Last week, I wrote about how too much focus on the sacred (spiritual) dilutes action. The blind pursuit of the spiritual also has other undesired effects. Let us see what these are.
Alfred Hitchcock was once traveling by car with a friend. He suddenly pointed out of the car window and said, “That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen.” His companion was surprised to see nothing more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand on the child’s shoulder. “Run, little boy,” cried Hitchcock, leaning out of the car. “Run for your life!”
Why does Hitchcock so distrust the priest? Because the priest runs a shop, where he peddles his version of religion and spirituality and he will do anything to snare a customer- often even thinking that what he is doing is in the deep interest of the latter- and often ending up damaging the customer irreparably. Often making him fearful- tying him up in sacred gobbledygook – making him miss life.
Moreover, the priests are known to promise the moon and deliver little.
Once there was a man who had a wish-fulfilling crystal. If he were to say to it, “Give me a lakh of rupees”, the crystal would make a lakh of rupees materialize immediately. The man had all the money he needed and was happy with life till one day a monk came to his house. The monk wished to stay the night and the man decided to play host. Just before retiring to bed the monk surreptitiously closed his room’s door. Intrigued the host peeped from the key hole to see what the monk was up to. The monk whose back was towards him, opened his bag and took out a crystal much bigger than what the host had. He then put it on the floor in front of him and said, “Give me a coconut”. The crystal answered, “I will give you two”. The monk said, “Give me a gold plate”. The crystal said, “I will give you two”.
The host was jealous as he had a crystal which gave only what he wanted but the monk had a crystal which gave double of what was asked.
Next morning as the monk was leaving he pleaded with him to exchange his crystal with his. The monk agreed. They exchanged their crystals and the host dropped him to the railway station. In his excitement of trying the new crystal he almost sprinted back to his home. He sat down with the new crystal in front of him and said, “Give me 10 lakhs”. The crystal replied, “I will give you twenty lakhs”. The man was thrilled and waited for the twenty lakhs but when they didn’t appear. He said, “OK give me twenty lakhs”. The crystal replied, “I will give you forty lakhs”. The man said, “Give me forty lakhs then”. The crystal said, “I will give you eighty lakhs”. And so on it went. To his anguish the man now knew the crystal only says. It doesn’t give.
Most monks are like that. They only say but don’t give- can’t give. They might also end up taking away what you already have. In fact some priests and pundits are worse than thieves. As a thief only robs you of your wealth, but a priest robs you of your soul. Then he makes you run – chasing a mirage.