As the fletcher whittles
and makes straight his arrows,
so the master directs
his straying thoughts.
Like a fish out of water,
stranded on the shore,
thoughts thrash and quiver.
For how can they shake off desire?
They tremble, they are unsteady,
they wander at their will.
It is good to control them.
And to master them brings happiness.
But how subtle they are,
The task is to quieten them,
and by ruling them to find happiness.
the master quells his thoughts.
He ends their wandering.
Seated in the cave of the heart,
he finds freedom.
Freedom is the goal of life. Without freedom, life has no meaning at all. By “freedom” is not meant any political, social or economic freedom. By “freedom” is meant freedom from time, freedom from mind, freedom from desire. The moment mind is no more, you are one with the universe, you are as vast as the universe itself.
It is the mind that is the barrier between you and the reality, and because of this barrier you remain confined in a dark cell, where no light ever reaches and where no joy can ever penetrate. You live in misery because you are not meant to live in such a small, confined space. Your being wants to expand to the very ultimate source of existence. Your being longs to be oceanic, and you have become a dewdrop. How can you be happy? How can you be blissful? Man lives in misery because man lives imprisoned.
And Gautama the Buddha says that tanha – desire – is the root cause of all our misery, because desire creates the mind. Desire means creating future, projecting yourself into the future, bringing tomorrow in. Bring tomorrow in and today disappears, you cannot see it anymore; your eyes are clouded by tomorrow. Bring tomorrow in and you will have to carry the load of all your yesterdays, because tomorrow can only be there if the yesterdays go on nourishing it.
Each desire is born out of the past and each desire is projected into the future. Past and future constitute your whole mind. Analyze the mind, dissect it, and you will find only two things: past and future. You will not find even an iota of the present, not even a single atom. And the present is the only reality, the only existence, the only dance there is.
The present can be found only when mind has utterly ceased. When the past no longer overpowers you and the future no longer possesses you, when you are disconnected from memories and imaginations, in that moment, where are you? Who are you? In that moment you are nobody. And nobody can hurt you when you are nobody, you cannot be wounded – because the ego is very ready to receive wounds. The ego is almost seeking and searching to be wounded; it exists through wounds. Its whole existence depends on misery, pain.