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Book Name: The Cypress in the CourtyardPrevious     Next

[A sannyasin returning to the West, said that he was feeling 'okay' about himself.]

Okay is not enough... feel blessed. Okay is not a very ecstatic word; it is just lukewarm. So feel blessed -- and it is a question of feeling. Whatsoever you feel, you become. It is your responsibility.

If you are not feeling good, that's how you have created it in the past. If you feel miserable, it is your own work. That's what we mean in India when we say, 'It is your own karma.' 'Karma' means your own action. It is what you have done to yourself.

And once you understand that this is what you have done to yourself, you can drop it. It is your attitude; nobody is forcing you to feel that way. It is your choice. You have chosen it -- maybe unconsciously, maybe for some subtle reasons which feel good at the time but which turn out to be bitter, but you have chosen it.

It feels hard when it is said that you have chosen your misery, because the consolation that somebody else is creating it, is taken away too; even that is not allowed. But if you understand it, it is a great freedom. Then it is up to you. If you want to carry it, you carry it. If you want to drop it, not for a single moment are you forced to carry it.

Just the other day I was looking at an account of Bennett's memoirs. He was one of the oldest disciples of Gurdjieff; he remained longest with Gurdjieff. He recalls that one day he had worked really hard -- and Gurdjieff used to force people to work as hard as possible; almost to the point of their falling with exhaustion. Bennett had worked hard and he was just thinking to rest when Gurdjieff gave him some new work to do -- to go into the forest and cut wood.

It was almost impossible. He could not even walk! He was so tired and feeling so sleepy that he felt he would fall anywhere on the road. But when Gurdjieff said to do it, he had to. That was a deep commitment between Gurdjieff and his disciples -- that whatsoever he said, they would do. He was dictatorial. And that is the only way to work; there is no other way. If one is lenient, nothing will happen.

So Bennett went, against his own wishes, somehow just dragging himself.

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