Chapter title: Jesus is like a wilderness: raw, but alive
11 December 1975 (His Birthday) morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India
Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 3, 01
54 AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO HIS OWN COUNTRY, HE TAUGHT THEM IN THEIR SYNAGOGUE, INSOMUCH THAT THEY WERE ASTONISHED, AND SAID, WHENCE HATH THIS MAN THIS WISDOM, AND THESE MIGHTY WORKS?
55 IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER'S SON? IS NOT HIS MOTHER CALLED MARY? AND HIS BRETHREN, JAMES, AND JOSES, AND SIMON, AND JUDAS?
56 AND HIS SISTERS, ARE THEY NOT ALL WITH US? WHENCE THEN HATH THIS MAN ALL THESE THINGS?
57 AND THEY WERE OFFENDED IN HIM. BUT JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, A PROPHET IS NOT WITHOUT HONOUR, SAVE IN HIS OWN COUNTRY, AND IN HIS OWN HOUSE.
22... JESUS CONSTRAINED HIS DISCIPLES TO GET INTO A SHIP, AND TO GO BEFORE HIM UNTO THE OTHER SIDE...
23 AND... HE WENT UP INTO A MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY: AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE.
24 BUT THE SHIP WAS NOW IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA, TOSSED WITH WAVES: FOR THE WIND WAS CONTRARY.
25 AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.
26 AND WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW HIM WALKING ON THE SEA, THEY WERE TROUBLED, SAYING, IT IS A SPIRIT; AND THEY CRIED OUT FOR FEAR.
27 BUT STRAIGHTWAY JESUS SPAKE UNTO THEM, SAYING, BE OF GOOD CHEER; IT IS I; BE NOT AFRAID.
28 AND PETER ANSWERED HIM AND SAID, LORD, IF IT BE THOU, BID ME COME UNTO THEE ON THE WATER.
29 AND HE SAID, COME. AND WHEN PETER WAS COME DOWN OUT OF THE SHIP, HE WALKED ON THE WATER, TO GO TO JESUS.
30 BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID; AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, SAYING, LORD, SAVE ME.
31 AND IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHEREFORE DIDST THOU DOUBT?
I am a drunkard. You may believe it or not, but I am a drunkard. You can look into my eyes and you can see it - I am drunk with Jesus. And Jesus is a wine; he is not a man, he's an intoxication. And once you have tasted of him, then nothing of this world will ever be meaningful to you. Once the meaning from the beyond enters into your life, this whole world becomes futile, immaterial, insignificant.
Religion is a sort of intoxication. This has to be understood because without a deep intoxication, your life will never have any meaning. It will remain superficial prose and will never become a poem. You will walk but you will never be able to dance, and unless you dance you have missed. Unless you dance with such abundance, with such forgetfulness that you disappear in it, that the dancer is lost and only the dance remains... only then. And only then will you be able to know what life is.
I remember: Once Alexander the Great asked Diogenes, "You are so learned, you know so much. Can't you tell me something about God, what God is?"
Diogenes waited for a moment and then said, "Give me one day's time."
Alexander came the next day but again Diogenes said, "Give me two days' time."
And it happened again, and he said, "Give me three days' time," and then four days and then five days, and then six days and the whole week was gone.
Alexander was annoyed and said, "What do you mean? If you don't know the answer you should have told me before. If you know, then what is the explanation for the delay?"
Diogenes said, "That moment you asked me, I thought that I knew. But the more I tried to catch hold of it, the more it became elusive. The more I thought about it, the farther away it was. Right now, I don't know anything, and the only thing I can say to you," said Diogenes, "is that those who think they know God, they know not."
God can be known only when you are not. This is the meaning when I say, "Until you become a drunkard" - so that your ego is lost. I am a drunkard, drunk with Jesus. And when I will be talking to you about Jesus, it is not about Jesus. I am not a theologian, not a Christian, not a scholar. Theologians talk 'about', they go round and round, they beat around the bush. I am not going to talk about Jesus, I am going to talk Jesus. And when I talk about Jesus, it is not that I am talking about him, rather, he talks himself. I give him way, I become a passage. All that I do is that I don't hinder him. That is the only way to talk about Jesus or Buddha or Krishna. And when I will be talking Jesus I will not talk about Christ. Jesus is real, Christ is a principle. Jesus is concrete, Christ is abstract. Jesus is a man like you and me, of blood and bone. His heart beats. He laughs, he cries, he loves, he lives.
