Laughter is the highest spiritual quality
I HAVE JUST READ AN ARTICLE BY STEPHEN JAY GOULD, A WARM, AMUSING, OPEN- MINDED SCIENTIST WHOSE FIELD IS BIOLOGY, AND PARTICULARLY EVOLUTION. IT SEEMS PROBABLE THAT ABOUT FIVE TO EIGHT MILLION YEARS AGO THE CHIMP-HUMAN ANCESTRAL LINE SPLIT INTO WHAT WAS TO BECOME MODERN CHIMP AND MODERN MAN.
Homo Erectus APPEARED ABOUT A MILLION OR SO YEARS AGO.
THE INTEREST IN ALL THIS IS THAT IF TRUE, IT MEANS THAT MAN LEARNED TO STAND UP VERY FAST IN EVOLUTIONARY TERMS - OVER ONLY ABOUT A MILLION YEARS.
ELSEWHERE, IN TRYING TO EXPLAIN MISSING FOSSILS IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT EVOLUTION IS NOT NECESSARILY SLOW, BUT MAY OCCUR IN SUDDEN LEAPS.
WHEN I THINK OF AN IMAGINARY CONVERSATION BETWEEN PRE-CHIMP AND PRE-HUMAN, AS THEY PARTED COMPANY SO LONG AGO, I THINK OF YOU TALKING TO MANKIND.
ARE WE LIVING THROUGH AN EQUALLY MOMENTOUS POINT IN EVOLUTION, WHERE YOU, AS THE FIRST OF Homo Novus POINT TO A BEAUTIFUL VISION WHICH IS AS FAR REMOVED FROM Homo Sapiens AS HE, IN TURN, IS FROM THE CHIMPANZEE? MIGHT THE JUMP INTO ENLIGHTENMENT AS A QUANTUM LEAP IN CONSCIOUSNESS HAVE ANY NATURAL EQUIVALENT IN EVOLUTIONARY JUMPS IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD?
The quantum leap is the latest discovery in modern physics. Up to now evolution was always thought of as a slow process. Hence it was always contrasted with revolution. Revolution was fast, quick; evolution was very slow.
But a quantum leap cannot even be called fast. It is instantaneous: from one point, from one stage, you disappear, and you appear at a higher, at a different point, at a different stage.
It was very puzzling in the beginning because no such thing had ever been conceived of. But slowly, slowly physics has settled with it, that it is a reality. Electrons disappear from one point and appear at another point and between the two there is no time gap. Here it disappears, there it appears; the distance is covered but time is not taken in covering the distance.
In physics it has now become accepted; in metaphysics, as far as human consciousness is concerned, it can be even quicker, because if matter can take such jumps that it moves almost beyond imagination, beyond the speed of time, in consciousness many more miracles are possible, because of course consciousness is the highest flowering of existence. It seems that the whole existence has been working to reach to the stage of a Gautam Buddha. Gautam Buddha followed slowly the path of evolution, because that was the only possibility in those days.
After twenty-five centuries, it is possible to declare that quantum leaps are available, for those who have the courage, in the field of consciousness too. Particularly in consciousness, time has no reference, no relevance - consciousness in non-temporal.
One can move from sleep to awakening instantly - or do you think it takes a long slow process - that first one is partly awake, then a little more awake, and by the evening one is fully awake? And then the second process starts - you start partly asleep, then more, then more, then by midnight you are fast asleep?
We know that it happens to everybody that you wake up instantly. Any device may do - just an alarm clock, which has nothing to do with you. The alarm clock is not even aware of you, is not concerned with you - it may be enough to change you from deep sleep into a quick awakening. The same is possible as far as spiritual sleep is concerned. It is only a question of finding a device. The problem is a little complicated, because an alarm clock will do for everybody, but spiritual devices are meant for unique individuals. One device will not work for all, because people are so different, so unique.
Nature does not produce carbon copies, everybody is original. Hence he needs an original device.
In the past, one hundred and twelve methods have been found for meditation - those are the devices. The undercurrent is the same, just the devices are a little different from each other, because individuals are different from each other.
