Nor failure nor success

Updated April 6, 2023

In a land forgotten long ago, an old man living alone in a house far from everything was known as a wise man. Photo © Alexius Jorgensen.

A young man had heard about a wise old man who knew the way to the Enlightenment of that which is One. And since the young man dreamed about becoming Enlightened, he looked for the old man until he found him in an obscure place far from everything. Then, very excited, the young man asked the old one if he would reveal the Enlightenment of that which is One, and the old man answered: »No problem if you are willing to work for it.«

»Of course,« said the young man, who was eager to get started, but a little surprised when the old man asked him to dig a ditch around his house. He assumed the old man was poor and that all secrets would be revealed if he did it for free.

He did his best to impress the old man who kept saying the work was not good enough. It could be much better, and the ditch should be much deeper. When the old man finally seemed satisfied, the young one assumed he would be rewarded for his hard work.

For about a week, the young man patiently waited for the old man to reveal the Enlightenment of that which is One. And although the old man said nothing, the young man treated him with much respect, thinking that would make him feel so good that he would reveal the Enlightenment of that which is One. But the old man did not approach the young man for weeks until, one day, he quietly asked him to fill up the ditch again.

The young man freaked out and started to think the old man had lost his mind, but he decided to see what would happen if he did what he was told. And so he filled up the ditch until one could hardly see there ever had been one.

The young man was very proud of his work, and when the old man asked him to meet at his house a little later, he thought all secrets would be revealed. Hence he opened the door to the house with a big smile. But it did not last long because the old man threw a bucket of cow shit on the young man from his hiding place above the door. That made the young man angrier than ever in his life – especially because through the shit, he saw how amazed the old man looked.

He left the old man furiously, thinking he had wasted months of his precious life with this sadistic man, who knew nothing about the Enlightenment of that which is One. However, after some time, he returned, and so one more time, he kindly asked the old man to teach him the secret way to the Enlightenment of that which is One.

Again the old man said yes and gave him one meaningless assignment after the other. A year went on like that, and when the old man one day again threw a bucket of cow shit on the young man, he quietly looked at the old man with a happy smile.

The young man neither felt young nor old anymore and not looking for secrets to be revealed in the future. He was not looking for anything at all, and neither did he assume that he in any way had done or was anything special. He was empty, and in the emptiness, he saw nothing. Thus there was not something to hide the Enlightenment of that which is One.

The above may be a mix of stories Alexius heard in his 20s. He considered them spaced out and not in touch with modern life, which he assumed was about being recognised as somebody, like when he entered a disco, and the DJ turned down the music to greet him through the speakers. Nowadays, nobody remembers him because he does not do something perceived as a success. But since writing Alexius’ Enlightened Non-Teachings is not about that, he cannot fail. 

NOTE: This article is part of Duality Hack #11 Going without distance to non-duality.