The mind is its own heaven and hell

A starving man stumbled into heaven, not knowing that it was heaven. He was very hungry and he sat under a tree, not knowing that it was a wishing tree.

“Ahh, some good food would really be good now…” he said to himself.

Out of nowhere came a group of beautiful women carrying all sorts of delicious food. He was so hungry that he did not question where they came from; he simply gobbled everything up.

After the wonderful meal, he felt really drowsy. And so he said to himself, “Ahh, a nice bed would really be nice now…”

Again a group of beautiful women came with soft mattress and pillow and bolster, and they tucked him in bed with soothing songs and chants. Before he could ask them anything, he fell deep asleep.

Eventually he awoke – refreshed and physically satisfied. His mind was restless though. He looked at the bed. He looked at his surroundings. There wasn’t anyone in sight. No houses, no buildings, just a few trees and a vast field of grass.

“Where did the food come from? Where did this bed come from?” he wondered. “And who are those beautiful women?”

He couldn’t understand what was happening.

Suddenly he said to himself, “Ahh, they must be ghosts! For now that I’m fed and rested, they would be coming for me…”

And indeed a group of ghosts appeared dancing all around him. They approached nearer and nearer.

The man was terrified. He shouted to himself, “They are going to kill me! They are going to kill me…”

And so, the ghosts killed him.


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