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Chapter 3: Walking the Tightrope

But how can your totality trust unless you have experienced it? The God of Jesus won’t do, the God of my experience won’t do for you, the God of Buddha’s experience won’t do - it has to be your experience. And if you carry beliefs you will come again and again to experiences which don’t fit the belief, and then there is the tendency of the mind not to see those experiences, not to take note of them because they are very disturbing. They destroy your belief and you want to cling to your belief. Then you become more and more blind to life - belief becomes a blindfold on the eyes.

Trust opens the eyes; trust has nothing to lose. Trust means whatsoever is real is real - “I can put my desires and wishes aside, they don’t make any difference to reality. They can only distract my mind from reality.”

If you have a belief and you come against an experience which the belief says is not possible, or the experience is such that you have to drop the belief, what are you going to choose - the belief or the experience? The tendency of the mind is to choose the belief, to forget about the experience. That’s how you have been missing many opportunities when existence has knocked at your door.

Remember it is not only you who are seeking truth - truth is also seeking you. Many times the hand has come very close to you, it has almost touched you, but you shrugged yourself away. It was not fitting with your belief and you chose to choose your belief.

I have heard a very beautiful Jewish joke.

There is a joke about a vampire who flew into Patrick O’Rourke’s bedroom one night for the purpose of drinking his blood. Remembering the stories his mother told him, O’Rourke grabbed a crucifix and brandished it frantically in the vampire’s face. The vampire paused for a moment, shook his head condolingly, clucked his tongue, and commented genially in the purest Yiddish, “Oy vey, bubbula! Have you ever got the wrong vampire!”

Now, if the vampire is Christian, good! You can show the cross. But if the vampire is Jewish, then what? Then “Oy vey, bubbula! Have you ever got the wrong vampire!”

If you have a certain belief and life does not fit with it, what are you going to do? You can go on showing your crucifix - but the vampire is a Jew. Then he is not going to take any note of your cross. Then what are you going to do?

Life is so vast and beliefs are so small; life is so infinite and beliefs are so tiny. Life never fits with any belief and if you try to force life into your beliefs you are trying to do the impossible. It has never happened; it cannot happen in the nature of things. Drop all beliefs and start learning how to experience.

Now this story.

Once when the Hasidim were seated together
in all brotherliness,
pipe in hand, Rabbi Israel joined them.
Because he was so friendly they asked him,
“Tell us, dear Rabbi, how should we serve God?”

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