Christ is a dead concept, bloodless; there is no heart beating there. Christianity is concerned with Christ, I am not concerned with Christ. The word'Christ' is beautiful, but corrupted, contaminated, polluted. The whole beauty of it has been destroyed. Whenever a word is used by theologians it loses meaning and purity and innocence - then it is no more virgin. Jesus is still virgin, Christ is corrupted.
Christ is a concept, Jesus is reality, concrete reality.
Look! I love human beings, but not humanity. Humanity does not exist. Only concrete human beings exist - someone here, someone there, but it is always someone. Humanity is an empty word. And just like that is Christ. Jesus exists, sometimes in Gautam the Buddha, sometimes in Mohammed the prophet, sometimes in Krishna the fluteplayer - somewhere here, somewhere there, but it is always a concrete phenomenon. Christ is abstract. It exists only in the books of philosophy and theology. Christ has never walked on the earth. Or, we can say it another way: Christ is the son of God, Jesus the son of man.
Let me talk about Jesus the son of man, because only the son of man is real, and only the son of man can grow and become the son of God. Only man can grow and become God, because man is the seed, the source; God is the flowering. God does not exist anywhere. When you flower, God comes into existence - it comes into existence and disappears... it comes into existence and disappears. When Buddha was here, God existed. When Jesus was here, God existed. When Jesus disappears, God disappears - just as when a flower disappears, it disappears.
God is not somewhere, always existing, otherwise God will never be fresh and young - it will gather too much dust, it will become dirty. It comes into existence whenever a man realises his sins, whenever a man really exists. Whenever a man exists in totality, God exists in those rare moments. So when you come and ask me, "Where is God?" I cannot show you. Unless you have proof of him in your own being, he will not be there. Until you become him he is not. Everybody has to realise him in his own innermost shrine, in his own being. You carry him as a seed. It is up to you to allow it to grow and become a great tree.
So I will not be talking about Christ, but about Jesus. Let Christ be imprisoned in the churches - that is the right place for Christ to exist. I would like Jesus to enter your hearts. Forget Christ, remember Jesus. But just the opposite has happened.
People have forgotten Jesus and their minds have been hammered continuously for two thousand years, hammered to remember Christ. Christ cannot transform you, because there exists no bridge between you and Christ. Then there exists an unbridgeable abyss. But with Jesus you are close. You can call Jesus 'brother', but you cannot call Christ 'brother'. And until you feel a deep brotherhood, a bridge, how can Jesus be of any help to you? Jesus is tremendously beautiful his beauty has a dimension of its own. Buddha is beautiful, but Jesus is totally different from Buddha. In Buddha a different type of silence was incarnated.
l have heard about a Chinese emperor. He had two great painters in his court, and there was always rivalry. They were always fighting and competing, and it was almost impossible to decide who was the greater. Both were masters of their art. One day the emperor said, "Now you do one thing: you both paint on one theme so that it can be decided who is the greater, and the theme is'Rest'." The first painter, of course, chose a very obvious subject: he painted a very silent lake, far away in the mountains, lone, still, not even a ripple on the surface. Just looking at that painting you would feel sleepy. The other painter tried something absolutely opposite: he painted a thundering waterfall... for miles the white foam of it... and just near the waterfall a very fragile, delicate birch tree, the branches bowing down, touching the foam, and on the birch the small nest of a robin, and the robin sitting on the nest, with closed eyes, almost wet. The first is a nondynamic silence: more like death, less like life. The opposite doesn't exist in it.
The rest has no tension in it; the 'rest' is more like absence than like presence. The second is a dynamic concept:'rest', but not dead. It is alive, throbbing. The thunder, the waterfall, the tremendous activity, and the nest, and the robin sitting there, silent....
