Torio Tokuan said:

  1. Do not consider yourself elevated in comparison to ordinary people. Those who are commonplace just rise and fall on the road of fame and profit, without practicing the Way or following the Way.
  2. They are only to be pitied, not despised or resented. Do not give rise to judgemental thoughts by comparing yourself to them: do not give rise to ideas of higher and lower.
  3. This is the attitude needed to enter the Way of the sages and saints, buddhas and bodhisattvas.
  4. Therefore we place ourselves in the state of ordinary people, assimilating to the ordinary, while our will is on the Way, and we investigate its wonders.

Be Ordinary

Torio Tokuan’s message is short and simple. Jealousy Is Born out of Comparison. Drop your comparison and become ordinary.

Jealousy is comparison. And we have been taught to compare, we have been conditioned to compare, always compare. Somebody else has a better house, somebody else has a more beautiful body, somebody else has more money, somebody else has a more charismatic personality. Compare, go on comparing yourself with everybody else you pass by, and great jealousy will be the outcome; it is the by-product of the conditioning for comparison.

Otherwise, if you drop comparing, jealousy disappears. Then you simply know you are you, and you are nobody else, and there is no need. It is good that you don’t compare yourself with trees, otherwise you will start feeling very jealous: why are you not green? And why has existence been so hard on you – and no flowers? It is better that you don’t compare with birds, with rivers, with mountains; otherwise you will suffer. You only compare with human beings, because you have been conditioned to compare only with human beings; you don’t compare with peacocks and with parrots. Otherwise, your jealousy would be more and more: you would be so burdened by jealousy that you would not be able to live at all.

Comparison is a very foolish attitude, because each is unique and incomparable. Once this understanding settles in you, jealousy disappears. Each is unique and incomparable. You are just yourself. Nobody has ever been like you, and nobody will ever be like you. And you need not be like anybody else, either.

Existence creates only originals; it does not believe in carbon copies.

Because of jealousy you are in constant suffering; you become mean to others. And because of jealousy you start becoming phony, because you start pretending. You start pretending things that you don’t have, you start pretending things which you can’t have, which are not natural to you. You become more and more artificial. Imitating others, competing with others, what else can you do? If somebody has something and you don’t have it, and you don’t have a natural possibility of having it, the only way is to have some cheap substitute for it.

Just look inside yourself and you will find so many artificial, phony, pseudo things – for what? Why can’t you be natural and spontaneous? – Because of jealousy.

What Torio Tokuan says the jealous man lives in hell. Drop comparing and jealousy disappears, meanness disappears, phoniness disappears. You become ordinary, natural and spontaneous.

Learning from the story Comparison: Be Ordinary

Experience Learning

There are gurus and gurus in the world – so many of them. Sometimes the people who are searching for a guru become really confused about who would be a right guru for them. On the other side, the gurus are also searching disciples. And this is the reason some gurus prefer to declare themselves a ‘sadguru’ or their disciples declare their master a sadguru. The word sadguru means the true guru. The amazing thing is that every disciple considers his master a sadguru. This happens out of love for the guru or it could happen because of ignorance or blind faith. It could also happen out of the feeling of pride or the feeling of ego, that my guru has to be the greatest, he cannot be lesser than any guru. Generally speaking, this is the way we see the world of gurus and their disciples or followers.

But there is another world of gurus, which is very unknown, secret and mysterious – the world of Sufi gurus.

Let me share with you all an interesting story: An American seeker came to Dhaka, Bangladesh. He had heard about a great Sufi master. He was in a hurry to meet the master. He enquired from many people, but nobody had heard of this master. At the airport he went from one person to another but nobody had heard of him. He became suspicious and very depressed. He had come from so far, and he had heard so much about the Sufi master who lives in Dhaka, Bangladesh and nobody even knows his name! But as the last try, he asked a taxi driver. The taxi driver said, “Come, sit in the taxi and I will take you to him.” He could not believe it, so suddenly – because nobody knew about the master the other moment.

The taxi driver said, “Don’t be worried, I know him. In fact, I am him.” And that’s how it turned out to be. He himself was the Sufi master, but he was working as a taxi driver – just an ordinary life.

The Sufis function that way. Somebody is a weaver, somebody may be a potter, somebody may be making carpets. Do you know what Gurdjieff used to do in the West? His business was carpet selling. He was a carpet salesman, that was his business. If you had seen him you would have never recognised that a great master was there. That’s how the Sufis have existed, down the ages. They don’t stand out, there is no need.

The same is the case with Zen. The Zen masters also are ordinary people and teach ordinariness. It is the ego which is always hankering to be extraordinary. The ego is always discontented with being ordinary; it wants to be extraordinary at any cost. It hurts to be ordinary. But once we learn to be happy being ordinary, we accept ourselves as we are, it stops hurting, we experience a certain joy in just being ordinary. Once you have accepted the ordinariness, in your very ordinariness arises an extraordinariness. Your ordinariness becomes luminous, radiant. Then each moment is a gift, and each moment brings its own joy, its own peace, its own beautitude.


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