dharma-wheel.gif “Two years!” cried Isabel. “What did you do for all that time?”

“The holy man taught me many things,” replied Larry. “I thought about life. I learnt to be calm and to empty my mind of all unhappiness. I was glad to be with this man.”

Gray looked rather uncomfortable. He did not understand Larry. Isabel, too, was surprised by his answer.

“You gave this man two years of your life. What did he give you?”

“Peace,” said Larry with a smile… “[These holy men] believe that life has no beginning and no end. When we die, our life passes into another body. We live another life, but we do not remember what happened to us before.”

… “But now you are in France. What made you leave India? Did the holy man die?”

“No, but something happened to me… These holy men tell us that some people can become completely happy. This happiness is like a light or a fire that fills their whole mind. When that happens, these people do not return to life when they die. They [become] drops of water that [are] part of the sea for ever.”

“Did this happen to you?” I asked him. Larry looked up at me and he laughed quietly.

… When I think about Larry, I remember a saying from the East: The path of true happiness is difficult to follow. It is as difficult as walking on the edge of a razor.

——–

“The Razor’s Edge” by W. Somerset Maugham, 1944