Jesus is like the second painting, Buddha comes closer to the first painting. Of course it is very silent, but the opposite is missing - and without the opposite, music cannot be created. Buddha has a single note, he is not an orchestra.Jesus has opposite notes meeting, merging and creating a harmony, a symphony.
Buddha is silent, without revolution. Jesus is silent, with a deep rebellion around him. This has to be remembered. Only then you will understand how to penetrate into his very heart. Why did Jesus become so significant, why did he appeal to so many people all through these centuries? - he has something of the wild in him. He is not a garden, he is a wilderness. He is raw, not refined. You touch him and you will know. You feel him and you will know. Buddha is very cultured, very refined. He has something of the court of a king. Jesus comes from a village, a carpenter's son, uneducated, uncultured. He is like a wilderness: raw, but alive, rebellious. Hence, the appeal; hence he has touched millions of people's hearts. You can understand him. He is more than you but you are in him. You cannot understand Buddha. He is more than you but you are not there. With Jesus a bridge exists.
Now these sutras.
AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO HIS OWN COUNTRY, HE TAUGHT THEM IN THEIR SYNAGOGUE, INSOMUCH THAT THEY WERE ASTONISHED, AND SAID, WHENCE HATH THIS MAN THIS WISDOM AND THESE MIGHTY WORKS? IS NOT THIS THE CARPENTER'S SON? IS NOT HIS MOTHER CALLED MARY? AND HIS BRETHREN, JAMES, AND JOSES, AND SIMON, AND JUDAS? AND HIS SISTERS, ARE THEY NOT ALL WITH US? WHENCE THEN HATH THIS MAN ALL THESE THINGS? AND THEY WERE OFFENDED IN HIM.
Nobody was so much offended in Buddha, ever; nobody was so much offended in Lao Tzu, ever; nobody was offended, as people were offended with Jesus.
Why? A Buddha is a faraway peak. If you cannot understand him, how can you be offended with him? If you cannot understand him, how can you argue with him? - he is so far away, so beyond. At the most, all you can do is to worship him. So Buddha was worshipped and Jesus crucified. Wherever Buddha moved nobody was offended in him. Either people could not understand him - but then you could not be offended - or people could understand him, but then they understood that he was the very essence of the Upanishads, the very incarnation of the Vedas. He is all essential tradition. There was no question of being offended in him.
With Jesus people were offended, he was just like them. They could not understand him. They said, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" Buddha was a son of a great emperor, Mahavir also, Krishna also, Ram also. All the great Indian incarnations came from royal families. Jesus is the first man who comes from a poor house. Nobody had ever known him. And if Jesus had not been born, nobody would ever have heard about the family. Buddha was already established with the family name, with a long tradition and heritage, a long lineage of prestige and power. Jesus comes from a powerless poor family, almost a beggar. People could not understand - "From where comes his power? From where comes this wisdom? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary?" The people wondered - "He belongs to us and talks about God.
He belongs to us and says,'I am the son of God.' He belongs to us, he was working in his father's workshop and suddenly, what has happened to him?"
They were offended in him, the ego was offended.
Buddha was always great. Even if he had not become enlightened, he would have been worshipped like an emperor. People had always touched his feet. He was always great and beyond them. When he moved amidst the people and renounced his kingdom, he became even greater because he had renounced his kingdom. People can understand the language of money and they cannot understand any other language. They worship you if you have money, they worship you if you renounce money. But they understand only one language the language of money. If you don't have anything, they don't bother about you.
And if you don't have anything how can you renounce, what can you renounce? This is one of the most important things to understand about the Indian mind, the so-called Indian religious mind. Even that mind can understand only the language of money. Mahavir renounced. The Jain scriptures go on relating how much he renounced: how many elephants, how many horses, how many chariots, how much gold, how many diamonds. They go on and on and on.
Why? Why have these accounts been kept? And the reality is that he was never a very great king. the kingdom was very small, not more than a small district. And his father was not more than a collector of a district, not more than that. Because in Mahavir's time India was divided into two thousand kingdoms, so it could not be very great. And it is almost impossible that he had so many elephants and so many chariots and so much gold, it is exaggeration. But people understand only the language of money. They exaggerate, because that is the only way to prove that Mahavir was very great. Had he been the son of a carpenter, nobody would have ever bothered about him.
