Oscar Wilde once said: “When the gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers.” Would you please comment?
Oscar Wilde is right. It often happens that what psychologists cannot explain about the human mind, the creative artist, the poet, can easily explore to the depths which are beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond scientific research.
Oscar Wilde’s statement is of tremendous value. When he says, “When the Gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers,” he is saying something about our unconsciousness. We are not aware what we are doing, we are not aware what we are asking, we are not aware what we are praying for. Our consciousness is so superficial and our unconsciousness is so deep that it is bound to be that, if our prayers are fulfilled, it will not be a reward, it will be a punishment; because we had asked for something in our sleep and we will repent that we asked for it.
For example, you are all aware of the Greek mythological story of King Midas. His only prayer for years was that he should be granted the power that whatever he touches becomes gold. Years came and went, his prayer remained unheard. He became more and more impatient, started fasting, started austerities to force the divine powers to grant him the power he had been asking for years. He also thought that what he was asking for was tremendously beautiful, great. If you were given the chance, you would also accept the opportunity immediately, without hesitation.
Finally, the prayer was heard and his wish was fulfilled. He became capable of changing anything into gold. But then he became aware that he had destroyed himself by asking the gods to grant him this power because he could not eat, could not drink – he would touch a glass and the glass and the water would turn into gold. He would touch his food and it would turn into gold. Even his own wife would not come close to him. His own children would run away, because whomsoever he touched he turned into gold.
Just within a week the man was almost mad, dying. He asked the gods again and again, “Take the power back, I had no idea what I was asking. I have been punished enough.” His wife had turned into gold, his children had turned into gold. For seven days he had not eaten anything, he had not even been able to drink water; he was dying of thirst and hunger.
While he was praying for years, he had been dreaming that if he were granted this power he would become the richest man in the whole world; and now he had become the poorest man ever – past, present, future. Nobody has ever been so poor. Friends would not come to see him. His own ministers all went on leave. He would sit in the court and nobody would turn up; he was left alone, and he had always been surrounded by people. He was a great king, now even beggars were not ready to be friendly with him or to come close to him.