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Chapter 8: The Essence of Existence

What’s gone is gone; don’t keep holding on to it. Let go of the past. And don’t desire for that which has not yet happened, because it is in this desiring that the ego survives. Be totally content in what is, and this very moment you will find that the ego is not. What is, as it is, is good, is absolutely good. This is an art, and the name of this art is contentment. The ego lives in discontent, and in contentment the ego dies. Hence the more discontented a man is the more egotistical he is. The more egotistical, the more discontented. These two move together, one beside the other.

If you are craving to become a realized one, that you want to reach to the point where you can say, “I have attained God,” then the ego will not die. All expectations, all aspirations, all desires, all cravings do the work of pouring ghee onto the fire. In the same way, the desire to attain to the divine also pours ghee onto the fire of your ego.

Hence your so-called Hindu sannyasins are more egotistical than ordinary people. In your mahatmas, your “great souls,” you will find really pure egos - an absolutely pure, unadulterated poison that you cannot find in ordinary people. In the ordinary world everything is full of impurities.

Mulla Nasruddin wanted to die, so he took some poison and fell asleep. Three or four times he opened his eyes, looked around, and said, “I am still not dead.” He felt around, he pinched himself and thought, “I am still alive, and there are still no effects.”

He kept on tossing and turning. Eventually the morning came and he opened his eyes and looked around. His wife had already got up: “She is busy with her work, the children are getting ready for school.. What kind of death is this? .The milkman is knocking on the door. I can hear the sound of the neighbors.. What kind of death is this?”

He had drunk enough poison, he had drunk four doses, and one should die from one-quarter that amount. He sat up, then went and looked in the mirror thinking, “What kind of death is this? And no one seems to know, no funeral bier is being prepared, there is no fuss. My wife is not crying. The children are preparing to go to school.” Then he realized, “This is not death!” He ran to the shop where he had bought the poison and said, “What’s going on?”

The shopkeeper said, “What can I do? Nowadays everything is adulterated. Where can one get pure poison nowadays? Those days are gone. You are talking about Satyuga, the golden age. You want pure poison? These are the days of the Kaliyuga, the dark ages, no pure poison or any pure thing is available.”