BUT TAKE HEED LEST THE PROFANE HEAR THOSE, I SAY, WHO CLING TO CREATURES, AND IMAGINE IN THEMSELVES THAT NOTHING IS BEYOND BEING, BEYOND EXISTENCES, BUT SUPPOSE THEMSELVES TO KNOW HIM "WHO MAKETH DARKNESS HIS HIDING PLACE." IF, THEN, THE DIVINE MYSTERIES ARE BEYOND SUCH, WHAT SHALL BE SAID OF THOSE YET MORE PROFANE WHO CONCEIVE THAT THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF ALL IN TERMS OF THE OUTWARD FORMS OF THINGS AND ASSERT THAT HE EXCEEDS NOT THESE IMPIOUS AND MANIFOLD CONCEITS OF THEIR OWN MAKING? INSOFAR AS HE IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THINGS, WE MUST NEEDS IMPUTE AND AFFIRM OF HIM ALL THEIR ATTRIBUTES; BUT IN SO FAR AS HE IS BEYOND AND ABOVE ALL, WE MUST NEEDS DENY THOSE ATTRIBUTES TO HIM ENTIRELY, YET NOT SUPPOSE THAT THIS AFFIRMATION AND DENIAL ARE CONTRADICTORY, BUT THAT HE HIMSELF IS BEFORE AND ABOVE ALL DENIALS, AND BEYOND ALL NEGATING AND IMPUTING.
AFTER THIS MANNER, THEN, THE BLESSED BARTHOLOMEW SAYS THAT DIVINE TRUTH IS BOTH MUCH AND VERY LITTLE, AND THE GOSPEL BOTH WIDE AND GREAT, AND YET BRIEF. THIS SEEMS TO ME A MARVELOUS INSIGHT, FOR THE EXCELLENT CAUSE OF ALL THINGS MAY BE REVEALED WITH MANY WORDS, WITH FEW WORDS, AND EVEN WITH NO WORDS, INASMUCH AS HE IS BOTH UNUTTERABLE AND UNKNOWABLE, BECAUSE BEYOND BEING HE STANDS ABOVE ALL NATURE. HE IS TRULY REVEALED WITHOUT COVERINGS ONLY TO THOSE WHO PASS ABOVE ALL THINGS IMPURE AND PURE, WHO GO BEYOND ALL CLIMBING OF SACRED HEIGHTS, AND LEAVE BEHIND ALL HEAVENLY LIGHTS AND SOUNDS, AND SUPERNAL DISCOURSES, AND ARE TAKEN UP INTO THAT DARKNESS WHERE HE TRULY IS WHO IS BEYOND ALL THINGS. FOR NOT UNMEANINGLY WAS THE BLESSED MOSES HIMSELF FIRST BIDDEN TO BE PURIFIED, AND THEN TO BE SET ASIDE FROM THE UNPURIFIED; AND AFTER ENTIRE PURIFCATION HE HEARD THE MANY-VOICED TRUMPETS, AND BEHELD A MULTITUDE OF LIGHTS GIVING FORTH PURE AND MANIFOLD BEAMS.
AFTER HE WAS SET ASIDE FROM THE MANYFOLK, HE WENT BEFORE THE ELECT PRIESTS TO THE UTTERMOST PEAK OF SACRED HEIGHTS.
BUT THUS FAR HE HAD NOT YET CONVERSE WITH GOD HIMSELF NOR BEHELD HIM FOR HE IS WITHOUT ASPECT BUT SAW ONLY THE PLACE WHERE HE DWELLS. THIS I TAKE TO MEAN THAT THE MOST HEAVENLY AND LOFTY OF THINGS WHICH MAY BE SEEN AND KNOWN ARE NO MORE THAN CERTAIN IMAGES OF THINGS SUBORDINATE TO HIM WHO TRANSCENDS ALL. THROUGH THEM IS SHOWN HIS PRESENCE EXCEEDING ALL COMPREHENSION STANDING ON THOSE HEIGHTS OF HIS HOLY PLACES WHICH MAY BE KNOWN OF THE MIND. AND AT TIMES HE WHO IS SET FREE OF THINGS SEEN AND OF THINGS SEEING, ENTERS INTO THE TRULY MYSTICAL DARKNESS OF UNKNOWING, WHEREFROM HE PUTS OUT ALL INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND CLEAVES TO THAT WHICH IS QUITE BEYOND TOUCH AND SIGHT - THE ENTIRE ESSENCE OF HIM WHO IS BEYOND ALL. THUS THROUGH THE VOIDING OF ALL KNOWLEDGE HE IS JOINED WITH THE BETTER PART OF HIMSELF NOT WITH ANY CREATURE NOR WITH HIMSELF NOR WITH ANOTHER BUT WITH HINT WHO IS INWARDLY UNKNOWABLE; AND KNOWING NOTHING HE KNOWS BEYOND THE MIND.
A PHILOSOPHER walked into a bakery and ordered a delicious fruitcake to be made with extravagant decorations.
"I want a birthday cake," he said, "with 'Happy Birthday' written across the top. When could it be ready?"
"I can give it to you in twenty minutes, sir," answered the attendant.
When the philosopher returned twenty minutes later, the cake was ready. He looked long and carefully at it, took a step back to examine it more closely, then said, "Look, I really wanted it to be more decorative. Lots of color and icing-sugar swirls. And see here, instead of 'Happy Birthday' write 'One Thousand Happinesses!'"
"okay," said the confectioner, a little disappointed. "Come again in another half an hour and I'll have it ready."
Half an hour later the philosopher returned. The cake was ready and he examined it very closely.