Jesus is a revolution in the world of religion. He is the first poor man who declared, "I am the son of God." He is the first poor man who dared to declare, "I am a prophet, a teerthankera, an avatar." Never before had such a thing happened in the history of man. He opened the way for many others to follow.
Then Mohammed could declare, and then came Kabir, and Sena, and Nanak, and Dadu, and many more. Jesus opened the gate - that even a poor man who had nothing to renounce, can renounce, because the real renunciation is not of wealth, but of the ego. The real renunciation is not of wealth, let me repeat it, but of the ego. It is not a question of renouncing what you have, it is a question of renouncing what you are. You can have much and you can renounce that. But if the ego continues - and it can continue - it can be fulfilled by having much, it can be fulfil]ed by renouncing much. And if the ego is there, you remain ordinary, you remain superficial.
AND THEY WERE OFFENDED IN HIM. Had he been an emperor's son, they would have fallen at his feet. But he was just an ordinary carpenter's son and everybody in the village knew about him.
BUT JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, A PROPHET IS NOT WITHOUT HONOUR, SAVE IN HIS OWN COUNTRY, AND IN HIS OWN HOUSE.
A great insight. Why has it happened so many times, that people who are closest always misunderstand? We should have expected just the contrary, that the people of Jesus' village would understand him first. Before anyone else would understand him, the people of Jesus' house, family, relatives, would understand him first. But it doesn't happen. Why? A deep insight into the human ego is needed to understand it. With those who are close to you, it is very difficult to believe that they had gone beyond and above you. If somebody else who is not close to you goes beyond you, maybe you are not bothered - he is so far away, the competitive ego does not arise. But if your own brother goes and you are left behind - and you were born to the same parents, you lived in the same house, and you were educated in the same school; and your own brother goes so far away - your ego is hurt. Then what have you been doing? You feel defeated, you feel a loser. Then the easiest way is to deny that he has gone beyond, then the easiest way is to prove that he is just as ordinary as you are ordinary. The easiest way is to disprove his claim, to deny.
A PROPHET IS NOT WITHOUT HONOUR, SAVE IN HIS OWN COUNTRY, AND IN HIS OWN HOUSE. I would like to add one thing more: "And in his own time."
You worship Buddha now, very easily. No problem arises because there is a distance of twenty-five centuries. You worship Mahavir. All over the world millions go on praying to Jesus. These same people crucified him. They are the same people who were offended in him, who denied him. What has happened? - - a distance of two thousand years. Now, your ego doesn't feel offended, you don't have any competition with him; maybe he was really a son of God. But he offended his own contemporaries. He was talking one day in a village and somebody asked "Do you believe in Abraham, the founder of Judaism?" Jesus said something which has been offending Jews since then. Jesus said, "Abraham? Before Abraham was, I am." Let me repeat it in another way: if Christians come to me and ask, "Do you believe in Jesus?" and I tell them, "Before Jesus was, I am," they will be offended. They will never be able to forgive me.
This man Jesus is claiming that he is someone who was, even before Abraham.
They had known that he was born in their village, they knew his birth date, they knew his father and his mother and his sisters and his brothers. They were still working in their workshop and this man said, "I am, before Abraham was." This was going too far - "No, he cannot be forgiven for it." But what he was saying was the truth, because Jesus is a quality, which has nothing to do with any person. It is a quality like love. If you say, "Before Abraham was, love is," nobody will be offended because love is not a person. You don't take it as a person, you take it as a quality. Jesus is a quality of tremendous love. Jesus is a quality of tremendous perception, vision, of tremendous realisation. Jesus is a quality - but to see that quality you will have to drop your egos. Only then can you see, otherwise your egos will be heavy on your eyes and it will be almost impossible to see.
