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Chapter 11: Ambition: The Roots of Terrorism

Those who couldn’t manage are writhing; those who have managed are writhing. Those who couldn’t attain are writhing because life has turned out to be a defeat; the ego shattered even before it could form. And those who have managed are writhing because it was such a waste of effort and life to attain what they have attained. There is not a single peaceful moment. There is not a single drop of love to be found, not a single note of music. All is emptiness within, a meaninglessness.

The whole of humanity is suffering from one disease and that disease is ambition: “Go on fighting.” Don’t even worry whether the whys and wherefores of your fight are right or wrong. Who has the time? Time is short and there is no certainty to life. So the means may be right or wrong, but you have to prove that you are something. And the interesting thing is that it is a defeat on both sides. Defeated, you are defeated. Victorious, you are badly defeated.

Naturally everybody appears to be sick, appears to be restless. Inside everybody there are only flames - flames of envy, jealousy - and no peace, no bliss. No poetry is ever born within us, no dance ever arises within us, and then death knocks on the door, and we have got nothing to offer to death except our tears and a defeated life. The long journey of ambition has come to its final moments. Now it is no longer just a slow burning fire - lukewarm. Now it is burning with roaring flames and the whole world is feeling utterly restless. And there is only one way out: that we free man from ambition.

Ambition only makes one run on the periphery and leads man nowhere. These paths on the periphery, that seem to be moving so fast, go nowhere. Keep walking, keep walking.and they never come to an end. Your end comes but these paths remain, just lying there. These paths don’t end; you do.

In the place of ambition, create self-longing: a desire to know yourself, to recognize yourself, to dive within yourself. This alone is the remedy. And the disease is only one - although its names may be many, its forms may be many. The remedy, too, is only one.

All education is futile, all preaching is futile if you are not taught the art of diving within yourself - because that is where the stream of life’s juices flows. You are wandering around on the periphery like a beggar and within you is hidden the potential to be an emperor. In this world only those rare people who have looked within themselves have become healthy. All the rest are unhealthy, sick and insane.

I give value to only one thing - call it religion, philosophy, philosophy of life, or whatever name you want to give it - and that is knowing oneself. And that knowing of oneself is not through books, is not through someone else. That knowing of oneself is through oneself. If you cannot go within yourself, where else will you go? If you cannot dive within yourself for a while, what other oceans do you seek to fathom, and where?

If we want mankind to become healthy; if we want the terrorism that is increasing everywhere and becoming more and more explosive and violent to end; if we want the flames of fire to turn into flowers, then there is only one way. That way is called samadhi, enlightenment.

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