Chapter 5: Love Yourself and Watch
Love yourself and watch -
today, tomorrow, always.
First establish yourself in the way,
and so defeat sorrow.
To straighten the crooked
you must first do a harder thing -
You are your only master.
and discover your master.
Willfully you have fed
your own mischief.
Soon it will crush you
as the diamond crushes stone.
By your own folly
you will be brought as low
as your worst enemy wishes.
So the creeper chokes the tree.
How hard it is to serve yourself,
how easy to lose yourself
in mischief and folly.
The katthaka reed dies when it bears fruit.
So the fool,
scorning the teachings of the awakened,
spurning those who follow the law,
perishes when his folly flowers.
We begin with one of the most profound sutras of Gautama the Buddha:
Just the opposite has been taught to you by all the traditions of the world, all the civilizations, all the cultures, all the churches. They say: “Love others, don’t love yourself.” And there is a certain cunning strategy behind their teaching.
Love is the nourishment for the soul. Just as food is to the body, so love is to the soul. Without food the body is weak, without love the soul is weak. And no state, no church, no vested interest, has ever wanted people to have strong souls, because a person with spiritual energy is bound to be rebellious.
Love makes you rebellious, revolutionary. Love gives you wings to soar high. Love gives you insight into things, so that nobody can deceive you, exploit you, oppress you. And the priests and the politicians survive only on your blood - they survive only on exploitation. All the priests and all the politicians are parasites.