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Chapter 10: The Supreme Understanding

You have to listen to others up to an extent, and then you have to start listening to yourself. You must come back to the original state in the end. Before you die you must become an innocent child again - loose, natural; because in death you are again entering the dimension of being alone. Just as you were in the womb, in death you will again enter into the realm of being alone. No society exists there. And the whole of your life. You have to find a few spaces in your life, a few moments like oases in deserts, where you simply close your eyes and go beyond society, move into yourself, into your own womb. This is what meditation is. The society is there. Simply close your eyes and forget the society, and become alone. No rules exist there, no character is needed, no morality, no words, no language. You can be loose and natural inside.

Grow into that loose-and-naturalness. Even if there is a need for outer discipline, remain wild inside. If one can remain wild inside and still practice things which are needed in the society, then soon he can come to a point where he simply transcends.

I will tell you one story and then I will enter into the sutras. This is a Sufi story:

An old man and a young man were traveling with a donkey. They had reached near to a town; they were both walking with their donkey.

Some school children passed them and they giggled and they laughed and they said, “Look at these fools, they have a healthy donkey with them and they are walking. At least the old man can sit on the donkey.”

Listening to those children the old man and the young man decided, “What to do? People are laughing and soon we will be entering the town, so it is better to follow what they are saying.” So the old man sat on the donkey and the young man followed.

Then they came near another group of people who looked at them and said, “Look, the old man is sitting on the donkey and the poor boy is walking. This is absurd! The old man can walk, but the boy should be allowed to sit on the donkey.” So they changed - the old man started walking and the boy was allowed to sit.

Then another group came and said, “Look at these fools. And this boy seems to be too arrogant. Maybe the old man is his father or his teacher and he is walking, but the boy is sitting on the donkey - this is against all the rules!”

So what to do? They both decided, “Now there is only one possibility: we should both sit on the donkey.” So they both sat on the donkey. Then other groups came and they said, “Look at these people, so violent! The poor donkey is almost dying - two persons on one donkey. It would have been better if they carried the donkey on their shoulders.”

So they again discussed. And then there was the river and the bridge; they had now almost reached the boundary of the town. So they thought, “It is better to behave as people think in this town, otherwise they will think we are fools.” So they found a piece of bamboo, put the bamboo on their shoulders, hung the donkey by his legs, tied them to the bamboo and carried him. The donkey tried to rebel; as donkeys are, they cannot be very easily forced. He tried to escape because he was not a believer in society and what others are saying. But the two men were too much and they forced him, so the donkey had to yield.

Just in the middle of the bridge, a crowd passed. Then they all gathered and said, “Look, these fools! We have never seen such idiots - a donkey is to ride upon, not to carry on your shoulders. Have you gone mad?”

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