"This is your error, that you seek God outside of you" said the Master.
"Shall I then seek him inside?"
"Do you not see that your 'inside' is outside of you?" said the Master.
The Master kept constantly reminding people of their robot-like existence.
"How can you call yourself human if everyone of your thoughts, feelings and actions are mechanical,
arising not from yourself, but your conditioning?"
"Can anything break the conditioning and set us free?" the disciples asked.
Then after a moment's though he added,
"Yes. A very englishman once told me that after being shipwrecked in midocean and swimming with another Englishman for a whole hour, he finally succeeded in breaking loose from his conditioning and spoke without being introduced!"
"What did he say?"
"Pardon me for speaking to you like this without being introduced, but is this the way to Southampton?"
"Do you expect to fly when you are securely settled in the nest of your beliefs?
That isn't flying. That's flapping your wings."
"It is my wish to inquire into the nature of being so as to be able to control my own being and that of my subjects and bring my nation into harmony."
"Good" said the Master
"But I must warn you that when you have gone far enough in your inquiry you will discover that the harmony you seek is achieved not through control but through surrender."
Said the self-righteous preacher:
"What in your judgement, is the greatest sin in the world?"
"That of the person who sees other human beings as sinners" said the Master.
"How can you put a saint on an equal footing with a sinner?" protested a disciple.
"Because everyone is the same distance from the sun.
Does it really lessen the distance if you live on top of a skyscraper?"
"You thing of Truth as if it were a formula that you can pick up from a book.
Truth is purchased at the price of loneliness.
If you wish to follow Truth you must learn to walk alone."
"What is the mind of Buddha?"
"Why not ask about your own mind?"
"Then, what is my self?"
"You have to learn the secret act"
"What is the secret act?"
"This," said the Master, as he closed his eyes and opened them.
After his first child was born he went to the nuresery and saw his wife standing over the baby's crib.
Silently he watched her as she gazed at the sleeping infant.
In her face he saw wonder, incredulity, rapture, ecstasy.
Moved to tears, he tiptoed over to her, put an arm round her waist and whispered:
"I know exactly what you must feel, my dear."
Startled into consciousness his wife blurted out:
"Yes. For the life of me I don't see how they can make a crib like that for twenty bucks."
The commonest cause of unhappiness, the Master claimed, is the decision people make to be unhappy.
The Master told her little daughter:
"Every day, just write: I'm fine, one one of these cards and drop it in the post box."
The girl pondered this and asked: "How do you spell 'miserable'?
Time always seems so long when you wait - for a vacation
But to those who dare to surrender to the experience of the present moment - with no though about the experience,
no desire that it return or be avoided - time is transformed into the radiance of Eternity."
"You are destroyed by life's tranquility" said the Master to an easy-going disciple.
"Only disaster can save you."
"Throw a frog into a pan of boiling water and it will jump out in a second.
If it is heated very gradually, it will lose the tension to spring."
Said the Governor: "Is there any advice you can give me in the exercice of my office?"
"Yes, learn how to give orders."
"So that others can receive them without feeling inferior" said the Master.
"Only one thing holds you back from meeting death with joy."
"What is it?"
"The wish that your exploits be remembered. The desire that future generation applaud your heroic deeds."
"Is there anything wrong with that?"
"It is not you that your actions will be attached to but your Name."
"Aren't the two things the same?"
"Your name is the sound you respond to. Your label. Who are you?"
The disciples were sitting on a bank of a river.
"If I fall off this bank will I drown?" one of them asked.
"No," said the Master.
"It isn't falling in that causes you to drown; it's staying in."
An absent-minded professor was late for his lecture.
He jumped into a cab and shouted: "Hurry! At top speed!"
As the cab sped along he realized he hadn't told the driver where to go, so he shouted:
"Do you know where I want to go?"
"No sir, but I'm driving as fast as I can."
The Master's ninetieth birthday:
"Life is measured by the quality not by the numbers of one's days."
"Wound't it be awful to die - and never again see or hear or love or move?"
"But that's how most people are even before they die."
"What, concretely, is Enlightenment?"
"Seing reality as it is."
"Doesn't everyone see reality as it is?"
"Oh no! Most people see it as they thing it is."
"What's the difference?"
