The basis of the Buddha’s psychological teaching is that our efforts to control what is inherently uncontrollable cannot yield the security, safety or the happiness we seek. By engaging in a delusive quest for happiness, we only bring suffering upon ourselves. In our frantic search for something to quench our thirts, we overlook the water all around us and drive ourselves into exile from our own lives.. Here are two parables that clarifies this point..
Nagarjuna said, “Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about your being a thief? The thief said, “But whenever I go to a monk, to a religious priest, or to a religious saint, they always say, ‘First stop stealing.'”
Nagarjuna laughed and said, “Then you must have gone to thieves; otherwise, why? Why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!” The thief was very happy. He said, “Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master.”
Nagarjuna accepted him and said, “Now you can go and do whatsoever you like. Only one condition has to be followed:! be aware Go, break into houses, enter, take things, steal; do whatsoever you like, that is of no concern to me, I am not a thief–but do it with full awareness.”
The thief couldn’t understand that he was falling into the trap. He said, “Then everything is okay. I will try.”
After three weeks he came back and said, “You are tricky–because if I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix.”
The man said, “But now it is difficult. I have tasted it a little, and it is so beautiful–I will leave anything, whatsoever you say. Just the other night for the first time I was able to enter the palace of the king. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world–but you were following me and I had to be aware. When I became aware, diamonds looked just like stones, ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I waited and did this many times. I would become aware and I became like a buddha, and I could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid–just stones, what am I doing? Losing myself over stones? But then I would lose awareness; they would become again beautiful, the whole illusion. But finally I decided that they were not worth it.”
From Awareness The Key to Living In Balance by Osho.
A lady had a precious necklace round her neck. Once in her excitement she forgot it and thought that the necklace was lost. She became anxious and looked for it in her home but could not find it. She asked friends and neighbours if they knew anything about the necklace. They did not. At last a kind friend of hers told her to feel the necklace round her neck. She found that it had all along been round her neck and she was happy. When others asked her later if she found the necklace which was lost, she said, ‘Yes, I have found it.’ She still felt that she had recovered a lost jewel.
Now, did she lose it at all? It was all along round her neck. But judge her feelings. She was as happy as if she had recovered a lost jewel. Similarly with us, we imagine that we will realize that Self some time, whereas we are never anything but the Self.
From Be As You Are Teachings from Ramana Maharshi by David Godman.