Just a few days ago, I was reading G. K. Chesterton's life. He lived his whole life in London. One day he was preparing for a journey, a long journey, and everything was packed, everything was ready. A friend asked, "Where are you going?" Chesterton said, "I am going to London." The friend said, "Your wit, your remark escapes me. What do you mean? We ARE in London, so where are you going?" Chesterton said, "I am going to London via Paris, via Bombay, via Tokyo, via New York, because I have lived in London so long that my eyes have become clouded and I cannot see where London is, what London is."
When Jesus is standing just in front of you, you cannot see him. You will have to go via - via the Vatican, via Rome, via popes and preachers and churches. Only then may you be able to see who Jesus is. When Jesus confronts you, he offends.
His very being, his height, his depth, become offensive. You feel that you have failed. You feel that you have not lived. You feel that you have not loved. You will become an enemy. With Jesus these are the two possibilities: either you follow him or you become the enemy. You cannot remain neutral, you cannot remain indifferent. Either you follow him if you can drop the ego - then you take a jump, you flow with him; or, if you are defensive, you become the enemy, you become the foe and you start destroying him. Because his very presence is offensive, he has to be destroyed.
When Jesus was crucified, a great weight disappeared from the Jewish mind.
You felt relieved. He was somebody who was a constant reminder that you were failures, somebody who was a constant reminder that you had not lived, somebody who was a constant reminder that you were empty, hollow within, that you were not fulfilled. Contemporaries cannot understand. Very rare people, rare because they can drop their egos, can see what Jesus is. And even their vision is always shaking, even their vision is not very certain, even their vision has deep hesitation and doubt in it. Even those who follow, follow with much doubt in them .... JESUS CONSTRAINED HIS DISCIPLES TO GET INTO A SHIP, AND TO GO BEFORE HIM UNTO THE OTHER SIDE...
AND... HE WENT UP INTO A MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY.
That was always a practice with him that whenever he would move into the multitudes, into the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why? If you have been meditating you will understand. Those who have been meditating with me, they will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile quality, a very delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown starts opening - it is delicate. And whenever you go into the crowd you lose something. Whenever you come back home from the crowd, you come lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been broken. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of its own.
You may not feel it if you live on the same plane. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, with the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. Whenever you are with people you feel very good and happy. Your aloneness becomes sad, your aloneness is not aloneness, it is a loneliness; you miss the other. You don't find yourself in it, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, because you are not there. Only that desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is.
Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak of experience. Loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, a flame.
Loneliness is dark and damp. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself.
Whenever Jesus would move into the multitudes, into the crowd, and particularly when he came to his own town, he would tell his disciples to go to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him, he knew the art. Whenever you go into the crowd you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again, so that you again become centered, rooted. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre.
AND... HE WENT UP INTO A MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY: AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE.
Nothing is said about his prayer, what he did there, just the word 'pray'. There is no prayer mentioned. To be in a prayerful mood is enough. When you say something it is not prayer. Before God or before existence, you need simply to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are not to say something. On the contrary, you have to listen - what does existence want to say to you? So whenever you go to pray, don't start saying something. God already knows what you are going to say. It is foolish, it is ridiculous. And what can you say, what do you have to say? It will be all nonsense. It will all be nothing but desires, demands, and deep down, complaints. And a prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say anything, you can just be silent.
A prayer is not talking, it is listening.
Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says 'apart to pray'. He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt; where the other is not standing between you and existence, where you are vulnerable, open; when God's breeze can pass through you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It rejuvenates your spirit. It takes away all the dust that ordinarily gathers around. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point - if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in your imagination you have created the other. And then your God is doing nothing; he is just a projection. In that projection you will find all the others that you have ever known: your father will be there - whenever you say to God, "Father," your father will be there, a part of you projected. Or you say, "Mother," your mother will be there. All words are your words, so whatsoever you say will be your projection. A prayer is not to say anything. It is to be simply silent, open, ready to listen - it is a listening. And there is no need to believe in God because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately, you are with God.
Whenever you are alone, you are with God. To say 'with God' is not exactly right because that shows that you are here and God is there. It would be better to say that whenever you are alone, God is, and you are not, and there is prayer.
