Chapter 26: Cut the Social Crap Completely
Alexander the Great met Diogenes, who was a naked beggar, with only a lamp - that was his only possession. And he kept his lamp lit even in the day. He was obviously behaving in a strange way; even Alexander had to ask him, “Why are you keeping this lamp lit in the day?”
He raised his lamp and looked at Alexander’s face, and he said, “I am looking for the real man day and night, and I don’t find him.”
Alexander was shocked that a naked beggar should say such a thing to him, the world conqueror. But he could see that Diogenes was so beautiful in his nudity. His eyes were so silent, his face was so peaceful, his words had such an authority, his presence was so cool and calm and soothing, that although Alexander felt insulted, he could not retaliate. The presence of the man was so much, that Alexander himself looked a beggar beside him. In his diary he has written, “For the first time I felt that richness is something other than having money. I have seen a rich man.”
Richness is your authenticity, sincerity, your truth, your love, your creativity, your sensitivity, your meditativeness. This is your real wealth.
Society has moved your head towards mundane things, and you have forgotten completely that your head has been moved.
I remember it actually happened.. In India a man was driving on a motorcycle, and it was very cold so he put his coat on back to front because his chest was feeling very cold and the wind was just hitting him. From the other end of the road a sardar - the sardars are simple - was also coming on his motorbike. He could not believe his eyes because he thought, “This man has got his head on back to front!”
He became so afraid, that as he came close, he stumbled with his motorbike against the poor man, and the man fell on the ground, almost unconscious. The sardar looked closely and he said, “My God, what has happened to him? The city is far away, the hospital is far away, but something has to be done.”
Sardars in India are the most strong people. And the poor man was unconscious, so he forced his head and put it right according to the coat. At that very time a police car reached there and the policemen asked, “What is happening?”
He said, “You have come in the right time. Look at this man - he has fallen from his motorbike.”
They asked, “Is he alive or dead?”
The sardar said, “He used to be alive when his head was in a wrong position. When I turned his head in the right position he stopped breathing.”
Those policemen said, “You were too interested only in the head. You did not see that the coat is wrong, not the head!”