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A blade of grass wondered whether it had a freedom of choice.
I answered: ‘And what do you want to choose?’
It replied: ‘To bend or to stand upright, to be eaten by a cow, to be stamped upon by a child or to live a long life. I also want to be high and not low and also to be happy and not miserable’.
‘My dear’, – I said in response, – ‘your first freedom depends upon the wind. Which way it blows, that way you have to bend. Your second freedom depends upon the place where your seed was sown – at a pasture, on a road or in a meadow. Your third freedom depends on the kind of grass your seed belongs to. Your fourth freedom depends upon the climate into which you were born. The more rain and sun you get, the happier you are. The less rain and sun, the more miserable you become. Moreover, if you are too high, a cow and a child will notice you first among the grass. The wind will bend you harder than the rest. And you will need much more sun and water than usual. Where are you going to get them from?’
The blade of grass started crying and said: ‘Does it mean that I cannot change anything for the better?’
‘You are too busy with your “freedoms” that don’t really change anything. Seek that freedom that will stop making a blade of grass out of you. Then there will be a real happiness. But it will not be “yours”.
‘Who chooses whether a man would become a criminal or a saint, an imbecile, a genius or an enlightened being? It appears that everyone chooses for himself – whether to go to hell or to heaven. Everything is open, the whole cosmos is one, and all worlds are manifestations of one love, power and knowledge. The one, who considers oneself to be the doer separate from others; the one, who considers oneself to be an island separate from nature and the world, loses oneself, confines oneself to one’s personality and buries oneself in one’s ego – right in the midst of legions of Higher Beings abiding in light and bliss. The one, who overcomes the boundaries of one’s own personality, merges into one single ocean of joy, immortality and light. This is “paradise”. Confinement to the prison of one’s ego is “hell”. You are unlikely to find anything else’.