35 MASTERY OF MOODS
A great king who employed many wise men felt frustrated with his riches. And a nearby country, a country more powerful than his, was preparing to attack. The king was afraid – of death, defeat, despair and of old age. So he called his wise men and he said to them ”I don't know why, but I must find a certain ring... one that will make me joyful when I am unhappy and at the same time, if I am happy and look at it, I must be made sad.”
He was asking for a key, a key with which he could open two doors; the door of happiness and the door of unhapppiness. What was he asking? He was asking mastery of his moods. He was saying that he wanted to become master of his moods, he no longer wants to be a victim of them.
The wise men consulted each other, but they couldn't come to any conclusion. Finally they went to a Sufi mystic and asked his advise. The Sufi just took a ring off his finger and gave it to them, saying ”There is one condition. Give it to the king, but tell him that he should look under the stone only when everything is lost, the confusion is total, the agony perfect and he is absolutely helpless. Otherwise he will miss the message.”
The king obeyed. His country was lost, he was fleeing the kingdom just to safe his life. The enemy was following, he could hear the horses... and his horse died, then he ran on foot... and he came to a cul-de-sac. There was just an abyss.
At the last moment he remembere the ring. He opened it, looked behind the stone, and there was the message. It was:
This, too, will pass.