One evening, there was a storm in Lake Galilee. A boat was on the verge of sinking. There seemed to be no way of avoiding disaster. Passengers and boatmen were equally helpless. Gusts of violent wind shook everyone to the core of their being. The waves had begun to break into the boat. The shore was far beyond reach. But amid the raging storm, a man was sleeping soundly in a corner of the boat, unruffled and unworried. His companions woke him up, shadows of imminent death lurked in their eyes.
Walking, the man asked, “Why are you all so frightened?” – as if there was no reason at all to be afraid. His companions stood dumbfounded. They could not utter a word. He asked them again, “Have you no faith?”
On saying this, with calmness and courage he rose and walked slowly to the side of the boat. The storm was lashing and raging in its final attempt to overturn the boat. Addressing the turbulent lake, he said:
“Peace, be still.”
He said, “Be still”, as though the storm were a naughty child. The passengers must have wondered what kind of madness this was. Do storms pay heed to entreaties? But even as they watched, the storm subsided and the lake became as calm as if nothing had happened.
The man had been heard.
The man was Jesus Christ and the incident is two thousand years old. But it seems to me that these events happen everyday.
Are we not constantly in the midst of a storm, a restlessness? Is not the shadow of imminent death constantly in our eyes? Is not the inner lake of our mind continuously disturbed? Does not the boat of our life constantly seem to be on the verge of sinking?
Jesus was crucified. On the night before the crucifixion, his friends said to him in the garden, “Tell God; ask him what you want.” Jesus remained laughing. Then the morning came when he was to be crucified and his friends were telling him again and again that he should ask his God not to let it happen. But Jesus only laughed. Then he was hanged on the cross. Nails were being hammered in his hands when a voice came from his mouth, he let go and let himself hung on the cross. Then it was not a cross, it had become a symbol.
Hanging on the cross became a symbol, an extraordinary symbol. A symbol with a strong and clear message that those who want to reach the divine should have the courage to hang their ‘I’, their ego on the cross.
But man is dishonest. there is no end to his dishonesty. Christian priests and pastors are roaming around the world hanging golden crosses in their necks! Ask them whether the neck is hanging on the cross or the cross is hanging on the neck? Man is deceptive. Jesus got hanged on the cross, his followers are wandering around hanging tiny cross on their necks. Even a cross can be turned into an ornament! Man is so dishonest, he forgets the very idea of giving, he forgets the very idea of effacing himself, he keeps remembrance only of getting.
There are countless theological colleges all around the world where they prepare their ministers, their priests, five years training. Has anyone asked them where Jesus was prepared and trained? Who taught Jesus how to speak?
All these Christian priests are dead, because everything about them is planned. When you say this, a certain gesture is to be made; even the gesture is not allowed to be spontaneous. When you say that, you have to give a certain look, even the eyes are not allowed to be spontaneous. How you have to stand, when you have to shout, and when you have to whisper, when you have to hammer the table and when not – everything is planned.
For two thousand years, Christian priests have been trained but they have not produced a single Jesus, and they will never produce one again because Jesus cannot be produced. You cannot produce Jesus in a factory and these theological colleges are factories. There you produce priests, and these priests are just boring, a burden, which is obvious. Christianity of Jesus and Christianity of Church are not the same. Christianity of church is of the mind where as Christianity of Jesus is of the heart.
Christians say Jesus never laughed. This seems absolutely foolish. Jesus must have laughed and he must have laughed so totally that his whole being must have become laughter – but the disciples couldn’t hear it, that is true. They must have remained closed, their own seriousness projected.
They could see Jesus on the cross because you all live in such suffering that you can only see suffering. If they had heard Jesus laughing, they would have omitted it. It is so contradictory to their life, it doesn’t fit in. A Jesus laughing doesn’t fit in with you, he becomes a stranger.
Christ talks about a kingdom. We understand what is meant by a kingdom. The Roman governor, Pilate, knew very well what is meant by a kingdom. He was an educated person, one of the most educated of those days. He knew everything; he was more educated than Jesus himself. Jesus was an uneducated man, a villager, a carpenter’s son. Those who crucified him were cultured, educated, civilized. But they crucified him because they could not understand what he was talking about. They asked him, ”Are you the king of the Jews?”
He said, “Yes. I am the king. Who else can be king?”
