Failure may be the greatest success

In a long forgotten land, there lived an old man in a house far away from everything.

In a long time forgotten land, there lived an old man in a house far away from everything. Photo © Alexius Jorgensen.

In a land long time forgotten, there was a wise old man, who was said to know the way to the enlightenment of that which is one. A young man, who dreamed of this, travelled for months through the country until he finally succeeded in finding the old man in an obscure place far from everything. He asked, the old if he could show him the way to the enlightenment of that which is one, and the old man answered: »No problem if you are willing to work for it«.

»Of course«, said the young man, who was very eager to get started, but a little surprised when the old man asks him to dig a ditch around his house. He assumed the old man was poor so that if he would do it for free, all secrets would be revealed for him.

He, therefore, did his best to impress the old man, but it was not easy. The old man kept saying, the work was not good enough, it could be much better, the ditch should be much deeper and so on. When the old man at long last seemed to be satisfied, the young one thought, now he would be rewarded for all his hard work.

Expecting something for something
For about a week the young man patiently waited for the old man to show his appreciation. Though old man said nothing he treated the old man with much respect, thinking that the better he could make the old man feel, the more he would reveal. For weeks the old man did not approach the young man at all, until one day he quietly asked him to fill up the ditch again.

The young man freaked out and started to wonder, if the old man really was a wise man, but he decided to see what would happen, if he did what he was told – and so he filled up the ditch in such a way, that you could hardly see, there ever had been one.

The award appeared shitty
The young man was very proud of his work, and when the old man asked him to meet in his house exactly one hour later, he thought, now all secrets will be revealed to me. So he opened the door to the house with a big smile on his face. It did very last very long though because the old man threw a bucket of cow shit down on the young man from his hiding place above the door. The young man got angrier than ever before in his life – especially as he through the shit saw, how amazed the old man was.

Furiously he left the old man, thinking he had wasted months of his precious life with this sadistic man, who knew nothing about the enlightenment of that which is one. After some time, however, he felt like coming back, and so one more time he asked the old man to teach him the secret way to the enlightenment of that which is one.

Again the old man said yes and gave him one meaningless assignment after the other. A year or more went on like this, and when the old man one day again threw a bucket of cow shit on the young man, he quietly looked at the old man with a happy smile beneath the shit.

The young man did not feel young anymore, neither old. And he was no more looking for secrets to be revealed in the future. He was not looking for anything at all, neither did he assume, that he in any way had done or was anything special. All his ideas were gone. He was empty, and in the emptiness, he saw nothing, so there was not something to hide the enlightenment of that which is one.

Failure may be the greatest success
In the above, Alexius may have mixed two old satsang* stories, that he heard as a young man. At that time he considered them to be typical guru stories out of touch with modern life, because he was still into using life instead of being used by it.

In the eyes of the world, he has had a very successful life. In the past years, however, everything seems to fall apart. There is nothing inside of him, no ´I´ with a need to have or do anything that seems useful, neither no power to do something about it. In fact no power of his at all. This apparent failure though may be his biggest success.**

Alexius has no more to live up to. All expectations are gone. He is a just a medium for the formlessness of oneness, which is a power with no powers, as that requires more than one.

*) Satsang is a Hindi word meaning to be in the company of truth, which in the context of my non-teaching is nonsense, as to be something requires more than one and truth is that which is one. In other words, it is just another fabricated state of mind in a world where there seems to be more than one, that is used to hide there is no more than one.

**) This paragraph of the above article regarding what a relief it is to have nothing inside reflects the personality of Alexius, but it does not necessarily apply to your personality. Having nothing inside is as much an illusion as anything else in the world, so if the illusion of having everything inside and lots of success in the world seems to your ´way´ by all means go for it.

What it boils down to is that all illusions are symbols of that which is real. Perceived in this way, it does not matter what illusion you indulge yourself in, as they all symbolise that which makes it possible to experience something illusionary. Hack #2.1 Seeing symbols of non-duality in a world of duality and hack #2.2 Everything experienced is a symbol of life are exploring this.

NOTE: This article is part of hack #5-7.2 The enlightenment of that which is one cannot be found in a world where there seems to be more than one, but glimpses of it can.


  1. […] At the present time though it is not about success – at least not in the eyes of the world. It does not seem to be interested in my non teachings. Yet, it is what I am guided to do, and so that is what I do. See also the article Failure may be the greatest success. […]