Two generals after the Second World War, one English and one German, were talking in a restaurant in Paris. The German said, “What went wrong? Five years we were continually winning, and then suddenly came the collapse.”
The English general smiled and said, “My friend, you don’t understand. War is not all…we were praying to God continually. Our armies were praying to God before they started moving, every morning.”
The German said, “Do you think we were doing otherwise? We were also praying all the time.”
The English general laughed and said, “What was the language in which you were praying?”
The German said, “Obviously it was German.”
The English general said, “Now the point is clear. God does not understand German, he understands only English!”
Although he has disappeared within you, you are looking at the sky. It is empty, infinitely empty, and you are praying to God…you will not look even for a single moment within yourself.
The attraction for the faraway is tremendous. It challenges your ego. It will make you the greatest man, the first man who reached the peak of Everest, the first man who walked on the moon, the first man who walked on Mars, and I don’t see any point in it. What is the point in it? First or second or third…a man standing on Mars for a few minutes just looks stupid. But people are trying to reach to the stars.
The faraway has a tremendous magnetic force, particularly for the ego, because it gives you the promise of great achievement. The psychology of the ego is contained in the word achievement: achieve something. The truth is already there, within you; you cannot achieve it, you cannot lose it, because it is your very being. That’s why millions of people never become interested in it – what is the point? You can neither lose it nor can you attain it – it is already there.
Down the ages slowly, slowly it has become taken for granted that there is nothing to be found inside. And it is true: there is nothing to be found. Nothing to be achieved, because your inside has already the whole kingdom of God – you cannot add anything to it and you cannot take anything away. But your ego is driving you crazy, taking you to all the corners of the world. The ego is not interested in what you already have because that will not be a great achievement.
Ta Hui’s sutra is,
Just because it is so very close, you cannot get this truth out of your own eyes.