He stopped and thought for a while, then said, "Will you do this for me? Put even more flowers and swirls around the cake, and perhaps you could compose a longer message for the top - something like 'Congratulations! Lots of Love.' Would you do all that?"
The confectioner agreed and made all the modifications. A little time later the philosopher returned, scrutinized the cake and exclaimed, "Oh! Oh, yes! Now it is beautiful!"
"Can I wrap it for you, sir?" asked the confectioner, relieved.
"Oh no, thank you, that's not needed. I'll eat it here."
The philosophers, the theologians, the logicians are the most stupid people in the world! And it is unfortunate, very unfortunate, that a man like Dionysius has to speak in the words of Christian philosophy, theology and logic. A Zen Master would have said the same thing in a very different way, very clearly, without using so many unnecessary words and without using the name of God at all.
Dionysius is in a difficulty: he wants to talk like a Zen Master - he knows nothing of Zen but he has the same insight, the same experience - he wants to say things straight, he wants to call a spade a spade, but it is very difficult. If you want to survive in a Christian world, in a Mohammedan world, in a Judaic world, then you have to use their language. So he has to go round and round. He says exactly that which he wants to say but has to use vague words, camouflages, facades, to protect himself. And I think he did well, because it was more necessary to survive and give the message that he had found within himself than to be a martyr.
Thousands of people have been burnt by Christians. The people who talk about love, the people who talk about peace, the people who think that Jesus came into the world to give the message of love, brotherhood - they have killed more people than anybody else. And all their bloodshed was only a question of words - words became so important.
With foolish people it happens always: the reality fades away and words take its place. The word "God" becomes more important than the reality of God; the word "love" becomes more important than the phenomenon of love. Then they can kill each other for the word.
It is unbelievable that for thousands of years people have trusted in words so much - as if the word "fire" is fire, as if the word "water" is water! When you are thirsty, the word "water" is not going to help. Of course, if you are not thirsty then there is no difference between the word "water" and water itself.
But the philosophers are not thirsty - they are not thirsty for truth. They are really on great ego trips.
They are not exploring that which is; on the contrary, they are fabricating, manufacturing systems of thought of their own, and trying to impose their thoughts on reality. Hence they never go beyond the mind. And mind is always mediocre, mind is never intelligent - it cannot be by its very nature Mind cannot by ANY process be made intelligent because mind means memory. Mind means a mechanism that accumulates past experiences. Mind means the known, and intelligence means exploration of the unknown - and not only of the unknown: when the intelligence reaches to its ultimate flowering it enters into the world of the unknowable.
So please forgive Dionysius for his way of expressing himself - that is Christian, but his message is absolutely universal. We will have to sort it out, we will have to put the Christian words aside.
Did you hear about the philosopher who went to the local Saturday night dance and noticed a shy girl in the corner? He went over and asked her to dance. They spent the rest of the evening together and when it was time to leave the philosopher said, "How about coming to my place?"
"Oh, I can't!" replied the girl. "I have my menstrual cycle.'
"Oh, that doesn't matter," said the philosopher, "we can take my new Honda 5OO and pick up your menstrual cycle in the morning!"
The people who live in words are really ridiculous!
A large swarthy Mexican sauntered into a Tijuana whorehouse. The madam greeted him cordially and directed him to the first room on the right. The man returned shortly, explaining that he couldn't do it. The madam asked what the problem was. WITH SOME EMbarrassment the Mexican explained, "Because sheez my seezter."
Understandingly the madam directed him to the second door on the left. Soon he returned. Again he was shaking his head and saying, "I cood not do eet - sheez my seezter."
A little embarrassed too by this time, the madam directed the man to the last room on the right. True to form he returned within a few minutes, eyes downcast, saying, "Theez lady too eez my seezter!"
Amazed and perplexed the madam now directed the man to the room of a fair-skinned, blond Swedish girl on the top floor knowing well that this could not possibly be his "seezter. "
As soon as the man had disappeared into the room, she rushed to a secret peephole in the room's wall to watch. After a time and with more than a little hesitation the man finally dropped his drawers.
Seeing his huge prick unfold to his knees the girl exclaimed, "Oh, brother!"
And that was the whole problem - the word "brother! "
You will have to be a little patient with Dionysius. He is using the way of writing and expressing that Christian theologians are accustomed to. Ninety-nine percent of it could have been avoided, but that one percent is so precious that the unnecessary ninety-nine percent can be tolerated.
And if you know the history of Jews and the Christians and the Mohammedans, they all belong to the same root, to the same source. In the world there are only two religious traditions: one is Judaic, the other is Hindu. From the Judaic tradition came Christianity and Mohammedanism, and then their offshoots - Catholics, Protestants, Shiahs, Sunnis, and so on and so forth. And the Hindu religion has two main offshoots: Jainism and Buddhism, and then their many smaller branches.
The difference between these two traditions is tremendous. The Judaic tradition is very wordy; it has remained confined to the world of the mind. Only once in a while a courageous soul has taken a jump into the beyond. If he was not careful enough he was immediately murdered, crucified, killed.
Dionysius was very cautious because of this fact. Hence he hides his diamonds behind ordinary pebbles and stones and rocks. He says:
BUT TAKE HEED LEST THE PROFANE HEAR...
HE IS writing to his disciple, Timothy: "TAKE HEED LEST THE PROFANE HEAR... Be very careful and cautious. If the profane hear the truth you will be in danger, unnecessary danger. "
And who are the profane? He says:
... THOSE, I SAY, WHO CLING TO CREATURES, AND IMAGINE IN THEMSELVES THAT NOTHING IS BEYOND BEING...
Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism, all three religions that were born outside India, have remained dualistic: they believe in God the creator, and the world, the created. This is their basic dualistic approach. To them God is like a painter or like a sculptor who sculpts or paints. By the time the painting is complete it is an independent thing. Even if the painter dies, the painting will remain.
Once the sculptor has worked to his satisfaction he is no more needed. Then the statue, his art, can persist on its own. Now the existence of the creator is irrelevant.
You may have noted it or you may not have noted it, that God in the Judaic tradition created the world in six days and on the seventh day he rested. And nobody asks what he has been doing since then. Still resting? It seems to be such a long holiday, and after only six days' work! And now for eternity there is nothing to do...
This is not the Eastern approach. God is not thought of as a painter or a sculptor, God is thought of as a dancer, Nataraj. You must have seen the statues of Shiva dancing; that is the Eastern vision of God, as a dancer. What is the difference? The difference is great; the difference is immense and of tremendous Importance. You cannot divide the dancer and the dance - there is no possibility of division - the dancer is the dance, the dance is the dancer. In fact, at the peak of dancing the dancer completely disappears into his dance; he becomes the dance.
In the East, God the creator, and the world, the created, are not two phenomena but two aspects of one reality. The world is the dance and God is the dancer, and if the dancer stops even for a single moment the world will disappear. The dancer cannot go on a holiday.
Hence in the East nothing like Sunday has ever existed; it is a Western contribution to the East.
There have been festival days, but they were not for resting, they were for dancing, for celebrating, for singing. They were not "off" days - in fact you were more "on," more "turned on" on those days than on any other days.
It comes from the original vision of God not as a creator but as creativity. And remember again the difference: God is not the creator but creativity, God is not a person but energy, a presence.
The Eastern insight has reached to the ultimate peak beyond which there is no possibility of improvement.
Dionysius wants to express the same truth; he has somehow stumbled upon it. But he advises his disciple, Timothy:
... TAKE HEED LEST THE PROFANE HEAR..
And by "profane" he means the so-called religious. He calls them profane because they are dualists.
ANY kind of dualism is part of a profane mind. The sacred consciousness knows no duality, no division; it knows only one organic unity. The whole existence is one organic unity: God and the creatures are not separate.
But Christians have condemned it very much - they call it paganism. If you think everything is divine you are a pagan, you are very primitive; you have not yet risen to a sophisticated vision of the world, you are still living in a childish attitude. It is not a childish attitude. It is childlike but not childish. And it is childlike in the same way as Jesus says, "Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God." It is not primitive - it is simple, but not primitive. It is clear, very clear, but it is not primitive. It is, in fact, the highest expression of religiousness.
Dionysius says those people are profane who think in terms of duality, who divide existence into the creator and the creatures, and who cling to the creatures.
Now Christians cannot believe that you are gods. To declare oneself a god is sacrilege, it is a sin. Even Jesus says it in roundabout ways, not directly, not like the Upanishadic seers: "AHAM BRAHMASMI, I am God" - not so directly. Jesus says, "I am the Son of God, and the Son and the Father are one." This is a roundabout way. Why not say, "Aham BRAHMASMI, I am God"? Why go in such a roundabout way: "I am the Son of God" - using a very anthropocentric language, making God a father and yourself a son, creating the idea of a holy family? And the family is one of the unholiest things on the earth! Now Jesus is projecting it onto the ultimate reality and then, by the back door, he asserts the truth: "I, the Son, and God, the Father, are not two." But it has become so diluted. It loses the sharpness of AHAM BRAHMASMI or Al-Hillaj Mansur's ANA'L HAQQ. ANA'L HAQQ means "I am the ultimate truth." These are direct statements.
But Christians condemn this directness. They will call these statements egoistic, they will call these statements pagan. The East says that everything is divine. The smallest leaf of grass iS as divine as the greatest star, because nothing exists other than God. Existence becomes synonymous with God.
Dionysius says to Timothy, "Beware of the profane." He calls, in fact, all the Christians profane, all the Jews profane; he does not call them religious. He says these are the people "who cling to creatures,"
who go on saying that "We are creatures and we cannot be gods and we cannot be creators."
That is sheer nonsense. You are creators and you are creatures - both. And you know it every moment. that you can exist either as a creature or as a creator. Whenever you are in a state of uncreativity you are a creature. But you know moments of creativity: in those moments you are not a creature, your hidden aspect surfaces. When you paint and you forget yourself completely in your painting, then are you a creature? When you sing and the song possesses you, are you a creature?
When you love and love so totally that you are dissolved into it, are you a creature? You have all known moments when you are a creator. You have known moments when you know you can do miracles. You know there are moments when all the secrets of magic ate in your hands - you can transform dust into gold.
There is not a single human being so poor that he has never tasted something of it. He may not believe it, he may reject it, he may close himself to the experience, he may even try to forget all about it, he may think he has been imagining, dreaming. But these windows open once in a while.
To open these windows deliberately is meditation. When they open of their own accord you are not the master. Yes, watching a beautiful sunset you may feel something of the creator in you, but you are not the master. Seeing a bird on the wing you may become so one with the bird that you forget that you are on the earth, you are in the sky. But you are not the master of it. Meditation makes you a master of it.
But these profane people go on claiming that they are religious, and they are not religious. The world is full of pseudo-religious people. If you want to know how many pseudo-religious people there are you can count the Christians, the Mohammedans, the Jainas, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the people who go to the churches and the temples and the mosques and the gurudwaras. These are all pseudo-religious; they have nothing to do with truth. They are not interested in truth - in fact they are afraid of truth. They are believers but not religious.
