Chapter 7: Raw, Cooked, Burnt
Let it sink deep in you. If you miss this point you will miss the whole point of Sufism. The Sufi concentrates on only one thing - remembrance of godliness, zikr. As that remembrance deepens, his obsession with the world lessens. As he comes closer and closer to the ultimate reality, the ordinary reality is no longer attractive. It starts receding back because when you find the real gold, how can you go on carrying the unreal gold? When you have found the real diamonds you will automatically drop the stones, the colored stones that you have been carrying all along.
The escapist says, “Renounce your colored stones so that you can get to the real diamonds.” The Sufi says just the contrary. He says, “Get to the real diamonds and that which is not real will drop out of your life on its own accord.”
To know the real is enough; the unreal is renounced in that very knowing. And because the unreal is renounced in that very knowing, it leaves no scars and wounds on you. The ascetic suffers from great wounds. He wasn’t ripe yet, otherwise the fruit would have fallen without leaving any scar on the body of the tree. If the fruit is unripe and you pluck it, it hurts the tree, it hurts the fruit. Both will remain wounded.
Have you not seen the beauty of a ripe fruit fallen on its own accord? Silently, spontaneously.the tree may not even have become aware that the fruit has disappeared. The fruit may not have become aware that the tree is no longer there.
Sufism is the simplest way possible. The Sufi lives a simple life. But the simplicity is not cultivated because a cultivated simplicity is no longer simplicity; it is already complex. When you cultivate something, there is motivation, there is desire, there is longing. You are hankering for something. By cultivating something, you are trying to become something. Becoming is desire. And how can desire be simple? So cultivation is never simple. A practiced sannyas, a practiced simplicity can never have beauty. In the first place it is not simplicity at all.
You can go and see so many saints in this country or in other countries - their simplicity is cultivated, calculated, motivated. They are desirous of godliness, they are greedy for godliness; hence they are ready to pay the price.
The Sufi says, “Godliness is available, it is already available. All that you need is an uncomplicated mind; all that you need is a state of no-motivation. All that you need is to fall into the silence of this moment - not trying to achieve something tomorrow.” And what is your afterlife? It is the prolonged shadow of tomorrow. So those who are thinking to attain to heaven or to nirvana after death are very greedy people, they are not religious at all.
Sufism does not believe in any fairy tales of the other world, of heaven and hell. And it is not that heaven does not exist, but that is not the concern of the Sufi. The Sufi lives totally in the moment. His simplicity comes out of his understanding, not out of cultivation; he does not practice it. Seeing life, he becomes aware of the austerity of a roseflower, how simple it is and the beauty of its austerity. He becomes austere like a roseflower; it is not poor, the roseflower is simple and rich. What more richness can there be? The roseflower is simple and in utter luxury. What more luxury can there be?