Chapter 4: Go with the River

Question 3



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Question 3


Yes, every child has been inoculated. Every child has been destroyed. Every child has been conditioned in such a way that he cannot get the measles I am talking about.

You have been brought up as a Christian or a Hindu. That very upbringing closes your doors. Even if Christ comes' to you, you will not be able to see him. The idea that Christianity has given to you about Christ is so false, it is so foolish. it is so inhuman, that if Christ comes to you, you will not be able to recognize him. You will not be able to get the measles even from Christ! And Buddhists have created the idea of Buddha so abstractly and they have so conditioned their children with that abstract idea, with that inoculation, that even if Buddha comes across you, you will not be able to recognize him. So it is not only that a Christian will not be able to recognize Buddha, Mahavir, Patanjali, he will not even be able to recognize Christ.

There is a beautiful story in one of Dostoevsky's novels, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. After eighteen hundred years Christ thinks, "Now almost half the world is Christian. If I go again I will be welcomed." The last time, they had treated him very badly, and it was natural because there was not a single Christian, there were only Jews; they tortured Jesus badly and they killed him. He must have still been thinking about the torture that he had met, but now he thinks, "Half of the world is Christian. Half of the world belongs to me; if I go now then people will simply fall at my feet. They will recognize a Christ has come back and he has fulfilled his promise."

So he comes, he comes to the small town of Bethlehem. Must be some old attachment with the town, some nostalgia of those days, where he had played and worked and had been a carpenter, must have loved women, played with friends. And he was a man who knew how to celebrate. He was a man who knew how to give parties, how to dance and sing and how to love people. And he was a man who knew how to drink. He had loved the small joys of life. He was a real human being.

And he used to call himself son of man more than he used to call himself son of God.

So he comes to Bethlehem. Naturally he descends in front of the church. He stands there under a tree. Naturally he has chosen Sunday -- all the Christians are together and it will be easier for them to recognize him, because Christians believe in the Sunday religion. Six days they don't bother at all. Six days who will look at him? But Sunday they will be free and they will be able to look at him, so he stands under a tree. People come out of the church. They see a young man, looks like a hippie -- long hair. They come around; seems to be a stranger in the town. The closer they come, the more they are surprised -- looks like Jesus Christ. Pretending well. Seems to be an actor. And they laugh and they say, "You did well, but escape before the priest comes out. Otherwise you are bound to get into trouble."

But Jesus says, "What do you mean, did well? I am Jesus Christ."

And they laugh and they say, "It is okay, but you just escape. You seem to be crazy. Jesus Christ, and you? Yes, he has promised to come, but he will come sitting on the clouds, angels dancing and singing around. Where are the angels and where is the cloud? And what proof have you got?" Proof -- a passport, a visa. "Have you got any certificate from your father?"

Jesus had not thought about these practical things. He looks a little uneasy and nervous. And before he can escape, the high priest comes. People very, very respectfully give way to the high priest. The high priest comes, looks at this young man, and tells him to come down. He was standing under the tree on a platform. "Come down, you fool. What are you doing here?"

Jesus says, "Even you cannot recognize me!"

The priest says, "I recognize you very well." And he tells a few people, church attendants, "Take this man into the church. Seems to be dangerous, this man. Pretending that he is a Jesus Christ.? This is sacrilege. This cannot be tolerated. This man has to be punished! You cannot take Jesus so nonseriously."

Jesus cannot believe it. He says, "But I am the real one."

The Priest says, "You keep quiet."

Jesus is chained, put into a dark cell in the church. He starts thinking and brooding "There seems to be no difference at all. This is the same way the Jews had acted. But they could have been forgiven because they did not know me. But my people, Christians, they sing to me every day, they think of me every day, they wait for me every day, and I have come, and they can't even recognize me. They think I am a pretender?"

Now he feels even sorrier than he had felt on the cross, because those were alien people. If they had killed him it was understandable, but are these people going to kill him again?

In the middle of the night he cannot sleep. In the middle of the night comes the priest with a candle, opens the door, locks it again, comes close to Jesus, falls at the feet of Jesus. And Jesus feels relieved, "So, nothing to be worried about. A little late, but he has recognized me."

The priest says, "I know who you are, but I cannot recognize you in the marketplace. And mind you, you are not needed at all. We are doing perfectly well. And you are the old disturber. If you come you will destroy everything that we have done in eighteen hundred years. It has been a long struggle to establish Christianity -- and you have always been against establishment. You are not establishment. We will pray to you, we will sing your name, we will praise you like anything, but please don't come. And if you insist on being recognized in the marketplace, then be ready: tomorrow morning you will be crucified. We cannot tolerate such things."

Now Jesus is even more puzzled. This man recognizes him; he says, "I know that you arc the true one, but I cannot recognize you."

The old priest says, "Listen to me. I am old, older than you, I am more experienced. I know how people live, I know how people behave. Don't try to be foolish again. Simply escape before the morning -- and never come back again."

This is a beautiful parable.

Yes, I know you are inoculated. That's why it is so difficult to catch the measles. I am carrying here. It is so difficult to drop your resistance. You find a thousand and one rationalizations how not to surrender. Surrender does not mean anything else: it simply means a state of no resistance, a state of vulnerability, a state of opening. And let me repeat: God cannot be taught, it can only be caught. God is like measles.

You say, "When I was a child I was inoculated against the measles." Everybody has been inoculated. The society takes every care to make you closed. That's why the work of a Master is so hard. To attain to God is not hard, but because of this inoculation.... First the inoculation has to be undone, and that is the really hard thing. The poison that has been put into you in the name of inoculation has to be driven out of your system. That's why so many techniques are needed, meditations are needed, so that the poison oozes out of your system. The day your system is free of inoculation, suddenly you find the measles have started happening. And blessed are those who can get these measles.


Next: Chapter 4: Go with the River, Question 4


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