Choose the Eternal

choose the eternal vs the temporary31 August 1974 am in Buddha Hall THE ELEVENTH SAYING from the Gospel of Thomas1

The whole human problem consists of choosing between the momentary and the eternal. If you choose the momentary you are building your house on sand – it is going to fall. If you choose the eternal, then something is achieved which is going to be forever and forever.

And nothing less can satisfy you, only the eternal can satisfy you. The momentary cannot satisfy you; rather, on the contrary, it will make you more hungry and more thirsty. It is like someone throwing butter in the fire to put it out – it will become food for the fire and the fire will increase. The momentary is just like butter in the fire of your mind’s desire; it helps it, it is a food. Only the eternal can quench the thirst, there is no other way.

But when I say, “If you choose the eternal, only then do you build your house on a mountain-top, on something rock-like which will endure and your effort will not be wasted”… what do I mean when I say, “If you choose the eternal”? – because the eternal cannot be chosen. If you choose you will always choose the momentary, because choice is of the momentary. Then what do I mean when I say, “Choose the eternal”? I mean: if you can understand that the momentary is useless – by the next moment you will be thirsty again, and this water is not going to destroy your thirst – if you understand this then the momentary drops. It becomes useless, you simply come to understand its meaninglessness. It simply drops and the eternal is chosen – you never choose it.

When the momentary drops, the eternal enters into your life. But the momentary must become absolutely fruitless, meaningless; with the momentary your failure must be total. “Blessed are those who fail in this world” -this beatitude must be added to Jesus’ other beatitudes.

Be a failure in this world! You are trying to do just the opposite: to succeed in it. If you succeed, that will be the real failure because then you will remain with the momentary – but no one ever succeeds; we are fortunate because no one ever succeeds. At the most, you can go on postponing the failure, that’s all. You may postpone it to a further life, you can postpone it for millions of lives. But no one ever succeeds in this world, because how can you succeed with the momentary, that which is fleeting? How can you make a house on it? That which is passing moment to moment, going out of existence, how can you make a house, an abode on it? By the time the house is ready, the moment is gone. That’s why every moment you feel frustrated – but again you start doing the same thing.

It seems you are not aware, it seems you are not alert to what you are doing – it seems you have not learned anything from life. You have remained ignorant of life, you have not attained to any experience. You may have much knowledge, you may know how to build the house – you may be an engineer, an architect – but you have not learned through experience that on the momentary the house cannot be built. This is the first thing Jesus says.

JESUS SAID: A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED, CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

Many things. First: A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN….

You always make something in the valley. These are symbols: ‘valley’ means the dark night; ‘high mountain’ means more conscious, more aware; the more aware you are, the higher you go. When you become perfectly aware, you are on Everest. That is why Hindus have been saying that Shiva lives on Gourishankar, the highest mountain-top. Shiva is the highest consciousness; Shiva is not a person, Shiva means the perfect consciousness. Perfect consciousness lives on Gourishankar.

When you are unconscious you fall down into the dark valley – your night is a valley, your sleep is a valley. When you are aware you start moving towards the height; when you are completely unconscious, that is the lowest point of existence. Rocks exist there, at the lowest rung of the ladder, because rocks are perfectly unconscious. They are not dead – they are alive, they grow; they are young, they become old, they die. They pass through all the phases you pass through, but they are not conscious – the lowest rung of the ladder. Sometimes you are like a rock: when you are fast asleep what is the difference between you and a rock? When there is not even a single ray of consciousness, then what is the difference between you and the earth? You have fallen back.

In sleep, you go towards the valley. The ‘sinner’ means one who lives constantly in sleep; the ‘saint’ means one who is not asleep even in his sleep. Krishna has said to Arjuna: “When everybody is asleep, the yogi is still awake. When everybody is in slumber, the yogi is still alert.” The totality of the yogi never goes to sleep. A point of witnessing always remains there; he witnesses his own sleep. In sleep you fall down, in awareness you rise high. When nothing is asleep in you, when your whole consciousness has become a light, when not a single fragment is unconscious, when your complete being is filled with light – that is what we mean by a Buddha, a Christ: no unconsciousness exists – this is the highest peak. Hence the symbolic meaning of… A CITY BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN.

You are building your cities, your houses, in a valley, and ordinary sleep alone is not enough for you, you also seek drugs to fall more asleep; you seek methods of hypnosis to become more sleepy, more unconscious – because consciousness is pain, it is anguish. Why is it anguish? And Buddha and Jesus say it is the greatest bliss that is possible! But for you, why is consciousness painful? And why do you want to forget everything? Why is consciousness painful?

It is painful if only one percent of you becomes conscious and ninety-nine percent of you remains unconscious, then that one percent suffers seeing the mess all around. Seeing that ninety-nine percent in a state of madness, that one percent of consciousness suffers, that one percent of consciousness seeks alcohol, drugs, LSD, marijuana or something else – sex or music or a mantra – to create an autohypnosis. So that one percent also falls back and becomes part of the whole. Then you are not worried because there is nobody to know, then there is nobody to be alert and conscious – then there is no problem.

This is what they call the logic of the ostrich. Whenever an ostrich finds that some enemy is coming he will hide his head in the sand. For the moment he cannot see, and his logic is, “When I cannot see the enemy, how can the enemy be there?” The ostrich seems to be a perfect atheist, for that is what atheists have been saying. They say, “If we cannot see God, how can he be there? Something exists only when we see it,” as if existence depends on your seeing; and if you don’t see then the thing disappears.

