Chapter 24: Doubt or Faith, Life or Death: The Bases of Different Paths
I was reading Bertrand Russell. He says, “Intellectually, I conceive of Buddha as being greater than Jesus. But deep down in my heart, that is impossible: Jesus is greater than Buddha. At the most, if I force myself, then I will put them parallel, equal. Intellectually, I feel Buddha is a giant. Jesus is nothing before him.”
Why this feeling? Because Bertrand Russell is himself the intellectual type, so Buddha has an appeal for him. Jesus has no appeal. But the mind has been conditioned into Christianity. This is not truth because these comparisons are meaningless, they simply show something about Bertrand Russell - neither about Buddha nor about Jesus, because no comparison is possible. For someone who is of the feeling type, Jesus will look greater than Buddha. But if he is a Buddhist, if he is born a Buddhist it will be difficult. His own mind will feel uneasy if he thinks that someone is greater than Buddha. It is difficult, impossible in a way, because whatsoever you think has been fed into you - it has already been fed in.
Your mind is something like a computer. The information has been fed in, evaluation has been fed in. You are already based on some non-sensical concepts, traditions. You cannot throw them away easily; that is why religion is just a word. Very few people can become religious, because very few people can rebel against their own conditioning. Only a revolutionary mind can become religious - a mind which can see a thing, the facts of it, and then decide what to do.
But feel your type, try to feel your type. It is not difficult. The first thing: if you feel confused, you are the intellectual type. If you feel certain, trusting, then proceed with the different techniques which require trust as a basic thing. And secondly, remember, never do both the techniques. That will create more confusion in you. Nothing is wrong; both are right; Ramakrishna is right, Buddha is right. Remember one thing: in this world, many things can lead you to truth - many paths. There is no monopoly. Even contradictory paths, absolutely contradictory paths, can lead you to the same point.
There is no “one” path. On the contrary, if you go deep and realize, you will come to know that there are as many paths as there are travelers, because each individual has to proceed from the point where he is standing already. He cannot use a ready-made path. Basically, you create your path by your movement. There is no ready-made path already there, there are no highways that are ready-made. But every religion tries to force on you this idea that the path is ready and you have just to travel over it. That is wrong. This inner search is more like the sky than the earth.
A bird is flying: he will leave no footprints in the sky. The sky will remain a vacuum. The bird has flown - he has not left any footprints. No bird can follow in his footprints; The sky is always empty. Another bird, any bird who has to fly, will create his own path.
Consciousness is like a sky, not like the earth. A Mahavira moves, a Buddha moves, a Meera moves, a Mohammed moves. You can see their movement, you can see their achievement, but the moment they move, the path disappears. You cannot follow, dead-like, you cannot imitate. You have to find your own path.