Letter 7

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From the book "Letters to a young friend"

The mountains must be alone. It must be a lovely thing to have rain among the mountains and the rain drops on the placid lake. How the smell of the earth comes out when it rains and then there are the croakings of many frogs. There’s a strange enchantment in the tropics, when it rains. Everything is washed clean; the dust on the leaf is washed away; the rivers come to life and there is the noise of running waters. The trees put out green shoots, there is the new wild grass where there was barren earth; insects by the thousands come out from nowhere and the parched earth is fed and the earth seems satisfied and at peace. The sun seems to have lost its penetrating quality and the earth has become green; a place of beauty and richness. Man goes on making his own misery, but the earth is rich once again and there is enchantment in the air.

It is strange how most people want recognition and praise-to be recognized as a great poet, as a philosopher, something that boosts one’s ego. It gives great satisfaction but it has very little meaning. Recognition feeds one’s vanity and perhaps one’s pocket, and then what? It sets one apart and separation breeds its own problems, ever increasing. Though it may give satisfaction, recognition is not an end in itself. But most people are caught in the craving to be recognized, to fulfill, to achieve. And failure is then inevitable, with its accompanying misery. To be free of both success and failure is the real thing. From the beginning not to look for a result, to do the thing that one loves, and love has no reward or punishment. This is really a simple thing if there is love.

How little attention we pay to things about us, to observe and to consider. We are so self-centered, so occupied with out worries, with our own benefits, we have no time to observe and understand. This occupation makes our mind dull and weary, frustrated and sorrowful, and from sorrow we want to escape. As long as the self is active there must be weary dullness and frustration. People are caught in a mad race, in the grief of self-centered sorrow. This sorrow is deep thought-lessness. The thoughtful, the watchful are free from sorrow.

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