Prayer is a fragrance that arises whenever you are ready to be alone. Whenever you are not afraid to be alone, it arises. Something opens within you like a lotus, and that lotus is in tune with the whole around you. You dissolve, you meet and merge, boundaries disappear. You are no more an island, you have become part of the continent. God is, you are not.
AND... HE WENT UP INTO A MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY: AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE.
Why not before? Because to be alone needs much preparation... he must have been throwing away all the impressions that he had gathered from the multitude and the crowd the whole day... he was throwing away those impressions... the dust... by the evening he was alone, by the evening he came to a point where no thought stirred; he came to a point when the flame of consciousness was there without any smoke. By the evening he became centered, by the evening he went into a deep rest within himself - he returned home.
BUT THE SHIP WAS NOW IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA, TOSSED WITH THE WAVES: FOR THE WIND WAS CONTRARY ... and the disciples were going to the other shore.
"And the ship was in the midst of the sea, tossed with the waves, for the wind was contrary." This is a parable.Jesus is alone, or, Jesus is with his God. Jesus is beyond time and space, but the disciples are crossing from this shore to the other shore. The other shore means the God, the beyond.
BUT THE SHIP WAS NOW IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA, TOSSED WITH THE WAVES: FOR THE WIND WAS CONTRARY.
And the wind is always contrary in the world, and the sea is always troubled, because it is a sea of desires, because it is a sea of ignorance. And the wind is always contrary because it is a sea of competitiveness and jealousies and hatred, of violence and aggression - the wind is always contrary. Jesus is beyond, alone, centered; but his disciples are struggling towards the other shore.
AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.
It is a beautiful parable. Christians have completely missed the point of it, because they think it is a historical fact, they think that jesus really walked on water. He was not a magician. He was a simple man. And this is a parable, not a historical event. Because of Christians, even Jesus looks ridiculous; he has fallen into bad company.
AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT... What is the meaning of the fourth watch of the night.? - when the night is darkest, when the night has the most abysmal depth in it, the darkest part of it. The master can help the disciple only when the disciple reaches the fourth part of the night, the darkest part. That darkest part has always been known by the mystics as the dark night of the soul.
Jesus was trained by certain mystics who were called Essenes. They say that on everybody's pilgrimage towards God, there comes a point when one has to pass through the darkest hour of the night: the dark night of the soul. And in the fourth watch of the night, the darkest part, Jesus went unto them.
You can call your master for help only when you have done all that can be done.
If you are lazy, and if you have not done anything, the master's help is impossible. Help becomes possible only when you have come to the darkest hour of your night beyond which you cannot do anything else; where you feel totally helpless, when you hang between life and death - only then is help possible.
When you are helpless, only then is help possible. If you go on thinking that you can still help yourself, or that life is still in your control, then the master is not needed. Only at a certain stage, when you feel yourself absolutely incapable of doing anything -you are simply in chaos, all control lost, helpless, totally helpless - only then the master's help becomes possible. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
And of course Jesus walks on the sea, the sea of desires, the sea of ignorance, the sea of the egos. In the East we understand the parable. One of the greatest masters of Zen, Lin-chi, has said, "Walk, but don't allow your feet to be touched by the water." One has to live in the world, but not be of the world - one has to walk on the world. Jesus is not an escapist, he's not running from the world. He walks on the sea, he lives in the midst of the world, but he does not allow the water to touch his feet. This is what in the East we call 'to live like a lotus'. It lives in the water but the water cannot touch it - even the dewdrops may settle on it, but they never touch it, there remains a gap. To become a lotus flower - that is the meaning of this parable.
AND IN THE FOURTH WATCH OF THE NIGHT JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.
It is a parable of the inner turmoil of man, of the inner chaos of man, of the inner contrary wind, of the inner struggle to go to the other shore. It has nothing to do with the lake of Galilee. These things are of the inner world - they are not events that have happened outside, they are processes of inner growth.
AND WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW HIM WALKING ON THE SEA, THEY WERE TROUBLED, SAYING, IT IS A SPIRIT; AND THEY CRIED OUT FOR FEAR.
