El Mahdi Abbassi announced that it was verifiable that, whether people tried to help a man or not, something in the man could frustrate this aim.
Certain people having objected to this theory, El Mahdi promised a demonstration.
When everyone had forgotten the incident, El Mahdi ordered one man to lay a sack of gold in the middle of a bridge. Another man was asked to bring some unfortunate debtor to one end of the bridge and tell him to cross it.
Abbassi and his witnesses stood at the other side of the bridge.
When the man got to the other side, Abbassi asked him: “What did you see in the middle of the bridge?”
“Nothing,” said the man.
“How was that?” asked Abbassi.
The man replied: “As soon as I started to cross the bridge, the thought occurred to me that it might be amusing to cross with my eyes shut. And I did so….”
Man carries the seed of his misery or bliss, hell or heaven, within himself. Whatsoever happens to you, it happens because of you. Outside causes are secondary; inside causes are primary. And unless you understand this there is no possibility of a transformation, because the mind goes on deceiving you, the mind always points to the outside: the cause is somewhere else – of your misery, or of your happiness. If the cause is outside you then there is no possibility of freedom, then there is no possibility of any moksha, any liberated state. Cause outside, then you are bound to be in bondage for ever and ever, because how can you change the outside cause? And if you do change one, millions more follow.
This is the difference, the basic difference, between a religious mind and a nonreligious mind. Communists will think just the opposite. Marx will not be ready to approve what El Mahdi says in this story. Marx says the cause exists outside man; man is in misery because there are causes outside which create misery. Man will be happy if the causes are changed, replaced. A revolution is needed, according to Marx, in the outside world. According to Mohammed, Jesus, Mahavira, Krishna, this whole diagnosis is wrong. Causes are inside. Outside are only excuses.
You can change the outside, but nothing will change if the inside remains the same. The inside will create again and again the same pattern whatsoever the situation outside, because man lives from the inner to the outer.