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Chapter 18: Inside You God Is Hidden

I am with you right now. I have been with you forever, and I will be with you for eternity - there is no other way. Knowing oneself, one thing becomes absolutely clear: no man is an island - we are a continent, a vast continent, an infinite existence without any boundaries. The same life runs through all, the same love fills every heart, the same joy dances in every being. Just because of our misunderstanding, we think we are separate.

The idea of separation is our illusion. The idea of oneness will be our experience of the ultimate truth.

I have heard.there are six people on an aircraft: the pilot, Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Rajiv Gandhi, the Catholic pope, and a young hippie. When something goes wrong with the plane, the pilot announces that he is taking one of the five parachutes and that they must decide among themselves who will take the remaining four.

Gorbachev declares that since he is the only hope for the spread of communism, he must jump, and taking a parachute jumps out of the plane. Ronald Reagan declares that he is the only hope for the defense of the free world against the spread of communism, and he too takes a parachute and jumps.

Then Rajiv Gandhi gets up. “I am the leader of the greatest nation and the greatest democracy of the world, India, and I am the most intelligent and youngest world leader; I must jump.” And he too jumps out of the plane.

Then the pope rises and says to the young man, the hippie, “My son, I am old and have lived my lifetime. Take the last parachute and jump.” But the young hippie protests, “Father, hurry up. There are two parachutes left, one for each of us. Put on one of them and jump.”

“But how is that?” asks the pope. The young man replies, “That guy who said he is the most intelligent and youngest world leader - he took my sleeping bag!”

Just a little more intelligence is needed and you can come out of the gloom, the misery, the hell in which the whole humanity is living. The secret of coming out of this hell is to remember yourself. And this remembrance will become possible if you understand the idea that you are alone.

You may have lived with your wife or with your husband for fifty years; still, you are two. Your wife is alone, you are alone. You have been trying to create a facade that “We are not alone,” that “We are a family,” that “We are a society,” that “We are a civilization,” that “We are a culture,” that “We are an organized religion,” that “We are an organized political party.” But all these illusions are not going to help.

You have to recognize, howsoever painful it appears in the beginning, that “I am alone and in a strange land.” This recognition, for the first time, is painful. It takes away all our illusions - which were great consolations. But once you have dared to accept the reality, the pain disappears. And just hidden behind the pain is the greatest blessing of the world: You come to know yourself.

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