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Chapter 17: Wake up the Slave

Don't seek sorrow for spurious comforts.
All absorptions are effected in one.

One method will correct all wrong.
At the beginning and at the end

There are two things to do.
Be patient, whichever of the two occurs.

Observe two precepts even at the risk of life.
Learn the three difficulties.

Take up the three parts of the principal cause.
Meditate on the three things not to be destroyed.

Make the three inseparable from virtue.

An ancient story:

Jesus, son of Mary, once came upon an old man who lived on a mountain in the open air without any shelter from heat or cold. Jesus asked him why he had not built himself a house.

“Ah, spirit of God!” said the old man. “Prophets before thee predicted that I would live for only seven hundred years. It is not worth my trouble to settle down.”

Life is a wandering, it is not a home. It is a search for the home, but it itself is not the home. It is an inquiry, an adventure. It is not necessarily that you will succeed - success is very rare, because the search is very complex and there are a thousand and one difficulties on the way.

But let this be your first understanding about today’s sutras. They are of immense value. When you meditate and when you go deeper into them you will be surprised: these sutras are just like oceans contained in dewdrops.

Mohammed says, “I am like a rider who shelters under a tree, then goes on his way.” Yes, this life is an overnight stay, a caravanserai. Don’t settle in it. Use the opportunity to reach higher and higher and higher, because there is no end to heights, to depths. But remember always, don’t take life for granted: it is only an opportunity, with immense potential and possibilities. But if you start thinking that you have already arrived because you are alive, you will miss the whole point.

Jesus says again and again, “The world is to be treated as a bridge, not as a stopping place.” Use it as a bridge; it can bridge you to existence. And when life becomes a bridge to existence it is divine. But if you don’t use it as a bridge towards existence it remains mundane, spurious, illusory, imaginary, fictitious.

The first sutra:

Don't seek sorrow for spurious comforts.

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