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Chapter 14: The End of Illusion

When someone says to you, “You are such a loving person that I can’t help but love you,” you don’t wish to deny it; you feel that you are that loving person, and that is why the other loves you. Nobody likes to be a clothes hanger, so you are always willing to go along with the idea that you are a very lovable person and that is why he is loving you.

But you do not know that you are inviting trouble. Tomorrow, when he gets bored with this hanger and takes his coat down, he will say, “This hook is rotten. I can’t hang my coat on it,” then there will be pain. But in both situations he is doing the same thing - putting the responsibility onto the other and not on himself.

In illusion, the responsibility is always put onto others, whereas in wisdom one feels responsible oneself. Hence if you abuse someone like Buddha, he knows that you are in search of a hook; if you bow at his feet, he knows that you are in search of a hook. In either situation he never takes himself to be important. When you bow down at his feet he remains like a stone and when you call him names, then too he remains like a stone - because he knows it is your need, it has nothing to do with him. It is just a coincidence that he was there, it is pure coincidence. So when you say, “You are a bad man,” he just listens knowing that the way you are you can only see a bad man in him, 0that is all. There is nothing more to it. And when you say, “You are the wisest man,” then too he understands; he knows that the way you are, he appears to be the wisest man to you. It is your eyes, he neither takes any pride in it nor any condemnation.

But we feel difficulty with such a man. We feel uneasy, such a man throws us back on ourselves again and again. We desire to ride on others, to make others vehicles for us, to use the shoulders of others, and this man throws us back on ourselves again and again.

Hence even a man like Buddha becomes only a cause for our distress as long as our illusions are there. Even a man like Buddha is only a cause for our suffering as long as we are deluded. No matter what he says or does, whatever we perceive in it through our delusion is going to be a cause for our suffering. Until we are ready to shatter our illusions we cannot see the real face of Buddha - because what we see is our own projection.

So, to a deluded man nothing more than this can be said: that this is the situation - awaken out of it. Recognize it, explore it, and become conscious of it.