Chapter 5: The Risk Is Worth Taking
In the past we would survive because the weapons to kill man were not yet perfect. Now they are. Now we have perfect atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, laser rays, death rays and what-not. Now we have become so efficient in destroying humanity and the earth that if within this last part of the century we don’t bring a light within millions of people’s hearts, humanity is doomed. Then there is no future. We may be living the last years of human existence on the earth.
But this critical state can become also a great blessing in disguise. It may make us more aware, more responsible. It may provoke us to do something so that humanity takes a surge towards the higher plane of consciousness.
Buddha’s whole message is concerned with consciousness: how to raise consciousness in humanity, how to make him more alert, more capable of seeing things as they are, how to make him capable of becoming more spontaneous and functioning out of awareness and not out of unawareness. We function out of unconsciousness.
All these sutras are just to prepare the ground, a right ground from where you can take off.
If the traveler can find
a virtuous and wise companion,
let him go with him joyfully
and overcome the dangers of the way.
Each single word has to be meditated upon. The first word is if; it is a big if. Buddha says: If the traveler can find..
It is very difficult to find an awakened master for the simple reason that very few people ever try to get out of the routine of unconsciousness. The routine of remaining unconscious is comfortable, cozy, because it keeps you confined to the world of the familiar and it keeps you with the crowd. It is risky to go away from the crowd because the crowd never forgives a person who goes away from it. The crowd wants to possess you all in all, body and soul. The crowd wants to dominate you. The crowd lives through domination.
This effort to dominate is what politics is all about. Politics means the crowd is trying to dominate the individual, to destroy the individual, to destroy freedom, to destroy spontaneity, to destroy any idea of going on one’s own, of living one’s own life according to one’s own light. The crowd wants you to follow the mass, the collective mind. The crowd does not want you to have your own way. The crowd has already made a superhighway; you can simply follow it. And in a way it is more comfortable, it is cozy. You are surrounded with people, it is warm.
When you move alone into the dense and deep and dark forest of the unknown, it is cold, and there are thousands of fears arising. You don’t know, in the first place, how to cope with the unknown. You are efficient in coping with the known; your system of education makes you capable of coping with the known. Your education is very much against the unknown.