How few who feel stirred thus. Look into thousands of eyes – and this thirst for freedom may perhaps be found in the eyes of one in a million. Knock at a million hearts and perhaps one heart may resound with the resonance of truth. What has happened to mankind? Security has become everything in life. Security has become our religion – live in security and die in security.
There is the story of a king who once built a special palace. He made it so impregnable that no enemy could enter it. We also, in life, make just such castles and take all precautions to keep the enemy away and be absolutely safe. What does man do all his life, after all? Why does he amass wealth? Why does he yearn for position and fame? So that he may feel safe and secure and life holds no terror for him. But the fun of the whole thing, and also the secret, is that the more measures he takes to safeguard himself, his fear increases in the same proportion. The king had also conquered all there was to conquer. No the only fear was to guard himself from the enemy; for the enemy conquered is still the enemy.
He who tries to conquer others, makes enemies of all. Only he who is ready to accept defeat from another man alone be a friend in this world. The king wished to conquer the whole world, so the whole world was his enemy and his fear had increased a thousandfold. When fear increased, it became necessary to make provisions for safety. He built a big palace with only one door. There were no other doors and no windows; not even a hole for the enemy to work through. Only one door – guarded by thousands of soldiers with naked swords.
The neighboring king came to see this much talked of palace. He was terribly impressed and determined to make a similar palace for his own safety. While taking leave, he praised the king for his foresight and wisdom and reiterated his desire to follow his example. An old beggar sitting by the roadside heard this talk. He laughed aloud. The owner of the palace chided him saying: “What makes you laugh, fool?”
“Since you ask, Sire, I shall take the opportunity of telling you,” said the beggar. “There is only one flaw in this marvelous structure. It is impregnable except for the door. The enemy can come through the door. If you step in and have the door covered with brick and mortar, it will be completely secure. Then no enemy can ever enter it.”
“If I do as you say, you fool, this palace will become my grave,” said the king.
“It already is,” said the fakir, “except for the door. Through this door the enemy can come, and if not the enemy, death is bound to come.”
“But I will be dead before that!” raved the king.