The ostrich hides his head, closes his eyes, and immediately he is unafraid because the enemy is no more. But the enemy does not believe in your logic. On the contrary, you are playing into his hands when your eyes are closed; you are playing into the hands of the enemy, on your own part you are becoming a victim. You could have escaped, but now there is no escape because you think there is no enemy. You may feel a momentary happiness because the enemy is not there – not that the enemy is not there, but because you feel as if he is not. That’s how you feel a momentary happiness when you become unconscious through drugs: no problems exist, all the enemies disappear, there is no anxiety – because for anxiety you need to be alert, aware.

When one hundred percent of your being becomes conscious then there is bliss, because the conflict disappears – Buddha is right. You are also right because your experience says that the more you become alert, the more you feel problems around you. So it is better to remain in a long slumber, in a lifelong sleep. That’s why we build our cities in the valleys, not on mountain-tops.

Then there is another reason.

A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED, CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

We build our cities in such a way, on such a fleeting existence, on the momentary, the temporal, that by the time they are ready they are falling; by the time they are ready they have already become ruins. Why? – because we can see only the momentary, we don’t have a total vision. We can see only that which is nearest, just very close. Only the moment is close – you see one moment, then it passes, then another moment, then it passes. You see these passing moments, you cannot have a total vision.

For the total vision a perfect consciousness is needed. In a total vision, you can see the whole of life; not only the whole of life, you can see the whole world. That’s what Jainas mean when they say that when Mahavira became enlightened he could see past, present and future – the whole of time. What do they mean? They mean that the wholeness of existence becomes clear to you, and when the wholeness is clear, only then can you make a fortified city. Otherwise, how can you make one?

You don’t know what is going to happen the next moment. Whatsoever you do, the next moment may undo it. And whatsoever you do depends on the momentary, not on the whole. The whole may reject it, it may become absolutely meaningless in the whole.

It happened once that a Chinese master had an American disciple. When the disciple was going back the master gave him a present, a small carved wooden box, and he said, “One condition always has to be followed; if you give this box to somebody else, then the condition has to be fulfilled. Promise… because I have been fulfilling this promise, and this is not a new thing, it’s a very ancient thing and for many, many generations the condition has been fulfilled.”

The disciple said, “I will fulfill it.” It was such a beautiful thing, so valuable, so ancient, he said, “Whatsoever the condition….”

The master said, “The condition is simple: you have to keep it in your house facing east. And this has always been done, so be respectful to the tradition.”

The disciple said, “This is very simple, I will do it.”

But when he put the box facing east, then he came to understand that it was very difficult, because his whole arrangement in the drawingroom became absurd. That box facing east would not adjust. So he had to change the whole arrangement of the drawingroom to be harmonious with the box. But then the whole house became absurd, so then he had to change the whole house. Then the garden became absurd! Then he felt exhausted. He wrote to the master: “This box is dangerous! I will have to change the whole world – because if I also change my garden, then next it will be the neighborhood….” And he was a man of sensitivity, that’s why he felt like this.

If you build your life on the momentary, you are going to be in difficulty with the whole because it will never adjust. It will never be harmonious, something or other will always be wrong. The whole has to be looked to before you make your city, before you make your abode; the whole has to be consulted and referred to. With the vision of the whole you should create your life and the pattern of your life; you should live with the vision of the whole. Only then will your life be a harmony, a melody; otherwise, you will always be somehow outlandish, eccentric.

Every man is eccentric. This word is beautiful. ‘Eccentric’ means out of the center, somehow missing the center, not exactly as it should be. Why is every man eccentric, out of the center, out of focus, out of step with life? – because everybody is trying to make life according to the moment, and the moment is not the whole. The moment is a fragment, such a small, trivial fragment of eternity. How can you adjust to eternity if you make your life according to the moment? That’s why Jesus says, “Make your life, create your life according to the whole, the eternal, not the momentary.”

A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED, CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

Your city will always be falling, your city will always be in ruins. It is so! You need not ask Jesus, you can just look at your life: it is a ruin. Before you have built it, it is already a ruin. You are a ruined city. Why is it happening? – because of the momentary. Have a vision of the eternal, of the timeless.

How will this vision come? The higher your consciousness, the greater your vision; the lower your consciousness, the smaller your vision. Go and stand on the street under a tree and look: you have a vision – you can see to the nearest corner of this road, then there is a turning and the vision stops. Climb the tree and have a look from the tree – then you have a greater vision. Go in an airplane – then you have a birdseye view of the whole city. Go higher, and greater becomes the vision; go lower, and smaller is the vision. There are rungs in the ladder of consciousness. If you are at the peak of your consciousness, look from there: eternity is revealed.

Have you observed a very small thing? You are standing under a tree, you look to the east – you don’t see anything. Somebody is sitting on top of the tree and he says, “I can see a bullock cart coming.”

You say, “There is no bullock cart! I can’t see it – and when I can’t see it, how can it be?” The bullock cart is in the future for you, but for the man who is sitting on top of the tree the bullock cart is in the present. So don’t think that the present means the same to everyone. Your present is confined to you, it may not be present for me; my present is confined to me, it may not be present for you. It depends on the ladder of consciousness.

For Buddha everything is present because there is no future – his vision is complete. For Jesus everything is present: there is no past because he can see, there is no future because he can see. From the highest peak of consciousness the whole is visible, so nothing is past, nothing is future; everything is here and now. The future exists because of your confined vision, not because the future is a necessity in the world, in existence. It simply shows that you have a narrow vision: something that goes out of your field of vision becomes the past; that which has not yet come into it becomes the future. But things in themselves are in eternity.

