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Chapter 17: Wake up the Slave

The whole system seems to be sick, sick unto death. It does not create the healthy, alive, radiant human being; it does not create the joyous, the celebrating, the festive being. It does not teach you how to make your life a festival. Whatsoever it teaches takes you deeper and deeper into hell. And you know it - because I am not talking about some speculative systems of thought, I am talking simply about your psychology, your state of being

Atisha is right. He says:

Don't seek sorrow for spurious comforts.

How much suffering you have created - for what? Somebody wanted a slightly bigger house, a slightly bigger bank balance, a little more fame, a little more name, more power. Somebody wanted to become the president or the prime minister. All are spurious, because death will take them away. That is the definition of the spurious.

Only that which cannot be taken away by death is real. Everything else is unreal; it is made of the same stuff dreams are made of. If you are running after things which will be taken away by death, then your life is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” You will never attain to any significance.

And without significance how can there be a song? And without significance how can you ever say that “I have lived”? The tree has not bloomed, the tree has not been fruitful. What to say about fruits and flowers - even leaves have not come.

Millions are born as seeds and die as seeds. From the cradle to the grave, their story is just of drifting. Accidental it is, and the ultimate result is great sorrow. The idea of hell only symbolizes the great sorrow that you create by a wrong kind of living.

Atisha says:

Don't seek sorrow for spurious comforts.

Then what has to be done? Think of something higher - something that is beyond death, something that cannot be destroyed, something that is indestructible, something that transcends time - and sorrow will not be created.

If you search the ultimate, each moment of your life will become more and more peaceful, calm, quiet, cool, fragrant. If you search for the ultimate, if you search for the truth, or God or nirvana or whatsoever you want to call it; if you are in search for the deepest in life and the highest in life and you are not after spurious things, then your very search will bring a new quality to your being. You will feel rooted, integrated; you will feel together. And you will feel a new joy arising in your heart, not coming from the outside.

The real joy never comes from the outside, it is the spurious that comes from the outside - and death can take away only that which has come from the outside.

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