Chapter 3: Here, Now, This
So you go on saying that you need bliss, that you seek bliss, but when I look into you I find just the opposite. You seek misery, you live on misery, you look for misery. You go on saying that you seek bliss and you go on looking for misery. Unless this mechanism is understood perfectly well, you will never be able to know what God is. God is bliss. And bliss is possible only when you have understood the phenomenon of how you create your misery. Substitutes create misery.
For example, you wanted to love a woman but love is dangerous, unsocial, rebellious. And who knows what might happen? So you settled for marriage. Now marriage is a substitute for love. You will never be happy, you will be miserable. Of course you will be comfortably miserable, conveniently miserable - but miserable all the same. You will have a certain security, a good bank balance, prestige, respect, but you will not be happy. Look at your respectable people. They have all that they always thought would help them, they have it. Money they have, power they have, prestige they have. But look into their eyes - they are deserts. Not a single flower blooms, there is no joy. They are just dragging themselves somehow. They settled for a substitute.
Go and sit by the comer of a temple or a mosque and watch people coming and going. Do you see any celebration? Do you see any real joy? Do you see any dance? - nothing! People just walk into the temple as part of their formal duty, and get out as soon as they can. They have to fulfill a certain duty; they have to show society that they are religious people - it pays. But there is no joy. The temple is a substitute.
See people praying. Not a single tear comes to their eyes. See people praying. No radiance is on their faces. Not even a ripple of dance is around them. And they go on praying for their whole life. It is a sheer wastage of time and energy. They have chosen a substitute. Beware of substitutes. Only then can you find God. God has no substitute. God is the really real, the truth.
Now this small parable.
Imam Mohammed Baqir is said to have related this illustrative fable:
”Finding I could speak the language of ants, I approached one and inquired, ‘What is God like? Does he resemble the ant?’
”He answered, ‘God! No, indeed - we have only a single sting, but God, he has two!’-
That’s how all your religions and philosophies are - God is just your magnified roop, form. You have one sting, he has two. You live seventy years, he lives eternally. You become old, he never becomes old. But the difference is of quantity, not of quality. Your God is your projected, reformed, modified, decorated form. Your God is you as you would like to be.
Enough for today.