“You don’t have to become something you’re not, to be better than you were.” ~ Sidney Poitier
Become more of who you are. That’s the theme of my newsletter. All you have to do is chisel away your superfluous habits. To let go any relationship or thing or activity that’s not growing you. The starting point is, do you really know who you are? I mean do you know what drives you, what terrifies you, why you do the things you do, and do you know how others perceive you too? There is a difference between self-awareness & self-delusion. The starting point is self awareness. But there’s really no way to change your life if you don’t know what you’re changing about yourself in the first place. We all are stuck to some old habits, beliefs and behaviours, which don’t let us grow. I have been highly influenced by Osho or Bhagwan Rajneesh and few years back had heard a very interesting story in one of his discourses.
One very dense dark night, a caravan was resting at a caravanserai in the desert. The caravan had a hundred camels. The men had tethered the camels with ropes to pegs they had hammered into the sand, but they found that one camel had remained untied. Somehow they had lost a peg and a rope. It was midnight and the markets were closed so there was no way to get another peg and rope. So they woke up the owner of the inn and said to him, “We have lost a peg and a rope and it would be very kind of you if you could lend us some. We have tied ninety-nine camels but the hundredth camel is still untied. It is a dark night and he may go astray somewhere.”
The old innkeeper said, “Don’t worry. I don’t have a rope nor do I have a peg. But all of you are really mad: you have been living with the camels for so long and still you have not understood them. Just go and hammer the peg, tie the camel to it with a rope, and tell the camel to go to sleep.”
They said, “Are we mad or are you mad? If we had a peg, why would we come to you? Which peg do you want us to hammer in?”
The old man said, “You are all really unintelligent. You can also hammer imaginary pegs and tie camels with imaginary ropes. Just go and pretend to do the whole operation of hammering a peg into the sand. In the dark night even a man could be deceived, so what to say of a camel? Go and pretend that you are hammering a peg, and pretend to tie a rope around the camel, just as one ties a real rope. Then tell the camel to go to sleep. The camel will sleep. Guests usually have their own ropes. So I don’t keep pegs and ropes because we can manage without them.”
Now they had no choice, although they could not believe what that old man was saying. They went and made a small hole and hammered in a peg that did not exist. There was a noise as if a peg was being hammered and the camel sat down because he thought that the peg was being put there. Every night they used to hammer the peg to which he would be tied, so the camel sat down. They placed the imaginary rope around the camel’s neck and then they tied the rope, which did not exist, to the peg – and the camel went off to sleep. They were really amazed. They had stumbled upon something unique. Then the men went off to sleep.
They got up in the morning, as the caravan was to set off early in the day. They removed the ropes and the pegs of the ninety-nine camels and those camels stood up. The hundredth camel did not have a peg that they could remove so they did not remove his peg. They started pushing him so that he would get up but he would not get up; he remained sitting.
They said, “This is the limit. It was fine that he was deceived in the night, but even now in this broad daylight? Can’t this idiot see that the peg is not there? They kept on pushing him but the camel refused to get up. It must have been very religious.
They went inside and they told the old innkeeper, “Have you done some magic or what? What have you done that the camel refuses to get up?”
The man said, “You fellows are really idiots. Go and remove the peg and remove the rope.”
They said, “There is no rope!”
He said, “Just as you had tied the rope in the night, remove it in the same way.”
Unconvinced, they went and made a noise as if they were uprooting the peg. No sooner was the peg removed than the camel stood up. When they untied the rope, the camel was ready to walk.
They thanked the old man and said, “You are really unique; you know so much about camels.”
He said, “No, I didn’t find this out by knowing camels. I learned this by knowing men.”
We are all tied to pegs that exist nowhere. Tied with ropes that have no existence and we remain tied to them whole life.
The first key is to see those pegs properly and clearly – whether they really exist or not. Once you see the reality, there is no question of removing the pegs and getting up.
The first step is knowing the purpose