Of course he was, but in a very different sense. As far as the outward form is concerned he was a beggar and nothing more, but as far as the spirit is concerned he was a king. Those who thought themselves to be like kings were more like beggars so he said, “Yes, I am. Who else can be?” And whatsoever he was saying, he was saying with much consideration. He was right, a hundred percent right. But those who heard him just laughed. Either he was mad, or a very cunning fellow.
At the last moment, Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” Pilate was well versed in philosophy, he knew all the definitions – what is meant by truth – but he asked Jesus, “What is truth?”
It was right before Jesus went to the cross. Jesus just looked at him and didn’t answer. He knew very well that whatever he answered would lead to more trouble, more misunderstanding. If he had been silent all along, it would have been better. Whatsoever he had said had come to be understood as something that he had never meant. And these people who were crucifying him were all educated, they were all well cultured. They were people who knew.
Pilate asked again, “Tell me, what is truth?” Jesus remained silent. This silence is very meaningful. He was not a silent person, he was always ready to answer. He never lost an opportunity to talk about the kingdom of God and the truth about God. But now, he remained silent. It was a silent commentary, a silent verdict of a great failure. He had been saying things that were not understood. Each word he had uttered had led to a new misunderstanding. Truth is individual. That is why it is incommunicable. And because it is individual and not collective, society is not interested in religion at all. It appears to be interested, but it is not interested. It shows interest to the extent that religion, too, can be made into a social affair. Otherwise society is very anti-religious.
Whenever there is an individual who is really religious, society goes against him. It begins with a sort of religious façade, a deception, but whenever there is a religious individual or a genuine religion, it goes against them. It cannot tolerate a Christ but it tolerates popes, because popes are not religious at all. It can tolerate priests, but it cannot tolerate enlightened persons. Popes, priests, all the so-called organized religious sects, all create a deception, a false illusion of being religious. They create a sort of respectability.
What do you know about Christ? That he was born into a poor carpenter’s family? Nothing else is known about him until after seven years. And then only one event is known – that he was missing during some festival and his mother and father were searching for him. Then again there is a gap and then, when he is thirty, some events are recorded. And when he is thirty-three, the crucifixion is recorded. This is all that is known about his life: his birth and one or two events, ordinary events of childhood, and then whatever he said after his thirtieth year, is recorded in the gospels.
Whatsoever he said, the moment something is uttered, it becomes part of time; it can be recorded. But where a person like Jesus is concerned, every record contradicts every other record. St. Luke says one thing, St. Mark says something quite different, because what is recorded is not exactly what Jesus said. Only what is heard by the recorder is recorded.
So there are some sayings of Jesus that are recorded and then there is the crucifixion. This is all of Jesus’ life that is known. Compare with it the life of Adolf Hitler. Then you will see what the recording of a life means. Events and more events and still more events.
Is this record of the life of Jesus really a record? If this is really the record of the person Jesus was, it is such a bare, naked outline that no one seems to be behind it. It is not a biography, but only footnotes. The real biography is lost; only footnotes remain. Something that is not substantial, something that can be complementary only if the substance exists. In itself, it is meaningless. Jesus himself denied that anything that could be recorded about him was true. Once his mother and his brothers came to see him and someone said to him, “Your mother is asking to meet you. And your brothers have also come.” He said, “Who is my mother? Who is my brother? No one is my mother, no one is my brother.” All that you can record is about he who was born and yet Jesus said, “No one is my mother, no one is my brother. And unless you deny your mother, you will not be able to come to me.”
Jesus said, “Unless you deny your mother, unless you cut yourself off from your father, you will not be able to come to me.” He said: unless you deny the life of the form, you can never know the life of the spirit. If you do not deny history, you cannot know the mystery of existence.
That is why history could not record what happened to Jesus. It cannot record such things. But history is not at fault. The phenomenon itself is such. It is completely transcendental to history. History goes on recording progress. This progress is a horizontal progress: the progress of things, the progress of scientific knowledge, the progress of medicine, the progress of health. All that is concerned with the outward form is recorded, but the inner cannot be recorded. And the inner is the real, the significant, the substantial.