A believer is never a religious person, and a religious person is never a believer. A religious person knows; the believer only believes. And why should one believe at all unless there are some hidden motives? Either people are afraid of hell... They have been made afraid; their fear has been exploited for centuries. Priests became aware of the phenomenon, that man lives by two things, either fear or greed. And not only priests: the politicians, the pedagogues, they are all using the same strategy.
When a child is not behaving according to you, you punish him. What are you doing? You are exploiting his fear. You are making him afraid that if he is going to do the same thing again he will be punished, maybe more severely. And when he behaves according to you, the way you want him to, you reward him. That is exploiting his greed. The same is the structure of all educational systems in the world: punish and reward.
When I passed my post-graduate examinations, it happened accidentally, just accidentally, that I got the medal, the gold medal. It was a pure accident because I had never tried for it - a sheer coincidence. My professors were puzzled, the whole university was puzzled, because nobody had ever thought that I would top the list. I myself was puzzled.
I went to the head of my department, Dr. Saxena, and asked him, "What is the matter? What has gone wrong? How come I have got the gold medal?"
He said, "We are all puzzled, because you were never present in the classes. Just because we love you we allowed you to enter the examinations, and we were afraid that you would not do all the papers."
He used to come to pick me up every morning so that he could see with his own eyes that I entered the examination hall; then he would leave. He was afraid I might not go, because that was my usual routine: to go to sleep at three o'clock in the night and then get up somewhere around nine, ten, eleven. And the examination used to be between seven and ten. By quarter to seven I had to be in the examination hall, and he was naturally afraid.
Finally we found out how it happened. One very famous philosopher, Dr. R. D. Renade - he was the head of Allahabad University - always liked very short answers and to the point. And I never used three hours; not on one single day did I use the whole three hours to answer - within one hour I would be finished. I would simply write maxims.
In his whole life Professor Renade had not given anyone one hundred percent marks. He loved, not what I said, but more than that the way I said it. I answered the whole question in a single paragraph, or maybe just a small parable and no answer - he had to understand the parable - or just a joke.
He must have laughed and enjoyed and become so happy with me that he gave me one hundred percent marks. That's how, accidentally, it happened.
When I was given the gold medal, the first thing I did was to go to the university well and throw it in there. A crowd gathered and they said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I don't believe in punishment and reward. To carry this gold medal with me is to respect the system, the whole stupid structure."
Reward people or punish people: this has been our whole way of life for centuries. The governments do it, the courts do it, the teachers do it, the parents do it. And the people who go to the mosques and the temples and the churches are the people who are either afraid of hell or desiring and greedy for heavenly pleasures.
One morning a man goes to the Vatican and inquires about the Pope's health. The Swiss guards answer that the Pope's health is very good.
The following morning the man is there again to inquire about the Pontiff's health. The Swiss guards reply that it is excellent.
This goes on for so many days that the astonished guards praise the man for his concern, which shows how good a Catholic he is.
But the man replies, "You see, I went to the doctor who said that my health is very poor and that I have to be careful - cannot smoke or drink. And when I asked him about women he said, 'Oh well, just once every time a pope dies!' "
So you never know why people are going to the church or to the temple or to the mosque. Just by seeing them going there and praying there. don't be deceived, don't think that they are religious.
Either they are afraid of hellfire or they are interested in heavenly pleasures.
And let me tell you a secret: hell is not so bad. In fact now it is all air-conditioned! It is no longer the same world. Where can you find petrol and kerosene to continue the hellfire? It is all finished! And so many scientists have reached there that they have all made it as technological, as sophisticated as possible. In fact, heaven is in a far worse situation than it has ever been, because what can these stupid saints do? Things have changed - the wheel has moved. Now if you want to go anywhere, go to hell. And if you follow me you can be certain that you will reach there. I can assure you only of one thing: see you in hell! Heaven is no longer worth it.
In heaven one day the Holy Mary and St. Joseph were talking. "It is time, Joseph, for me to go into the world and find out how strong the people's faith is in Christianity. "
"Very well," said Joseph, "but you must call me on the hotline every evening so I know how you are doing!"
Mary agreed and left for earth that night. The first evening the telephone rang in heaven and it was Mary.
"Joseph," she said, "I am in Poland now. The faith is strong here, although it is a little subversive, and the devotion to me is great!"
The second evening the phone rang: "Joseph, I am in Italy. It is fantastic, and they say that in Brazil it is even better! "
On the third evening: "Hello, Joseph, I am in Holland now. The faith in my son is good, but with so many Protestants the devotion to me is low."
The fourth and fifth evenings there was no call. St. Joseph was puzzled and worried. He asked all the incoming souls whether they had seen the Holy Mary, but nobody had.
Finally after three more days the hotline rang. Joseph ran excitedly to answer it, picked up the receiver and cried, "Hello, Mary, hello, is that you?"
After a moment of silence a soft, foxy voice on the other end of the line replied, "Hello, Jojo, mon amour, is that you? Mimi calling - I am in Paris!"
Avoid heaven - it is very old - fashioned! But the people in the religious places are still hankering for it, either out of fear or out of greed, which are two aspects of the same coin. It is good that Dionysius calls them profane. These profane people:
... IMAGINE IN THEMSELVES THAT NOTHING IS BEYOND BEING...
Now Dionysius wants to say something like Gautam the Buddha. He wants to say the truth of ANATTA, non-being, but how to say it in a Christian way? It is difficult, very difficult; he has to be very subtle. Buddha could say it directly, that being is our invention, being is nothing but ego projected on higher planes. Existence is egoless, beingless; it is transcendental to being and non- being. You cannot say it is this or that: neither this nor that, NETI NETI - you can only say that. Or, the best way is not to say anything at all, to be silent, because only silence can say something about it. The moment you use a word you falsify the truth, because no word can contain the whole truth; every word can contain only one aspect of the truth at the cost of other aspects. And that is not right for those who are enlightened, who know the truth in its totality.