Time is your invention because you live in the valley. Hence, all the traditions of the world have been emphasizing that when you move into samadhi, ecstasy, deep meditation, time disappears. What do they mean? They mean that the division of past, present, future, disappears; existence is, but without divisions, timeless. Build your city on the timeless, don’t build it on the momentary; otherwise it will always be a ruin, because the present is fleeting and becoming the past. What do I mean when I say it will be a ruin before you have even built it? … Because the moment you build, that moment is past, it is already gone, it is no more in your hands. The earth below your feet is moving continuously.

A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED….

And why does he use the word fortified? As you are, in the valley, you are always in fear, insecurity, always in danger. The valley is filled with ghosts, shadows, enemies, hatred all around.

I have heard about a housefly who was passing by a supermarket. In one window insecticides were on display. She read the sign; in big red letters it was written, “New spray guaranteed to kill flies IMMEDIATELY!” She read the sign and as she flew away, muttered to herself, “There is too much hatred in the world!”

You live in the world of the valley. There, everything is guaranteed to kill immediately. You live in the valley of death – nothing else is guaranteed there, only death is guaranteed.

Have you ever observed the fact that in life, everything is uncertain except death? It should be otherwise, but the only certainty that you have is a guarantee to die, that’s all. This much can be said in the valley: you will die, that much is certain. Everything else is uncertain and accidental – it may happen, it may not happen. What type of life is this where only death is guaranteed? But it is so, because in darkness only death can exist; in unconsciousness only death can exist. Unconsciousness is the path towards death.

Whenever you want to be unconscious, you want to die. A deep urge to die is in you, otherwise you would start moving towards the height. Freud, in the last phase of his life, stumbled upon a very deep fact: he called it thanatos – the wish towards death. His whole life he was thinking around libido – a theory which says that man exists as a will to live; but the more he penetrated into the will to live, the more uncertain he became. The more he started to understand the will to live, he found that deep down there is a will to die.

It was very difficult for Freud because he was a linear thinker, one-dimensional, and he was an Aristotelean, a logician. This was very contradictory that behind the libido – the lust to live, the will to live – there is a will to die, thanatos. He became very much disturbed. But that’s what Buddha has always been saying, and that’s what Jesus has been saying: that as you are, you are so useless, your whole life is so futile, just full of frustrations, that you would like to die.

When you take something to become unconscious, the wish to die is there – because unconsciousness is a temporary death. You cannot live without sleep even for a few days, because sleep is a sort of temporary death. You need it, you need it very deeply. If you cannot die every day for eight hours you will not be able to live the next day – because your whole life is such a mess, and ‘to be’ is not bliss; rather, ‘not to be’ seems to be blissful. So wherever you can lose yourself you feel blissful. If you can lose yourself in a political movement, if you can become a Nazi and you can lose yourself in a crowd, you feel good because this is a death – you are no longer there, only the crowd exists.

That’s why dictators succeed – because of your wish to die. Dictators succeed even in the twentieth century, because they give you a chance to die so easily. That’s why wars have always existed, and they will continue to exist because you are not changing in any way. Man is not transforming himself. Wars will exist because they are a deep will to die. You want to kill and you want to be killed. Life is such a burden that suicide seems to be the only solution. If you have not committed suicide up to now, don’t think that you are truly a life-lover. No! You are simply afraid. You are not a lover of life, because a lover of life will always move towards the heights – the higher the peak, the more life. Hence Jesus can promise, “Come to me, and I will give you life in abundance!”

Hence Jesus says, “I am life, great life. Come to me!” But to come to Jesus is very difficult because you have so much investment in the valley, in the dark ways of life, and you are so afraid of being alive. You make many arrangements in order not to be too alive, you exist with the minimum of life. You exist like an automaton, you turn everything into a mechanical thing so that you need not bother about it – you need not live in it.

Wars will continue, violence will continue, and men will go on killing each other. The whole effort has been to create a device which can become a global suicide, and now we have discovered it – the H-bomb. Why are scientists continuously working, devoting their whole lives to creating destructive things? – because that is the deepest desire in man: to die, somehow to die. It is not very conscious, because if it becomes conscious you will start transforming yourself. Many times you assert, “It would have been better if I had not been born!”

One Greek philosopher, Philo, is reported to have said, “The first blessing is not to have been born; the second blessing is to die as soon as possible.” And he says these two are the only blessings. First, not to have been born – but no one is that fortunate because everybody is already born. So only the second is available – to die as soon as possible. Philo himself lived to be ninety-seven. Somebody asked him, “But you have not committed suicide?” So he said, “I have just been tolerating life to give the message to others – the message that to die is the only solution.”

Suicide is a deep-rooted instinct. Immediately you feel anything going wrong you feel you want to commit suicide, to destroy yourself. A religious man is one who becomes alert that a deep death- wish is hidden inside. Why is it there? You have to bring more light into yourself so that you can become aware of the corner where death is hidden and continuously eating you. It is not that suddenly one day you die – you die slowly for seventy years. Death is not a phenomenon that comes in the end, it starts with birth. Then every breath and every moment is simply nothing but a continuity of dying and dying and dying. It completes itself in seventy years because it is a very slow process.

But you have been dying, and you are waiting deep down to be finished – the sooner the better. You have not committed suicide because you are very afraid, scared: what will happen? So you tolerate life, you are not enjoying it as a gift of God. You are simply tolerating it, you are simply carrying it somehow, waiting for the moment when you can get out of the train.

