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Chapter 26: Sympathy Is a False Coin

He has wasted his whole life in earning money and now he is at a dead end. Money is there and he is just a beggar. His whole life he has learned only one art: how to earn more and more. He has never paid any attention to great music, to great art, to great paintings, to great architecture, although there was time. His whole life was devoted to one thing - he had only one god: money. Now the money is there but he remains a very primitive barbarous being - uncivilized, uncultured, unsophisticated.

I have heard a small story which will help you.Mulla Nasruddin was very rich - it is a Sufi story - and he had devoted his whole life to earning money. One day a friend said, “Mulla, you are getting old but you have never seen a movie.”

Mulla said, “I don’t have any time.”

The man said, “I have brought a ticket for you too. You don’t have to waste money, just a little time.”

Mulla goes with him to the movie. In the movie there is a classical singer, and the whole movie is around the life of that classical singer.

Indian classical music is totally different from that of the West; it is far more scientific. Each scale is played in a different way, and for each time of day there are different songs, different kinds of music, to be in tune with nature. For the morning there is one kind of music; the song may be the same, but it will be sung in a different way, with a different emphasis. In the evening the song may be the same, but it will have a different way of singing. It is a very subtle art.

In the movies it is early morning and the sun is rising. The classical singer is sitting under a tree playing morning music and he sings, “Ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh” - he gives different tones, different emphases, to one note, ahhhh. The man who had brought Mulla was puzzled: when the classical singer started singing, Mulla started crying.

The man asked, “What is the matter? I never thought that you were such a lover of classical music.”

He said, “To hell with classical music! This is not classical music, I tell you. I had a goat which cried ‘ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh,’ the whole night and finally died. This man is certain to die. Do something!”

He had all the money, but only the money. The man was empty, no sensitivity for anything, no understanding for anything.

The people you are asking about in Switzerland have beautiful houses, a beautiful land, all the money that they need or perhaps more than they need, but they are stuck. From where is their misery coming? Their misery is coming because they have never learned anything else than accumulating money. Their being is hollow, empty. From that emptiness their misery is coming.

And now they have lived with that misery their whole lives; that is their only companion, and that misery is the only thing that they get sympathy for. Nobody sympathizes with their beautiful houses, beautiful cars, beautiful jewelry. Everybody is jealous of all those things, but nobody is jealous of their misery, of their emptiness, of their hollowness. Everybody is sympathetic, and because they have never known love, they think sympathy is love.

Sympathy is a false coin. It is not love, and it cannot move higher.

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