101. A comparison

“The desire to know and see so as to put an end to one’s doubts is something you find in all advanced people. Every science, every branch of learning, has been established so that people will question and want to know. That’s when they’ll make the effort to study and practice to reach the goal of that branch of learning.

“But in the area of the Buddha’s teachings, you have to study and practice in a balanced way. And your effort has to be intense so that you can enter into the highest thing in the Dhamma on your own. That’s when you’ll end your doubts totally on your own.

“It’s like a person from the countryside who’s never seen Bangkok. When people tell him that, in addition to being developed in other ways, Bangkok has a ‘Jewel Wall’ [the name of the fortress wall around the Grand Palace] and an enormous ‘Gold Mountain’ [the name of the cetiya at Wat Sraket], he makes up his mind to go to Bangkok with the expectation that he’ll be able to get some jewels from the wall and some gold from the mountain. But when he finally makes it to Bangkok and someone shows him, ‘That’s the Jewel Wall; that’s the Gold Mountain,’ that puts an immediate end to all his questions and expectations.

“The paths, fruitions, and nibbāna are like that.”