Chapter 4: Overcoming the Deceptions of the Mind
For example, you have some treasure, but you have forgotten or you have not yet recognized that this is a treasure, and you go on begging in the streets. you are a beggar. If someone says, “Go and look inside your house. You need not be a beggar, you can be an emperor this very moment,” the beggar is bound to say, “What nonsense you are talking. How can I be an emperor this very moment? I have been begging for years and still I am a beggar, and even if I go on begging for lives together, I am not going to be an emperor. So how absurd and illogical your statement is, ‘You can be an emperor this very moment.’”
It is impossible. The beggar cannot believe it. Why? Because the begging mind is a long habit. But if the treasure is just hidden in the house, then from simple digging, removing the earth a little bit, the treasure will be there. And immediately he will not be a beggar again, he will become an emperor.
It is the same with spirituality: it is a hidden treasure. Nothing is to be achieved somewhere in the future. You have not yet recognized it, but it is there already in you. You are the treasure, but you go on begging.
So simple techniques can help. Digging the earth, removing a little bit, is not a big effort, and you can become an emperor immediately. You have to dig a little bit to remove the earth. And when I say remove the earth, it is not only symbolically that I am saying it. Literally your body is part of the earth, and you have become identified with the body. Remove this earth a little bit, create a hole in it, and you will come to know the treasure.
That is why this question will occur to many. Really, to everyone this question will occur: “So small a technique like this - being aware of your breathing, being aware of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, and then realizing the interval between the two - is this enough?” Such a simple thing! Is this enough for enlightenment? Is this the only difference between you and Buddha, that you have not realized the gap between two breaths and Buddha has realized it - only this much? It seems illogical. The distance is vast between a Buddha and you. The distance seems infinite. The distance between a beggar and an emperor is infinite, but the beggar can immediately become an emperor if the treasure is already hidden.
Buddha was a beggar like you; he was not a buddha always. At a particular point the beggar died, and he became the master. This is not a gradual process really; it is not that Buddha goes on accumulating and then one day he is not the beggar and he becomes the emperor. No, a beggar can never become an emperor if it is going to be an accumulation, he will remain a beggar. He may become a rich beggar, but he will remain a beggar. And a rich beggar is a bigger beggar than a poor beggar.
Suddenly, one day Buddha realizes the inner treasure. Then he is no more a beggar, he becomes a master. The distance between Gautam Siddhartha and Gautam Buddha is infinite. It is the same distance that is between you and a buddha. But the treasure is hidden within you as much as it was hidden in Buddha.