Chapter 24: The World Is What You Are
When the master is at the door it is too late! You cannot do anything. You cannot close the door in the face of the master, you cannot invite the master inside for the simple reason the ancient scriptures of the East say the master is death - and they mean it.
To allow the master in means you will have to die as an ego, as a personality, and that’s all you know about yourself. Hence the fear, hence the question, what to do now? He is just at the door. One step more and you are finished. But there is no need to be worried.
You will die as an ego but you will be reborn as the self, which is your reality. You will die as a personality but you will be born as an individuality, which is existential. Personality is just artificial.
The master can take away only those things which do not belong to you. He cannot take anything away from you which is your authentic nature. The master cannot give you anything, he simply removes all the hindrances so that you can discover yourself.
I am reminded of one historical incident..
The world’s best sculptor, Michelangelo, was passing through the street where there were many shops of marble and different kinds of stone sellers. He used to go there often to find good pieces of marble. In front of the first shop, on the other side of the road, there was a huge piece of marble, very ugly looking, and it had been lying there for almost five years. He had never paid any attention to it. He went around the marble, looked at it, touched it, and was immensely happy. He came back to the owner of the shop and asked, “What will you take for that stone?”
The shop owner said, “Nothing, you can take it, because I have kept it for five years - and nobody wants it. And I am paying unnecessary rent for it. I cannot keep it in the shop, it is too big. So I am keeping it on the other side of the road on somebody else’s land, and he is charging me rent for it. You are the first man in five years who has even inquired about it. Thousands of sculptors have been coming to the shop, but none has even paid attention to the stone. You can take it joyfully, with my thanks. You need not pay for it because I am getting fed up with it.”
Michelangelo arranged for the stone to be carried to his home, and he said to the shopkeeper, “When I have worked it out I would love and appreciate very much if you can come to see what has become of the stone, because I have already seen it. It is only a question of chipping the stone here and there. Somebody is encaged in the stone who has called me, I have not to do much, I have not to create anything - just to remove the unnecessary parts.”