Once it happened: Thomas Edison was invited for a dinner at which a few friends had gathered. He was a man of few words and he was always disturbed whenever there was a crowd. He was a lonely worker in his laboratory; he was a researcher, a contemplative man; the presence of the other was always a disturbance for him. And at the dinner there were many people and they were so engaged in eating, gossiping and discussing that he felt, “Now, this is the moment I can escape!” So he just started to look for the door through which he could escape – and then he was caught. The host caught him and asked, “Mr. Edison, what are you working on now?” He said, “The exit!”

Everybody is working for the exit. Become alert to it!

Why can’t you enjoy life – which is a gift? You have not earned it, that’s why I say it is a grace. Existence has given it to you – you can call it God – it is a simple gift, a pure gift; you have not done anything to achieve it, to gain it. Why can’t you be blissful and thankful and enjoy it? It should be enjoyed dancing. But what is the problem? It is because greater awareness is needed to enjoy bliss; to suffer anguish there is no need to be aware. To suffer anguish, more darkness is needed, less consciousness is needed – night is needed, not day. But to enjoy bliss, more alertness is needed.

So if you see a saint who is sad, know well that he is not a saint, because awareness will give a blissfulness, awareness will give a deep laughter to his whole being, awareness will give him something so that he will become childlike. He can run after a butterfly, he can enjoy simple food, and he can enjoy the ordinary things of life so much that everything becomes a gift. Everything becomes a grace from God and he can be thankful moment to moment – even for his breathing. He can even enjoy his breathing, simple breathing – it is so blissful! If you find a saint who is sad, know well something has gone wrong. He still lives in the valley, he has not moved to the peak. Otherwise, he has a radiance, a lightness, a childlike enjoyment, unworried, unafraid – he is fortified in his consciousness.

Why does consciousness fortify you? – because the more conscious you become, the more you know you cannot die, there is no death. Death exists only in the dark valley. And if you are fortified against death, you are fortified. The more conscious you are, the more you know you are the eternal, the divine. Right now you don’t know who you are. This is the valley of ignorance, and there only death happens, nothing else; and you live trembling, shaking with fear. If you look within you will find only fear and nothing else, because around you there is only death, nothing else. So this is natural: with death all around, fear inside is a natural counterpart.

If you move to the heights, love will be within and eternity all around. There will be no fear – there cannot be, because you cannot be destroyed, you are indestructible. There is no possibility of your death, you are deathless. This is the fortification Jesus talks about.

A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED – but remember the high altitude is the fortification – CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

This is very paradoxical: in the valley you constantly fall, on the top never. This is paradoxical because we see people falling from the top. In the valley, why should one fall? One is walking on level ground, people fall from heights – that is a myth. In the inner world nobody falls from the heights; once the inner height is achieved, one never falls from it. Nothing can be taken from you if you have achieved it in the within. But without, your myth is true.

People fall whenever they are on the heights, but those heights belong to the valley, they are not real heights. If you have fame, you can be certain that sooner or later you will be defamed; if you are on the throne, sooner or later you will be dethroned. Whatsoever you achieve in this world will be taken away. But in the inner world, whatsoever you achieve you achieve forever, it cannot be taken away. Knowing cannot go back; once achieved, it becomes part of you. It is not something you possess – it becomes your being and you cannot unknow it.

Once you have known that you are deathless, how can you unknow it? There is no way to unlearn it – you have learned. And only that which cannot be unlearned is real knowledge. That which can be unlearned is just memory, not knowledge; that which you can forget is just memory, not knowledge.

Knowledge is that which you cannot forget, there is no way to forget it. It has become your being, it is part of you, your very existence. You need not remember it – you need remember only those things which are not part of you.

FORTIFIED, A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

And you cannot hide it. A city built on the top will be known – for eternities it will be known, there is no way to hide it. How can you hide a Buddha? It is impossible! How can you hide a Jesus? It is impossible! The phenomenon is so tremendous, their existence is so penetrating, that the impact will last.

You can crucify a Jesus, but you cannot neglect him. And those who crucified him still suffer for that crucifixion. Just a single man was killed, an ordinary son of a carpenter – nothing important. The Jews must have thought that way because nobody was bothered: if you kill a carpenter’s son and you kill according to the law, there is no problem. But Jews have suffered for two thousand years because of that crucifixion, generation after generation. They have been continuously crucified, just for this one man. It looks very illogical, and Jews go on saying, “We have not done anything!” They are right in a way, because those who did it, they died long ago.

But a person like Jesus moves with the timeless. As far as Jesus is concerned, the crucifixion is going to remain forever and forever. It is not past, because a person like Jesus is never past – it is a fact right now: he is crucified. Jews may think, “We did it in the past, but those who did it are no more. We never did it – we may belong to those who did it, but we never did it!” but Jesus’ crucifixion is now going to be an eternal fact. Now it cannot be moved into the past, it is going to be a live wound; the wound is going to remain there in the heart. And Jews have suffered, they have suffered too much it seems, because just for one man millions of Jews have been killed these twenty centuries. Just for one man, millions of Jews? It seems unjust.

But you don’t know this man, that’s why it seems unjust. This man is worth more than millions of men. The day they crucified this son of a carpenter they played with a tremendous fire. They tried to hide it, but it cannot be hidden. They tried to hide it: there exists no Jewish record in which Jesus is crucified. Christian records exist, but Jews have not even recorded the fact that he was crucified. But you cannot hide it, and Jews started to disappear. They suffered because they tried to close their eyes against the sun. And this is the misery of the whole thing: that they gave birth to Jesus.

