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Chapter 3: The Temper

So the problem is not how to have a strong character, the problem is not how to attain no-anger, how not to be disturbed - no, that is not the problem. The problem is how to change your consciousness from the periphery to the center. Then suddenly you see that you have always been calm. Then you can look at the periphery from a distance, and the distance is so vast, infinite, that you can watch as if it is not happening to you. In fact, it never happens to you. Even when you are completely lost in it, it never happens to you: something in you remains undisturbed, something in you remains beyond, something in you remains a witness.

So the whole problem for the seeker is how to shift his attention from the periphery to the center; how to be merged with that which is unchanging, and not to be identified with that which is just a boundary. On the boundary others are very influential, because on the boundary change is natural. The periphery will go on changing - even a Buddha’s periphery changes.

The difference between a buddha and you is not a difference of character - remember this; it is not a difference of morality, it is not a difference in virtue or nonvirtue, it is a difference in where you are grounded.

You are grounded on the periphery, a Buddha is grounded in the center. He can look at his own periphery from a distance; when you hit him he can see it as if you have hit somebody else, because the center is so distant. It’s as if he is a watcher on the hills and something is happening in the valleys and he can see it. This is the first thing to be understood.

Second thing: it is very easy to control, it is very difficult to transform. It is very easy to control. You can control your anger, but what will you do? - you will suppress it. And what happens when you suppress a certain thing? The direction of its movement changes: it was going out, and if you suppress it, it starts going in - just its direction changes.

And for anger to go out was good, because the poison needs to be thrown out. It is bad for the anger to move within, because that means your whole body mind structure will be poisoned by it. And then if you go on doing this for a long time.as everybody has been doing, because the society teaches control, not transformation. The society says, “Control yourself,” and through controlling all the negative things have been thrown deeper and deeper into the unconscious, and then they become a constant thing within you. Then it is not a question of your being angry sometimes and sometimes not - you are simply angry. Sometimes you explode, and sometimes you don’t explode because there is no excuse, or you have to find an excuse. And remember, you can find an excuse anywhere!

A man, one of my friends, wanted to divorce his wife, so he went to a lawyer, an expert on marriage affairs, and he asked the lawyer, “On what grounds can I divorce my wife?”

The lawyer looked at him and said, “Are you married?” The man said, “Of course, yes.” The lawyer said, “Marriage is enough grounds. There is no need to seek any other grounds. If you want a divorce, then marriage is the only thing that is needed, because it will be impossible to divorce a woman if you are not married. If you are married - enough!”

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