But Dionysius finds a way. He says:
These people think, THAT NOTHING IS BEYOND BEING, BEYOND EXISTENCES, BUT SUPPOSE THEMSELVES TO KNOW HIM "WHO MAKETH DARKNESS HIS HIDING-PLACE."
He has to bring in scriptures to support him. He uses those scriptures in his own way - he has to. It is like a Zen monk, a Zen Master, writing a Christian treatise. The ancient scriptures say God MAKETH DARKNESS HIS HIDING-PLACE. If that is true, Dionysius says, then how can these stupid people claim to know him? If he is hiding, how can you know him? All your knowledge is pretentious. And you say you know him AS IF he is a person, as if he is a being.
There have been thousands of Christians who believe that they have seen Jesus, who believe they have seen the Holy Ghost, who believe they have seen God the Father - not only seen but talked with him, received messages from him.
Just the other day somebody wrote me a question about one of the disciples of Shivananda. He is well known in America, in Europe - Vishnu Devananda is his name. Up to now he has been claiming that he goes on receiving messages from his late Master, Shivananda. Only recently he has confessed that somebody in his own organization was deceiving him, giving him messages as if they were coming from the late Master, Shivananda.
In the first place Shivananda was not a Master at all; he was only a teacher and a very ordinary teacher, a third-rate teacher. He was talking old rubbish. But a man like Vishnu Devananda who is worshipped by thousands of people in Europe and America - particularly in Spanish countries he has a great following - he can be deceived by someone in his own organization. Somebody was playing tricks on him. And these tricks are not new.
Madame Blavatsky used to play the same trick upon the Theosophists, and great Theosophists like Colonel Olcott and others were deceived. It was found out only later on that she had managed it through a servant; a servant used to hide on the roof. Just think... the roof of Buddha Hall and a sannyasin hiding there, and in the middle of the discourse a letter drops! And Madame Blavatsky used to claim that these letters had come from divine Masters, particularly from Master K. H., Kuthumi, who is the head of all the Masters, who is a direct mediator between God and the earth. Only later on did the servant confess before the court that he was hiding on the roof where there was a small place from which to drop the letters, and those letters were written by Madame Blavatsky herself. And then the experts on writing found out that that was true - all the letters were written by Blavatsky herself.
Now somebody in Vishnu Devananda's own organization has been deceiving him for years. But these are the foolish people...
One of the very famous Americans, Baba Ram Dass, was deceived for one year continuously by a woman who said that she was delivering messages from Ram Dass's late Master, Neem Karoli Baba. And the messages were not just ordinary messages - tantric messages, "The Master has said make love to me!" So Baba Ram Dass was making love to the woman, and for one year continuously it went on. It seems people want to be fooled!
There are people who want to befool, there are people who are ready to be befooled. This world is full of such people, and they have been thought religious, esoteric, occult - all kinds of beautiful names have been given to these fools.
It is good that Vishnu Devananda has confessed that somebody in his own organization was deceiving him, but what does it show? It shows one thing: that Vishnu Devananda is a fool. If somebody in his own organization, his own disciple can deceive him, then what integrity has he got and what consciousness? He should drop being a Master, he should stop initiating people. He has lost all right to.
In the name of religion so much stupidity has happened in the world that if religion disappears as it is, man will be immensely benefited.
Just the other day I was reading that in Arabian countries at least one thousand women are killed every day, for SMALL things; just the suspicion is enough. If the husband suspects that the wife is having some relationship with somebody - and can you find a husband who does not suspect, or can you find a wife who does not suspect? - then that is enough reason to kill the woman. And Islamic law allows it; it is not murder. You are killing your own woman, your own wife - it is like destroying your own chair! Who can prevent you? It is your own chair. You can burn your bicycle - so you have burnt another menstrual cycle! So what is wrong with it? Thousands of women are killed every day, in the twentieth century, in the name of Islamic law. We have not really evolved; we are still as primitive as we have ever been.
IF THEN, THE DIVINE MYSTERIES ARE BEYOND SUCH...
These people who call themselves religious, divine mysteries are beyond them.
... WHAT SHALL BE SAID OF THOSE YET MORE PROFANE WHO CONCEIVE THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF ALL IN TERMS OF THE OUTWARD FORMS OF THINGS, AND ASSERT THAT HE EXCEEDS NOT THESE IMPIOUS AND MANIFOLD CONCEITS OF THEIR OWN MAKING?
There are two types of people according to Carl Gustav Jung: the extrovert and the introvert. The introverts become religious, the so-called religious. I don't mean really religious, just the so-called religious - these are the introverts. They believe in the reality of God as a person, in the reality of the self, in being, and they believe in thousands of other things. One can imagine anything and if you imagine it strongly you will experience it. Believe it and you will know it, but it is not a truth; it is your own belief which has auto-hypnotized you.
And the extroverts are the materialists, the atheists, the communists. They believe only in the things that they can see, that they can observe; they believe in the objective reality. Scientists are extroverts; they believe in the objective world, in the material world. And the so-called religious people are introverts; they believe in the self, in God, in angels, in Kuthumi, in archangels, and all kinds of nonsense.
The really religious person is neither extrovert nor introvert. Hc transcends these divisions. and in transcending these divisions he disappears, evaporates. He is, but no longer a self, no longer confined in any ego. The ego was just like an egg - it has broken. The bird has flown into the sky, into the beyond.