Jesus was a Jew and he remained a Jew up to the very last moment – he was never a Christian. And the Jews had been waiting for this man for many thousands of years. Their prophets in the past had told them, “A man will come who will deliver you. Soon a man will be there who will become your salvation.” From the housetops, for thousands of years, prophets had been telling this to the Jews, and the Jews had been waiting, waiting. They prayed and they waited and they waited – and this is the irony: when the man came, they refused him! When the man came and knocked at their door, they said, “No! You are not that promised one.” Why?

It is easy for the mind to wait, because the mind can go on hoping, desiring, dreaming. But when God knocks at your door, remember, you will also refuse – even though you may have been praying. But when God knocks at the door, what is the problem? Why do you refuse? – because only one can exist in the house. When God knocks at the door, you have to disappear – that’s the problem.

Waiting, you exist, your ego exists. The Jews were very egoistic about the promised man to be born in their race. They were the chosen few; God had chosen them and the son of God was going to be born in a Jewish family – the ego felt very good about it. But when this chosen man came and knocked at the door and said, “I have come to fulfill the promise,” they said, “No, you are not that chosen man, and if you try to say that you are, we will kill you!” What was the problem?

The problem is human. The problem is that if Jesus exists, then you have to disappear, you have to dissolve in him – you have to surrender. It was good for the ego to think that the promised man will come to us, the chosen race of the world, but it was very difficult to accept the man when he came.

They killed Jesus, but they have not even recorded it. They wanted to forget this whole thing so that they could hope again – and they are hoping still. The Jews are still hoping for the promised man. And I tell you, if he comes again – he will not come, because he must have learned by experience – if he comes again, they will crucify him again. And they have suffered a lot, just because they tried to ignore the city built on the mountain-top.

They tried to hide a city built on the mountain-top, they tried to hide the sun – they tried to hide the truth. They crucified the truth. But truth cannot be crucified, you cannot kill it; it is eternal, it is deathless. And still they have not become aware why they have suffered so much. The guilt… they still feel guilty deep down. A Jew is never without guilt – the guilt follows like a shadow. The guilt is that they refused the promised one when he came. And Jews know deep down that they have committed the greatest sin that is possible: to refuse God when he knocks at your door.

And he is not going to fulfill your expectations – whenever he comes he will be a stranger. Because if he fulfills your expectations, then he is no longer God. God is always a stranger, always the unknown, knocking at the door of the known. He cannot come in the form of the known, it is not possible – he remains always the unknown, the mysterious. You would like him to come according to the formula. No! He follows no formula, he is not dead – only dead matter follows a formula. Life lives as a mystery.

A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED, CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

JESUS SAID: WHAT THOU SHALT HEAR IN THINE EAR AND IN THE OTHER EAR, THAT PREACH FROM YOUR HOUSETOPS; FOR NO ONE LIGHTS A LAMP AND PUTS IT UNDER A BUSHEL, NOR DOES HE PUT IT IN A HIDDEN PLACE, BUT HE SETS IT ON THE LAMPSTAND SO THAT ALL WHO COME IN AND GO OUT MAY SEE ITS LIGHT.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whatsoever you have heard, go and shout it from the housetops so that others can hear it… FOR NO ONE LIGHTS A LAMP AND PUTS IT UNDER A BUSHEL, NOR DOES HE PUT IT IN A HIDDEN PLACE….”

Jesus says, “Go and tell the good news! Go and tell that the unknown has entered into the known; go and tell that in your routine world the mysterious has entered! Go and tell it from the housetops so that people can hear, and people can come and know and be benefited – don’t be shy about it!”

There is a deep problem about this. It is very difficult- it must have been very difficult for Jesus’ disciples, it is always so – to tell others that the son of God has come. Very difficult, because people will laugh, they will say you have gone crazy. They will not believe that Jesus is the Christ – they will believe you are crazy. If you say, “Jesus is God,” they will think you have gone completely mad: “You need some psychoanalysis – go and visit a doctor, take some medicine, rest and relax! If you think this, something is wrong with you, something has gone wrong in you!”

It is very difficult to tell people that someone has become realized. Why? – because whenever someone becomes realized it becomes a deep wound in you, it becomes a deep hurt: you could have become the same, but you have missed. A comparison enters, your ego feels hurt: “Jesus is the son of God? Why am I not? The case should have been otherwise. How has Jesus become the son of God?” And it is easier to deny this than to change yourself and become the son of God. It is easier because ‘no’ is always the easiest thing in the world: nothing is to be done, you say no and it’s finished! If you say yes everything starts, nothing is finished. No is always the end, yes is always the beginning.

If you say, “Yes, Jesus is the son of God,” then you have to transform yourself. Then you cannot remain with this yes, you have to move, you have to do something. If you say no, the problem is solved. Then whatsoever you are, wherever you are – in the valley, in darkness, in death – you are at ease. Jesus creates an unease in you; Buddha moves amidst you and he creates an unease, and we take revenge – because if one man can reach such a height, how is it that you have missed? It is better to say that there is no height, nobody has ever reached it. Then you are at ease in your darkness, then you can be comfortable.

Jesuses and Buddhas, they are very great tensions, because they uproot you from the valley, they shake you from your sleep and they say, “Move on -this is no place to stay!”