The religions which have been teaching the same prayer to everybody are doing an enormous harm, because that prayer in the first place is based on a belief in a God no one has seen, no one has heard of. Different religions define God in a different way.
In England there is now a growing movement of satanism, devil worshippers. Thirty thousand people already openly declare that the devil is not God's enemy, but God's only begotten son. And they worship the devil because God, after creating the world, has either gone senile or has completely forgotten about the world. But one thing is certain, that he is no more interested, because after those six days, he has never been seen. There is not a single eyewitness. So why bother the old fellow? His young son, the devil... the word 'devil' helps them, because it comes from the same Sanskrit root as 'divine'. It means 'godly'.
It depends on you what you make of God, and such things. Nobody interferes. God has never said anything about himself. He has never said to any religion "Don't say these things, they are not true."
In fact God is only an image created by man, so is the devil.
You can change your images, and you can go on praying to your own handmade, homemade gods for millions of years. Nothing will happen to you, because these are not devices.
I have told you Leo Tolstoy's story. Before the Russian revolution, Russia was one of the most orthodox Christian countries, more than anywhere else. The archbishop of the Russian church was getting more and more angry about three men who lived beyond a lake, under a tree - poor folks, villagers, uneducated, uncultured; but people had started worshipping them as saints.
And thousands of people were going there. And that was hurting him very much. These were the people who were supposed to come to his church; they are going to three persons who are not even recognized by the church as saints.
The English word 'saint' is ugly. It comes from the original 'sanction' - a man who has been sanctioned by the church in his holiness. He has a certificate of holiness from the church.
These people have never been sanctioned in any holiness, and thousands of people are going.
Finally, outraged, he himself went in a boat.
Those three poor fellows were sitting under a tree, very happy, very peaceful, very silent. But the archbishop was very angry. He screamed at them, shouted at them. They all kneeled before him and said, "Forgive us if we have done anything wrong, but why are you shouting? What is the problem?"
The archbishop said, "Who told you you are saints?"
They said, "Nobody, and we don't think we are saints, we are poor people. But what can we do if people have started coming to us, just as you have come. What can we do?"
"But why have people started coming to you? What is your religion?"
They looked at each other. They said, "We are uneducated people; don't talk in such cultured, sophisticated language. Make it simple."
The archbishop was happy that they were humbled by him. He said, "What prayer do you do?" All the three giggled. He said, "What is there to giggle about; is this your prayer?"
They said, "No, this is not, but what it is creates giggling."
Everybody said to the other, "You say it." The second said to the third, "Better you say it. You are older than us. It is your right to say it."
The archbishop said, "I don't have much time. Say it! What is your prayer?"
They said, "We are ashamed. Just forgive us, because our prayer is very poor. Hearing that God is a trinity and we are also a trinity, we have made our own prayer. Our prayer is simple because we are very simple people. We cannot remember long words and big prayers. Our prayer is, 'You are three, we are three; have mercy on us.'"
Even the archbishop giggled. He said, "This is a prayer? You were right that it brings giggling. I have never giggled in my life, I am a serious man, but seeing you three fools creating a prayer on your own - and we have a prayer authorized by the church. I will tell you the authorized prayer, and from today, you start the authorized prayer. Become real Christians!"
They said, "We will try. Just tell us what we have to do." So he repeated the whole authorized Russian prayer. As he was saying the prayer, all the three were becoming very sad. At the end, they said, "It is almost impossible for us to remember. You will have to repeat it two, three times so that we can manage. One part I will remember, another part the other remembers, the third part, the third remembers. But the whole prayer to be remembered by one single person is asking too much."
He said, "Okay, that will do, but at least it will be authorized prayer, the right prayer, the only right prayer in the world." So he repeated again.
They thanked him; "It was great of you to come here. God must have sent you here."
And he went very happily back in his boat, feeling satisfied that now this foolishness will stop. People will not go to these people. I will expose them, that this is their prayer. And how have they become saints?
But in the middle of the lake, he saw suddenly all three running on water towards him. He said, "My God!"
