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Chapter 1: Grace for Grace

It happens: if you have been ill a very long time, by and by you start having a certain investment in the illness. You become afraid - if you become healthy again, fear arises because you will have to go to the office again, to the marketplace. For these few years you have been resting, there has been no anxiety, you could relax. Now again the responsibility. And not only that, for these few years that you have been ill everybody has been sympathetic to you, almost everybody tried to love you. You have become the center of your family, friends, acquaintances; everybody has been kind. To move again in the harsh and cruel world, the mind recoils; it doesn’t seem worth it.

If a race has been waiting for too long.and Jews have always been waiting. They are still waiting - and the man has happened and gone. But they have invested too much in waiting. Their waiting has become their prayer - their synagogues are nothing but waiting rooms for the messiah to come. And he has been here! And I tell you, if he comes again - though I don’t think he will commit the same mistake again - if he comes again, Jews still will not accept him, because then what will happen to their waiting? They have lived too much in it; their imprisonment has become their home and they have decorated it. And now to move in the harsh, open sky where sometimes the sun is burning too much, and sometimes it is raining, and sometimes it is cold or it is hot - it is dangerous. They are sheltered.

In the beginning was the Word. Jews have been insistently emphasizing that God’s name should not be asserted because it is something to keep deep down in the heart. To assert it is to make it profane, to say it is to make it part of the ordinary world and language. To say it again and again is to make it lose its meaning and significance. If you love somebody and the whole day you say, “I love you, I love you” many times - and you enjoy saying it - in the beginning the other person may be happy, but sooner or later the thing is going to be too much. “I love you, I love you” - you are making a beautiful word useless. Don’t use it too much then it is significant, then it carries some meaning. In fact those who are really in love may not use it at all. If the love is not shown by itself, it cannot be said - there is no need to say it. And if it is shown by itself, then what is the need to say it? There should be a few key words which you use rarely, very rarely. They should be kept for rare occasions when you touch a peak.

The Jews have always insisted that the name of God should not be taken. It was the custom in the old days, before Christ, that only the high priest of the Temple of Solomon was allowed to use it - and once a year only. Nobody else was allowed. So “the word” is the code, the code for God’s name. Something has to be used to indicate it and this is a beautiful code, “the word.” They don’t use any name, they simply say “the word.” The same has been done in India also. If you ask Sikhs, the followers of Nanak, they will say Nam, the name. They don’t say any name, they simply say “the name.” It means the same as “the word.”

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