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Chapter 7: A Dry Soul Is Wisest and Best

A drunken man has to be led by a young boy,
whom he follows stumbling
and not knowing whither he goes,
for his soul is moist.

Souls take pleasure in becoming moist.

A dry soul is wisest and best.

Just as I said yesterday, human consciousness can follow two ways. One way is that of water, flowing downwards; the other way is that of fire, moving upwards. These are symbols, water and fire, but very meaningful.

When you flow downwards you become more and more unconscious. When you flow upwards you become more and more conscious. Upwardness is consciousness; downwardness is unconsciousness.

Heraclitus calls the downward flow of consciousness the state of moisture, and the upward rise of consciousness the state of dryness. Moisture and dryness depend on fire and water. And he says the spirit, the human mind, takes pleasure in being moist.

All pleasure is downward. Wherever you are seeking pleasure, you will go downwards, because pleasure means being unconscious. Pleasure means being in a certain state where you don’t know any anxiety - not that the anxieties have disappeared, but you are unconscious. The world remains the same; the anxieties are there waiting for you, increasing, not decreasing, because as time moves they will increase. Your problems remain the same, even become more complicated. While you are unconscious, everything is growing: it doesn’t wait for your consciousness to be there. Your misery is growing, your anguish is growing, waiting for you. You are unconscious so you are not aware. Whenever you come to consciousness again, you will have to face all the problems you had escaped.

Pleasure is escape. That’s why pleasure is not worth it. In fact it is not pleasure, it is a sort of suicide. You escape from the problems, you put your back to the problems, but this is no way to solve them. You will have to come back, because once you have become conscious, unconsciousness cannot be a permanent state of affairs. You can have a dive into unconsciousness, but how long can you remain underwater? For a second - and then you are back again to the surface. You cannot remain unconscious for long. Alcohol or drugs or sex or anything in which you become unconscious, in which you lose for a moment all your worries, forget about them - it is a forgetfulness, but forgetfulness cannot be a permanent state.

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