Chapter 28: Unless the Whole Existence.
The second principle is the pilgrimage. Life must be a seeking, not a desire, but a search; not an ambition to become this, to become that, a president of a country or a prime minister of a country, but a search to find out: “Who am I?”
It is very strange that people who don’t know who they are are trying to become somebody. They don’t even know who they are right now! They are unacquainted with their being, but they have a goal of becoming. Becoming is the disease of the soul.
Being is you. And to discover your being is the beginning of life. Then each moment is a new discovery, each moment brings a new joy; a new mystery opens its doors, a new love starts growing in you, a new compassion that you have never felt before, a new sensitivity about beauty, about goodness. You become so sensitive that even the smallest blade of grass takes on an immense importance for you. Your sensitivity makes it clear to you that this small blade of grass is as important to existence as the biggest star; without this blade of grass, existence would be less than it is. And this small blade of grass is unique, it is irreplaceable, it has its own individuality.
And this sensitivity will create new friendships for you - friendships with trees, with birds, with animals, with mountains, with rivers, with oceans, with stars. Life becomes richer as love grows, as friendliness grows.
In the life of St. Francis, there is a beautiful incident. He is dying, and he has always traveled on a donkey from place to place sharing his experiences. All his disciples are gathered to listen to his last words.
The last words of a man are always the most significant that he has ever uttered because they contain the whole experience of his life.
But what the disciples heard, they could not believe. St. Francis did not address the disciples; he addressed the donkey. He said, “Brother, I am immensely indebted to you. You have been carrying me from one place to another place with never a complaint, never grumbling. Before I leave this world, all that I want is forgiveness from you; I have not been humane to you.”
These were the last words of St. Francis - a tremendous sensitivity to say to the donkey, “Brother donkey,” and ask to be forgiven.
As you become more sensitive, life becomes bigger. It is not a small pond; it becomes oceanic. It is not confined to you and your wife and your children; it is not confined at all. This whole existence becomes your family, and unless the whole existence is your family, you have not known what life is - because no man is an island, we are all connected. We are a part of a vast continent, joined in millions of ways. And if our hearts are not full of love for the whole, in the same proportion our life is cut short.