This is my experience also; many times it has happened. This is why I say that this is a parable. Somebody who is working deeply with me, growing, is in some dark night of the soul. He needs my help, and I go to him and he trembles, and he becomes afraid. Many times I say to my disciples, "If I come, don't get scared."
At that time they laugh, they think I am joking. But when I reach them they tremble and they cannot believe that I have come. They can believe anything, but they cannot believe that I have come, because that is beyond their scope.
AND WHEN THE DISCIPLES SAW HIM WALKING ON THE SEA, THEY WERE TROUBLED, SAYING, IT IS A SPIRIT; a ghost.
How can Jesus walk on the sea? It must be a ghost.
... AND THEY CRIED OUT FOR FEAR.
Even with your master, you are related with fear, not with love, because love believes and fear disbelieves. Love is trust, fear is distrust. In that moment the disciples showed that their trust was just on the surface. If Jesus comes in the inner world, they cannot believe, they cannot trust.
... THEY CRIED OUT FOR FEAR. BUT STRAIGHTWAY JESUS SPAKE UNTO THEM, SAYING, BE OF GOOD CHEER; IT IS I; BE NOT AFRAID.
It is I, be not afraid. Be of good cheer. But you have forgotten how to be cheerful, you have forgotten how to be blissful, you have forgotten the taste of happiness.
ou know only agony, you know only anguish, you understand only hell.
Heaven looks like a dream, a utopia, so that exists in your hopes, but it is not a reality.
Jesus said, "Be of good cheer! Be happy! I have come to you. And you are crying out for fear! Dance! Celebrate! It is I! Be not afraid - at least, be not afraid. If you cannot dance, if you cannot celebrate, if you cannot sing a song, welcoming, then at least, be not afraid; be of good cheer." This has to be understood.
When the disciple is in the darkest hour of the night he becomes capable of attracting the energy of the master towards him. He has earned it, but he can receive it only if he is of good cheer. If he has hard work behind him and he has been working with his total energy, total involvement and commitment, he has earned that the master should come to him. That is necessary but not enough. If he becomes afraid, he will again miss. If he becomes afraid when the master is there, he is in need, but because of the fear the contact is impossible. Be of good cheer. Energy can be received only when you are in a happy mood, welcoming, ready to receive: like a bride waiting for the bridegroom, like a beloved for the lover - all... the whole waiting, as if the total energy has become just an awaiting.
Be of good cheer, because without that the master cannot be of much help. He will be standing there with his hand ready to catch hold of you, but if you are not of good cheer your hand is not available.
So, two things: first, the disciple has to work totally, not withholding anything; the commitment must be absolute. You should move in it without any fear of consequences and without any expectations of the results. You should take a jump, you should dare. A master is a challenge and a disciple is an adventure. A master is a call, and a disciple is one who dares to go into the dark. He has heard the call - he's not very certain of the direction because it is all dark - but he has heard the call. He starts groping and moving. When you have done all that you can do and beyond which nothing is possible, immediately the help of the master becomes available. But then too you can miss.
Many times you had earned it and missed it, because unless you are of good cheer the energy will return back. Be a host, be of good cheer. The guest has come to the door; receive him with love and gratitude.
AND PETER ANSWERED HIM AND SAID, LORD, IF IT BE THOU, BID ME COME UNTO THEE ON THE WATER.
Only one disciple out of the twelve, only one - and that too not absolutely certain. This Peter became the very rock of the Christian Church. He hesitated, doubted, demanded a proof, but at least he did that much. The other eleven remained trembling and in fear. The word 'peter' means: the rock. His name was Simon. Jesus called him Peter, the rock. And Jesus told his disciples, "I will call him Peter because he is going to become the rock of the great family I am going to create, the very foundation of the church."
AND PETER ANSWERED HIM AND SAID, LORD, IF IT BE THOU...
'If' is there. Even in the greatest of disciples, the 'if' remains.' "If it be thou" - he needs some proof. This is one of the most unfortunate things, but it is so: that even when you have had enough of proofs, the mind is not satisfied. It goes on asking again and again and again. They had seen many miracles happening around Jesus, they had heard him, they had looked into him, they had been recipients of his love, they had followed him into the unknown parts of God. But still Peter says, "If it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. So let it be a proof, so if you are really you, then do this miracle: bid me come unto thee on the water. If I can also walk on the water, then only will I believe that it is you."
