Chapter 5: Be a Light unto Yourself
A very unusual idea occurred one day to Frederick of Prussia. He was in the country when he saw some sparrows eating some grains of wheat. He started to think and reached the conclusion that these small birds consumed a million pecks of wheat a year in his kingdom. This cannot be allowed. They have to be either conquered or destroyed.
Since it was difficult to exterminate them, he promised a price for each dead sparrow. All Prussians became hunters and soon there were no more sparrows in the country. What a great victory.
Frederick of Prussia was very happy. He celebrated the event as a great conquest over nature. The king was very happy until the following year when he was told that caterpillars and locusts had eaten the crops because without sparrows the whole rhythm of life was destroyed. Sparrows go on eating caterpillars and locusts. There being no sparrows, the whole crop was destroyed by caterpillars. Then it was necessary to bring in sparrows from abroad. And the king said, “I certainly have made a mistake. God knows what he is doing.”
The great scientific minds of this century are coming, by and by, slowly, reluctantly, to recognize that a great mistake has been done.
The very desire to be powerful is against nature, because the very desire to be powerful is antagonistic. Why do you need to be powerful? You must be thinking in terms of destroying somebody. Power is needed to destroy. Power is needed to dominate. Power is needed to conquer.
The monk must have asked, “What is the most powerful thing in the world?” In fact the actual word must have been siddhi. The monk must have asked, “What is siddhi, what is power?”
Science tries to penetrate nature to get more power, and there are many systems which penetrate your innermost being - but again the goal is to get more power. Whether you become powerful in a scientific way, or you become powerful in a psychic way, it makes no difference. Now the West is becoming interested in psychic sciences, but the urge is the same - to be more powerful.
So first try to understand why man seeks power in the first place. The very desire is that of a soldier. You want power because without power you cannot be a great ego. For ego, power functions as food, nourishment. You seek power because only with power will you be able to say “I am.” The more money you have, the more power you have, the more you can feel at ease with your “I am.” The more you can destroy people, the more you can feel that nobody can destroy you.
Now psychologists say that people are interested in murdering, killing, in war, because when they kill others they feel very powerful. They feel power against death. They think they can create death - they can kill others. Now, they feel in a deep way that they have become immortal. Even death is under their control. It is foolish, but the idea arises. People who love killing are people who are afraid of death.