Chapter 1: The Eightfold Way
But remember, it has nothing to do with wrong. Wrong is a human invention, right is divine. Right is not something that you have to do - you were born right. Wrong is something that you have to do; you were not born wrong. Every child is born in harmony. That’s why children are so beautiful. Have you ever seen a baby who is ugly? It doesn’t happen. All babies are beautiful, but all grown-ups are not beautiful. So something somewhere must have gone wrong - because all babies are beautiful. They have a grace, a tremendous elegance which has nothing to do with any practice, because they have no time to practice anything. They come into the world without any rehearsal. They are just there; so happy, so silent, so harmonious. Such grace surrounds them - as if the whole existence is protective towards them. Then, by and by, they learn the ways of man and become wrong. Then ugliness appears. Then beautiful eyes can become horrible; then a beautiful face can become criminal; then a beautiful body can lose all grace. Then a beautiful intelligence.. Every child is born intelligent; that’s how things are. An intelligent child can become stupid, mediocre. These are human achievements.
The wrong is a human achievement, the right is divine. You are not to do anything for it, you have only to stop all that you have been doing to create the wrong. And when there is right, you don’t feel you are right. That’s why, I repeat again: it is not against wrong. When you are in the right you are simply natural. You don’t have any feeling of being righteous. You don’t have any feeling that you are a great saint. If you have that feeling then you are still wrong somewhere - because the no is a jarring note. It does not allow the music to flow.
“Right” means balanced, non-tense, centered; you are not a stranger in existence. That’s what “right” means: you are at home. This existence is your family. You are not an alien. In the West, and in the East too, the modern mind continuously talks and thinks about alienation, that man has become an outsider, that man has become a stranger, that we seem to be just like accidents on earth. Existentialists have the right word for it: they say we have been thrown here. Thrown? Dumped. Expelled. Punished. And this existence is against us. And you can prove it: so many diseases - death is there; so many frustrations, failures. People go on saying man proposes and God disposes.
So of course man is doomed, doomed from the very beginning, is born with great desires and without any possibility of any fulfillment, ever. How can this existence be your home? It can’t be your family.
The right is when you start feeling that you are at home. Nothing is alien, nothing is strange.
Buddha says: If you are, you are wrong - because whenever you are, you are separate from existence. When you are not, you are right. Listen to this paradox; it is one of the most beautiful paradoxes. Buddha says: When you are, you are wrong. Your being is to be wrong. The very separation, the “I am,” creates a barrier. Then you don’t melt, then you become frozen, then you are like an ice-cube. Dead. Closed. Then you have a boundary.
When you start melting, and you start feeling, “The existence is, and I am just a part”.and you relax, and there is a let-go; you disappear. Then you are right. When you are not, you are right.
These eight steps are just indicators, by and by, of how to come to that tremendous courage, that ultimate courage where you take the quantum leap and you simply disappear. When the self disappears, the universal self arises.
The first is right view.