Chapter 26: A Glimpse of Your Own Future
The experience of enlightenment is such a great shock to your body, to your mind, to your very system. It is exactly a lightning experience. Everything that you have been is simply shattered. The shock is so much you may forget breathing, you may forget that your heart has stopped.
Preparedness is needed not for enlightenment, but to absorb it. Preparedness is needed not to achieve enlightenment, but so that when it comes, you don’t fall apart but you remain centered and silent and peaceful and let the great experience happen. But it does not destroy you. Your preparedness is necessary to save your life from the great experience, which is almost like fire.
Unless you are prepared, enlightenment and death are almost simultaneous. Many people have died because of sudden enlightenment. They were not ready for it, it was too much. Their body, their whole system, was too fragile for the experience. They were too small and the experience was too big.
So when people say to you, “Prepare for enlightenment,” they really mean, “Prepare.not for enlightenment, it will not come by your preparedness; prepare so that you can welcome it without being shattered, without being killed by the great joy.” Have you not heard of many people dying out of great excitement?
I have heard.
A man was continuously purchasing every month a ticket for a million dollar lottery. He had been purchasing it for years, and all his friends and his family had become tired of telling him, “What is the point, why do you go on wasting money in purchasing the ticket? We have seen: almost thirty years have passed, nothing comes.”
But the man had become so accustomed to the habit. The day he got his salary, the first thing he did was to purchase a ticket for the coming lottery. Then one day a telegram came. He was in the office, his wife received the telegram - he has won the lottery, and by the evening the money will be delivered.
His wife became very much worried. They had been poor, they had lived in poverty; she knew that it will be too much for her poor husband - one million dollars out of the blue! He was not even expecting.Thirty years have passed; he had even forgotten why he goes on purchasing the ticket. He knew perfectly well that it was not going to happen to him. It is not his fate.
The wife suddenly remembered the Catholic priest - they were Catholics - “This is the moment I should run to the priest and ask his advice.’What to do? Because the moment he will hear it - one million dollars - I am afraid he will have a heart attack. You are a wise man and this is the time we need your help.’”