AND HE SAID, COME.
... a very simple word, unconditional, with no 'if' and no 'but'. That is how Jesus is. He simply said, "Come." Just look at the simplicity of the word, with nothing behind, nothing before.
AND HE SAID, COME. AND WHEN PETER WAS COME DOWN OUT OF THE SHIP, HE WALKED ON THE WATER, TO GO TO JESUS.
If you listen to the master you can walk on the water. The world is the sea. If you listen to the master, the key can be delivered to you. And the key is as simple as the word 'come'; there are no conditions attached to it. Jesus has not said anything, he simply says, "Come." And Peter walked, walked on water.
BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID...
Even walking on the water, himself walking now, and still the doubt. I face such problems every day. People come to me and say, "Everything has become beautifully silent: meditation is growing, the anger has disappeared, the sex has become a faraway thing, as if it never belonged to me. But is it all true, or am I simply imagining?" They come to me and they say, "We talk to our friends and they say'Beware. This man has hypnotised you'."
It is their experience that they have become silent, that the anger has disappeared, that the sex has become less and less a boss, more and more a servant, and it is up to them - they can fire the servant any day, and there is not even a union to protest and fight against them! But they become suspicious - a doubt arises: "Am I imagining? Am I hypnotised? Am I dreaming all this?" They cannot believe even when the experiences are happening to them. How can they believe that it has happened to somebody else? Peter walked but could not believe himself He must have thought, "Maybe it is just a dream, or maybe this fellow is playing a trick."
BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID; AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, SAYING, LORD, SAVE ME.
And the moment he became afraid, he started sinking... because it is faith, it is trust, that saves. Once the fear enters, you start sinking. It depends on you. If you have trust you can walk over all the seas of the world - sinking is impossible.
Even the water is not going to touch your feet; your feet will become a lotus. But if you become afraid, immediately - not even a single moment's time will be lost - you will be sinking. Doubt is sinking. Faith saves, doubt drowns.
BUT WHEN HE SAW THE WIND BOISTEROUS, HE WAS AFRAID; AND BEGINNING TO SINK, HE CRIED, SAYING, LORD, SAVE ME. AND IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, AND SAID UNTO HIM, O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH, WHEREFORE DIDST THOU DOUBT?
From where did this doubt come, and why? You were walking yourself and even then you couldn't trust? O THOU OF LITTLE FAITH - your faith is very little, but even that little faith can create such a miracle. Peter walked, not even very far, a few steps. But to walk a few steps on water is enough - if you can walk one step, you can walk all over the ocean. O man of little faith... faith was very little but still the miracle happened. Even a small seed of faith, and you can become a great tree of divine experience, of the flowering of the ultimate. And if with little faith this is possible, then what to say about great faith, of total faith? Then if total faith exists, immediately that seed will become the tree; there will be no time gap.
The time gap exists because of little faith, the time gap exists because you cannot believe it right now. If you could believe it right now, the world disappears and only God is. The ocean disappears. You are on plain ground, because the world is not more than a dream. With doubt, the dream continues; with trust, suddenly you are awake.
I have heard one anecdote: A man went to a great physician because he was suffering from much melancholy, sadness, depression, despair. The physician examined him; there was nothing wrong. The physician said, "I don't see anything wrong in your system, and I am not going to suggest any drugs for you. Rather, there is a show going on in the town and there is a man, Grimaldi.
He is a comedian. You go, and just allow that comedian to help you laugh. If you can laugh, your melancholy will disappear, your depression will disappear, and that is going to help you more than any drugs because there is nothing wrong in your system. There is just one thing that you have forgotten: how to laugh. You have simply forgotten the language of laughter, that's all. You have to learn it, that's all. No treatment is needed. You go to the show of Grimaldi."
The man said, "My God, I AM Grimaldi!"
And the same is the case with you. You have just forgotten a language of how to be divine. You are gods.
Enough for today
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