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Chapter 13: Penetrating the Hearts of Men

Really, God is life, God is love. God is this very world. Don’t create a division, don’t create a dualism. Only then can you revere life. Whenever you see life anywhere - a seed sprouting, a tree flowering, stars moving, a river flowing, a child laughing - remember, godliness is near you. When a child laughs, look at the laughter. Enter it, and you have entered the very temple. When the river flows, watch lovingly. Be one with its flow, be in a deep reverence.

Hindus have called all rivers goddesses, they have called all hills deities. They have made the earth holy. It is one of the most beautiful things that has happened in human consciousness. Hindus call the Ganges “mother.” This is reverence for life. They call hills “gods.” This is reverence for life. They worship trees. Those who have become intellectually sophisticated think they are stupid, superstitious people, but they are not. The tree is not the thing: when they are worshipping a tree or a river, they are worshipping life.

A tree is more alive than any temple, than any church; a river is more alive than any mosque. The stone idols in your temples are dead, a tree is more alive. You may be superstitious, but the person who is worshipping a tree is not. He may not be aware of what he is doing, but he is revering. There is a deep reverence for life in all its forms there, a deep respect.

And, celebrate! Wherever you feel that life is growing, celebrate it, love it, welcome it - and a great transformation will happen to you. If life is revered in all its forms, you become more alive. You become more receptive to life, and life begins to flow abundantly in you; it overflows in you. That is what bliss is: life overflowing.

But you are more interested in death and less interested in life, more interested in destruction, in hate, more interested in wars than in love, in life. And that makes you dead and dull. Before you are really dead, you are dead many times over. When death really occurs to you, you are already dead.

Whatsoever you revere you will become. If you revere life, you will become life and more life. If you revere death, you will become death and more death.

Remember this:

Regard the constantly changing and moving life which surrounds you, for it is formed by the hearts of men; and as you learn to understand their constitution and meaning, you will by degrees be able to read the larger word of life.

The eighth sutra:

Learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men.

Study the hearts of men, that you may know what is that world in which you live and of which you will to be a part.

We never look directly into anyone’s heart. It is dangerous, insecure, because then you may become involved; you may have to do something. So we never touch anyone. We just remain aloof, far away, removed.

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