Chapter 5: Non-attainment
The mind is empty, and emptiness hurts like a wound. The mind cannot look back, it can only look ahead. To fill its emptiness it goes on achieving money, power, prestige, respectability. But nothing satisfies it because its emptiness is infinite. It may have any amount of money - still more is needed. It may have any amount of power - still more is needed.
The constant urge in the mind is for more and more, that’s why it is never at rest. It cannot be at rest; it has to achieve more. No one in the whole history of mankind has ever said that his mind is satisfied; such a statement does not exist in the annals of history.
Mind means dissatisfaction, mind means complaints, mind means unfulfilled greed, mind means incomplete desire.
Mind is by its very nature a beggar.
Diogenes asked Alexander, “Are you satisfied with conquering so many lands?”
He said, “No, unless I conquer the whole world I will not be satisfied.”
Diogenes said, “Remember my words. Even if you conquer the whole world, the mind will ask for more, and there is no other world to conquer. Remember.you have conquered the world that is, and there is no other world to conquer - and mind is asking for more. You will be in such a frustration that you cannot conceive of it right now.”
The day Alexander died, he remembered Diogenes. He had conquered the whole known world, and he was dying in utter frustration because the mind was not content.
Mind, by its very nature, cannot be content.
In fact, it is the name of your discontent.
Before his death, Alexander told his generals and ministers, “When you take my coffin to the grave, let my hands hang out of the coffin.”
They said, “What kind of strange idea has come to you? That is not the way - it has never been done! And what is the reason for it?”
He said, “I want everybody to know that even Alexander is going with empty hands. A whole life’s effort, not a single moment’s rest, running after more and more, and the ultimate result is just empty hands. Because millions of people will be standing by the side of the road to watch the procession, it will be the right moment to let them see and think. And when they ask, tell them why my hands are hanging out - I am going as unfulfilled as I had come.”
Gautam Buddha is very clear about the situation that, if you remain in the mind, you cannot get out of the trap of “more and more.” The only way to get out of the trap of more and more is to get out of the mind.
Mind is the greatest disease.
Ta Hui is in a strange situation. Sometimes he rises and grasps something of immense importance, but it is still intellectual. His words don’t sound authentic because immediately he says something else that spoils it completely. He certainly has a genius for understanding people, and he has been with many teachers and many masters.