They caught the boat and said, "One more time because we forgot. We forgot which part is to be remembered by whom. And there was so much conflict that we said it is better to go to you. You can decide which part - and the reality is, we have forgotten the prayer. You repeat it once more."
But now it was a revelation to the archbishop, that these people are walking on water. He said, "Forget the prayer I have told you. Your prayer is right. You continue your prayer, because I have been praying this authorized prayer my whole life. I cannot walk on water. My prayer has not been heard, but your prayer has been heard. You go. Just forgive me for interfering in your life. Whatever you are doing is right. Continue doing it in your own way."
These one hundred and twelve methods of meditation are exhaustive. There cannot be one hundred and thirteen. Everything that different human types will need is included in one hundred and twelve methods. And they are handed down from centuries. They are simple. The key in all those one hundred and twelve methods is witnessing - in different forms, in different strategies - but the innermost core is witnessing, awareness, watchfulness. You can call it anything, but it will be another meaning of witnessing.
With witnessing, you can have a quantum leap. You can move from your sleep - not the ordinary, but the spiritual sleep - and you can wake up. Not the ordinary waking that you have done every morning, but the real awakening, which brings you to the highest realization in life - of yourself, and the whole, and that you are part of it; that the whole is you and that you are the whole. There is no distinction.
Physics has given the words 'quantum leap'. No spiritual thinker, philosopher, has tried to think of a parallel for spiritual growth. That shows the poverty of your so-called spiritual thinkers, theologians.
But in fact, meditation is the way which can bring a sudden flare-up in your being. And not only that, it can start a chain reaction. One flares up and suddenly people of the same type, who have not even tried meditation, who are not even seekers, who have never thought about anything spiritual, catch the infection - it is contagious.
So a few people around the earth get the quantum leap, then thousands more will become part of a world-wide fire. And that is the only way to save whatever millions of years of evolution has brought to us.
You have to choose between Ronald Reagan and Gautam Buddha. It is not a coincidence that Ronald Reagan used to have a chimpanzee as his friend. A man is known by the company he keeps. And when he became president, the chimpanzee was also very happy.
They both went for a walk. An old man saw the chimpanzee and Ronald Reagan; he was ashamed that the president of America cannot find friendship with any human being, he has to find friendship with a chimpanzee.
He went close to them and said, "Mr. President, this does not look good."
Ronald Reagan said, "What does not look good?"
That old man said, "You shut up, idiot. I am talking to the president. You have no right to interfere.
You may be his friend, not mine."
The future is in danger if man does not understand the methods that can bring him quick transformation. We don't have time for evolution. We don't have time even for revolution. Only a quantum leap can save humanity and the universe.
And I think as the pressure of death, destructiveness, nuclear war, becomes more and more heavy, the quantum leap will also become more and more possible, because it will be the only way out of a global suicide.
WHEN WE START WATCHING OUR BODIES, AND THEN OUR MINDS AND EMOTIONS, THERE REMAINS AN ELEMENT, ALTHOUGH SUBTLE, OF CONCENTRATION. INITIALLY, FOR EXAMPLE, WATCHING MY BREATHING, I WOULD WATCH IT TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYTHING ELSE - HERE THERE WAS AN ELEMENT OF FOCUS. ON OTHER OCCASIONS, WHEN SILENCE IS JUST THERE, THE BREATHING MAY BE ALL THERE IS TO WATCH.
THIS SEEMS TO BE NEARER, BUT STILL I FEEL THAT MORE SOFT FOCUSING OF THE AWARENESS WOULD TAKE ME FURTHER AND FURTHER BACK, AS IF RELAXING ENOUGH TO LET THE WATCHER MOVE FAR ENOUGH AWAY SO THAT ALL IS SEEN, RATHER THAN ANY ONE THING LIKE THOUGHTS OR BREATHING. DOES RELAXING ALLOW THE WATCHER TO BE ON THE HILL?
It is true. Relaxation helps the most. No part of concentration should be in your watchfulness.
Concentration is sabotaging the whole process of watchfulness, because concentration is an act of the mind, and watchfulness is something that comes from above, from beyond.
