Chapter 1: Discontent Is Divine
“Everything arises and passes away.”
When you see this, you are above sorrow.
This is the shining way.
“Existence is sorrow.”
Understand, and go beyond sorrow.
This is the way of brightness.
“Existence is illusion.”
Understand, go beyond.
This is the way of clarity.
You are strong, you are young.
It is time to arise.
Lest through irresolution and idleness
you lose the way.
Master your words.
Master your thoughts.
Never allow your body to do harm.
Follow these three roads with purity
and you will find yourself upon the one way,
the way of wisdom.
Sit in the world, sit in the dark.
Sit in meditation, sit in light.
Choose your seat.
Let wisdom grow.
Cut down the forest,
not the tree.
For out of the forest comes danger.
Cut down the forest.
And set yourself free.
The way of Gautama the Buddha is the way of intelligence, understanding, awareness, meditation. It is not the way of belief; it is the way of seeing the truth itself. Belief simply covers up your ignorance; it does not deliver you from ignorance. Belief is a deception you play upon yourself; it is not transformation.
The people who think themselves religious are only believers, not religious. They have no clarity, no understanding, no insight into the nature of things. They don’t know what they are doing; they don’t know what they are thinking. They are simply repeating conventions, traditions: dead words spoken long, long ago. They cannot be certain whether those words are true or not. Nobody can be certain unless one realizes oneself.
There is only one certainty in existence and that is your own realization, your own seeing. Unless that happens, don’t become contented; remain discontented. Discontentment is divine; contentment through beliefs is stupid. It is through divine discontent that one grows, but it is the path which is arduous. The path of belief is simple, convenient, comfortable. You need not do anything. You have only to say yes to the authorities: the authorities of the church, of the state. You have simply to be a slave to the people who are in power.
But to follow the path of Buddha one has to be a rebel. Rebellion is its essential taste; it is only for the rebellious spirit. But only rebellious people have spirits, only they have souls. Others are hollow, empty.
These sutras of today are of immense beauty, truth. Meditate over them.
The first sutra: