Chapter 2: From the Body to the Soul
And it was a great revelation to Hassan. Suddenly he realized what he had been asking: “Lord, open thy doors so that I can enter!” And Rabiya was saying, “The doors are always open, God has never closed them. If you want to enter, enter, but don’t go on playing with this stupid prayer again and again. Don’t waste your time and don’t waste his time! If you want to enter, enter; otherwise go home! I don’t want to see you sitting here in front of the mosque again!”
Hassan was shocked, bewildered. But it was the right moment, because when a person like Rabiya says something to somebody it is always at the right moment - when the person is ready to understand. He understood, he followed Rabiya. He touched her feet and thanked her, and told her, “You are right. I was just being a fool! I wasted my life!”
Rabiya said, “Stop! Don’t talk nonsense again! It has not been a wastage. If you had not prayed all these years here you would not have understood me. It has helped. It has not helped God to open the doors because the doors are open, but it has helped you to understand my statement that the doors are open for you to enter. I cannot say this thing to anybody else in this town; only you were ripe. The spring has come only to you, that’s why the flower has blossomed.”
Religiousness means the circumference, and spirituality means the center. Religiousness has something of spirituality, but only something - a vague radiation, something like a reflection in the lake of the starry night, of the full moon. Spirituality is the real thing; religiousness is just a by-product.
And one of the greatest misfortunes that has happened to humanity is that people are being told to be religious not spiritual. Hence they start decorating their circumference, they cultivate character. Character is your circumference. By painting your circumference, the center is not changed. But if you change the center, the circumference automatically goes through a transformation.
Change the center - that is spirituality. Spirituality is an inner revolution. It certainly affects your behavior, but only as a by-product. Because you are more alert, more aware, so naturally your action is different, your behavior has a different quality, a different flavor, a different beauty. But vice versa does not.. If your body is healthy then your lips are red, but you can paint them with lipstick and they will look red - and ugly. A woman with lipstick is the ugliest woman possible. I sometimes wonder who she is trying to deceive! Her whole face is saying something else, her whole body is saying something else, and her lips are so red.. Such redness does not happen naturally; they are painted. But there are fools in the world - she will find some fool to kiss those painted lips too!
I cannot believe it! - just try tasting lipstick and you will understand what I mean when I say I cannot believe it! And layers and layers of lipstick, old, rotten!
People are living with painted faces, wearing masks. These people are called religious. Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Jainas - these are religious people. Buddha, Jesus, Zarathustra, Krishna, Lao Tzu - these people are spiritual.