If there is any concentration... I can understand, if you start watching your breathing - in the name of watching, you are concentrating on the breathing, you are excluding everything else. Don't exclude.
Watch your breathing inclusive of all.
Watching your breathing... a temple bell starts ringing, a car passes by, a child starts crying - all that should be included. Your watchfulness should be open. Watching the breathing is simply to begin with. It is not the end. It is just learning how to watch.
But there is a difficulty - you can start thinking that concentration is watching. Concentration is not watching. Concentration is narrow, narrowing the mind, bringing it to a focus on one thing, forgetting everything else. That's why in relaxing, you will feel more watchful, yet without concentration. If that is happening, that's perfectly good.
The essential thing is watchfulness, inclusive of all. Concentration can be disturbed, watchfulness cannot be disturbed. These are the differences. If somebody is concentrating on something, anybody can disturb him. Just a small boy can do something and he is distracted and his focus is lost - or not even a small boy, just the wind comes and the door opens and the noise is enough.
So you will find the phenomenon in so-called religious people. They are always angry, because their concentration is continuously disturbed.
Watchfulness cannot be disturbed. It is simply inclusive of all. If the door opens, makes a noise, the wind passes through the trees singing its song, it is available to it. It is not choosing breathing or anything in particular, but simply being there, open, available, present to everything that is happening.
So remember the difference: concentration is sabotaging watchfulness.
To begin with, something has to be given to you, so you can have a little taste of what watchfulness is. Then it has to be made wider and wider and bigger, so much bigger that there is no need to do anything. You simply sit, or lie down relaxedly and everything that is happening around you is mirrored in you.
You don't think about it, you don't justify it, you don't condemn it, you don't evaluate it - you simply watch.
So it is perfectly right. Relaxation, utter relaxation with no focusing of consciousness is real watchfulness.
ONCE, SOME YEARS AGO, WHILE MAKING LOVE, I DISAPPEARED. I WOULD LIKE TO SAY, "LITERALLY DISAPPEARED," BECAUSE I FELT AS IF ALL OF ME SIMPLY VANISHED. BUT CERTAINLY MY BODY MUST HAVE BEEN THERE, BECAUSE MY PARTNER DIDN'T NOTICE THAT HE WAS SUDDENLY ALONE. I HEARD MY VOICE SAY: "I AM GOING," AND THEN POSSIBLY ONLY FOR A SECOND OR TWO, NO ONE WAS THERE. THOUGH I HAVE HAD MOMENTS OF JOY WHILE MAKING LOVE SINCE, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PRESENT TO KNOW THAT THEY ARE MOMENTS OF JOY. PRESUMABLY ECSTASY WAS THE TRIGGER FOR WHAT HAPPENED, BUT THE HAPPENING ITSELF WASN'T ECSTATIC, IT WASN'T ANYTHING, IT SIMPLY WAS.
IS MEDITATION THAT PREVIOUS STAGE OF ECSTASY, OR THAT STATE OF NOT-EVEN- ECSTASY, JUST ISNESS?
Ecstasy or blissfulness are all toys to allure you towards meditation. You will find them only in the beginning. As the meditation grows deeper there is only isness.
Everything disappears, even ecstasy, because ecstasy too, carries with it, just behind it, the shadow of agony. It is a duality. Blissfulness carries with it, hiding behind it, suffering, misery. It is a duality.
Only isness is not a duality because isness is simply synonymous with existence, and there is no non-existence.
Anything can trigger it. Love is one of the most likely things to trigger it because you are so totally in it, so intensely in it - and without any effort. It is a biological help to man to experience his first isness. It can be scary to feel that you have literally disappeared, and to tell your partner, "I am going," rather than "I am coming!" - is to kill the poor man! What is happening? What kind of love is happening?
He has always heard that in love one comes, but this is a rare quality - to be going! The man must have been cultured; otherwise he would have got up and said, "I am going also! you are going - what am I doing here?" He was a man of culture and etiquette that he remained!
But coming and going - both are two sides of the same coin. People have noted only the coming; they have not been sharp enough to see the other side of it. The moment of coming is simultaneously the moment of going. You as a personality, you as an ego, are going; you as pure isness, are coming.
