Early one morning, before sunrise, a fisherman went to a river. On the bank he felt something underfoot, and found it to be a small sack of stones. He picked up the sack, and putting his net aside, squatted on the bank to await the sunrise. He was waiting for dawn to break in order to start his day’s work. Lazily he picked a stone out of the bag and threw it into the water. Then he cast another stone and then another. In the absence of anything else to do, he kept tossing the stones into the water, one by one.
Slowly the sun rose and it became light. By that time he had thrown all the stones away except one; the last stone lay in his palm. His heart almost failed him when he saw, by daylight, what he held in his hand. It was a gem! In the darkness, he had thrown a whole sack of them away! What had he lost unknowingly! Full of remorse, he cursed himself. He sobbed and cried, almost out of his mind with grief.
He had accidentally stumbled upon enough wealth to enrich his life many times over, but unknowingly, and in the darkness, he had lost it. Yet in a way he was fortunate: still one gem was left; the light had dawned before he had thrown it away too. Generally, most people are not even that fortunate.
There is darkness all around and time is fleeting. The sun has not yet risen and we have already wasted all life’s precious gems. Life is a vast treasure trove, and man does nothing with it but throw it away. By the time we have realized the importance of life, we have whiled it away. The secret, the mystery, the bliss, the deliverance, heaven — all is lost. And one’s life is spent.
– Osho – From Sex to Superconsciousness