"The difference between thinking you are drowning in a stormy sea - and knowing you cannot drown because there isn't any water in sight for miles around."
"Rather than solve their problem I dissolve the ego that caused it."
"How could I myself do that?"
"Get out of the prison of your thoughts into the world of the senses" said the Master.
She collided with an approaching car:
"Lady, why didn't you signal what you wanted to do?"
"Because, there is no signal for what I wanted to do."
There were three passengers in the plane:
Big brain, a boy scout, and a bishop.
The plane was bailing out, there was only three parachutes, and the pilot was taking one.
The big brain said: "Since I am necessary to the country, I take it for granted that I should have a parachute".
So he grabbed one and jumped out.
The Bishop looked at the boy scout and said: "Son, I have lived a long life, so I think you should have the remaining parachute. I am ready to die."
"That won't be necessary, Big brain just jumped out with my haversack."
Cleverness ordinarly leaves no room for awareness.
"My suffering is unbearable."
Said the Master:
"The present moment is never unbearable.
It is what you think is coming in the next five minutes or the next five days that drives you to despair.
Stop living in the future."
"Why is it so hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God?"
A man arrived in his limousine and was carried away to his room on a stretcher.
Is he paralysed?
"He's a very rich man. He doesn't need to walk."
"If in order to be fearless you need me,
my presence onle serves to conceal your cowardice, not to cure it."
The Master had cut all roses but one.
"Because had I left them on the bush you would not have seen even one of them."
"You have grown accustomed to multitudes.
When did you last see a person?"
"Get up and close the window. It is freezing outside."
The man sighs:
"If I close the window will that make it warm outside?"
"How can I change myself?"
"You are yourself - so you can no more change yourself than you can walk away from your feet."
"Is there nothing I can do then?"
"You can understand and accept this."
"How will you change if you don't?
What you don't accept you do not change, you merely manage to repress."
"Why do I do evil?"
"Because you are bewitched."
"The illusory thing you call your self."
"So how will evil cease?"
"Through understanding that the self as you know it does not exist - so it needs not to be protected."
"What is the cause of evil?"
"Ignorance" said the Master.
"And how is it dispelled?"
"Not by effort but by light.
By understanding, not by action."
Later the Master added:
"The sign of enlightenment is peace.
You stop fleeing when you see you are only being pursued by the fantasies your fears have fabricated."
"What you know is not reality, but your perception of it.
What you experience is not the world but your own state of mind."
"Can reality ever be grasped then?"
"Yes - only by those who go beyond their thoughts."
"What sort of people are these?"
"Those who have lost the great projector, called the self,
for when self is lost projection stops -
and the world is seen in its naked loveliness."
"What depress me is the utter ordinariness of my existence.
I haven't done a single important thing in my life that the world would care to notice."
"You are wrong to think that the attention of the world is what gives importance to an action".
"Well, I haven't done a single thing to influence anyone for good or ill."
"You are wrong to think that influencing others is what gives importance to an action."
"Well, then what is it that gives importance to an action?
"Doing it for its own sake with the whole of one's being.
Then it becomes a non-profit, God-like activity."
Prayer takes a great load off my mind.
That is what is unfortunate.
What's so unfortunate about it?
It distracts you from seing who put the load there in the first place.
He saw amazing marksmanship everywhere.
Trees and barns and fences, had circles painted on them with a bullet hole in the exact centre.
"This is incredible, how in the world do you do it?"
"Easy as pie, I shoot first and draw the circles later."
"So you get your conclusions first and build your premises around them later"
"Isn't that the way you manage to hold on to your religion and to your ideology?"
Less action and more light?
"Light on what?"
"On what life is all about"
"We certainly know that life is to be lived for others,
What more light do we need than that?"
"You need to understand what the preposition 'for' means".
The light to know the difference between a lover and an activist:
A lover participates in a symphony.
And the activist?
is caught up with the sound of his own drum.
"As your perception is, so will your action be.
The thing to change is not your action but your outlook."
"What must I do to change it?"
"Merely understand that your present way of looking is defective."
"You see things as you are, not as they are."
an 81 old friend came to the monastery all wet and muddy:
"I used to be able to jump right across in the old days.
But nowadays I always land in the middle.
I just hadn't notice that the creek has been getting wider."
