Chapter 30: Life Is a Deep Interdependence
An Englishman, a Frenchman, and a Polack have been stranded on a desert island for almost a year, when they discover a lamp lying in the sand. They rub it, and sure enough, a genie appears.
“Well, gentleman,” says the genie, “traditionally, I give the finder one of three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you one wish each.”
The Englishman speaks right up: “I know what I want. I wish to be back on Hampstead High Street, having a pint in my favorite club.”
Poof! He disappears.
The Frenchman speaks up: “I wish to be back in Paris, in a nice little restaurant, with a bottle of good wine, and a gorgeous woman by my side.”
Poof! He disappears.
The Polack is thinking and thinking, when finally the genie asks him, “And what is your wish, my friend?”
“Gee, I only want to be the pope at the Vatican.”
Poof! And he disappears.
Many have wondered why a Polack has become the pope. Now I open up the secret. Poof! And the Polack becomes the pope.
But that is how things disappear. Enjoy them while they are, and don’t ask for any permanence, because permanence is non-existential; it is only in our desires, out of fear of death. But in existence, everything is change. Existence believes in the law of change.
Every moment, everything is changing. Our language gives us a very fallacious idea, because our language consists of nouns and pronouns, and existence knows only verbs.
When you see the river, the actual fact is that there is not a river; the actual fact is that there is a rivering, because the water is continuously flowing. A tree does not exist, there is only treeing, because the tree is continuously growing. And the same is the case with you. You won’t go back from this place the same as you have entered - so much water will have gone down the Ganges.
Gautam Buddha was the first man in history who reminded his disciples that existence consists only of verbs, not of nouns, not of pronouns. To make a language only of verbs, will be very difficult, almost impossible - conversation will become so ridiculous - so we have to continue to use nouns and pronouns. But remember, deep down, that there is nothing static.
Don’t be befooled by the language you use. Look around, everything is changing - every moment, every split second. And once you understand change as the God of existence, your whole life pattern - your attitudes, your approaches, your style - will change accordingly. You will become more of a flow than a dirty pond.
You will become more like a river, a pilgrimage into the unknown towards the ocean, where even you are going to disappear.