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Chapter 5: Three in the Morning

At this point, the stranger couldn’t contain himself. He said, “Enough is enough. What are you saying? The lion killed you and ate you, and you are sitting here alive?”

Nasruddin looked at the man, stared at him and said, “Ha ha, do you call this being alive?”

Look at people’s faces and you will understand what he meant. Do you call this being alive? So bored to death, dragging.

Once it happened, a man asked Nasruddin, “I am very poor. It is almost impossible, seems almost impossible to survive now. I have six children and a wife, my widowed sister and old father and mother, a big family and relatives. It is getting more and more difficult. Can you suggest something? Should we commit suicide?”

Nasruddin said, “You can do two things and both will be helpful. One, start baking bread, because people have to live and they have to eat, you will always have business.”

The man asked, “And the other?”

Nasruddin said, “Start making shrouds for the dead, because when people are alive, they will die. And this business also will always continue. These two businesses are good - bread, and shrouds for the dead.”

After a month the man came back. He looked even more in despair, very sad, and he said, “Nothing seems to help. I have put whatever I have into the business, as you suggested, but everything seems to be against me.”

Nasruddin said, “How can that happen? People have to eat bread while they are alive, and when they die their relatives have to purchase shrouds.”

The man said, “But you don’t understand. In this village no one is alive and no one ever dies. They are simply dragging along.”

Everybody is just dragging himself, nobody is alive and nobody ever dies because to die one must first be alive. People are just dragging along. Look at their faces - there is no need to look at other’s faces, just look in the mirror and you will find out what dragging means - neither alive nor dead. Life is so beautiful, death is also beautiful - dragging is ugly.

But why do you look so burdened? Because the constant chattering of the mind dissipates energy. Constant chattering of the mind is a constant leakage in your being. Energy is dissipated. You never have enough energy to make you feel alive, young, fresh, and if you are not young and fresh and alive your death is also going to be a very dull affair.

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