So they are not contradictory, they are complementary.
But it can be triggered anywhere... sometimes for no reason at all - just the situation - and you may not be able even to know what has triggered it.
I used to go for a morning walk, and I used to pass a beautiful house every day - that was my route.
And one day, when I was coming back, the sun was just shining on my face; I was perspiring - I had gone for four, five miles, and just... I could not move from that place. I must have been eighteen or seventeen. Something happened between the sun and the beautiful morning, that I simply forgot that I have to go home. I simply forgot that I am. I was simply standing there.
But the man who owned the house, he has been watching me for almost a year - that I come and go by the side of the house; today, what has happened? I am simply frozen. But frozen in such ecstasy!
He came and shook me, and it was like coming down from a very far away place, rushing into my body. He said, "What has happened?"
I said, "That's what I was going to ask you. Something certainly happened, and something that I would like to happen forever. I was not. You unnecessarily got worried, shook me, and brought me back. I had moved into some space which was absolutely new to me - and it was pure isness."
Anything can do, it seems that just your preparedness, knowingly or unknowingly, your closeness to the point where the phenomenon can be triggered.... But this kind of experience is not within your power. It happens to you like lightning. You cannot do anything to bring it back, unless you start with a device that suits you; for example, if relaxation suits you, then whenever you have time, relax - and relaxation does not mean that you have to lie down and relax. You can go on walking and relax.
You can go on working, but in a relaxed way. No tension, no hurry, no speed, nowhere to go... just in the moment.
And the window will be opening again and again and more often, and one day it remains open forever.
It is pure isness.
Chetana has asked one question: when awareness is total and all thoughts disappear, does enlightenment, realization, or any other experience happen or only the awareness remain?
The truth is that all experiences are lower. Truth is not an experience. It has to be said that it is an experience; otherwise how to convey it to you?
Truth is pure awareness.
Just all is, and all is beautiful, and all is benediction.
But the basic quality is of awareness.
You can call it isness.
The Sanskrit word for theist is astik. It is a beautiful word, distorted because of the association with God. Astik comes from the root, ast, and asti means isness. In that sense, nobody is astik by believing in God; astik is one who has come to the state of isness, and this state is not separate so there is no way of it going away; it remains.
All words - silence, peace, ecstasy, blissfulness - fall short. The juice of isness is far deeper, far juicier than any word that any human language can provide.
LAUGHING WITH YOU IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL, PURE AND FREEING EXPERIENCE. WITHIN SECONDS IT TAKES AWAY ALL HEAVINESS AND THOUGHTS. I WOULD LIKE TO DANCE THE PATH WITH YOU, LAUGHING AND LAUGHING. WHAT IS LAUGHING IN YOU? WHAT IS LAUGHING IN US, AND WANTS TO LAUGH? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUDDHA'S LAUGHTER AND THE DISCIPLE'S LAUGHTER?
That is the only place where there is no difference. That's why it is the greatest spiritual phenomenon: the master's laughter and the disciple's laughter have exactly the same quality, the same value. There is no difference at all.
In every other thing there are differences: the disciple is a disciple, he is learning, groping in the dark. The master is full of light, all groping has ceased, so every act is going to be different. But whether you are in darkness or in full light, laughter can join you.
The darkness cannot distort laughter, it cannot contaminate it; neither can the light enhance it. To me, laughter is the highest spiritual quality, where the ignorant and the enlightened meet.
And if a tradition is too serious, and the master and the disciples never laugh, that means that in that tradition, there is no possibility of meeting: there is a demarcation.
One of my contributions to religion is a sense of humor which no other religion contains. And one of my basic statements about it is that laughter is the highest spiritual quality.
It is such a strange world. Just a few days ago, a court in Germany in a way decided in my favor against the government, but in a way the judge could not understand my approach to life. The government was trying to prove that I am not a religious person, because I myself have said that religion is dead, I myself have said that I am not a serious person, and the judge said: "Those statements were made in a press conference, they cannot be taken seriously. And we do not know the context. You have to produce statements from his written books. I consider him to be a religious man, and I consider his teachings to be a religion. And whatever he is saying and doing is a serious work."
