When we seek honour in life and do not get it, we double our efforts. …..OSHO
Alice entered the Wonderland. The queen stood next to Alice, who was sitting under a tree. It would be wrong to say she was standing, because she and Alice were both running. For hours they ran. Then Alice looked up. She saw the tree as it was.
The queen and she were also where they were. They had not moved an inch, and yet they were tired and perspiring. Alice said to the queen, "Your land is queer! We have been running all day and we have reached nowhere. The tree is where it was; you and I are in the same place!"
The queen replied, "It is because we ran that we are still nowhere. Imagine what would have been if we had not run?"
We too, in like manner, run all our lives and find ourselves back where we were. The same question comes to our mind. In spite of all our running, we are where we were. What a disgrace it would have been if we had not run at all. We try so hard for fame and reverence, and all we obtain is insult and abuse. If we had not tried for recognition, what would have been our plight?
We tried so hard to gain wealth, and yet remained paupers. Had we not strived at all, we would have certainly been in hell. If, however, Alice had asked Lao Tzu, he would have said, "Do not run. Stop and see! If you find yourself where you were after so much running, you should stop and see."
There are only two types of logic in this world. One is the type the queen gave Alice. This is the logic of ordinary intelligence, which always says that so much labour has been done and all that was attained was a few pebbles. "If I had made no effort, my plight would have been even more pitiful." The other logic is that of Buddha, Mahavira and Lao Tzu. They say, "Stop and see. Do not run."
Alice asked the queen again, "Then what is to be done to move away from this tree?"
The queen's answer was interesting. "If you run with all your strength, you will be able to stand where you are," she said, "but if you want to go further than the tree, you will have to run with double that strength." But where is this double strength to come from?
It is an absurdity; it has no meaning at all. Double the strength is not needed at all. If all your strength does not take you an inch away from where you are, of what avail will double the strength be? But this reasoning appealed to Alice. She decided to run twice as fast.
We also tend to think this way. When we seek honour in life and do not get it, we double our efforts. When we desire fame in life and it does not come our way, we feel that perhaps we have not exerted enough. But remember, the more effort you put in to win fame, the more ignominy will be the reward. The more we strive for power, the greater is the dishonour and insult, because life is a balance between opposites.
Then what are we to do? Should we stand where we are? Should we stop running? Lao Tzu does not tell us to stop. This is a rather subtle statement. According to him, if we stop running it will still mean that we have stopped with some end in view.
If we halt, it may be to save ourselves from insult, from slander, from defeat. The greed for honour, fame, success, wealth and immortality will remain as it was. When you see the worthlessness of your efforts, you will halt by yourself. No effort is required.