Chapter 9: The Unknown Life of Jesus
After his period of silence, he became more and more involved in something which looked more social and political than religious. It had to be so, because the people around him were absolutely non-philosophical, so whatever he said was misunderstood. When he said, “I am the king of the Jews,” he was not talking about a kingdom of this world; he was speaking in metaphors.
Not only his enemies misunderstood him - even his followers and apostles misunderstood. They, too, began to think in terms of an earthly kingdom; they could not understand that what he was saying belonged to another world, that it was only symbolic. They also thought that Jesus was going to become king sooner or later.
That created the whole trouble. Jesus might not have been crucified in a different land, but for the Jews he was a problem. Jews are very materialistic. They were materialistic in the time of Jesus, and they still are.
To them the other world is meaningless; they are only concerned with this world. Even if they talk of the other world, it is only as a prolongation of this world - not a transcendence but a continuity. They have a different way of thinking.
That is why, as far as the material sciences are concerned, the Jewish contribution is so great. It is not accidental. The person who is most responsible for molding the whole world in terms of a materialistic concept was a Jew, Karl Marx.
Karl Marx, Freud, Einstein - these three Jews are the builders of the twentieth century. Three Jews building the whole world! Why? No one exists in the world today who has not been influenced by the Jewish concept.
Jews are very down-to-earth, rooted in the earth, so when Christ began to talk like a Buddha, there was no meeting, no communion. He was continuously misunderstood.
Pilate was more understanding toward him than his own race. He continuously felt that an innocent man was being unnecessarily crucified and he tried his best not to crucify him. But then, there were political considerations.
Even when they were about to crucify Jesus, at the last moment, Pilate asked him a question: “What is truth?” Jesus remained silent. It was a Buddhist answer. Only Buddha has remained silent about truth, no one else.
Something has always been said - even if it is only that nothing can be said. Only Buddha has remained silent, totally silent. And Jesus remained silent. The Jews understood this to mean that he did not know. They thought, if he knows, then of course he will say. But I have always felt that Pilate understood. He was a Roman; he might have understood. But Pilate disappeared from the scene; he put the priests in total charge and just disappeared - he did not want to be involved.
This whole thing happened because there were two languages being used. Jesus was speaking of the other world - of course, in terms of this world - and the Jews took every word literally.