Chapter 39: Growing Up Comes by Itself
The other day, I found myself upset, impatient, and irritable. When will I grow up? When will we all come to the responsibility of just being the you in us: that gracefulness that we all know ourselves to be? I feel that the time is ripe to stop whining about misery, and misunderstandings, pain, and discomforts. Could it be that as a disciple, I simply take you, your presence, your answers, your insights, and your grace for granted, as a way to avoid just stepping into myself, into the devotee?
It is natural to be impatient. And a great understanding and awareness is needed not to be impatient, because impatience is not going to help; on the contrary, it is one of the great hindrances. You have to understand impatience as your enemy. You want the vast and the mysterious to open its doors, without much effort on your part. It is not possible. There are a thousand and one doors, and only one is right; you will have to knock on all the wrong doors to find the right one. Either in scientific research, or in a spiritual seeking, patience is absolutely necessary.
I am reminded of Edison who invented the first electric bulb. He worked on it for three years. All his colleagues and his disciples slowly, slowly left. They were impatient, they wanted it to happen immediately, and they could not believe the patience of Edison.
Every day, Edison would come fresh, young, excited, and they would say to him, “We have experimented in so many ways, and we have failed in every experiment. Why not change the subject? We should work on something else.”
Edison would say, “Who told you that we have been failures? Each failure brings us nearer to success because there must be only a limited number of doors. We knock on one door, and it is not the right door - but it is not a failure. One door, a wrong door, is eliminated; success is closer. We knock on another door; it is not the right door. But we are even closer to success - two doors are eliminated. Soon we will be knocking on the right door.
But the patience that he had is part of a very intelligent and very genuine seeker. After three years, in the middle of the night, he knocked on the right door. For the first time, the human eyes..
He was alone, all his colleagues had left; he was tired, utterly exhausted, and thinking himself almost mad. He was alone when he discovered the electric bulb. It had taken three years. Day and night he had been thinking only of one thing - from where to approach this? And when the room was lighted up with electricity, he was sitting there in utter wonder. He was the first man to see something which had never existed before. He could not take his eyes off the electric bulb.
It was getting late, and finally his wife shouted from the other room, “Put that stupid light off!” She was not aware that it was electricity. She said “Come back, and go to sleep.”
He said, “It is not the stupid light that you are acquainted with; it is what my three years of patience has created. You should come here and see!”