Although we won the case, the judge could not understand, neither could the government.
I am seriously non-serious, but that is beyond the scope of courts to understand. I am religiously non-religious, but courts are not meant to understand such koans. The government was thinking that to bring the point that I have said I am not a serious person is enough to prove that I am not religious, because all religious people have been serious.
Half of it is true: all religious people up to now have been serious. And it is because of their seriousness that humanity has not come to a transformation. If all the religious people could laugh rather than just talking about beliefs, arguing about things which cannot be proved.... If Gautam Buddha and Confucius and Lao Tzu and Moses and Zarathustra and Jesus and Mohammed all could have gathered together and laughed, human consciousness would have taken a quantum leap. Their seriousness has become a heaviness on the human heart. It creates guilt in people:
when you laugh, you feel you are doing something wrong.
Laughter is good in a movie hall, but not in a church. In a church, you almost enter a graveyard where poor Jesus is still hung on the cross. Twenty centuries... you can take him down now. The Jews hung him for only six hours, and Christians have been hanging him for twenty centuries. And seeing the poor fellow hanging there - it is difficult to laugh.
All the religions have made it difficult to laugh. Sense of humor has not been recognized by any religion as a religious quality.
I declare it to be the highest religious quality. And if we can decide that every year, for one hour, at a certain date, at a certain time, the whole world will laugh, I think it will help to dispel darkness, violence, stupidities - because laughter is the only human characteristic which no animal possesses.
All animals are incapable of laughter, and whenever these religions make somebody a saint, he becomes like an animal, he loses laughter. He falls down the evolutionary ladder, not rises higher.
Laughter has a beauty, multidimensional. It can relax you, it can suddenly make you feel light, it can make your world not a burden, but a beautiful experience. It can change everything in your life. Just the touch of laughter can make life something worth living, something to be grateful for.
So as far as laughter is concerned, the master and disciple meet only at that point. That's why it is so refreshing, so rejuvenating.
ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE HEARD SOME PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU IS THAT THEY THINK YOU ARE THE ANTICHRIST.
WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
These are the same people who crucified Christ on the grounds that he was not Christ. And these are the same people who poisoned Socrates, claiming absolutely falsely that he is demoralizing the youth, corrupting the youth. These are the same people who murdered Al-Hillaj Mansoor, saying that his utterances are against God. Because he was saying, "I am God" - "Ana'l Haq."
But he was not saying, "You are not God," he was saying, "You are God too, but you are determined not to recognize it. I have dropped the old stubbornness and I have recognized that I am God."
Nothing was wrong in it.
Now they are saying the same things about me. In fact all the things that they said about Socrates - that he is destroying people's morals, corrupting their minds - they are saying about me. One government to another government, one nation to another nation, they are sending messages that this man is capable of corrupting human minds; hence, he is dangerous.
The Christians think I am the Antichrist because that is their way of condemning a person, although I have praised Christ more than any Christian has ever done. But I am absolutely fair: if I see that something is not correct then it does not matter who the person is; I will criticize it. I have praised Christ, I have criticized Christ. I have praised Buddha, I have criticized Buddha, because no human being is perfect. Perfection is not possible.
What they said about Al-Hillaj Mansoor, they are saying about me, that I am against God. And I had devoted my whole life to teach people how to be godly.
One thing should be understood: that all these people have no arguments against me so they just pick up a name which condemns me, without giving any argument. They should prove on what grounds they call me Antichrist, because I am fighting on many fronts; I am not only fighting against Christians, I am fighting against Jews, against Mohammedans, against Jainas, against Buddhists.
Where in their Christian scriptures is it written that the Antichrist will fight against all religions?
Where in their Christian scriptures it is written that the Antichrist will teach people how to rise in consciousness towards enlightenment?
They don't give any arguments, they simply condemn. Their condemnations are meaningless. They simply show the poverty of their intelligence. They simply show the anger and rage that is boiling within them. In fact, they are saying that if they kill me it will be perfectly right, because I am the Antichrist. They are trying to find an excuse to justify their actions against me.
