Master, What Is The Truth About Winning?
S: Master, as you know we in the monastery have had a battle of wits with you. We have also had spear-throwing competitions. And archery matches. I have heard one of the other Masters say that you are the greatest archer in all the land. In all of these matches, you always win. How do you do this?
M: Such things are a mystery to you. All things are a mystery when one does not know The Truth.
S: What is The Truth about winning?
M: In any endeavor, there is a Truth. All destinations have a road in front of them. The road may be winding. It may be hidden by the mountains. And invisible at first glance. But it is there. Every ocean has a shore. One may be lost in high seas. He may see water as far as the eye can see. But he must understand that somewhere this roaring and raging ocean must meet a tranquil shore. Do you understand?
S: In my years with you I have learned much, Master. I have learned to read deeply into your words, in search of the meaning that lies within them. When you ask me if I understand, this underscores the fact that there is a meaning hidden in the depths. If I am correct, what you mean to imply is that we do not seek the winding road amidst the mountains. We do not seek the shore amidst the raging seas. Because we, in fact, never come to the realization that such a road or such a shore exists.
M: You have learned, my wise student.
S: Why do we do this, Master?
M: Because you have lived in the world. And you have become your environment.
S: Was there a time that you also suffered such illusions, Master?
M: Yes, student. There was a time when I too wondered how the magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat. And I became lost while walking in endless circles.
S: What put you on the right path?
M: The idea that even if I found what I was looking for, it would have been by way of accident. I could not allow myself to live a life in which I was not in control of my existence. The idea of living a life in which I was subject to fortune and circumstance was unacceptable to me. For such is the way of common men. Who become blindsided at every turn and know not the direction from which the assault arose. Thus, the seed of knowing The Truth began to blossom within me.
S: You inspire me, Master. I too wish to learn The Truth. What is The Truth about why you always win and we lose?
M: The Truth is that I am serious. And you are not.
S: This is interesting. I feel as though I am serious. But even as I say these words, I doubt them. As I have come to learn that you do not waste words. And if you say I am unserious, I am wasting precious time in insisting that I am.
M: You are serious about hoping to win. You are serious about wanting to win. You are not serious about learning The Truth about winning. You are not serious about learning The Truth about controlling your fate. For you have not arrived at The Precipice.
S: What is the precipice, Master?
M: The precipice is a place from which one is ready to launch into the void. The precipice is a place of knowing that a Truth does in fact exist.
S: You are right. I have not arrived at this precipice. I function from a place of wanting things to go my way. I function from a place of blindly grasping at straws. Why do I do this, Master?
M: Because your experience has taught you that when you blindly grasp at enough straws, you sometimes come away with one. And this satisfies you. But you settle for the possibility of these drops of fleeting satisfaction because you know not that an ocean of satisfaction exists. And make no mistake. As time goes on, you will come to the point that no matter how many straws you blindly grasp at, you will come away with none. This is the way of things.
S: With each of your words I am becoming more serious, Master. You put me to shame. I am intent upon knowing The Truth. I will tell you what I think, so that I may begin this Journey. Is this fine with you, Master?
M: It is fine.
S: The one who wins is the one who performs better. Is this The Truth?
M: This is The Truth for winning on a given day. But if I am not mistaken, you came to me with the question of how I win on a consistent basis. Rather than win on a given day.
S: You are correct, Master.
M: On any given day, it may be the will of the gods. Or the prevailing winds. As one who rarely wins may have the stars aligned in his favor. Causing him to win. But the stars are not so agreeable to the whims of man to align in his favor on a consistent basis.
S: Then how is it that You seem to perform better than all others on a consistent basis? What is The Truth about this?
M: If this is the case, then would you not say that perhaps I have found the Elixir of Performance, while you have not?
S: Yes, Master. I would most certainly say this.
M: And am I so beloved to the gods that they should grant me this Elixir while denying other men?
S: I would say not, Master.
M: Then how is it that I have come upon this Elixir? How is it that I have come upon The Truth about the place from which great performance arise?
S: Because this is what you have devoted your life to?
M: And why have I devoted my life to this?
S: I do not know, Master.
M: Because I cannot allow myself live a life of chance.
S: And I have lived a life of nothing other than chance.
M: There is no need to be downtrodden, student. Understand who you seek to be. Do you seek to be a common man? Or do you seek to be One Who Knows? Do you seek to have your fate controlled by an unknowable god? Or do you seek to hold the reins of your existence in the palm of your very own hand?
S: I have no words, Master. It would be a shameful waste of life if I do not become the latter.
M: When you arrive at this precipice, I will take you to the kingdom where all Truths reside. And I will reveal before your very eyes, The Truth about winning.
S: Thank you, my Master.
Originally published at www.kapilguptamd.com on April 13, 2018.