Chapter 3: Flight from the Shadow
Before death knocks, accept yourself - and then a miracle happens. That miracle is that when you accept yourself, you don’t run away from yourself.
Right now, each one of you is running away from himself. Even if you come to me, you come to me as part of your escape from yourself. That is why you cannot reach me; that is the gap. If you have come to me as an escape from yourself you cannot come to me, because my whole effort is to help you not to escape from yourself. Don’t try to escape from yourself, you cannot be anybody else. You have a definite destiny and individuality.
Just as your thumb makes a sign, a print, unique and individual - that type of thumb has never existed before and will never exist again. It belongs only to you, there will never be another like it - the same is the case with your being also. You have a being unique and individual, incomparable. It has never been before, it will never be again; only you have got it. Celebrate it! Something unique has happened to everyone; God has given a unique gift to everyone, and you condemn it. You want something better! You try to be wiser than existence, you try to be wiser than Tao - then you go wrong.
Remember: the part can never be wiser than the whole, and whatsoever the whole is doing is the final thing, you cannot change it. You can make an effort to do so and waste your life, but nothing will be achieved through it.
The whole is vast, you are just an atomic cell. The ocean is vast, you are just a drop in it. The whole ocean is salty, and you are trying to be sweet. It is impossible! But the ego wants to do the impossible, the difficult, that which cannot be done. And Chuang Tzu says: Easy is right. Why can’t you be easy and accepting? Why not say yes to the shadow? The moment you say yes you forget it, it disappears, from the mind at least, even if it remains with the body.
But what is the problem? How does a shadow create a problem? Why make a problem out of it? As you are right now, you make a problem out of everything. This man was puzzled, disturbed, by the sight of his own shadow. He would have liked to be a god, he would have liked to be shadowless.
But you are already like a god and you cannot be anything that you are not already. How can you be? You can only be that which you are; all becoming is just moving towards the being which is already there. You may wander, and knock on others’ doors, but this is just playing hide and seek with yourself. It is up to you how much you knock on others’ doors and how much you wander here and there. Finally you will come to your own and to the realization that your own has always been there. Nobody can take it away. Nature, the Tao, cannot be taken away from you.
This man was disturbed because of his shadow. The method he hit upon was to run away from it. That is the method everybody hits upon. It seems that the mind has a vicious logic.