Chapter 5: How Sweet to Be Free
The same happens when you become enlightened: all the misery, all the nightmares, all the sorrows that you had suffered so much simply become so insignificant, so irrelevant that they disappear from your consciousness. They are no more part of your life story - as if they had happened to somebody else and not to you. Hence Buddha is reminding his bodhisattvas how the journey starts from the very beginning; only then can these people be of help to others.
The first thing he says: Remember only to talk to seekers. There are many who are inquirers but who are not seekers, many who are curious but not seekers. The curious person is a little childish. Every child is curious - curious about each and everything, curious about one thousand and one things, but not really interested in knowing. He asks one question; by the time you answer him he has started asking about something else. He is not listening to your answer at all, he is not interested in it anymore; it was a momentary phenomenon. He had just become attracted to something: he saw a flower and he asked about it, and then he heard the noise of an airplane and he started asking about airplanes, and then something else caught his eye..
A seeker means one for whom the inquiry is not only curiosity, not a childish phenomenon, but a mature inquiry, for whom it has become a question of life and death. Unless truth becomes a question of life and death you are not a seeker.
Buddha is saying to his bodhisattvas, his apostles: Talk only to seekers, address yourself only to seekers. Don’t waste your time with childish people who are curious about each and everything. Their questions may look very great, but their hearts are not in their questions. They have asked just to ask; they are not interested in finding the answer and they are not ready to risk anything. If they can get the answer free, maybe they are ready to listen; but they are not ready to pay. And life’s real questions are not to be solved in such a cheap way. You have to pay and you have to pay with your whole being. You have to get involved; it needs commitment.
Anybody can ask about God, but very few people are ready to risk anything, to go into the unknown, to go into the adventure - and the adventure for God is the greatest adventure there is. And it demands; it is very demanding - it demands your total commitment. It won’t allow you any other involvement. It can’t be just one involvement among many other involvements; it has to be the one and only involvement. Only then is there a hope that some day you may find the answer which liberates you. Hence he says:
Do not be reckless.
And the first thing to be taught to these people who are seekers is not to be reckless. People are living very recklessly, people are living very accidentally. Their lives have no sense of direction. They don’t know where they are going, from where they are coming, why they are doing a certain thing. Maybe others are doing it so they are imitating, but imitators are not seekers. Maybe others are going to the church or to the temple so they are also going. They are not really men but sheep.