Chapter 10: We Are What We Do
Life comes to an end and the beggar is still only keeping accounts; he has no time to look inside. And one thing is certain: the beggar believes that what he lacks, others have, and he has to get it from them. Constantly begging, he becomes settled in the idea that whatever is worth getting is with others: “I don’t have it.”
What I am saying is true about all of us. Whenever we find something to our liking, it belongs to others. The means to fulfill our desires are always with other people, always with the others. So we go on begging, begging, and this continuous begging forms a strong habit and leaves no way for us to look within ourselves.
So now the sage says that even those who may be trying to become superior not through money or through fame but through all the “good” intentions - through religious pursuits, through charitable behavior, through the search for truth, through this search for sattva, for serenity - things nobody considers to be bad..
A man accumulates riches; anybody can look down on his accumulation. Then a man accumulates religious knowledge, but nobody will look down upon this accumulation, although both of them are doing the same thing - fulfilling the desire to accumulate. People will say that the man who is accumulating wealth is piling up garbage; and yet the man who is piling up spiritual knowledge is appreciated for he is on a virtuous trip, a religious trip. But the worthless coins of spiritual knowledge are just as available on the outside as money is.
There are coins of knowledge also. A man memorizes the scriptures and becomes wise. But the scriptures are as much a part of the outer as money. He is not depositing this wealth in a safe but in his memory. The memory is also a safe. And in a way this man is more clever, more calculating, because a bank safe can be broken into, can be stolen from, but it is difficult to steal from the locker called memory. Unless a man like Mao rules over the society it is difficult to steal from it. But it is possible.
Efforts are now being made to interfere with your memory, so that you yourself do not remain the master of it. Brainwashing devices have been developed - your brain can be washed, cleaned out completely.
After the Korean war, China did some thorough brainwashing experiments on American prisoners of war and an interesting fact came to light, and the information is valuable. This fact is that only five percent of the people created any problem during the brainwashing. There was no problem with the remaining ninety-five percent, because this ninety-five percent were not the masters of their own memory, they could easily be brainwashed. Memory is erased by simple methods, and the person who has been brainwashed cannot notice the change that he has undergone - the forgetting of old concepts, beliefs and ideologies.