The Master responded:
"Nowadays I realize each time I bend, that the ground is further away
than it used to be when I was young."
"What you need is awareness" said the Master.
"I know, so I seek to be aware of God's presence."
"God-awareness is a fantasy for you have no notion of what God is like.
Self-awareness is what you need."
"If God is Love, then the distance between God and you is
the exact distance between you and the awareness of yourself."
A young man eagerly described what he dreamed of doing for the poor.
Said the Master:
"When do you propose to make your dream come true?"
"As soon as the opportunity arrives."
"Opportunity never arrives" said the Master.
An affluent man couldn't stop the compulsion to make money.
Even at the cost of enjoying life.
"I shall leave the enjoyment of life for my old age."
The Master recounted the story:
"Your money or your life!"
"Take my life. I'm saving my money for my old age."
For another one who endangered his health in his zeal to make money,
The Master told the story of the miser who was being taken to his grave.
Suddenly he came to consciousness, sized up the situation, and made a quick decision:
"I'd better stay put - or else I'll have to pay for the funeral bill."
"Most people would rather save their money than their lives".
The disciples never resigned to the Master's teaching that one had to "do" nothing to change or be enlightened.
"What can you Do to dispel darkness?"
"Darkness is the absence of light.
Evil, the absence of awareness.
What does one Do to an absence?"
"My parents told me to beware of you" said a newcomer.
The Master smiled:
"Beware, my dear, be very, very careful and you will meet the fate of your cautious parents -
nothing very good or bad will ever happen to you."
Never allow anyone to drag you down so low as to make you hate them.
"If you search for God you search for ideas - and miss the reality" said the Master.
"I wanted a cell from where I could contemplate the stars.
In the one I have a stupid tree blocks out the view."
Now it was while gazing at that particular tree that enlightenment had come to the previous occupant of the cell.
"Today, we're able to irrigate a desert, harnass the power of Niagara falls, detect the composition of a distant star and the makeup of an atom.
Our conquest of Nature will soon be complete."
"Why conquer Nature?
Nature is our friend. Why not spend all that energy in overcoming the one single enemy of the human race - fear?"
Sin can be a gateway to grace.
He told the story of Carthage, a thorn in the flesh of Ancient Rome.
When Rome finally razed Carthage to the ground she found rest, grew flabby and decayed.
"If all evil were to disappear, the human spirit would rot."
"What sort of penance shall I do, given the enormity of my crimes?"
"Understand the ignorance that caused them" said the Master.
Later he added:
"It is thus you will understand and forgive both others and yourself and stop calling for the revenge you refer to as punishment or prenance."
A business executive asked what the Master thought was the secret of successful living.
Said the Master: "Make one person happy each day."
As an afterthought he added:
"Even if that person is yourself."
A minute passed and he said:
"Especially if that person is yourself."
"In spirituality it isn't effort that counts, but surrender."
"When you fall into the water and don't know how to swim you become frightened and say: I must not drown.
And begin to thrash about with arms and legs - and, in your anxiety, swallow more water and eventually drown.
Whereas if you would let go of your thoughts and efforts and allow yourself to go down to the bottom,
your body would come back to the surface on its own… That's spirituality!"
"Sincerity is not enough"
"What you need is honesty."
"What's the difference?"
"Honesty is a never ending openness to the facts.
Sincerity is believing one's own propaganda."
"You are not ready to fight evil until you are able to see the good it does."
"Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will
but all those of ill-will.
Do not only remember all the suffering they have subjected us to.
Remember the fruits we brought forth thanks to this suffering -
our comeradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage and generosity,
the greatness of heart that all of this inspired.
And when they come to judgement, let all these fruits we have borne
be their reward and their forgiveness."
"Have you attained holiness?"
"Ask a normal person if he is normal and he will assure you he is.
Ask a crazy person if he is normal - and he will assure you he is!"
"If you realize you're crazy, you're not so crazy after all.
If you suspect you're holy, you're not so holy after all.
Holiness is always unselfconscious."
"I really must know if the Master is holy or not"
"Why shoud it matter?"
"Why should I follow him if he himself has not arrived at holiness?"
"And why should you follow him if he has?
the day you follow someone you cease to follow Truth."
"Sinners often speak the truth.
And saints have led people astray.
Examine what is said, not the one who says it."