But Hindus also want to kill me. They have tried.
Mohammedans also want to kill me.
I think if I was the Antichrist, then all the religions who are anti-Christian would have accepted me with great joy - here comes the Antichrist who will destroy Christianity. They will not be against me.
They will not be against the Antichrist.
But you can say anything. The archbishop in Greece declared that I have been sent from hell, a direct messenger from hell, to destroy the Christian orthodox church of Greece; and I was only a tourist for four weeks there. The messenger from hell comes on a tourist visa for four weeks. Have you ever heard such a thing before?
These are just old rotten strategies to condemn something which they cannot argue against, but they are utterly meaningless.
If I am the Antichrist, I have challenged the pope to face me in a public encounter - not anywhere else, but in the Vatican. Christ is on their side, I am the Antichrist - it will really be a great discussion.
But these cowards go on doing things against me in an underground way, and they keep their hypocrisy intact.
In Italy, sixty-five eminent people in different fields - Nobel prize winners, painters, dancers, directors of world fame, actors, actresses, writers, poets, all kinds of creative people - have signed a petition to the government that I should not be prevented from entering Italy - why am I not being given a visa?
But the pope is preventing it. The government does not say yes or no because that will create a great uproar all over the country. They cannot say yes because the pope is against it, and Catholics may not support them in the coming elections so they want to just keep it in limbo.
But they should see that their most talented people and their geniuses are asking that I should be allowed and I should be listened to.
I have said to my sannyasins, "You go to the pope too with the protest to sign. If he does not sign it, that means he is against freedom of speech. If he signs it, then show it to the government - 'Now you are in no danger, even the pope has signed.' So put him in an embarrassing situation."
I would love to argue on each and every point because Christianity has nothing worthwhile that can be supported by intelligence. That is their fear; otherwise, a four-week tourist visa cannot destroy a church, cannot destroy a country's morality. And if it can be destroyed in four weeks then it is not worth preserving, it should be destroyed. For two thousand years, you have been creating it and a tourist for four weeks will destroy it... that shows the quality of your morality, your religion, your philosophy.
Things are coming closer to an ultimate exposure, and it is going to be tremendously helpful because all the world governments are now caught in a net.
I am going to fight every country in their own courts, and I am going to enter every country - because nobody can prevent it without any reason, just out of fear.
All these great nations are proving to be simply cowards.
FOR CHRISTIANS, THE GREATEST MIRACLE IS THAT JESUS COULD WALK ON WATER.
AS I SAW YOU WOBBLE, ENTERING THE ROOM YESTERDAY MORNING, I HELD MY BREATH.
IS NOT THE GREATEST MIRACLE JUST THAT YOU MAKE IT TO YOUR CHAIR WALKING ON THE ORDINARY FLOORS OF THIS HOUSE?
Milarepa, although you only imagine that you are enlightened, even in your imagined enlightenment you get a few beautiful glimpses. This is true - walking on water is just an invented story.
I have heard that two old rabbis and one Christian bishop - all great friends - went fishing one day on the sea of Galilee. The rabbis asked the bishop, "Do you believe that Jesus walked on water?"
He said, "Of course." Then they said, "Can you walk then?"
That frightened him. He said, "I will walk only if you two walk first - because you are an older religion.
Jesus was a Jew. You are Jews. And you are great rabbis."
So one rabbi went out of the boat, walked twenty feet on water and came back. The bishop could not believe his eyes.
The second rabbi went out, walked twenty feet and came back. The bishop said, "My God!"
But now he had gathered courage... if two rabbis can walk - who are not even Christians, and I am a follower of Christ.... He got out of the boat and as he put his first foot in the water, he started drowning. The two old rabbis said to each other, giggling, "Should we tell the poor boy where the rocks are?"
Nobody has walked on water; you have just to know where the rocks are.
But this is really a miracle every morning, Milarepa. I wake up and I think whether I am going to make it to that goddamned chair. But somehow or other, the miracle has continued to happen, and I think it will continue to happen. I am completely drunk on the divine. So it is a miracle to find the way - and that's why my people have made the chair red, so that I can see where it is.