Chapter 9: The Essence in Life
There are stories about wealthy people, that after their death they become serpents and they guard their treasures. It is not necessary to know what happens after their death, because the fact is that even when they are alive they guard their wealth like serpents. Those who have money are always afraid of losing it, they are always guarding it. They don’t enjoy it. They are not even the masters of their money; they are just guarding it. Very seldom does one come across a wealthy man who is really the master of his wealth. A poor man may be the master of his poverty, but the rich man is not the master of his money.
If you watch carefully you will find that man wants money for freedom, he wants position for freedom. If you have position, power, the capacity, then you think you will be able to break away from a few bondages and you will be able to enter a little into the unknown and the unknowable.
Man wants freedom from every side. Deep down in the consciousness of man the yearning is only for moksha. That is why every type of bondage makes him restless. Even when you fall in love you do so in the hope that this love will become a sky, that you will be able to fly. You hope to get somebody’s support in attaining freedom. But when you fall in love you find that, never mind flying, you cannot even move. You expected to get support from the other, but the other, the lover, finished all your freedom, and thus love became a bondage. Freedom is only in dreams, and in reality it is only bondage.
The Prophet is a unique book by Kahlil Gibran. In it a person asks, “Speak to us of love.” And the hero of this book, Almustafa, says, “Love each other, but don’t possess each other. Be near each other, but not too near. You should be like the pillars of a temple which hold the same roof and yet remain far from each other. If the pillars of the temple come nearer, then the roof will fall down. Keep a little distance from the lover so that there can be some free space between the two. If this empty space is absolutely lost then you will be trespassing on each other, attacking each other.”
But all these things are written in books. In real life we take away all the freedom from the person we love because we are afraid that his love may turn somewhere else: “Somebody else may become the possessor of the love which I have.” We are always afraid of losing whatever we have. If we have money, then we are afraid of losing money. If we have love, then we are afraid of losing love. Because of this fear, freedom becomes impossible.
The flower of freedom blossoms only in a state of fearlessness. The only yearning one has is for freedom. Everyone’s inner search is for liberation.
Wherever you get this freedom, you will be overjoyed. You will become sad whenever you feel the bondage. If you are sad, then the reason is very clear: you wanted freedom but got chains; you wanted the sky but got a prison; you wanted wings for flying but even your feet were cut off; you wanted ultimate freedom and you staked and lost everything you had for it. There is no chance of getting what you hoped for. That is why you are sad.