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Chapter 5: Witnessing: The New Art of Seeing

Six months passed. Now the king was boiling within himself to ask him, “What kind of renunciation is this? You are enjoying everything - servants and good food and good clothes and a beautiful palace.”

One day, walking in the garden, he asked the mystic, “Can I ask you a question? Forgive me if you feel offended. This is my question: What is the difference now between me and you?”

The mystic looked at the king and he said, “Why did you wait for six months? You could have asked me this question the very first night. The moment you invited me and I accepted your invitation, this question arose in your mind. Why did you wait for six months? You tortured yourself unnecessarily. I was waiting for it any moment. There is no question of my feeling offended - it is a natural question.

“There is a difference, but it is very subtle. And if you really want to know the difference, then come with me. I cannot tell you here. I will tell you in a certain space, at a certain place. Come along with me.”

They both went outside the city. The king said, “Now can you tell me?”

The mystic said, “Come along.”

When they were crossing the boundary of his empire - it was evening - the king said, “What are you doing? Where are you taking me? Now this is the end of my empire. We are entering somebody else’s kingdom and I would like to be answered. What is your answer? And I am feeling very tired.”

And the mystic said, “My answer is that I am going. Are you coming with me or not? I am not going back.”

The king said, “How can I come with you? I have my whole empire, my wife, my children. How can I come with you?”

The mystic said, “That’s the difference. But I am going!”

Again the king saw the light, the beauty of the man, and fell at his feet. He said, “Come back! I am just stupid. I have missed these six months. I have been thinking things which are really ugly. Forgive me and come back.”

The mystic said, “There is no problem for me. I can come back, but you will again think the same. It is better for me now to go ahead - that story is finished, that chapter is closed - so that you can remember the difference.”

The witness lives in the world just like a mirror, reflecting everything. He may be in a hut, he may be in a palace; it makes no difference. What difference does it make to a mirror whether the mirror is in a hut or in a palace? What difference does it make to the mirror whether the mirror is reflecting beautiful diamonds or just ordinary stones? It makes no difference to the mirror.

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