The 21 Precepts


Happiness lies in engaging in worthwhile activities. But there is only one person who for certain can tell what will make one happy—oneself.

The precepts given in this book are really the edges of the road: violating them, one is like the motorist who plunges off onto the verge—the result can be wreckage of the moment, the relationship, a life.

Only you can say where the road goes for one sets his goals for the hour, for the relationship, for the phase of life.

One can feel at times like a spinning leaf blown along a dirty street, one can feel like a grain of sand stuck in one place. But nobody has said that life was a calm and orderly thing: it isn’t. One isn’t a tattered leaf nor a grain of sand: one can, to greater or lesser degree draw his road map and follow it.

One can feel that things are such now that it is much too late to do anything, that one’s past road is so messed up that there is no chance of drawing a future one that will be any different: there is always a point on the road when one can map a new one. And try to follow it. There is no person alive who cannot make a new beginning.

It can be said without the slightest fear of contradiction that others may mock one and seek by various means to push one onto the verge, to tempt one in various ways to lead an immoral life: all such persons do so to accomplish private ends of their own and one will wind up, if one heeds them, in tragedy and sorrow.

Of course one will have occasional loses trying to apply this book and get it applied. One should just learn from these and carry on. Who said the road doesn’t have bumps?

It can still be traveled. So people can fall down: it doesn’t mean they can’t get up again and keep going.

If one keeps the edges on the road, one can’t go far wrong. True excitement, happiness and joy come from other things, not from broken lives.

If you can get others to follow the road, you yourself will be free enough to give yourself a chance to discover what real happiness is.

The way to happiness is a high-speed road
to those who know where the edges are.
You’re the driver.
Fare well.

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