INSOFAR AS HE IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THINGS WE MUST NEEDS IMPUTE AND AFFIRM OF HIM ALL THEIR ATTRIBUTES...
This is how Dionysius has to go through this tortuous language.
INSOFAR AS H IS THE CAUSE OF ALL THINGS WE MUST NEEDS IMPUTE AND AFFIRM OF HIM ALL THEIR ATTRIBUTES...
Of course, God has to be given all the attributes of the manifested things.
... BUT INSOFAR AS HE IS BEYOND AND ABOVE ALL WE MUST NEEDS DENY THOSE ATTRIBUTES TO HIM ENTIRELY YET NOT SUPPOSE THAT THIS AFFIRMATION AND DENIAL ARE CONTRADICTORY BUT THAT H HIMSELF IS BEFORE AND ABOVE ALL DENIALS AND BEYOND ALL NEGATING AND IMPUTING.
Just as there are extroverts and introverts, there are people who are positivists and there are people who are negativists. VIA AFFIRMATIVA and VIA NEGATIVA these have been the two paths of people to inquire into reality. But if you accept a certain standpoint from the very beginning, you miss.
The real inquirer starts his inquiry without any prejudice, without any A PRIORI; he starts his journey with knowing nothing, believing nothing. He does not believe, he does not disbelieve. He is not negative, he is not positive. He is not extrovert, he is not introvert. He simply says, "I don't know" - AGNOSIA. He starts from a state of not-knowing, and only through that state of not-knowing does he come to know. But he cannot claim knowledge, never, because to claim knowledge is to claim ignorance. To say "I know" implies two things: that "I am," which is not true, and it implies another thing, that "There is something to know which is separate from me."
The moment you say "I know" you have accepted three things: the knower, the known and the knowledge that exists between the two. You have divided the world into a trinity, and the world is one. There is no knower, no known, no knowledge - or, the knower is the knowledge and the known too.
Dionysius says: Remember, God is beyond affirmation AND negation. He simply is. And all that you have conceived of him is your own imagination. Drop your imagination if you want to know that which is. Truth cannot be known through imagination, it can only be known through meditation.
His word for meditation is AGNOSIA a beautiful word: a state of silent not-knowing.
AFTER THIS MANNER THEN THE BLESSED BARTHOLOMEW SAYS THAT DIVINE TRUTH IS BOTH MUCH AND VERY LITTLE...
He has to quote the authorities, the authorities of the Church, to make it clear that he is not trying to say anything individual, that he is simply following the tradition.
This has never been expected in the East. Everybody has been given the right to say whatsoever he feels like saying. There is no need to get affirmation from the past. Buddha never says, "What I am saying is right because it is said in the Vedas too."
I myself say to you that whatsoever I am saying I am saying on my own authority. If some scriptures agree with it, it Is good for those scriptures; if they don't agree with it it unfortunate for THEM. BUT I AM not producing any evidence. I myself have experienced something, I am an eye-witness, and truth needs no proofs.
But this has not been so in the West for centuries; people had to give supports. Individual freedom has not existed in the Church. And this is strange, because Jews killed Jesus because he was speaking on his own authority. And Christians have been doing the same - they have not learned a single thing, they have not understood Jesus at all.
Jesus is an individual assertion of truth. He says again and again, "It is said by other prophets,'Do this,' but I say to you something else, totally different." He was speaking on his own authority.
Experience always speaks with that quality. It is not authoritative, remember, but it speaks with authority because it knows, it has experienced. But the Christian Church has not allowed such things, hence Dionysius quotes authorities.
... THE BLESSED BARTHOLOMEW SAYS THAT DIVINE TRUTH IS BOTH MUCH AND VERY LITTLE...
It is true. It is so much that you cannot exhaust it; you can go on talking about it, but you cannot exhaust it. Buddha spoke for forty-two years continuously, still the message was incomplete.
Mahavira spoke for forty years, still the message was incomplete. It cannot be complete - no message can be entire because the truth is so vast. And yet it is very little - you can write it on a postcard or even the postcard may be too big. It is so vast that millions of words cannot express it and it is so brief that even silence is capable of speaking it.
... AND THE GOSPEL SAYS IT IS BOTH WIDE AND GREAT AND YET BRIEF THIS SEEMS TO ME A MARVELOUS INSIGHT FOR THE EXCELLENT CAUSE OF ALL THINGS MAY BE REVEALED WITH MANY WORDS WITH FEW WORDS AND WITH EVEN NO WORDS...
THE best is with no words, but where to find people who can understand no words?
One of the most significant philosophers of this age, Ludwig Wittgenstein, says, "Do not say that which cannot be said." He is right, because saying that which cannot be said is dangerous. It is bound to be wrong, it is falsifying. It is exactly what Lao Tzu says, "Truth cannot be said. The moment you say it you falsify it." But Lao Tzu said it, and Wittgenstein could not control c either.
The Upanishads say: "Those who know, they are silent, and those who do not know, they speak."
But the Upanishads are saying it, so where to put the Upanishads? Socrates says: "I know only one thing, that I know nothing." But that one thing he knows, and that one thing contains all.
It is true that if it can be said without words that is the best, but who will understand it?
There is a beautiful story about Mahavira. When he became enlightened, seven days he spoke without words - but who will understand without words? Only a few gods who had come to see this miracle, that had happened on the earth, only they could understand. But it was almost useless, because they knew it already anyway. What he was saying they could only nod their heads to. They could say, "Yes, it is right."
