Chapter 8: Agony Is Missing Yourself, Ecstasy Is Finding Yourself
You think, you imagine, some moments of pleasure - and they don’t materialize, because existence has no obligation to materialize your imaginations. It has never given you any promise that whatever you think is going to happen. You have taken it for granted without any inquiry, as if the whole existence owes you something.
You owe everything to existence.
Existence owes you nothing.
So if you are running to catch shadows, you cannot catch them - it is not in the nature of things. Then there is pain, because you were so much absorbed in running after the shadows that you were feeling a kind of fulfillment. A goal was there; although not in your hands but far away, still it was there. And it was only a question of time, a little more effort. Be a little more American: try and try and try again - and sooner or later existence is going to yield.
Existence does not care who you are, American or Russian. It never yields to anybody - it simply goes in its own way. By making an effort to fulfill your desires, to force nature, existence, to come behind you, you are creating causes of pain, suffering.
The moment you understand, you drop these causes.
And the dropping of the causes is the disappearance of all your misery.
It was your projection.
There is a Sufi story about a very cunning fox.. All foxes are cunning, but there are politician foxes too. This happened to be a politician fox, very cunning. One day she woke up, and finding herself very hungry, came out of her cave in search of some breakfast. The sun was rising, and she saw her shadow so long she could not believe it. She said, “My God! I am that big? Now where am I going to get my breakfast? I will need at least one camel; less than that won’t do. My shadow is so big, naturally I must be as big.” It is logical, perfectly Aristotelian. You cannot say she is wrong.
You also know yourself only in the mirror - there is no other way. Have you known yourself in any other way except through a shadow?
So don’t laugh at the poor fox. How can she conceive that a small thing can make such a big shadow? It is very natural to conclude that if the shadow is so big, you must be as big.
And when it comes to feeling oneself big, who wants to argue against it? When anything gives you the sense of bigness, you don’t want to go into details to find whether it is true or wrong, whether it is logically right, scientifically provable. No, your whole being is so enchanted..
The fox really felt that big. You could see - her walk changed. But where can she find a camel for her breakfast? And even if she can find a camel, it is going to be absolutely pointless; she cannot make a breakfast out of a camel. She searches, she finds many small animals which would have been enough any other day, but today is different. She does not bother about all those small creatures. They will be lost just in her teeth. She needs a camel, an elephant or something big.