The mystic thought inside himself, “Perhaps my prayers have, after all, been heard.” He was immensely happy. He collected all his miseries – they were not many because he had not much time to create many. Prayer five times a day, and the same prayer…. You need some time to create misery, suffering. You have to go out in the world, find people who can help you to be more miserable, pay for it – because nothing is without payment, everything costs here. And he was a mystic, so he always remained in the mosque, either reading the holy scriptures or praying to God.
Naturally, he had not much misery. So just a small bag…and he rushed towards the mosque, and on the way he found people dragging such big bags. He said, “My God!” And he looked at their faces – these were the people he was feeling jealous of, these were the people who were always giggling and laughing, playing cards and going to the movies, gambling, going to the races. And he used to think that these are very happy people.
“What have I done? Now I am going to get into more trouble.” He looked at his bag, it was so small. And these people had such big bags that they could not hold them in their hands, they had to drag them on the road. And because he had a small bag he was faster, he met many people; and the more he saw, the more he became afraid. He saw a few people dragging two bags in both their hands. He said, “My God! What have I done? Now what is going to happen?”
And when all the people had entered into the mosque, another voice from the sky was heard. “Now, put your bags by the side of the wall. Then the lights will go off and an order will be given that you can choose any bag you want. In the darkness it will be easier, so you can choose any. Everybody is free to choose.”
And the voice said to the mystic, “Don’t be worried, it is not only you who has been praying for fifty years. You are the most nagging one, that is true, but all these people have also been praying, ‘Why have you given so much misery to me when others are enjoying life?’”
…Because everybody sees himself in totality, everybody sees himself in his inner being. And everybody sees others in their partial expressions – and only from the outside. So nobody sees their wounds, and nobody knows their anxieties and their anguishes; people know only their false smiles.
The mystic was very much afraid. He had to put down the bag according to the order, but he sat by the side of the bag because, in the dark, if somebody else…and everybody must be watching his bag, it is so small that anybody would like to choose it. So it is better to keep your eyes on your bag and as the lights go off, before the order, just pick up your bag and keep a hold on it, because in the darkness people may try to snatch it away, seeing that their bags…
But he was surprised that not only he was sitting by the side of his bag, everybody else was sitting by the side of their own bags, small or big, one or two. He inquired of a few neighbors, “What is the matter? Why you are clinging to your two big bags?”