There is a saying of Jesus: “This world is just a bridge. Move on! This is no place to make a home. Cross it, but don’t stop on it. Nobody makes a house on the bridge.” This world is just a bridge and you have made a house on it. You would not like to know the fact that this is a bridge, because then what will happen to all your effort and labor and all your investment and your whole life devoted to making this house? And now somebody comes, a vagabond, who says, “What are you doing? This is a bridge!” So it is better not to look down into the river.

Why is it a bridge? – because Jesus, or people like Jesus, never use a single word without deep meaning. It is a bridge because it is on a river, and the river is of the momentary. Time is just a momentary river – it goes on flowing and flowing.

Heraclitus has said, “You cannot step in the same river twice” – because if you come to step twice, the river has gone; it is some other water that is flowing now, the same water is not there. The river gives you the appearance that it is the same river, but there is no fixed riverlike thing. A river means change – it is going, going, going, flowing. Why does Jesus call this world a bridge? – because you have made it on the temporary: time, the river of time, everything moving. Move from this bridge. This is no place to make a house.

But if somebody comes and tells you this, when for fifty years you have been making the house and now it is almost ready… and remember, it is always almost ready, never ready! It cannot be, that is not the nature of it. When it is almost ready and you were just going to rest from the whole effort and tension of building the house, if this man comes and he says, “This is on the river,” rather than believing in this man and looking down, you would like to say, “Go away, you are a fool!” Or if this man insists, as Jesus goes on insisting and hammering, you will become angry. Hence he was crucified – it was too much trouble.

Socrates was poisoned, because the whole of Athens was in discomfort because of this man. He would catch hold of you anywhere in the marketplace and ask uncomfortable questions – destroying your comfortable lies. He became such a nuisance! In the valley, a Buddha is always a nuisance. Socrates created so much anguish and anxiety. People could not sleep, they could not do their work well because he created doubt. He said, “What are you doing? This is a river and this is a bridge – and you are building your house here, in this market? Seek the eternal, the truth!” Socrates became such a nuisance that they had to poison him.

In the valley, that has always been happening. If a man with eyes comes to a town of blind men, they will kill him – or if they are kind, they will operate on his eyes. But they will do something, because simply coming there that man makes them blind! They think they have never been blind – they never knew it – and this man comes and he says, “You are blind, you are mad!” He makes them aware of things they don’t want to be aware of. Those things create anxiety.

Jesus says to his disciples, “Go, and cry from the housetops!” Why from the housetops? – because people are almost deaf, they don’t hear, they don’t want to hear. Even when they listen they are not hearing, they are somewhere else. Even when they nod they are simply bored. They may tolerate it but they never enjoy the truth, because truth will always make you uncomfortable, bound to do so – because you live in the valley of lies.

Your whole life is such a lie: you have been lying to others, to yourself, and you have made everything around lies. Now somebody comes and speaks the truth. If somebody comes to a man who believes that he is healthy when he has all sorts of diseases and says, “What nonsense you are talking – you are ill!” that man thinks, “This man is a bad omen – he is making me ill. I was absolutely okay.” Making you alert, making you aware of the truth, destroys your palaces, dream palaces you have made out of cards, out of playing cards.

Jesus says: Go, and whatsoever you have heard me telling you… PREACH FROM YOUR HOUSETOPS; FOR NO ONE LIGHTS A LAMP AND PUTS IT UNDER A BUSHEL. Don’t be shy, and don’t be afraid! The light is there, now don’t hide it:… NOR DOES HE PUT IT IN A HIDDEN PLACE, BUT HE SETS IT ON THE LAMPSTAND SO THAT ALL WHO COME IN AND GO OUT MAY SEE ITS LIGHT.

This has always been a problem: Buddha, Mahavira, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, Zarathustra, they always have to insist continuously that the disciples go and tell others. The opportunity will not be forever – Jesus will not be there in his physical body forever, and if you cannot recognize him when he is in his physical body, how will you be able to recognize him when he is not? If his physical presence cannot become a revelation to you, how can it become a revelation to you when he has disappeared into the universal?

Only rarely does someone become enlightened, only rarely does someone’s darkness disappear. It is such a rare phenomenon and it is not going to last forever – hence Jesus is always in a hurry. He knows well. And Jesus had the most limited time on earth; he died when he was thirty-three. He started preaching when he was thirty, he died when he was thirty-three – only three years. He was in a great hurry. He knew this crucifixion was going to happen, so he said, “Go and make as many people aware and alert as possible. The door is open, now they can enter into the divine.”

But the disciples always remained wavering. Only when Jesus died did they start preaching – that too always happens – because when Jesus disappeared, only then they realized what had happened to their lives. When Jesus is there you become accustomed to the light that Jesus is; when he disappears, then darkness; and then you feel what light you have missed, and then you go on preaching from the housetops. When Jesus was there something was possible, but now nothing is possible.

You go on for centuries – the church is doing that: all over the world they go on preaching, preaching that Jesus is the light. But now it cannot be very helpful because the door has disappeared, now Jesus has become invisible. He can help, but if you cannot see the light when it is visible, how can you see it when Jesus becomes invisible? If you cannot enter the door when it opens just in front of you, how will it be possible for you to enter a door which is not visible at all? Difficult!

But disciples themselves become alert when the light disappears. Then they start crying and weeping, and then they know… because only through contrast do you come to know; you only become aware that you were alive when you are dying. When you come to the moment of death, then you become aware what life was and how you have missed it. It is said that only when people die do they come to know that they were alive – otherwise they miss.

JESUS SAID: IF A BLIND MAN LEADS A BLIND MAN, BOTH OF THEM FALL INTO A PIT.

