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Chapter 21: Become a Gardener

If you miss it - as I told you, the word sin in Hebrew means missing the mark - if you miss yourself, you are a sinner. It is already there, you carry the mustard seed, but you don’t give it to the soil, to the right soil, you don’t water it, you have not become a gardener. You carry the seed, dead, encased in the cell, you don’t put it into the earth. You are afraid that the seed may die. The fear is true in a sense: the seed will have to die, only the tree will be born. Every unfoldment is a death and a birth. The past has to die, the old has to die, only then is the new born. The seed will have to die, that’s why you are afraid, so you protect the seed.

I have heard, once it happened:

A king was puzzled because he had three sons, and they were all wise, strong, talented, and it was difficult to decide to whom he should give the kingdom, who would be the ruler after him. And he was getting older every day. It was very difficult to decide because they were all equal in every way, they were equally talented. So he asked a wise man what to do. The wise man made a plan and he told the king, “Go on a pilgrimage.” And following the wise man’s plan, the king called his three sons and gave them the same quantity of certain seeds of beautiful flowers. He told them, “Preserve these seeds as carefully as possible, because your whole life depends on them. When I come back you will have to give me a report of what happened to the seeds.” And the king went away.

The first son thought - he was the eldest, was more experienced in the ways of the world, more cunning and more calculating - he thought, “The best way will be to lock the seeds in a safe, because when my father comes he will ask for the seeds. I will return them to him exactly as he has given. And much depends on this.” So he took every care to find the best of all safes and he locked away the seeds. He carried the key with him twenty-four hours a day, because his whole life might depend on the seeds.

The second son thought, “The seeds have to be preserved, but if I lock them up like my elder brother, it may happen that in the iron safe they will get rotten. And my father may say, ‘These are not the seeds I gave to you. They have gone rotten, they have become useless.’ So what to do?” He went to the market and sold the seeds, which were of rare flowers. He thought, “This is the best way: sell them, keep the money, and when my father comes I will purchase seeds again and who will know the difference? Seeds are seeds. I can give the new seeds to my father, they will be fresh, alive. Why bother about these old seeds? And then, nobody knows when father will be back - one year, two years, three years - he has not given any date, so it may take many years. I need not get worried about the seeds.” He sold them and kept the money.

The third son thought, “Seeds have been given, there must be some significance in this.” He was the youngest, the least trained in the ways of the world, a little foolish, innocent. He thought, “Seeds are meant to grow.” The very word seed is a growth, the very word; it is not a goal, it is a bridge. The very word is a reaching toward something. A seed in itself is meaningless unless it grows, unless it becomes something. A seed is just a passing phase; it is not the goal. It is not the final state, it is just like a bridge you have to pass across. So he went into the garden and planted the seeds.

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