Then Mahavira had to speak in a language that could be understood by mortal human beings. But his message was so condensed - he was a lover of maxims. He wouldn't elaborate, he wouldn't explain; he would simply assert without any explanation. So only very few very evolved human beings could understand him and they became his interpreters, his GANDHARAS. He would speak to those eleven persons and then those eleven persons would go and speak to others.
Finally he decided that that too was not right, because the moment he said something it was falsified immediately - it was no longer as beautiful as it was in silence. Then those GANDHARAS. those eleven interpreters, would hear; something more was lost because what THEY heard, they heard according to themselves. And when these GANDHARAS said it to the ordinary masses, something again was lost because they used THEIR language; they could not use Mahavira's language. And when the masses heard it, it was almost something totally different than what was said by Mahavira.
So finally he had to speak directly.
All enlightened Masters would have liked to sPeak through silence, but where are people who will understand it? Then they have to speak the language of the people, and they have to prepare the people slowly so that one day they can understand the silence too.
That's what I am trying to do here: I am talking to you continuously only in order to help you one day to sit in silence with me. Nothing will be said, nothing will be heard: all will be said, all will be heard.
... INASMUCH AS HE IS BOTH UNUTTERABLE AND UNKNOWABLE BECAUSE BEYOND BEING HE STANDS ABOVE ALL NATURE. HE IS TRULY REVEALED WITHOUT COVERINGS ONLY TO THOSE WHO PASS ABOVE ALL THINGS IMPURE AND PURE...
He is inserting tremendously great truths into the Christian jargon. Buddha would have said simply, "Go beyond good and bad." That's what I have been telling you: that morality and immorality are very ordinary things. My sannyasins have to transcend both. It is better to be moral than to be immoral, but to go beyond both is just far out!
The moral person is a good citizen. He does not harm people or at least he harms only minimally, only when it is absolutely necessary. The immoral person harms others; he will not miss any opportunity to harm others. But the moral and immoral, both remained concerned with the other.
The religious person is one who forgets the other and dissolves into his own innerness, into his own interiority. When you are alone in your interiority, where is the question of being moral and immoral?
The question arises only when you relate with others; the question is of relationship. But when you are absolutely alone you are amoral.
But Dionysius could not say it directly because the whole Christian attitude is moralistic, puritanistic:
Do good, be good! Christians have created so many do-gooders that no other religion has been able to do as much mischief as Christians have done. These do-gooders are the most mischievous people in the world. They don't listen to you, whether you want good to be done to you or not; they go on doing it. They say, "We will do it, we have to do it.
This is our duty, our moral duty. This is God's command ment!" They go on forcing their idea of good on others.
When I used to travel in India, for twenty years continuously, I came across many things. In India people have the idea, particularly the villagers - and eighty percent of India consists of villages - that if you sene a saint you earn tremendous virtue, PUNYA merit, and you will be rewarded greatly in heaven, so you have to serve a saint. Now whether the saint wants to be served or not, that is not the point at all! So many times I had to force people to go out of my room because they wanted to serve me. And "service" in India means they will massage your feet... I would say, "But I want to sleep!"
And they would say, "You can sleep, but you cannot prevent us from serving you. Otherwise how are we going to earn merit?"
They would force themselves upon me.
It is out of those twenty years of experience that in my ashram you see guards - because the people have served me so much, I am tired of it! They would start massaging my body and I would say, "I don't like massage at all!" But that is not the point, that is irrelevant, whether you like it or not. In the middle of the night, somebody would enter the train at a station and start serving me. I would be fast asleep - he would wake me up. He would say, "You can rest, but the train is going to stay here for one hour, so I did not want to lose this opportunity." And for one hour I had to suffer! They would go on doing whatsoever they wanted to do.
In Rajasthan one woman who was worshipped almost like a saint used to come to see me, and of course a saint has to be served. But she had her own ways of serving. She would bring many mangoes - if it was the time for mangoes, a bucketful of mangoes - and she would force those mangoes on me. And I had just tasted one mango when it would be passed on, because she had at least fifty followers always following her. It had become prasad it had become a great gift. Now another mango had to be forced on me so that became PRASAD then the third mango... all my clothes would become wet with mango juice. But who was concerned with me? - they were earning their merit.
And people ask me why there are guards! You cannot imagine what would happen to me if there were not guards - you cannot imagine! Those twenty years I have suffered so much... In a way that suffering has been good: through that suffering I am finished with all my past karmas! But now there is no more left so I don't want any more service done to me.
Christians live with the idea of right and wrong, shoulds and should-nots, impure and pure. And Dionysius wants to take them beyond it, like Sosan: NEITHER THIS NOR THAT. He says:
HE IS TRULY REVEALED WITHOUT COVERINGS ONLY TO THOSE WHO PASS ABOVE ALL THINGS IMPURE AND PURE WHO GO BEYOND ALL CLIMBING OF SACRED HEIGHTS...
Because even if it is a sacred height it is an ego trip. Those who become absolutely ordinary... That is the Zen standpoint: to be absolutely ordinary, to be a nobody. That's how I define my sannyas: to be a nobody. But a Christian saint is somebody, he is not a nobody; he has reached to the sacred heights. And Dionysius wants to say that that too is the subtlest ego, far more dangerous than the gross one. Those who have stopped and gone...
... BEYOND ALL CLIMBING OF SACRED HEIGHTS AND LEAVE BEHIND ALL HEAVENLY LIGHTS AND SOUNDS...
Remember it, because when you enter inside you will hear beautiful music, you will see beautiful lights. You have no idea of how much beauty exists in the interiority of your world. But go beyond them.
... AND SUPERNAL DISCOURSES...
