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Chapter 3: The Search for Nirvana

As long as you lean to one side there will be no stability, you will not be healthy, and you will go on wavering. Just as the flame of an earthen lamp burns steadily without being disturbed by the breeze, in the same way, when the light of consciousness becomes steady in the middle, when neither desire nor detachment are able to shake it, in fact when nothing shakes it - when it is neither this side nor that side, when it is stable just in the middle - then Krishna calls it stithapragya, one who has stabilized in his wisdom. You sit, you stand, but within you nobody sits or stands. You eat or you fast, but within you nobody eats or fasts. You may live in the world or in sannyas, but there is neither sannyas nor the world within you. This ultimate, middle condition is detachment.

If detachment is seen as being the opposite of attachment, then it is wrong. But if detachment is freedom from attachment, then it is right. This is a very delicate difference. If detachment is the opposite of attachment then there is something wrong somewhere, because that which is the opposite of attachment is definitely connected with attachment. All opposites are interconnected. If you love anyone, you go on remembering him. If you hate anyone, even then you go on remembering him. Hate and love are opposites, but they are connected. A friend you can perhaps forget, but you cannot forget your enemy; it goes on pricking you like a thorn. You are related with the friend; similarly you are related with the enemy too.

Don’t ever think that an enemy is one with whom all kinds of relationships have been broken. No, if all relationships were broken altogether, then he would not be the enemy. You don’t have a friendly relationship with the enemy, but you do have a relationship of enmity with him - the relationship is not broken. If the relationship is really broken, then the friend is not a friend and the enemy is not an enemy. If the relationship changes, then a friend becomes an enemy and an enemy be-comes a friend.

How long does it take for a friend to become an enemy? It can happen in a moment. How long does it take to make an enemy a friend? Why doesn’t it take long? - because both are relationships. It is just a question of changing the direction a little. You were going to the east - you turned to the west. You were going to the west - you turned towards the east. Both are movements - just the direction has changed a little.

I have heard that there was a great thinker in England by the name of Edmund Burke. Once he was invited to give a lecture in a church in a small village near London. But he was known as an absent-minded person; very often he used to forget the time and date of his lectures. Sometimes he used to arrive at the place on the following day. But this time the host had urged him over and over again to arrive at the church in time and on the right date, so he also tried to be extra careful about this invitation. It was some anniversary of the church and he had to be there at seven in the evening.

He started at two o’clock from his house. He was riding his horse and it was hardly one hour’s journey, so he arrived at the church by three o’clock - but there was nobody in the church at that time because the function was to start at seven o’clock in the evening. What was he to do? He took out a cigarette, put it in his mouth, and tried to light a match, but because of the breeze he could not. So he turned the horse so that he could light the cigarette. The cigarette was lit - and the horse started trotting.

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