Yes, sometimes you say, “I am living peacefully,” and sometimes you say, “I am feeling very upset.” But the difference between your peace and your being upset is not of quality but only of quantity, of degrees. What you call peace is a cold war. You are tired, exhausted; there is a limit to everything. You need a little rest to be ready to start the old game again. So sometimes you are in a state of cold war within and without, and sometimes you are in a hot war within and without. But the war continues; whether it is cold or hot makes no difference.
You are never at peace, you cannot be. You have not prepared the ground for the flowers of peace to blossom. You don’t deserve it. Although you have the potential, although you could be worthy, you are not worthy – and remember the difference. It is within your hands, it is within your reach, but you have not even looked at it. You are looking away from it, at everything that disturbs it.
Diogenes, one of the most peaceful men the world has known, had asked Alexander the Great, who had come to see him, “Where are you going? What is your goal? What do you really want? For months I have seen all these armies passing by, and I go on wondering what could be the purpose of it all.” And Alexander said, “I want to conquer the world.”
Diogenes said, “Agreed, so then you have conquered the world, it is accepted – then what?”
Alexander felt a little embarrassed. Nobody has asked such a question in such a manner. But still he said politely, “Then I will relax.”
Diogenes laughed a belly laugh; the whole valley resounded with his laughter in the early morning. He looked at his dog – he had only one companion, a dog; they used to live together, they lived their whole life together. He looked at the dog and said, “Have you listened? Do you understand?” And Alexander could not believe that the dog nodded his head showing, “Yes, I understand.”
Alexander said, “I am amazed. What does he mean by nodding his head that he understands?”
Diogenes said, “The whole existence understands that if you really want to relax, who is preventing you? Why waste time in conquering the world? You are talking as if to relax – to be peaceful, to be meditative, to be silent, to enjoy the morning sun and the cool breeze – one first needs to conquer the whole world. Then peace will be very difficult. What about us poor people who have not conquered a single thing, who do not possess a single thing? But I am already relaxed, I am at peace; I am enjoying this moment to its fullest. And we have enough space” – there was the whole bank of a river, a wild river.
He said, “You can take any place…you choose. Here there is no question of conquering or invading. If you want this place where I am lying down, I can move a little, you can take it. If you want my dog’s place he can move, he is very understanding; he is no ordinary dog, he is a dog who has come to experience peace. That’s our bondage, our friendship, our love, our brotherliness. I don’t like to be in crowds of men because they don’t understand a thing. I like my dog, he is so understanding.” And the dog really moved away, wagging his tail and welcoming Alexander, “You can take this place.”