Chapter 2: Between Adam and Jesus
The first question:
In Jesus’ prayer “Our Father,” does God lead us into temptation?
It is a very subtle question, and you will have to be utterly attentive to understand it.
God is good. He cannot lead you into temptation, but his very goodness leads you into temptation. The goodness of God is something which is already there. It exists; you have to do nothing to create it. You simply open to it and it showers on you. When you become good you have not done anything; you become good through God. But when you become bad, you have done something; you become bad through yourself. So when you are good, the ego cannot exist. It is a prasad, a gift from God.
When you say “yes,” the ego cannot exist; you disappear. In the very moment you say “yes,” you are not there; that is the temptation. Only by doing bad can you be. Whenever you do evil, you are there; whenever you do good, you are not there - good flows through you, evil you do. Through evil you are, through good you disappear - that’s the temptation. Adam means “no;” Jesus means “yes.” Between Adam and Jesus is the whole history of human consciousness.
What was the temptation of Adam? Why did he disobey? God was good, but Adam was not there. Through his disobedience he created himself - that is the temptation. In the Garden of Eden, God was there, everywhere. Adam was not there; he was a non-entity, a part of the whole. Through asserting, through saying “no,” through disobedience, through rejecting God, through doing evil, he became himself.
Adam was the first man, not because he was the first man - there may have been many others before him, but nobody said “no.” So history cannot record them; they had no egos. And this is my feeling: how could Adam have been the first man? There may have been millions before him, but nobody said “no.” They could not become men, they could not become egos. Adam said “no.” Of course he suffered for saying that; he was thrown out of the garden of bliss.
Evil leads you into suffering, but it has a temptation: it creates the “I,” you can feel that you are. Jesus, Buddha; they are not. Hitler, Genghis Khan; they are. The more evil you do, the more your ego becomes strengthened. The more against you go, against the wind, against the current, the more you feel that you are. When you flow with the river, where are you? The river is, and the river goes on flowing through you also. God is good - that’s the temptation.