So don’t be shy! Go and tell others that there is a man who has eyes; otherwise people will be led astray, because people have a need to be led. If you cannot find a Buddha or a Jesus, you will still follow someone because there is a great need to follow. There is a great need because you don’t know where to go. Somebody says, “I know…” so what to do?

Jesuses are not available every day, Buddhas are not born every day. But the need is there! If you cannot get the right food you will eat the wrong food, because the hunger is there every day. And it is very easy to find a blind man because you are blind – you understand the language. It is very easy to follow a blind man because you both belong to the same world of darkness, the same valley. It is much easier to be convinced by a blind man that he is the master, than to be convinced by a man who is not blind – because he uses a different language, he talks about a different world; he is so strange, you cannot understand him.

It is always easy to follow a wrong master, because you are wrong; something is similar between you and the master. But: IF A BLIND MAN LEADS A BLIND MAN, BOTH OF THEM FALL INTO A PIT.

It happened: Mulla Nasruddin died and his two disciples committed suicide – because without the master, what could they do? Mulla leading, the disciples following, they all three knocked at the door of the other world, a beautiful gate. Nasruddin said, “Look! This is what I promised – and I always deliver whatsoever I promise. We have reached heaven!” They entered.

The guide took them to a beautiful palace and he said, “Now you are going to live here for eternity, and whatsoever you need, you just tell me and I will fulfill it immediately.”

Mulla said, “Look! This is what I promised and I have delivered it!”

For seven days they lived in rapture, because whatsoever they needed, immediately the demand was fulfilled – whatsoever it was. All their desires of millions of lives were fulfilled within seven days, because there was no effort to be made, no time to be wasted. But by the seventh day they became very frustrated, because when you get something too easily, you cannot enjoy it. And when you get it so immediately that there is no gap between the desire and the fulfillment, you become fed up – that’s why rich men are so fed up. A poor man can have a little dance in his life, but not a rich man. Look at kings: they are dead, fed up with everything, because everything is available. Availability is such a great problem – greater than poverty, greater than scarcity.

By the seventh day they were fed up, because they enjoyed the most beautiful women, the most costly wine, the best food, the costliest clothes – they lived like emperors. But then what to do? By the seventh day Mulla asked the guide, “We would like to have a look down on the world. We would like to open a window so we can look at the earth.”

But the guide said, “Why?”

Mulla said, “Just to regain our interest, it will be helpful to regain our desire.” So the guide opened a door, they looked down at people on the earth – they looked at us – people struggling their whole lives and not achieving much, and they regained their hunger by contrast.

They enjoyed seven days again, but again they became fed up. Now the same medicine wouldn’t do; just looking at the world would not be of much help, they had become immune. So Mulla said, “Now I have another ridiculous demand: we would like you to open a door into hell, so we can look at hell and regain our taste. But we have become afraid – because what will we do after it?”

The guide started laughing and he said, “Where do you think you are?” They were in hell!

If all your desires are fulfilled you will be in hell, because you don’t know the bliss of desirelessness, you know only the struggle. That’s why poets say that the pleasure is in the waiting, not in the meeting; the pleasure is in desiring, not in fulfillment. And they are right about you. Whenever everything is fulfilled what will you do? Then you will come to know that you have been in hell.

But this happens if you follow a blind man: even if you reach heaven, it will turn out to be a hell, because blindness can never reach heaven. Heaven is not really a place to reach, it is a state of consciousness; it is not somewhere in geography, it is not geographical – it is something in you. Hell and heaven both exist in you. But if you follow a blind man, how can a blind man lead you towards the heights? He will lead you into the valley. But there is a need to be led – be aware of that need.

You want to be led, because then the responsibility goes to the other. It is better to have a blind leader than none – this is your state of mind. Hence Jesus says, “Go and tell people from the housetops that the master is here!” Jesus has appeared, and the chance is rare, and there is every possibility you may miss the opportunity. Run and catch hold of this man, because few are the moments when the door of heaven opens! Those are the moments when a man becomes enlightened. Then he is a door: then you can look through him and you can realize the whole truth.

A master is not a man who teaches you, a master is a man who awakens you. A master is not a man who has some information to give to you, a master is a man who is going to give you a glimpse into your own being. But this became a problem: if Jesus had remained silent nobody would have crucified him. But he was in a hurry, and he started moving around the country and telling people. That created a problem because nobody understood him – everybody misunderstood him. This is going to be so, because between two different dimensions communication is impossible. He talked about the kingdom of God and people thought he was talking about some kingdom here.

He said, “I am the king,” and people thought that he was going to dethrone the king here. He taught, “Those who are meek shall inherit the earth” – he was talking about something else, but people thought he was promising his disciples, “You will inherit the earth.” Then the politicians became afraid, because ‘kingdom’, ‘king’, ‘inheritance of the earth’ – all these terms are political. Priests also became afraid because whatsoever he said was beyond law.

Love is always beyond law. Love cannot follow any law because it is a superior law, the highest. When you love, everything is okay because love cannot do anything wrong. There are no regulations and rules for it – rules and regulations exist because you can’t love, because you are incapable of love. That’s why there are so many rules: so that you cannot harm the other, so that you are prevented from harming the other. But when you love, why should you harm the other? Rules disappear.

And Jesus talked about the ultimate law, love. Then priests became afraid, then the judges, magistrates, the legal system became afraid that he would make a chaos, he would create anarchy. He was crucified because he became a troublemaker.

This need not happen. It has happened in the past but this need not happen now, because now, after thousands of years experiencing Buddhas, Mahaviras, Zarathustras, Jesuses, Mohammeds, we must become more alert!

