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Chapter 4: The Good Wife

And such a deformity has happened to you. You cannot exhale, you simply inhale: this is a deformity. You cannot give, you can only possess: this is a deformity. You cannot share, you can only go on hoarding. You go on hoarding everything, you cannot share it. You have completely lost the language of sharing - but this is a deformity. A miser is a deformed human being. He has completely lost something in him that can share. He hoards and hoards and hoards, and this hoarding just becomes a grave.

Why are you hoarding if you cannot share? Why are you alive if you cannot love? What are you seeking if you cannot be ecstatic? And ecstasy comes through a balance: if you simply possess a thing to share it, then possession is not ugly. Then you are simply waiting to share it.

It happened: Two monks were traveling. One monk believed in renunciation of everything, so he would not carry a single paise. He was against money, absolutely against - he would not touch it.

By the evening they came near a river, and they had to cross the river. The river was very vast: they had to ask the ferryboat man to take them. He asked for money. The other monk was a hoarder; whatsoever he could get he would hoard. He was a miser. And there had always been an argument, a continuous argument between them about what is right. One would say, “Money is useless. It is dirt” - as all the ascetics have always said, which is nonsense. The other would say, “Money? - money is life. Without money you cannot even live. It is not dirt.” And there was no end to their argument.

The ferryman asked for money. The money-hoarder, the miser, said, “Now, what will you do? I have money; I will go to the other shore, to the town, and you will have to stay here. This is a wild and dangerous area. Now what do you say?”

The other monk simply smiled and didn’t say anything. Of course, the friend paid for him also. They both crossed the river.

When they had crossed, the man who had smiled, who was against money, said, “Now see what has happened. Because you gave the money to the ferryboat man, that’s why we could pass. If you had been miserly about it we would have died on the other shore. You renounced that money, that’s why we have come to this bank. Now we are safe. And I always say money has to be renounced. Now you see.!” The argument again came to the same point.

Who is right? Both are wrong. And remember this: in argument both sides are always wrong, because if there is not something wrong an argument cannot continue forever and ever. The worldly people are wrong, the other-worldly people are exactly as wrong as the worldly people; otherwise the argument cannot continue for centuries and centuries. Miserly people are wrong, and people who renounce are wrong. People who possess are wrong, and people who renounce are wrong. Somewhere there is a mid-point where you simply see that money is necessary and to renounce money is also necessary. To hoard money is necessary and to share it is just as necessary. If you can create a balance between hoarding and sharing, then you have come to the point from where understanding becomes possible.

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