Moments before he reached Enlightenment, Mara (the mind) appeared before him.
Mara created himself in the perfect image of Siddhartha.
Mara said, “Will you be my God?”
Siddhartha Gautama: “Architect. Finally, I have met you. You will no longer build your house in me.”
Mara: “But I am your house.”
Siddhartha Gautama: “Oh lord of my own ego. You are pure illusion. You do not exist. The Earth . . . is my witness.”
Upon hearing these words, Mara instantly knew that he was dealing with a man whom he could no longer sway.
And thus he, once and for all, disappeared.
Mara is known as a demon.
In my evaluation of Mara, I will say that Mara is The Mind.
And there is one particular thing against which The Mind is helpless . . .
It is the greatest force in the world . . .
Siddhartha roamed the forest for years, living with ascetics and following their “prescriptions.”
He deprived himself of food, clothing, and shelter.
He submitted himself to hours upon hours of meditation each day.
And what did he gain from it?
He became emaciated and brittle.
He was no closer to Enlightenment than were the ascetics whose prescriptions he followed.
When all prescriptions failed . . .
When all methods lead nowhere . . .
He resigned himself to a place from which success has no choice but to come.
The place of Do or Die.
Until Do or Die is reached, nothing really happens.
He said, (paraphrase), “I will sit under this tree, in this one spot. My skin may whither. My bones may break. But I will not rise from this place until I reach Enlightenment.”
In any aspect of his life, nothing of any substantiveness ever happens to a man unless he reaches this Do or Die place.
Siddhartha Gautama did not “how” he was going to get to Enlightenment.
Isn’t it fascinating that all of his failures in getting to Enlightenment occurred while he was following “how’s?”
When he sat under the Bodhi Tree without a clue as to “how” . . .
When he sat under the Bodhi Tree without an ounce of “methodology” . . .
When he sat under the Bodhi Tree armed only with Sincerity and nothing else . . .
Enlightenment became his.
I will tell you, quite ironically, that if you follow his noble truths, you will not become Enlightened.
The man became Enlightened.
But what society created in his wake has Not the power to make you Enlightened.
I have never in all my life seen a greater example of Sincerity than Siddhartha Gautama.
Nor have I ever felt the sort of genuine inspiration from any other man I have ever read about or came across.
He is bar none, the highest ideal of Mankind.
Throughout history we see time and again a great truth that few ever reveal to us.
We are always told of methods to follow, and the prescriptions to carry out, and the people to worship.
But The Truth is that the rare beings throughout history are the ones who achieved what they achieved by way of Sincerity and little else.
It is said that Guru Nanak knew little of religion or God.
But he sang to God. And he sang with such unbelievable depth, with such surrendering devotion, with such unbelievable Sincerity, that he attained God.
I will tell you that I have great respect for the thief who calls himself a thief.
I have great respect for the man who calls out his flaws with such verve and genuineness that he provides no excuse for why he is the way he is.
For such people speak The Truth.
The details are the details.
Such things can be addressed and shaped and overcome.
But a man who speaks the Stark, Unrelenting Truth without so much as a shred of an attempt to justify or self-protect is a man who has my undying respect.
For such things are incredibly rare in this world.
In your life, find the thing that you are willing to burn the whole of yourself to attain.
Find the thing that you love even more than yourself.
Find the thing that you value even more than happiness.
And as you sit quietly gazing at this possibility, understand that you will destroy all paths to it, the moment you follow a prescription.
For if you do, you too will become emaciated and brittle.
If Siddhartha Gautama is unique, it is not because he had a talent or a power that others do not.
He is unique because his level of Sincerity for Enlightenment surpassed all others.
The things of the world will not give you what you seek. That experiment fails a thousand times a day all across the world.
Nor do you have to “give away” the things of the world. For that too is a prescription.
Siddhartha Gautama’s story is the greatest story that has ever been told.
But the truth is that it is every man’s story.
For it is the real and true possibility of man.
The thing about which a man is Sincere, he attains.
And the thing about which he is not Sincere, he looks for prescriptions.
What else are you going to do with your life?
Why else are you here?
That One Thing is what you look for in every single that you do.
You search for it in your profession. You look for it under the rug. You look for it through your driver’s side window. You search for it on the beach.
And if you are truthful, you will admit that you have not found it in any of these places.
When a man becomes Sincere, he becomes Fierce.
When a man becomes Sincere, he becomes Uncompromising.
His eyes assume a slightly different shape.
And once they do, they begin to see things that they otherwise would not detect.
In a word, he becomes Superhuman.
And perhaps Superhuman is the greatest humanity of all.