Jesus’ life was recorded by those who were trying to record him historically. The record is very naked, fragmented, useless. If you do not create a Christ of your own in your recording, then the record is meaningless. Those who were writing about Krishna knew that the phenomenon was not historic, that they could not record it. But their record is very rich; it is very imaginative. It is very fulfilling. It is total in a way. How much they have written about Krishna! They could write it because there was no limit to it. There was no temporal limit, they were not bound by any temporal limits. They could be creative with it. No one could say what they should be writing. Something may never have happened but they say that it need not have happened.
An epic was created around Ram, a story was created around Krishna. Everyone was at liberty. Valmiki wrote one thing; Tulsidas wrote something else. No one can say that they are contradictory.
Mark and Luke are contradictory because they are writing history. But Tulsidas and Valmiki are not contradictory. They are not writing history, they are not concerned with history at all. They are reliving, in their imaginations. They say, “We cannot say much. We cannot say enough because we are not capable. All that is said is only a fragment. It is not the whole story.”
If you yourself see Krishna, you will see something else altogether. But you are at liberty to see it because the event is not historical. So the life of Krishna or of Ram, becomes very rich. Jesus’ recorded life was very poor because his followers were obsessed with history. They could not write anything that was beyond history. The eastern mind could see that we cannot do justice to Krishna or Buddha if we limit ourselves to bare events. This will be an injustice because the real has happened somewhere else. Then how to
record the real?
It cannot be recorded. But, we can create a myth. And that myth can indicate, can show something about it. Those who will read the myth will not read a bare statement of events. They will go deep into the poetry of the myth, deep into the imagination. And it may be possible that somewhere, from their own imagination not from the facts – very far from the facts, from somewhere deep in their own unconscious minds, from what Jung calls ‘archetypes’ – they might get a glimpse; they may be able to know what has happened beyond history. They may be able to know, from deep down within themselves.
History cannot go deep inside you. Only poetry can. But only from within you something can happen which will be in sympathy with the non-temporal, which can be in communion with the non-historical. Krishna’s life and Buddha’s life are only jumping points to enable you to go deeply inside yourself.
Myth is needed. History is always of the past but myth is not only of the past; myth is also of the future. The form of the myth comes from the past, but the opening is always toward the future. If someone is thinking about Krishna in terms of myth. he is not only thinking about the past. He is thinking about the potentiality, about what is possible. Human consciousness can become Krishna-consciousness, it can evolve to that point. So myth is only nominally of the past. It always has an opening into the future.
History is always of the dead past. It has no future at all. But it dictates the future; the dead go on dictating. Stalin is still dictating, Hitler is still dictating. They go on dictating because of the obsession with history. If we can remove history, they will not be able to dictate. We will be free of them, unburdened.
Because they could not create a myth around Jesus, Christianity could not really flower into a religion. Without a myth, no religion is possible. Christianity remained a clerical thing. It could only create preachers – trained, dead, disciplined, knowing. The beauty and the poetry is not there, the original source is not there.
Because they could not create a myth around Christ, they tried to make a history out of him. Western history begins with Jesus, the very beginning of western history is Jesus. That is why you calculate time ‘before Jesus’ and ‘after Jesus’. He is the midpoint, the calculation begins with him. After Christ: A.D.; Before Christ: B.C.
The West tried to create history out of Jesus’ life and they killed Jesus in the process. When they tried to deal with Jesus historically, it became absurd. They were not able to explain the miracles, the resurrection could not be explained. The attempt was bound to be a failure. They were not able to explain the miracles, because miracles exist only in myths; they never exist in history. Because the western mind was trying to create history, the miracles of Jesus became absurd, contradictory.
Christianity would have been richer if, instead of history, there was a myth surrounding Jesus. If there had been a myth, then Christianity would not have become such a political religion. It would have been more religious. The source is there. You can go deep into Christianity and be revived by it. Then you will not only be a Christian by doctrine. You can become a Christian by unconscious communication.
The person who lives at his depths can accept all that is on the surface, but the person who lives on the surface cannot accept all that is deeply within him because the very acceptance will be humiliating To acknowledge that he has deeper depths within him will be a proof that he is only living on the surface. He will deny it. But a person who lives at his depths can accept the surface. He can say, “Yes, it is true. It is there; it exists. But deeper layers are also there. It’s not everything.”
One needs to dive deep, go deeper. Things are not always what they seem, there is a robe of our thinking which needs to be removed before analyzing a person, a situation or a religion. Be free of the thoughts, be free of the mind and learn to be of the heart, only then you will experience, know and learn being Jesus.