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Chapter 9: The Emperor’s Nightmare

First, there is no path; the very idea of a path is fallacious. The path necessarily leads you away - the path necessarily takes you from this to that, from here to there, from now to then. There is no need for any path for enlightenment, because enlightenment is being here. The path will be a distraction; all paths are distractions. Follow any path and you will be following a wrong path - and there are no paths that are right paths.

Let it sink deep in your heart: there are no right paths, paths as such are wrong. To be on a path is to be going in a wrong direction because you will be going away and away from yourself. Not really, but in desire, in dreams. That’s why all the religions have become otherworldly - they are all paths. To be a path it is needed that the God should be far away, the farther the better, because then the path can be created. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism: paths can be created. God has to be really far away - so far away that the path is non-ending and the priest can go on exploiting.

In Dostoyevsky there is a parable:

Jesus comes back after eighteen hundred years just to see how things are going now. And he thinks things must be going beautifully now, because almost half the world is Christian. He appears in the marketplace of Bethlehem, people surround him and they laugh and they joke. And he feels a little embarrassed: What is the matter? Why are they laughing? And he asks, and they say, “You look like Jesus - you have almost succeeded in looking like Jesus.” And he says “But I am Jesus.” And they laugh even more. And they say, “Whosoever you are, either you are a pretender or you are a madman. But escape from here. If the priest comes to know you will be in difficulty.”

It is Sunday, Jesus must have chosen Sunday, and the people are coming out of the church. But he remains there under the tree waiting for the priest because he thinks, “If ordinary people cannot recognize me, at least my priest will recognize me.” The priest comes and he is so angry - angry the same way as Jewish rabbis had been eighteen hundred years before. He pulls Jesus down and tells the people to take him into the church - this man seems to be either mad or dangerous, a pretender.

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