Chapter 8: Trust is a touchstone,

Question 2



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Question 2



It is from Arup.

First, a parable: meditate over it. It will reveal mysteries to you about how the mechanism of mind functions.

There is a story that when the great library of Alexandria was burned, one book was saved. But it was not a valuable book, and so a poor man, who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. It was not very interesting, yet there was a most interesting thing in it. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the "touchstone".

The touchstone was a small pebble that could turn any common metal into pure gold The writing explained that it was on the shores of the Black Sea lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles which looked exactly like it. But the secret was this: the real stone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. So the man sold his few belongings, bought some simple supplies, camped on the seashore, and began testing the pebbles.

This was his plan: he knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down again because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebbles hundreds of times. So when he felt one that was cold he threw it into the sea. He spent a whole day doing this, and they were none of them the touchstone. Then he spent a week, a month, a year, three years... but he did not find the touchstone. Yet he went on and on this way: pick up a pebble, it's cold, throw it into the sea... and so on and so on. Just visualize the man doing it for years and years and years -- pick up a pebble, it is cold, throw it into the sea... from morning to evening, for years and years.

But one morning he picked up a pebble and it was WARM -- and he threw it into the sea. He had formed the habit of throwing them into the sea, you understand, and habit made him do it when at last he found the touchstone, poor fellow.

That's how mind functions. Trust is a touchstone. Very rarely do you find a man in whom you can trust. Very rarely do you find a heart who is warm, loving, in whom you can trust. Ordinarily you find pebbles which look like the touchstone, almost alike, but all are cold. year in, year out, from the very childhood: you pick up a pebble, you feel it, it is cold, you throw it into the ocean.

One day -- it is a very rare phenomenon -- you come across a real touchstone. You pick it up, it is warm, but still you throw it. Then you cry and weep, then you cannot understand how it happened -- but it is a simple mechanism. From the very childhood you are brought up to mistrust. You are brought up in such a way that you cannot trust. Doubt has been put deep into your being. In fact, it is a survival measure: if you don't doubt, you will not be able to survive. You have to look at the world with hostile eyes, as if everybody is your enemy. Nobody is warm, nobody is a touchstone. You cannot even trust your own parents. And the child by and by comes to know that nobody is there who can be trusted. The parents are very contradictory; they say one thing, they do another thing. The child feels confused. It is very difficult for the child to figure it out, what the mother really wants. In fact, the mother herself does not know. And the child again and again feels that it is impossible to trust anybody.

Just the other day, I was reading a memoir. An old woman relates one incident of her youth when her first child was born. The child was very curious, as children are, and one day the child asked, "Mummy, what is marriage?" He was looking into a book, a colored book of pictures, in which he had come across the word `marriage'. He became very curious; he said, "What is marriage?"

And the mother said, "Marriage is a tremendous experience of love, intimacy, joy, delight into each other's being; living in love with a person with joy and celebration is marriage."

The child became very much puzzled. The mother said, "Why are you so puzzled?" So the child said, "That means you are rarely married -- once in a while only. Months pass, then rarely there is a moment when I see you and Daddy happy, married. Just this morning, you were not married -- you were nagging and he was shouting."

Now, how to convince this child? What the mother has said goes contrary to her own life-pattern. She has explained marriage as an experience of love, delight, sharing, and she may not have even been aware of what she was saying. And now the child is puzzled. No, even your own mother cannot be trusted.

Your father goes on saying to you: "Be truthful" -- and you find a thousand and one times that he is untruthful. He even tells the child to go and tell the beggar who is knocking on the door that Daddy is not at home. And the child is puzzled: the father goes on saying, "Be truthful, never lie" -- and he is lying! How to trust? And the child asks, "Is there God?" and the father says with tremendous confidence, "Yes there is. God created the world" -- and one day or other the child discovers, "My father has not known. He simply deceived, bluffed. He himself is searching. He has not known God; he has not known that God has created the world."

Mistrust is born. Feeling the cold pebbles again and again, you become accustomed to throw them. Then, not only this happens, an even deeper danger arises out of it. Mistrusting everybody who is around you.... Your teachers, your parents, your friends, neighborhood, society, the priest, the politician -- all are cheating, all are deceiving. Nobody can be trusted in this world: this conclusion, sooner or later, dawns on the child's mind. Then an even greater damage has been done: he cannot even trust himself. Why? -- because whatsoever he does according to his nature, is never liked by anybody. Whatsoever he does according to his feeling is always wrong, found to be wrong.

He wants to go out and play with the children and the mother says, "Do the homework." If he trusts his own feeling he has to go out and play -- but that is dangerous. The mother will be angry, and tomorrow in the school the teacher will be angry... and the punishment of it all. He cannot trust his own feeling so he forces himself to sit there and do the homework. When he wants to sing, he cannot sing. When he wants to play, he cannot play. and whatsoever he wants, everybody seems to be against it. There seems to be a conspiracy. by and by, he comes to know that "If I do MY thing I am punished. If I don't do my thing I am rewarded." How can one trust oneself then? -- dangerous. So first he loses trust in others, then he loses trust in himself.

That's why, Arup, it is difficult to trust. You are now in a situation which goes against your whole life-pattern. When you come to a master you have come to a touchstone, and nothing can happen with a master unless you trust. And unless you trust unconditionally, nothing is possible.

