Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another? We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person's essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?
Living is about capturing the essence of things. I go through my life every day with a vial, a vial wherein can be found precious essential oils of every kind! The priceless, fragrant oils that are the essence of my experiences, my thoughts. I walk inside a different realm from everybody else, in that I am existing in the essence of things; every time there is reason to smile, I hold out my glass vial and capture that drop of oil, that essence, and then I smile. And that is why I have smiled, and so you and I may be smiling at the same time but I am smiling because of that one drop of cherished, treasured oil that I have extracted. When I write, I find no need to memorize an idea, a plot, a sequence of things: no. I must only capture the essence of a feeling or a thought and once I have inhaled that aroma, I know that I have what I need.
What a surprise it is to discover that you have never needed to strive to survive and be happy after all. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, who discovered that she always had the means for going home, you already have what you need to be happy and safe. You have never really left Home. However, if you don't believe you already have what you need to be happy and safe, it is as if it isn't true: If we don't know the ruby slippers will take us home, it's like not having them. The ego keeps us from seeing the truth about those ruby slippers- it keeps us from seeing the truth about life. Home is right here, right now, but we may not realize it and there for not experience Home, or Essence as much as we might.
If therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism — at least in the sense of this work — is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature.
I think the reason why I don't read so much, is because as I have observed, whole books all boil down to a drop of essence. You can read a book full of ten thousand words and at the end, sum it up in one sentence; I am more for the one sentence. I am more for the essence. It's like how you need a truckload of roses to extract one drop of rose oil; I don't want to bother with the truckload of roses because I would rather walk away with the drop of rose oil. So in my mind, I have written two hundred books. Why? Because I have with me two hundred vials with one drop of essence in each!