Chapter 3: Here, Now, This
The mass man cannot go into fana because he does not know who he is. He has no address yet, he has no name yet, he has no identity yet. He is just a number. He can be replaced very easily, he’s replaceable. He is just a part doing a certain kind of work. He is a function. For example, he may be an engineer. If he dies, you can put another engineer there and nobody will miss him. Or he may be a doctor. If he dies, you place another doctor there and nobody will miss him. He is a replaceable part, he is a function.
But the man of baka is not a function; he has a totally different kind of quality in his being. He will be missed forever and ever. Once he is gone you cannot replace him. You cannot replace Jesus. You can replace the pope of the Vatican; many times you have replaced him. Each time one pope dies he is replaced. You can replace the Shankaracharya of Puri very easily, there is no problem - one dies and you put another there. But you cannot replace the original Shankaracharya. You cannot replace Jesus, you cannot replace Mohammed. Once gone they are gone forever. They exist as unique individuals - that is the state of baka. And they are the only people capable of going into fana. It looks contradictory, because fana means losing all your definition, losing all your being.
But first you have to have the being to lose it. How can you lose it if you don’t have it? How can you renounce it if you don’t have it? So the paradox is only apparent. It has a very, very universal law behind it. First you have to have something in order to drop it. First gather together. It is the gathering together then the silence. First gather together, integrate, become baka, and then you can go into fana.
This man, Mansoor, became a man of unique individuality. Wherever he went he was immediately recognized; it was impossible to miss him. He came to India too. In fact, because his master, al-Junnaid, told him, “It is better if you start traveling into other countries, otherwise you will be caught,” he traveled to faraway countries. Everywhere he was recognized immediately. He was a king of kings. You could not miss him. If he was standing in a crowd of ten thousand people, you would be able to see him. He had baka; he was crystal clear. His presence was immense, huge, enormous. Once you had seen him, all other persons would look pale, faint, flat. So sooner or later he would be recognized and he would have to leave the country because trouble would arise.
He went to many countries in the Middle East, but wherever he went it was okay for a few days - he could live without being recognized - but not for long. So finally he went back and said to Junnaid, his master, “It is futile. I get caught everywhere. So why not here?”
When this man was being carried from the cell, the officers who had come to take him out could not find exactly where he was. He was there, utterly there. The whole cell was full of a radiance, a presence - very solid yet indefinable. They could not enter the cell. They stood there in awe, in wonder - “What to do?” Finally they gathered courage. They tried to pull him out but they could not. Then there was only one way: his Master al-Junnaid was asked to come and help because the time was passing and Mansoor had to be crucified and they could not get him out.