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Chapter 3: From Accidental to Essential

This is what Zen people say: Find out your original face - the face that you had before you were born, and the face that will be there when you are dead. Find out the eternal, and don’t pay much attention to the accidental.

If you can drop out of the accidental, you have dropped out of the world. There is no need to go anywhere. It is an inner attitude.

Remember: Remain alert that you don’t get too much attached to the accidental - and all is accidental except your consciousness. Except your awareness, all is accidental. Pain and pleasure, success and failure, fame and defamation - all is accidental. Only your witnessing consciousness is essential. Stick to it. Get more and more rooted in it. And don’t spread your attachment to worldly things.

I don’t mean leave them. I don’t mean leave your house, leave your wife, leave your children; but remember that it is just an accident that you are together. It is not going to be an eternal state. It has a beginning, it will have an end. Remember that you were happy even before it began, and you will be happy when it has ended. If you can carry this touchstone, you can always judge what is accidental and what is essential.

That which is always is truth. That which is momentary is untrue.

In the East and in the West there is a difference in the definition of truth. In the Western philosophy, truth is equivalent to the real. In the East, truth is equivalent to the eternal.. Because in the East we say even the momentary is real, real for the moment - but it is not true because it is not eternal. It is just a reflection.

The reflection is also real. You see the moon in the sky and the reflection in the lake; the reflection is also real because it is there. There is a difference between the reflection and no reflection, so it is real. Even a dream is real - because when you dream, it is there. It is real as a dream, but it is real. The only difference between the dream and the waking state is that the dream lasts only for a few moments, the waking state lasts longer. But in the East we have come to the ultimate awakening also. Then this waking state also looks momentary, then this too is dreamlike.

The eternal is true. The temporal is untrue. Both are real. The accidental is also real and the essential is also real, but with the accidental you will remain in misery. And with the essential the doors of bliss open, the doors of sat chit anand - of truth, of consciousness, of bliss.

Remember this story in your day-to-day life. Imbibe its impact. If you can remember it, it can become a transforming influence on your life; it can transfigure you. It can help you to reach your center.

Enough for today.