In this excerpt from Genpo Roshi’s new book, The Fool Who Thought He Was God, Sebastian, who believes he is God and has committed himself to a mental institution, is attempting to clear up the confusion about power and powerlessness by answering his sane brother’s question, “Why is it that I feel so inadequate and powerless and yet I don’t feel good about admitting I want power?”
Somehow in the spiritual world seeking power is considered in bad taste or even much worse. What is OK is to seek is truth or awakening. However, truth is power, or better yet, awakened to the truth you would be empowered by truth, set free by the truth. In truth your life is impermanent and fragile. You are born powerless, you grow old, become ill and weak, and eventually die powerless. Whatever power you gain through position, wealth, insight or title doesn’t alter the fact that you are powerless to begin with, and in the end. Power is an illusion, you only have the power that others give you. In the end, when they take it away, you are powerless. Real power is in Me, and you are not Me, but I am your divine nature or true self.
You, the limited and small self, are completely powerless. Everything in life is forcing you to acknowledge this fact.
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