Chapter 7: The Light behind the Window
On a certain Passover before the seder celebration,
Rabbi Yisakhar Baer called his guest,
the Rabbi of Mogielnica, a grandson of the Maggid of Koznitz,
to the window - and pointed to something outside.
“Do you see, Rav of Mogielnica?” he said. “Do you see?”
After the feast was over, the Rabbi of Mogielnica
danced around the table and sang in a low voice,
“The holy old man, our brother, has shown me a light.
Great is the light he has shown me.
But who knows? - who knows how many years must pass,
how long we still must sleep, before it comes to us,
before it comes to us?”
A king heard that one part of his kingdom was almost in a chaos. People were fighting with each other, they were hurting each other in every way possible. He was worried. He sent a special messenger to the part, with a magic glass. The magic glass has the quality that if you looked through it, you will see things as they are - and not as you imagine, and not as you think, and not as you interpret. The magic glass will negate your mind and you will see things directly, immediately. Once you looked at things as they are, the experience became transforming. Then you could not be the old one.
The messenger left the magic glass with the people, went back to the capital, knowing well what was going to happen, because he has been on such trips before also. The magic glass was placed on a crossroad so that everyone can look through it and be transformed, so that it was available to everybody. But this is how people reacted..
The great majority gave a name to the glass and worshipped it as if it was a superhuman being, but they never looked through it. They worshipped, but they never looked through it; in fact, their worship was a way of avoiding the magic glass.
Another part of the people were skeptical from the very beginning. They said, “This is simply foolish. How can a glass help to see things as they are? It is superstitious.” They never experimented, they never even gave a try to the glass. They were the skeptical people. But skeptical or superstitious, deep down, both groups are the same because they both avoided; one by worshipping, one by saying that this is superstitious and useless.
That’s what has happened in the whole world: theists and atheists, both have been avoiding meditation; one by saying that there is no God, one by saying that there is God and only worship is needed. Deep down they are not different.
Then there was a third part of the people - practical, pragmatic, empirical. They said, “The magic glass is interesting, but we cannot imagine how it is going to help us in the practical things of the world. It is impractical.” They also never looked through it - the scientists, the empirical mind.