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Book Name: The Dhammapada - The Way of the Buddha, Vol 2Previous     Next
 

HOW CAN A TROUBLED MIND

UNDERSTAND THE WAY?

IF A MAN IS DISTURBED

HE WILL NEVER BE FILLED WITH KNOWLEDGE.

AN UNTROUBLED MIND,

NO LONGER SEEKING TO CONSIDER

WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG,

A MIND BEYOND JUDGMENTS,

WATCHES AND UNDERSTANDS.

KNOW THAT THE BODY IS A FRAGILE JAR,

AND MAKE A CASTLE OF YOUR MIND.

IN EVERY TRIAL

LET UNDERSTANDING FIGHT FOR YOU

TO DEFEND WHAT YOU HAVE WON.

FOR SOON THE BODY IS DISCARDED.

THEN WHAT DOES IT FEEL?

A USELESS LOG OF WOOD, IT LIES ON THE GROUND.

THEN WHAT DOES IT KNOW?

YOUR WORST ENEMY CANNOT HARM YOU

AS MUCH AS YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, UNGUARDED.

BUT ONCE MASTERED,

NO ONE CAN HELP YOU AS MUCH,

NOT EVEN YOUR FATHER OR YOUR MOTHER.

Once I was asked, "What is philosophy?" I said, "Philosophy is the art of asking the wrong questions." The blind man asking "What is light?" -- this is philosophy. The deaf asking "What is music? What is sound?" -- this is philosophy.

If the blind man asks, "How can I get my eyes back?" this is no longer philosophy, this is religion. If the deaf goes to the physician to be treated so that he can hear, then he is moving in the direction of religion and not in the direction of philosophy.

Philosophy is guesswork, it is speculation; knowing nothing, one tries to invent the truth. And the truth cannot be invented, and anything invented cannot be true. The truth has to be discovered. It is already there...all that we need is open eyes -- eyes to see it, a heart to feel it, a being to be present to it. The truth is always present but we are absent, and because we are absent we cannot see the truth. And we go on asking about the truth, and we don't ask the right question: How to be present? How to become a presence?

We ask about the truth and that asking is also going away from it, because the asking implies that an answer is possible from somebody else. Asking implies that somebody else can tell you what the truth is. Nobody can tell you it, it can't be told.

Lao Tzu says: The truth that can be said is no longer truth. Once said,

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