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Chapter 2: Aloneness Is the Last Achievement

Living with the master, surrounded by his climate, slowly, slowly, a certain awareness arises in you. Your eyes become clear and you can see where the treasure is. And then, you work hard for it. The master gives you a glimpse of the far-away peak of the Himalayas - snow-covered, shining in the sun - but it is far away and you will have to travel. It is going to be hard, it is going to be uphill. There is every possibility that you may get lost. There is every possibility that you may miss the goal, you may go astray. The closer you come to the peak, the possibility of missing becomes bigger and bigger, greater and greater - because the closer you come to the peak, the less you can see the peak. You have to move just by your own alertness. From far away you can see the peak; it is difficult to lose the direction. But when you have reached the mountains and you are moving upwards, you cannot see the peak. You have simply to grope in darkness, so it is more like stealing. The master is not going to give it to you easily. It can be allowed very easily - the door can be opened right now - but you will not be able to see any treasure there because your eyes are not trained yet. And even if, just on trust, you believe that this is very, very valuable, you will lose your trust again and again. Unless you feel and know that this is valuable, it is not going to be kept for long; you will throw it anywhere.

I have heard about a poor man, a beggar, who was coming with his donkey on the road. The donkey had a beautiful diamond just dangling from his neck. The beggar had found it somewhere and thought it looked beautiful, so he had made a little ornament for the donkey, a necklace.

One jeweler saw it. He reached the poor man and asked, “How much will you take for this stone?”

The poor man said, “Eight annas will do.”

The jeweler became greedy. He said, “Eight annas? - for just this small stone? I can give you four annas.”

But the poor man said, “For four annas why take it away from the donkey? Then I’m not going to sell.”

The jeweler said to himself that the beggar would sell, and so he went a little far away - he would come back later to persuade him. But by that time, another jeweler had seen it. He was ready to give one thousand rupees, so the poor man sold it immediately because the other was not even ready to give eight annas. And this jeweler looked almost mad; he had offered one thousand rupees!

The first jeweler came back but the diamond was gone. He said to the poor man, “You are a fool! You have sold it just for one thousand rupees; it was worth almost one million rupees!”

The beggar laughed, “I may be a fool - I am - but what about you? I did not know that it was a diamond, and you knew it and you would not take it even for eight annas.”

You can get the diamond; it will be taken away from you. You cannot keep it for long. It will be stolen unless you yourself understand how valuable it is. So you have to grow.

The work of the master is very paradoxical. The paradox is: he provokes you, he invites you, and goes on hiding the treasure. He has to do both simultaneously: he has to tempt you, seduce you, and yet, he is not to allow you an easy approach. Between these two very paradoxical efforts: provoking, continuously provoking .

I go on speaking every day; this is nothing but temptation, an invitation. But I will hide it to the last unless you have become capable of stealing. I am not going to give it; it cannot be given. You can only steal it. But you will become, by and by, a master thief. The temptation will make you. What will you do? I will tempt you and nothing will be given to you. What will you do? - you will start thinking of how to steal it.

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