has been an engineer, has been a painter and a musician - naturally he is very rich. Each woman that he has lived with has imparted some color to him, and each work that he has done has opened a new door into his being. Slowly, slowly many doors of his being are opening; his consciousness expands, he becomes huge, enormous.
You are your experience. Hence, experience more. Before settling, experience as much as possible. The real person never settles; the real person always remains homeless, a wanderer, a vagabond, a vagabond of the soul. He remains continually in the search, he remains an inquirer, a learner - he never becomes learned. Don’t be in a hurry to become learned, remain a learner. To become learned is ugly, to remain a learner has tremendous beauty and grace in it, because it is life itself.
Train impartially in every area; it is important to have trained deeply and pervasively in everything.
Whatsoever you are learning, learn it in its totality. Don’t let it be just a hit-and-run affair, go into it as if it is your whole life. Stake everything! Be total, whatsoever you do, because it is only out of totality that one learns. It is only when you are totally into something that mysteries are revealed to you. If you are totally in love, then love reveals its mysteries; if you are totally in poetry, then the world of poetry opens its heart.
If you are totally in love with anything, that is the only possible way to have a rapport with that certain dimension. So be total, and go to the very depth of it. Don’t just go on swimming in many rivers; become a diver, go to the rock bottom of everything - because the deeper you go into anything, the more and more deep you will become. Depth calls the depth, height provokes the height. Whatsoever we are doing outside simultaneously goes on happening inside. This is a fundamental law of life.
Atisha says: Discipline yourself in many, many things, be total, go into depth, to the very roots of everything - because the secrets are in the roots, they are not in the flowers. Flowers are only expressions of joy, but the secrets are not there. Secrets are hidden in the roots, secrets are always hidden in darkness. You will have to go into dark depths, only then will you know the secrets. And the more you experience life in its multidimensionality, the richer will be your soul. It depends on you, how rich you make your soul, or how poor you live.