Note: While reading a book whenever I come across something interesting, I highlight it on my Kindle. Later I turn those highlights into a blogpost. It is not a complete summary of the book. These are my notes which I intend to go back to later. Let’s start!

M: Understand, my student. When you place yourself into a role, you can only see the other through the eyes of that role. When you have no role, you begin to see the flesh and blood human being. Where I once parented my children, I now revere them. Where I once taught them, I now learn from them. And is it not the height of irony, that they now listen to my every word, when I no longer need them to listen.

M: I will begin with this: Do not roam among the haggard and the meek. Do not fight for scraps of food that are moist with stagnant rains. Do not enter the crucible of egoistic men who compete over dime and dollar. Rise, my student. And insist First upon the glory of Freedom. So that no arena can contain you. And no man can equal you. For your journey is unlike any other man in the field.

S: Then tell me this, Master. What precisely is the freedom that not caring grants you? M: The freedom from Need.

M: Understand, my student, that even the most casual meetings of men exist within an undercurrent of competitiveness. Each attempting subtle and clever ways to display verbiage and mannerisms in order to quell their inner feelings of ineptitude.

M: When human beings ask a question, they are in hopes of receiving a certain type of answer. One that fits with their own view of things.   M: If you create a category called “importance” you will naturally be compelled to populate this category. And then you will be compelled to create a hierarchy of “importance.” Following which you will find yourself with the difficult task of placing yourself somewhere within this hierarchy. And the moment you place yourself within this hierarchy, you will have created a problem.

M: If you place yourself at the top, you will suffer the desperation of attempting to validate that position. And if you put yourself anywhere but the top, you will suffer the turmoil of having to reach a higher position. There is anxiety in both directions. For you are playing a game that you cannot win.   M: Man chases “happiness.” But in actuality, he doesn’t chase happiness at all. He chases freedom from pain. And he believes that happiness is the opposite of pain. And it is this that sinks him. He chases and hopes for “positive events,” something to go his way, so that he can gain a moment of happiness. But he does not understand that no matter how many such moments he receives, they are mere drops that punctuate his ocean of pain. Any man should ask himself, In the last 24 hours, how much True Joy did he experience? How about 48 hours? Or 72 hours? Or two months? Or twenty years? It is all pain, my dear student. A man’s life is saturated by Pain.

M: When I played to win, I lost my Freedom. I was filled with angst. I was fully invested in hope. Hoping, at each turn, that fortune would turn away from my opponent, and toward me. While winning did produce a pleasant feeling within me, it was fleeting. But more importantly, I could not forget the imprisonment I felt during the hours of the battle. I shall never go there again.

M: Indeed. Each and every man who lives under the weight of the mind suffers an ongoing and incessant undercurrent of turmoil. His daily life consists of worry, fear, irritability, and concern. He lives in uncertainty. He lives with an unstable mood. He suffers conflicts. He succumbs to anger. His heart races with the subtlest thing that does not go his way. Such is the poison of depression.   M: Because he lives his life from within the mind. Thus he lives under its weight. And, therefore, he is depressed. He continually is assaulted by the mind. He is a slave. He is constantly bombarded by the shrapnel of involuntary thoughts. He knows not a moment’s Peace, my student. He knows not a moment’s Peace.

M: Therefore, whether you are disturbed or pleased is entirely dependent upon my words. You have placed not only your trust, but the whole of your future in my hands. Your entire potential can be made or unmade with a few words from my lips.   M: Yes. A quality of observation, keen discrimination, and interior examination. If you Wait, you will be a beggar who deserves nothing. If you Work, you will be a mule who attains nothing. You must seek to Understand, student. Understand the patterns of your life that have repeated themselves over and over again. And this understanding is borne of astute and incisive observation. And this astute and incisive observation is borne of the Genuine Desire to be immune to all things that life has to offer. Most especially the “good” things.