You will hear voices so sweet, so honey-sweet, that you will believe they are from angels, from God.
But they are all from your own mind. The last strategy of the mind is to create what you are seeking, to make available imaginary plastic things instead of the real ones you are searching for, to give you toys to play with. Don't be deceived by them. Go beyond all.
... AND ARE TAKEN UP INTO THAT DARKNESS WHERE HE TRULY IS WHO IS BEYOND ALL these THINGS.
God is beyond all purity and impurity, right and wrong. God is beyond ALL that you can conceive.
That is the meaning of Dionysian darkness. Darkness has many beautiful things about it. When it is light you can make distinctions: "This is beautiful, that is ugly. This is right, that is wrong. This is a man, that is a woman." But when it is darkness all distinctions are lost: you don't know who is who, what is what. Darkness dissolves all distinctions - darkness is a state of non-distinctions. Light is always shallow, darkness has depth. Light is always momentary - it depends on certain fuel.
Even the sun is going to die one day - the scientists say that perhaps after four million years, because its fuel is being used every day, twenty-four hours a day; one day it is going to be exhausted.
Many suns have died before; this sun cannot live forever. It has a lifespan, just as the candle burns, slowly slowly, and by the morning it is gone.
All light is momentary, but darkness is eternal because it needs no fuel. It simply is. It is independent; it has no cause. Hence darkness has some symbolic meaning which comes very close to the existence of God.
FOR NOT UNMEANINGFULLY WAS THE BLESSED MOLES HIMSELF FIRST BIDDEN TO BE PURIFIED...
DIONYSIUS has to go through all this unnecessarily. I feel sorry for the man. I have a deep love for the man, and many times reading his statements I have wondered... It must have been an accident that he was born in the West; he belonged to the East. In the East he would have flowered fully.
There would have been no need to hide the way he is doing here. Now he brings in Moses. He says:
FIRST MOSES WAS BIDDEN TO BE PURIFIED AND THEN TO BE SET ASIDE FROM THE UNPURIFIED; AND AFTER ENTIRE PURIFCATION HE HEARD THE MANY-VOICED TRUMPETS, AND BEHELD A MULTITUDE OF LIGHTS GIVING FORTH PURE AND MANIFOLD BEAMS.
AFTER HE WAS SET ASIDE FROM THE MANYFOLK HE WENT BEFORE THE ELECT PRIESTS TO THE UTTERMOST PEAK OF SACRED HEIGHTS.
BUT THUS FAR HE HAD NOT YET CONVERSE WITH GOD HIMSELF NOR BEHELD HIM FOR HE IS WITHOUT ASPECT BUT SAW ONLY THE PLACE WHERE HE DWELLS.
He is using Moses to hide something of immense value, so only those who are capable of absorbing it will be able to discover it. He says: He SAW ONLY THE PLACE WHERE HE DWELLS. That place is AGNOSIA a state of not-knowing, a luminous darkness, what Patanjali calls SAMADHI - a deep dreamless sleep but with full awareness.
THIS I TAKE TO MEAN THAT THE MOST HEAVENLY AND LOFTY OF THINGS WHICH MAY BE SEEN AND KNOWN ARE NO MORE THAN CERTAIN IMAGES OF THINGS SUBORDINATE TO HIM WHO TRANSCENDS ALL. THROUGH THEM IS SHOWN HIS PRESENCE EXCEEDING ALL COMPREHENSION STANDING ON THOSE HEIGHTS OF HIS HOLY PLACES WHICH MAY BE KNOWN OF THE MIND. AND AT TIMES HE WHO IS SET FREE OF THINGS SEEN AND OF THINGS SEEING ENTERS INTO THE TRULY MYSTICAL DARKNESS OF UNKNOWING, WHEREFROM HE PUTS OUT ALL INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND CLEAVES TO THAT WHICH IS QUITE BEYOND TOUCH AND SIGHT - THE ENTIRE ESSENCE OF HIM WHO IS BEYOND ALL. THUS THROUGH THE VOIDING OF ALL KNOWLEDGE HE IS JOINED WITH THE BETTER PART OF HIMSELF NOT WITH ANY CREATURE NOR WITH HIMSELF NOR WITH ANOTHER BUT WITH HINT WHO IS INWARDLY UNKNOWABLE; AND KNOWING NOTHING HE KNOWS BEYOND THE MIND.
Mind is knowledge, meditation is non-knowledge. Mind knows, meditation experiences. Mind can only give you a certain acquaintance but not the taste. If you want the taste of the Tao you have to move to no-mind, to meditation, to AGNOSIA.
A tremendous awareness is needed, an awareness that can help you to cut yourself off from the mind, from words, from theories, from philosophy, from theology, from religions, from priests: a tremendous awareness like a sharp sword that cuts ALL that binds you and makes you free.
To indicate that freedom Dionysius has used the most beautiful word I have ever come across:
AGNOSIA. Be so silent, so unknowing, so non-existential, a deep emptiness, a nothingness, and then mysteries will be revealed to you. Then God can stand naked before you. But if you know something about God then you will never know him as he is.
It is said that the word "God" stands for three words. G stands for "that," O stands for "which" and D stands for "is." God is a code word; it means nothing, it simply represents THAT WHICH IS. But to know that which is you will have to come to a certain state: a state of absolute emptiness. What Buddha calls SHUNYATA nothingness, Dionysius calls AGNOSIA. I call it meditation, but these ate different words for the same phenomenon.
If you have attained to AGNOSIA YOU have found the place where he dwells, you have found the temple where he lives. And that tempi is not outside, it is within you. It is at the VERY core of your being.