Chapter 4: Danger: Truth at Work
The first question:
Why are the common masses against you, when what you say appears to us the very truth?
That’s precisely why: because it appears to be the very truth. Truth is dangerous, dangerous to all those people who have been living in fictions, beautiful lies, nice dreams, utopias.
Truth is bound to be looked upon as an enemy by all these people, because it is going to shatter all that they have believed and lived for. Truth is just the death of all kinds of lies, howsoever consoling they may have been.
Why were the common people against Socrates? Why were the masses so antagonistic to Al-Hillaj Mansoor? Why were the orthodox, the religious, the respectable, against Jesus? Their only crime was they were saying something which was tremendously disturbing to people’s sleep. Nobody wants to be disturbed when he is having a beautiful dream. And people don’t have anything else except dreams.
All around there have been dream merchants who have been selling dreams to people and exploiting people, and in return they were not giving anything. All the religions, up to now have been dream sellers, exploiters of people’s weaknesses. Yes, there are weaknesses. Every man who is born is going to die. You cannot hide the truth of death.
How long can you make the cemeteries beautiful? Gardens, lawns, flowers, marble graves.but you cannot hide the fact of death. You can see that in every country the cemetery is outside the city. It should really be exactly in the middle of the city, so everybody passing by comes to be reminded of death again and again - because that is the only thing that is certain. Everything else is just probable; may happen, may not happen. But death is not a probability.
Death is the only certainty in your whole life.
Whatsoever happens, death is going to be there. You cannot escape from it. You cannot go anywhere away from it. Death will meet you wherever you go.
I am reminded of an ancient parable. A very great king dreamed that death was standing before him - a dark figure. He became frightened even in his dream. But he was a brave man; somehow he gathered his courage together and asked this strange figure, “Who are you and what do you want?”