But no, it is still the case – as if man never learns. His stupidity seems to be ultimate, final, and he goes on rationalizing his stupidity. He fortifies his stupidity, his ignorance, and whosoever comes to take it away looks as if he is the enemy. Friends look like enemies, enemies look like friends. Those who can lead seem to be leading you astray, those who are blind are your leaders.

First understand your need to be led. It is beautiful, because that shows a search – but don’t be in a hurry to follow anybody. How will you decide? What is the criterion? For the seeker this is one of the most puzzling things: how to decide who is Jesus and who is a blind man? Certainty seems to be impossible, but glimpses of certainty are possible. You cannot be absolutely certain from the very beginning, because the very nature of the thing is such: how can a blind man decide that the other has eyes? The only decision, the only certainty possible is when he starts seeing. Then he will be able to decide – but then there will be no need. When you become a Buddha there is no need to recognize a Buddha; when you are like Jesus there is no need to know Jesus or follow Jesus. This is the paradox.

You are blind and you have to choose – how will you decide? By the words? Then you will be deceived, because scholars, pundits, priests, they are very clever with words. Nobody can defeat them, because they have been in the business for a long time. Jesus will look poor in his words – the high priest of the Jews could have defeated him easily. That would not have been a big problem. Kabir or Buddha can be defeated easily through argument, through logic. You cannot judge through words, you will be deceived – don’t use that criterion.

A Jesus can be judged only by his being: be near him – don’t try to listen to what he is saying, try to listen to what he is. That is the key: just be near him. Hindus have called it satsang, just being near the truth. Just be near – don’t listen to what he is saying, don’t get engaged intellectually – just listen to what he is.

Being vibrates, being blooms, being has a fragrance about it. If you can be silent near a Jesus, you will start listening to his silence. And that silence will make you so blissful, and that silence will make you so fulfilled, so overflowing with love and compassion – that is the criterion. If you do that with a pundit, with a man of knowledge, then you will simply be filled with misery – because he is as miserable as you are. If you listen to the words, he will look very great. If you listen to his being, to his vibrations, to the throbbing of his life, he is as miserable as you are – maybe more. That’s why he has become a man of words: to hide his misery. That’s why he talks theories, philosophies, systems; that’s why he argues – because he does not know.

A man who knows does not really argue, he simply states, he simply says…. Look at these sayings of Jesus – he is not arguing, he is not giving any reasons, he is simply making statements, simple statements.

A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED, CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN – no argument, just a simple statement of fact.

WHAT THOU SHALT HEAR IN THINE EAR AND IN THE OTHER EAR, THAT PREACH FROM YOUR HOUSETOPS; FOR NO ONE LIGHTS A LAMP AND PUTS IT UNDER A BUSHEL, NOR DOES HE PUT IT IN A HIDDEN PLACE, BUT HE SETS IT ON THE LAMPSTAND SO THAT ALL WHO COME IN AND GO OUT MAY SEE ITS LIGHT –

no argument, not trying to prove anything, simply making a statement.

JESUS SAID: IF A BLIND MAN LEADS A BLIND MAN, BOTH OF THEM FALL INTO A PIT-simple statements of fact!

These words can be used more beautifully by a man of knowledge, but there you will be deceived.

Whenever you are in search of a master listen to his being. Learn the art of listening to his being; just be near him, feel him – through the heart. Suddenly you will feel you are changing, because he is a magnetic force. Suddenly you will feel something is going, a deep change within you. You are no longer the same, your room is filled with an unknown light – as if your burden has dropped for a moment, as if through him you have got wings, you can fly. And this is an experience. Only this experience will give you a right person, a man with eyes who can lead you.

Where is he going to lead you? He is going to lead you to yourself. A man of knowledge will always lead you to somewhere else, to a heaven somewhere in the sky, to a goal somewhere in the future. But a man of being, a Jesus, a Buddha, leads you nowhere else, just to yourself – because there is the goal. You are the target, you are the goal.

And listen through the heart; satsang, that is the criterion. Otherwise, blind men have been leading you for many lives, and again and again the blind leader and you have both fallen in the pit.

The last thing about the pit: whenever Jesus says, “They fall into the pit,” the pit is the womb. Whenever a blind man leads, both fall into the womb again – that is the pit. They are born again into the same miserable life, the same anguish starts in new forms. Nothing substantial changes, the story remains the same; the whole thing remains the same, just outer forms change. You are again in hell, again in misery – the womb is the pit.

When a man of being leads you, you never fall into the pit. Then you are born in another dimension, and it is no longer worth being born again into this world. You disappear from here, you appear somewhere else. That somewhere else is God, that somewhere else is nirvana.

Enough for today.


  1. JESUS SAID: A CITY BEING BUILT ON A HIGH MOUNTAIN AND FORTIFIED, CANNOT FALL NOR CAN IT EVER BE HIDDEN.

    JESUS SAID: WHAT THOU SHALT HEAR IN THINE EAR AND IN THE OTHER EAR, THAT PREACH FROM YOUR HOUSETOPS; FOR NO ONE LIGHTS A LAMP AND PUTS IT UNDER A BUSHEL, NOR DOES HE PUT IT IN A HIDDEN PLACE, BUT HE SETS IT ON THE LAMPSTAND SO THAT ALL WHO COME IN AND GO OUT MAY SEE ITS LIGHT.

    JESUS SAID: IF A BLIND MAN LEADS A BLIND MAN, BOTH OF THEM FALL INTO A PIT. 

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