Chapter 8: Only the Knower Is Left
Just see. If two chess players are playing and you don’t know what chess is, and you start asking questions, they will simply say, “Shut up! First you go and learn the game. It is a complicated game.”
And chess is nothing when you start playing this mad game! Your whole life - your emotions, your feelings, your intellect, body, mind, soul, everything - is involved, is at stake. It is the last gamble.
So only those who are insiders can understand; outsiders will always feel uncomfortable about it. They don’t know the language.
I am not here to play the game of a priest; I am not here to play the game of a prophet. In fact the prophet is nothing but the politician in disguise. The language of the prophet is the language of the politician - of course, in the name of religion. The prophet is revolutionary; he wants to change the world, the whole world, to his heart’s desire. I have no plans for changing the world. It is perfectly good as it is and it is going to remain as it is. All the prophets have failed. That game is doomed to be a failure.
I am not a priest because I don’t belong to any religion; I simply belong to religion as such. I am not a Jew, I am not a Hindu, I am not a Christian, I am not a Mohammedan, I am not a Jaina - I don’t belong to any religion. So I am not a priest, I am not a preacher. I simply love pure religion.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg had scrimped and saved to put their eldest son through college. At last they had the money and decided to send him to a fine, highbrow Eastern boarding school. They saw him off on the train and tearfully bade him farewell.
A few months later he returned home for the Christmas holidays. The parents were overjoyed to have their son, Sammy, back with them. The mother greeted him with, “Samelah! Oh, it’s so good to see you.”
“Mother,” replied the son, “stop calling me Samelah. After all, I’m a grown-up man now, and I do wish you would refer to me as Samuel.”
She apologized and asked, “I hope you only ate kosher foods while you were away.?”
“Mother, we are living in a modern world, and it’s preposterous to hang onto the old world traditions. I indulged in all types of kosher and non-kosher food, and believe me, you would be better off if you did too.”
“Well, tell me, did you at least go to the synagogue to offer a prayer of thanks occasionally?”
The son replied, “Really, do you honestly feel that going to a synagogue when you’re associating with a large percentage of non-Jews is the proper thing to do? Honestly, Mother, it’s unfair to ask it of me, really.”
At this point Mrs. Goldberg, fighting back anger, looked at her eldest son and said, “Tell me, Samuel, are you still circumcised?”