Chapter 1: Grace for Grace
A Buddha has gone even farther away. He is neither in agony, nor in ecstasy. He is absolutely quiet and calm. He is so far away that you can look at him, but you cannot believe that he is - it looks like a myth, maybe a wish fulfillment of humanity. How can such a man walk on this earth so transcendental of all agony and ecstasy? He goes too far away.
Jesus is the culmination of all aspiration. He is in agony as you are, as every human being is born - in agony on the cross. He is in the ecstasy that sometimes a Krishna achieves: he celebrates; he is a song, a dance. And he is also transcendence. There are moments, when you come closer and closer to him, when you will see that his innermost being is neither the cross nor his celebration, but transcendence. That’s the beauty of Christ: there exists a bridge. You can move toward him by and by, and he can lead you toward the unknown - and so slowly that you will not even be aware when you cross the boundary, when you enter the unknown from the known, when the world disappears and God appears. You can trust him, because he is so like you and yet so unlike. You can believe in him, because he is part of your agony; you can understand his language.
That’s why Jesus became a great milestone in the history of consciousness. It is not just coincidental that Jesus’ birth has become the most important date in history. It has to be so. Before Christ, one world; after Christ, a totally different world has existed - a demarcation in the consciousness of man. There are so many calendars, so many ways, but the calendar that is based on Christ is the most significant. With him something has changed in man; with him something has penetrated into the consciousness of man.
Buddha is beautiful, superb, but not of this world; Krishna is lovable, but still the bridge is missing. Christ is the bridge, hence I have chosen to talk on Christ. But always remember, I am not talking on Christianity. The Church is always anti-Christ. Once you try to organize a rebellion, the rebellion has to be subsided. You cannot organize a storm - how can you organize a rebellion? A rebellion is true and alive only when it is a chaos.
With Jesus, a chaos entered into human consciousness. Now the organization is not to be done on the outside, in the society; the order has to be brought into the innermost core of your being. Christ has brought a chaos. Now out of that chaos you have to be born totally new, an order coming from the innermost being - not a Church but a new man, not a new society but a new human consciousness. That is the message.
And these words from the gospel of St. John.you must have heard them so many times, you must have read them so many times - they have become almost useless, meaningless, insignificant, trivial. They have been repeated so many times that now no bell rings within you when you hear them. But these words are tremendously potential. You may have lost the significance of them, but if you become a little alert, aware, the meaning of these words can be reclaimed. It is going to be a struggle to reclaim the meaning .just as you reclaim a land from the ocean.