Chapter 7: Only One Time: Now
But the word God can create trouble for you. Words are very troublesome because words carry the past; they are made by the past, they are overburdened by the past. Any word is dangerous, because its meaning comes from the past. And for me the problem is: to use the words which come from the past - because there are no other words - but to give them such a twist and turn that they can give you a little insight into a new meaning. The words are old, the bottles are old, but the wine is new.
An old lady who was walking her dog decided to go into the local supermarket, which did not allow dogs. She tied the animal to a fire hydrant. No sooner was the dog tied than every loose dog in the neighborhood started sniffing this defenseless animal. The cop on the corner, observing what was happening, called to the old woman and told her that she could not leave her dog there alone.
She asked him why and he replied, “Lady, your dog is in heat.”
She answered, “Eat, she’ll eat anything.”
He countered, “The dog should be bred.”
The old lady replied, “She’ll eat bread, cake - anything you give her she’ll eat.”
In complete frustration he said, “That dog should be laid!”
The old woman stared directly into his eyes and answered, “So lay her! I always wanted a police dog.”
Words are dangerous.every possibility of being misunderstood.
You say: “I have heard you say not to ask for anything in our prayers.” In fact, that is my way to prevent you from praying. If you have nothing to ask for, why should you pray? Then what is the rationale of it?
Even a man like Jesus is in many ways childish. But it cannot be helped: he belonged to the bullock cart age of religion, he belonged to the Judaic tradition. He lived as a Jew, he talked as a Jew, he died as a Jew. His whole way of thinking, looking, observing, was purely Jewish.
He was not really in rebellion, he was not a rebel in the true sense of the word. On the contrary, he was trying to prove that he belonged to the tradition, he was trying to prove that he was the person that had been predicted by the old prophets, that he had come to fulfill all their prophecies. Now this is sheer nonsense! Nobody can predict for anybody else; the past is absolutely impotent to know anything of the future. The future is that which remains open. If it can be predicted it becomes closed, it is no longer the future; if you can predict the future it is already past. You have already canceled its opening, it has become closed.
He was trying to convince the Jews that “I am the messiah you have been waiting for.” He was trying in every way to fulfill their expectations: doing all kinds of miracles, trying in every possible way to argue his case. This is not the way of a revolutionary. The revolutionary simply disconnects himself from the past; he has nothing to do with the past.