THERE IS NOTHING TO GAIN OR LOSE
Success and failure are generally measures, appreciated or suffered more in relation to what has been achieved in the same field by others, than in relation to a target which has been hit or missed. If it is usual for any person to do a particular thing, the doing of it is not to be regarded as a success, although it is success in the sense that what was planned has been achieved. In every worldly sphere there is bad, worse and worst, as well as good, better and best. There is a conscious or unconscious racing with each other, as well as a perception of that which is beyond all this racing. It is out of this racing that success or failure arises.
If success and failure become independent of their accentuation by the felt duality of others, they become something entirely different from what they generally are. The severity of their contrariety is very considerably mitigated and they gradually get amalgamated. For example, the persons who failed to reach the top of Everest before its first conqueror will be seen not to have failed but to have succeeded in getting near the peak, unless success happens to be a name not for the entire process of climbing but only for the last step which the first conqueror took.
The more our perception is free from clouding and
the less vitiated it is by felt duality, the less
contrariety or incompatibility exists between the
extremes of opposites of experience. In the final
undimmed perception there is neither success nor
failure, for there is nothing to gain or lose. However,
until this unfailing self-assurance is permanently
established, one is inevitably encaged in the illusion
of duality or relatively false values. Then there
always are approximations towards a receding target;
and these approximations may be called either partial
failure or partial success, according to one's point of
view. This also shows how every success implies a
failure and every failure a success. The two opposites
tread upon each other in the world of illusion. One who
can withstand both success and failure with equanimity
is nearing a truer appreciation of both; and for one
who goes beyond the extremes or opposites, the question
of withstanding either does not arise.
BEAMS FROM MEHER BABA, pp. 60-62
1958 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.