82. A comparison

“The mind of a noble one who has reached the transcendent, even though it may live in the world, surrounded by whatever the surroundings, can’t be pulled by the world into getting perturbed or mixed up with those things at all. In other words, the affairs of the world [gain, loss, status, loss of status, praise, criticism, pleasure, and pain] can’t overwhelm it, can’t pull it back to the level of a run-of-the-mill person’s mind. It can’t be brought under the power of defilement or craving ever again.

“It’s like coconut milk. Once you squeeze it out of the coconut flesh and boil it over high heat until the oil separates, you can’t turn it back into coconut milk again. No matter how much you may mix the oil with other coconut milk, you can’t turn the oil back into coconut milk at all.”