Chapter 1: Hold Your Tongue
Hold your tongue.
Do not exalt yourself
but lighten the way
for your words are sweet.
Follow the truth of the way.
Reflect upon it.
Make it your own.
It will always sustain you.
Do not turn away what is given you,
nor reach out for what is given to others,
lest you disturb your quietness.
for what has been given you,
Be pure, never falter.
Life is full of complications. Even when we are born there is a string attached. The greatest complication, the source of all complications is unawareness, unconsciousness. We are focused on the objective world and we are totally unaware who we are.
The whole message of Gautama the Buddha is to turn in. The message is simple, but the implementation is arduous. It is arduous because for many, many lives we have lived outwardly, we have lived the life of an extrovert. We have completely forgotten how to relate with our own beings, how to be with ourselves. We have forgotten the path, the language, the method. Not only that, we have become completely oblivious that there is an interiority to us. We think as if we have only an outside. Now that is stupid. The outside can exist only with an inside; without the inside the outside is impossible. If we can see out, we can also see in. In fact, to see in is easier because it is there that we are rooted.
But never seeing in, we go on rushing in all directions, doing all kinds of things, not knowing why, just because others are doing them. We are imitating, following. We become carbon copies. That’s the most ugly thing in life: to be a carbon copy. Man can never be blissful unless he is original, unless he knows his original face.
I have heard a very beautiful story. It may be true, it may not be true. Its truth is not historical but, far more significant, it is metaphorical.
The story is:
Alexander the Great was on his way to India. He met a fakir sitting by the roadside with a round, small, crystal-like object in his hand.
“What’s that?” inquired Alexander.
“I will not tell you,” said the fakir, “but I will bet you that it is heavier than all your gold, silver and jewels.”
Alexander ordered an enormous balance to be brought along with all of his treasures. On one side of the balance he piled all the treasures; the fakir put his small round crystal on the other side and, lo! it was heavier. Down it went and the vast treasures were lifted into the air. Alexander was amazed.