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Chapter 12: All Buddhas Are Gamblers

But that aloneness is not lonely because you are surrounded with such beauty, such joy, such blissfulness, that you will never feel that you are lonely. Alone you are, but not lonely. And this aloneness also becomes a great joy, because it is freedom: freedom from the crowd, from the mob, from the church, from religions, from politics - from everything that has been part of your life before. You have discovered yourself.

I call it an open secret because it is available to everybody - and yet everybody is unaware of it. It is so close that you have just to move your hand a little deeper inside yourself, and you will find it.

Yet people go on searching in the scriptures of ancient days, in philosophies.and what they find is mere words. Those words don’t bring you a dance; those words bring you a kind of death. Those words don’t bring you fragrance, but only the stink of the old scriptures - rotten. They can give you beautiful systems, but all without any foundation.

I call it an open secret because it has always been known that the kingdom of God is within you. Still nobody searches for it there. Perhaps you are afraid to find God. Perhaps you are afraid to be ecstatic, afraid to be blissful, afraid to be loving - because these are dangerous ways of life. But because they are dangerous they have a thrill: your heart beats faster, your life-flame burns brighter; each of your moments becomes more total and more intense.

So I call it open because it is known to everybody; and still I call it a secret, because nobody tries to find it. Those words are contradictory: “the open secret.” But this is the whole history of human consciousness: you may not be conscious of the fact that you are afraid of things which you long for.

For example, everybody wants to love - but only to a certain extent. Beyond that, fear grips you.because love is so overwhelming it seems if you go deeper into it there is no possibility of turning back. It is so overwhelming that it is going to evaporate your ego, your personality - which you have cultivated with such care; for which you have wasted your whole life.

People say they would like to experience ecstasy - but they don’t understand the fact that you cannot experience ecstasy. Only when you disappear is ecstasy there - and very few people in the long, long history of humanity have been able to gamble. All Gautam Buddhas are gamblers, because they are gambling for something unknown, and staking something which is known to them.

The ordinary wisdom of humanity says that half a loaf in your hand is better than the whole loaf far away. But the wisdom of those who have really known says: Risk everything for the unknown and for the unknowable - because you don’t know how much fragrance, and how much joy, and how much life is available to you. Only one step has to be taken, and that is to get ready to be drowned in it, to disappear in it.

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