Three Questions with Gangaji
1. Why did you write HIDDEN TREASURE?
GANGAJI: I wrote this book to point to universal truths that are directly and concretely relevant to the individual reader. There have been countless beautiful stories of great beings’ lives that have inspired others throughout time. Yet even when we are profoundly affected by reading the story of a great person’s life, we too often see his or her story as disconnected from the life—the story—that each one of us lives.
We can wonder at the beauty and be inspired to follow in the footsteps of a hero, but we often miss that our own life is offering us portals to deep discovery. My wish is that the reader see that although the details of our lives may be different from each other, and different from the great beings we emulate, within every life story there are unique opportunities for realizing peace and fulfillment.
We know the principles of peace, and love, and freedom, but how are these principles revealed in each of our lives? What is our life story offering us at this very moment? How can we discover the offering? The investigation of these questions generated this book.
2. The central message in HIDDEN TREASURE seems to be that we should stop telling the same old stories about ourselves. How?
GANGAJI: It is essential to first recognize that some story is being told. We are often so identified with whatever thoughts we may be having that we don’t realize that the thoughts are a commentary on reality, rather than reality itself. We are thinking creatures, and thinking is a beautiful power, but the capacity to overhear our own thoughts as thoughts—rather than reality—reveals the choice to either continue that same story, or amend the story in some positive or negative way, or to stop telling the story all together.
Continuing the story is the usual choice. A choice that is so habitual it appears to be choiceless. Amending the choice is a way to “create your reality.” At least your inner reality. The inner feelings of following the thought “I am a worthless person” are obviously different from following the thought “I am worthy and deserve to be happy.” The choice to stop telling any story is a choice as well. This choice reveals that inner reality needs no story, needs no thought for conscious recognition of itself.
GANGAJI: It is my aim for the readers to recognize that however the events of a life are arranged, the opportunity to realize lasting peace and fulfillment is present. I want the readers to see clearly that all the necessary ingredients for realization of happiness are already present in their lives.
I want them to directly experience the wonder and simplicity of peace in their day-to-day lives.
We are conditioned to believe that only certain kinds of events generate happiness. This belief naturally keeps our attention turned toward accumulating more of those kinds of events. When our attention is tied up seeking more and more pleasure or comfort, we overlook the peace that needs nothing for its existence.
Read an excerpt