Unconditional trust is a basic condition. Now your whole life is against it. Many times you will miss -- that is natural, nothing to be worried about. Many times you will be lost in your doubt -- remember, come back again; hold the thread of trust again. By and by, as you have learnt mistrust, you will have to unlearn it. As you have learnt mistrust, you will have to learn trust too. And to learn mistrust is easy because it is very ego-fulfilling. To learn trust is more difficult because it is very ego-shattering.

Trust brings into your life a new breeze, a new opening, a new door. You have not travelled that way ever; you have not moved in that direction ever. You are not acquainted, familiar; you are moving into the strange -- fear arises. And you cannot trust yourself either -- otherwise there would not be so much fear. If you had trusted yourself then you could have a try, then you could have a certain confidence in yourself -- even that is not there. Trust as such has simply disappeared from your life; that dimension is closed. So your ind will find a thousand and one arguments against trust.

You cannot trust anybody. How can you trust me? -- I am outside you. I am part of the outer world -- as your parents were, the society, the priest, the politician. You cannot trust Christ if you come across him, because how to trust him? -- he is outside you. You cannot trust Buddha. And you cannot trust yourself -- otherwise you could take a little risk.

I have heard...

Mulla Nasruddin limped into the doctor's office with a badly swollen ankle.

"Goodness, man!" said the doctor, after looking at Nasruddin's ankle. "How long has tit been in this condition?"

"About three months," said the Mulla.

"Why, this ankle is broken!" said the doctor. "Why didn't you come to me right away?"

"Well, I sort of hesitated," said the Mulla, "because every time I say anything is wrong with me my wife insists that I stop smoking."

"Anything wrong with me, and she immediately jumps on me and says: Stop smoking! -- so I hesitated." Now, the ankle has nothing to do with smoking, but wives are wives, and husbands are husbands, and parents are parents, and the society is society.

Have you any remembrance of any time in your life when trust was helpful? Do you remember any time when trust was beneficial? Always, whenever you trusted, you were deceived. By and by, you lost confidence in your own trust, in your own being. In fact, I don't see a problem why you can't trust. The miracle is that you have come across a person where the problem has arisen, why you can't trust. This is a great indication -- that now you have started thinking about trust, that a desire to trust is arising, that the seed is sprouting. I have heard...

The Irish army platoon got lost on manoeuvres in Kerry. The sergeant called out to a passing local, "How much further to Dingle?"

"Two miles," was the reply.

They marched on, and after an hour the sergeant asked another man how far they had to go to Dingle. "Two miles' came the answer again.

After another hour they asked again, and the reply this time was still, "Two miles."

For a moment the sergeant looked depressed. Then, wiping the perspiration from his face, he straightened his back. "Come on, men!" he ordered. "At least we're holding our own."

I am happy, Arup, that at least the question arises. At least you have not lost the inquiry about trust. That's enough; now much is possible. If you insist on this query again and again, if you go on inquiring into situations where you allow trust.... In the beginning it will be difficult, just because of old habits. Once it starts happening, little by little, inch by inch, you will be filled with so much warmth that you will be able to risk more and more. Only by experiencing it will you gather courage. And one day, one can risk ALL for trust -- because through trust is God, through trust is love, through trust is all that is beautiful. Through doubt, nothing but misery; through doubt, nothing but darkness; through doubt, nothing but nightmares; through doubt, nothing but hell.

The choice is yours. The society has one its work, it has corrupted you deeply. Now there is no need to go on weeping on the spilled milk, there is no need to cry over it. Whatsoever has happened, has happened; but it can be undone -- you have to take a conscious note of it and start working on it. That is the greatest thing in life to work for. Trust opens the door for the unknown.

Trusting me, you will learn to trust yourself. It looks paradoxical: I say "Trusting me you will be able to trust yourself" because trusting me, for the first time you will start tasting what trust is, and how beautiful, what a benediction.... The master is just a via media. He simply gives you a situation where you can taste what trust is, and by and by he will throw you back to yourself.

I am not here to make you cripples, and I am not here to function as your crutches. I am not going to carry you on my shoulders; I am not interested in that type of work at all. Trusting me, I simply want to give you a taste of this beautiful nectar. Through it you will be able to walk on your own, through it you will be able to trust others, through it you will be able one day to trust life itself. That day, you become religious.

Not trusting in the Koran, not trusting in the bible, not trusting the Gita, you become religious. You become religious when you trust life. When your trust is such that you are cheated a thousand and one times but still you go on trusting.... Because to be cheated is nothing -- to lose trust is all.

Once can be deceived: I am not saying that when you trust you will not be deceived -- no, never; I am not saying that. You may become more of a victim and many people will deceive you. I am not promising that when you trust, nobody is going to deceive you; that is nonsense -- in fact, people may deceive you more. But now you know that being deceived is better than losing trust. Because trust gives you the eternal; and even if you are not deceived, what are you going to save? A little money, a house, this and that -- and death will take them away anyhow, so what is the fear? Just for these small things you throw trust? you throw prayer? you throw love? You say, "How can I love when people are so deceiving?" Let them be deceiving. What can they deceive about? What can they rob? What have you got that they can rob? They can take away your money, something you used to possess, but if trust is left you will have your soul... and that is the kingdom of God.


Next: Chapter 8: Trust is a touchstone, Question 3


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