Chapter 7: A Man Who Loved Seagulls
When for the first time you are really relaxed in a meditative state, you cannot believe that life is so beautiful, so euphoric, such infinite bliss, such a sat-chit-anand; you cannot believe it! It is unbelievable. When a Buddha reports, nobody believes. When a Jesus talks about his kingdom of God, nobody believes. Even those who follow, they also are not absolutely trusting.
There is a story that Thomas was Jesus’ most beloved disciple, but even he was not an absolute believer, even he doubted; hence the phrase, Doubting Thomas. Thomas was the most beloved disciple, the closest - and yet he too was a doubting Thomas.
It happened that Jesus was moving from one shore of Lake Galilee to the other shore. He told his disciples to move ahead and he would be coming. So they moved off in a boat. Then suddenly, when they were just in the middle of the lake, they couldn’t believe their eyes - Jesus was coming on the water, walking. They forgot everything about Jesus; they thought this must be a ghost. They had seen so many miracles, even the dead had been raised, but now they could not believe. They forgot everything in the moment of surprise, it was such an unbelievable phenomenon - Jesus walking on the water.
The disciples became so afraid and trembling, they started praying to God: “Save us! Who is this man coming? It must be a ghost! We are in danger.” Even Thomas cried, “Who are you?” when Jesus came near.
Jesus said, “Can’t you see me? Have you forgotten me completely? Can’t you believe that I am Jesus, your master?” But still they were trembling.
Thomas said, “If you are really Jesus and not a ghost, or the Devil in disguise, if you are really Jesus, and if you are really walking on the water, then let me also walk on the water, master.” This was a trick to test.
Jesus said, “Yes, you can come!” Then there was trouble. Thomas walked two, three steps. Yes, he could walk, but then the doubt arose: “Maybe this is the Devil playing a trick on me; otherwise how can I walk? It is impossible!” The thing was happening, he was walking on the water, but he couldn’t believe it himself: a doubt arose and immediately he sank into the lake and Jesus had to run and bring him out.
And Jesus said, “You man of little faith.” From that day the phrase Doubting Thomas became prevalent. But he was the most beloved. The others were not even trusting enough to come out of the boat, even to try.
When Jesus brings the news, the good news of the kingdom of God, nobody believes him. When Buddha talks about the infinite emptiness within, nobody believes him. We cannot believe! How can we believe unless we know? At least a glimpse is needed.
We live in such a suffering, hell, the news about the kingdom of God seems to be just a dream, a poetry maybe, but nothing more. Religion seems not more than literature: fictitious - great fiction, but nothing more. It has to be so, it is natural in a way, because you don’t know where you are standing, what is happening all around you. You are so insensitive, closed..