Chapter 5: Character Kills
And until you die, you cannot follow. You have to die so that the new can be born in you. It can be born only when you are gone. It is not a question of transforming you, it is not a question of improving you, it is not a question of making something better of you. However much better you are made, improved, modified, you will remain the same.
Your ego can be more polished - it can even be taught to be humble. You can be taught to be simple: you can live naked, with no clothes. You can be taught to be non-possessive: you can leave the whole world. But if you remain the same, your non-possessiveness will not help much; your nakedness will not help much, because your nakedness will become a new clothing for the ego.
Now the ego will be satisfied that “I have renounced all. I don’t possess anything. I have left my family” - but the “I” will continue. And the “I” has to drop. Unless the “I” disappears, you will not be empty enough for the divine to enter. You will not have enough space for him.
That is Jesus’ meaning when he says: “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” To be a disciple is to die in the master and to be reborn in the master. It is to drop totally dead in the master so his life flame can give you a new light and a new life.
Until you die nothing is possible, and that is the great fear. You would like to be improved, you would like to become better. Then don’t come to a man like Jesus! He is not interested in bettering you, he is not interested in renovating the old house. He says, “We will demolish it and we will make a new one,” because if you renovate an old house it remains the old. It may deceive others, but it cannot deceive you. You know it is the old. The foundations remain the old, the structure remains the old. You polish it, you color it, you whitewash it - a few patches here and there - and then you think everything is new. It is not.
In life, never try to renovate, because something is fundamentally wrong. The base is wrong, the whole foundation is wrong - and on that foundation, you will remain wrong.
So I’m not interested in you becoming more religious, no. I’m not interested in your becoming more moral, no. I am not interested in your attaining a beautiful character - not at all. I am interested that you should die, so that a newness rushes into you. Only on your death is resurrection possible. And that which will resurrect will be the divine. That will be the divine.
Once you are ready to die, moral, immoral, sinner or saint are all irrelevant. Once you are ready to die, you have become capable. You open the door. You say to God, “Come in!”
But remember: God comes from the same door as from where death comes in. If you are afraid of death you will remain afraid of God. God and death are two names of one phenomenon. If you are afraid, you interpret God as death. If you accept, you interpret death as God. Death itself becomes the beloved.